Gene Elson

Gene Elson (December 29th, 1942 - December 1st, 2020)

Founder of Penn Tool Co.

Back in 1968 Penn Tool Co. was just a small hardware store on Market Street in Newark NJ.  This particular area of Newark NJ was called the "Ironbound" section because of the network of railroad tracks and the large metalworking industry in the area.  As a result of the close proximity of The Penn Station Train Terminal, Gene decided to call his business Penn Tool Co. Gene's business started out selling tools much like any other hardware store.  As the metalworking industry slowly left Newark NJ, it became very apparent that diversification was needed.  Newark NJ and its local economy could no longer support the old method of doing business.  Gene smartly transformed Penn Tool Co. into a company specializing in precision measuring instruments for the metalworking community.  Gene decided that tools would need to be put into catalogs and sent throughout the United States, thus expanding the market in a new way.  He created the catalogs in house which at the time was not very common in the tool industry.  Mailing lists were compiled and catalogs sent out.  It was a huge success.

For over 50 years, Gene Elson was the President of Penn Tool Co. Through his knowledge and creativity he made his business the best in its class.  Gene was often found at Industry Trade Shows searching for new and unique products.  While relaxing Gene was happiest listening to Jazz, playing tennis, and fishing or boating on the NJ Shore.  Gene will always be a part of Penn Tool Co., his memory is everlasting.

Michael Elson

Michael Elson


Michael grew up in the tool industry working summers in the shipping department and unloading delivery trucks.  After studying business and marketing at the University of Arizona, Michael came back east to work full time at Penn Tool Co.  When he first started his career in the tool industry, the only way to reach out to customers was through paper catalogs and using mailing lists to target potential business.  With the advent of the Internet, Penn Tool Co., slowly transitioned from the paper catalog to online purchasing over the internet.  Throughout the years many lessons were learned and in 2014 Michael spearheaded the re-launch of penntoolco.com.  Using his many years of knowledge and experience in the tool business, Michael created the website he felt his customers kept asking for.  Every detail of the new website was meticulously thought out by Michael and his new web development advisors.  The result is a user friendly website making purchasing tools online a quick and simple process.   

In addition to website development, Michael is highly trained and certified to do business with the United States Government fulfilling GSA Contracts.  During his many years working in the industry, Michael has personally visited many of the factories that manufacture tools sold at Penn Tool Co.  Michael has traveled extensively  throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia ensuring the quality of tools sold by Penn Tool Co., meet his strict standards.  Michael also is a firm believer in having direct communication with his customers.  Aside from being in upper management at Penn Tool Co., you can actually speak to Michael directly anytime by calling 800-526-4956 Ext.  107.

Ginesse Elson

Ginesse Elson

Vice President

In the same tradition as her brother, Ginesse also spent her early years visiting her father at Penn Tool and learning about the tool business.  She was a fast learner and much of her high school and college breaks were spent working at Penn Tool Co.  Ginesse attended the University of Maryland and graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Textiles.  From there, Ginesse embarked on a successful career in fashion sales and marketing in New York City.  While her primary responsibility related to client interaction, sales, she also was a continual presenter/spokesperson on a variety of televised shopping networks and modeled for various ad campaigns.  Aside from her ability to sell in front of the camera, Ginesse is a licensed real estate broker in the State of NJ.  Plus she is a devoted mother of two fabulous daughters.

Her role as Vice President of Penn Tool Co. consists of overseeing all aspects of day to day operations.  Jointly with her brother she works on all functions related to the administration of the business, strategic planning and office management.  She also plays an integral role in customer service relations and Penn Tool’s finances.