Windemuller

Employee Success Stories

At Windemuller, we are committed to the growth and development of our employees. Every member of our work family has a unique story about their path to Windemuller and how they’ve grown.

Read their words below!

We’re proud of all of our employee success stories — and we’d love to add yours. Click here to apply.
 

AUTUMN, Director of Strategic Partnerships

"The family feel we have here—and the trust we give our employee family to get the job done, the right way—is unique from other places I have worked. I’m proud to be a part of that family."

"I grew up in the heart of my father’s company, which was itself a constant construction project: a large RV park located in northern Michigan. I’d follow him around and watch him build the newest buildings, route new pipes for expansions, paint pools, and more. Perhaps most importantly, I’d watch him chat with customers as if they were family—because, of course, they were.

That experience left a mark on me. When it was time to choose a college and a major, I chose the School of Planning, Construction and Design at Michigan State University. After graduation, I jumped into the electrical construction world, working as a project administrator, an estimator, and a project manager. This 10-year period of my career helped me learn and master the technical side of the industry—something I still use to relate to clients in my current business development capacity. My key focus now is maintaining and forming strategic partner relationships—just like my dad did while making rounds at the campground years ago. My background in the field helps me understand the pain points of customers, which in turn makes it easier to respond to their needs.

I found Windemuller because, as a child, numerous campers at the campground actually worked at the Traverse City office. I remember them as fun-loving people who valued time with their family on the weekends. They were also hard workers who would offer my dad a hand at any time, no questions asked. Those things spoke to me then and they still do today, now that my own journey in the industry has landed me at Windemuller. The family feel we have here—and the trust we give our employee family to get the job done, the right way—is unique from other places I have worked. I’m proud to be a part of that family."
 


 

JOEL, Detail Manager

"It’s the perfect job for me, because it challenges me both mentally and physically, and because it gives me the opportunity to build relationships with so many other Windemuller employees, from the office to the jobsite."

'I joined the military right after high school, serving active duty for the United States Army in the first Gulf War. When I came back home, I wanted to find a job that would feel as fulfilling to me as serving my country did. I ended up taking a job with an electrical contractor, and quickly found that I loved the work. From the diversity of the projects to the new learning experiences I had at every turn, the job made me love coming to work each day. By the time I’d received my Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship in May 2000, I knew I would be a lifelong electrician.

I spent 13 years with the same company, building experience and eventually earning my journeyman’s license. In 2012, I decided to take on a new challenge and started a job with Windemuller. I hadn’t been with the company long when my wife and my father passed away, both in the space of a week. It was a dark period in my life, but there was never a day where I didn’t feel the love and support of the people I worked with. I hadn’t even been with Windemuller for a year, but everyone banded together and made me feel like I’d been part of the family forever. I truly believe that I will work for this company for the rest of my career, and that’s because there is no greater workplace family than what there is here.

As Detail Manager, I get to see so many facets of what we do here at Windemuller. I work with foremen to lay out blueprints and do big-picture planning for projects, but I also get to spend a lot of time in the field helping with implementation. It’s the perfect job for me, because it challenges me both mentally and physically, and because it gives me the opportunity to build relationships with so many other Windemuller employees, from the office to the jobsite.

Windemuller has given me a lot over the years, and to say that I am grateful would be a huge understatement. In 2018, the company nominated me for the Associated Builders and Contractors Craft Professional of the Year Award. To have Windemuller honor me in that way was extraordinarily humbling. (I’m still in disbelief that I actually won!) It was just another blessing that proved to me that I am in the right place. I do my best to pay that respect forward, whether by mentoring new apprentices or helping employees study for their journeyman tests. I wouldn’t be here today if the people at this company hadn’t embraced me and made me feel valued and loved. I try my best every day to do the same for the next generation."
 


 

NICK, Service Technician

"There’s a feeling with the company culture here that we’re all one big happy family, and that makes a huge difference when it’s time to get up for work in the morning."

"Growing up and coming through high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do or how to focus my education. Around junior year, I had an opportunity to go to the Branch Area Career Center in Coldwater, Michigan. I spent a year taking construction trades courses, but I didn’t like the work. During my senior year, I changed lanes to focus on electrical technology and fell in love with it. By the middle of the school year, I was working part-time for a three-man construction company, running electrical. I knew that “electrician” was my new path.

Windemuller was my first job after high school, and it immediately started feeling like home. I got hired maybe a week after graduation, and I’ve been here ever since. Along the way, Windemuller has stayed committed to helping me grow and learn. I spent my first four years working through an apprenticeship for service, then a year as an apprentice for the outdoor utilities department. I’ve gone through high-voltage training and earned my Commercial Driver’s License. And recently, I passed my electrical Journeymen's test, allowing me to work independently in our service department. The dynamic training process has really prepared me for life in the service van, where every day brings something new. I love the challenge and the variety, and Windemuller gave me the skills and confidence to embrace both.

The best thing about Windemuller, though, is the people. My colleagues here are my best friends. When we’re not together at work during the week, we’re hanging out at each other’s houses on the weekends. There’s a feeling with the company culture here that we’re all one big happy family, and that makes a huge difference when it’s time to get up for work in the morning."
 


 

KEN, Panel Builder

"One thing I’ve loved about working with Windemuller for the past 22 years has been their flexibility. From the very beginning, they were willing to work with me to tailor a position that played to my strengths and emphasized the type of work I wanted to do."

"I grew up in the Grand Rapids area, near where Windemuller’s main office is located. I graduated high school during the Vietnam War and went to school to learn electronics. Before long, I was working for an induction heating company, wiring panels. I got drafted after that and spent a few years in the army. Once I got back home, though, I wanted to get back to the type of work I’d been doing. I got a job working in maintenance for an aircraft parts manufacturer and stayed there for 17 years. When that business closed in the early 1990s, though, I realized that my industry had changed. I’d always worked without an electrical license, but in seeking a new job, I found that I needed one.

I buckled down to earn my license, taking on a temporary job building panels for APV Baker (now known as Baker Perkins) in the meantime. My foreman at Baker ended up referring me to this great company he knew of, called Windemuller Electric. In 1997, I started with Windemuller as a panel builder at the Wayland warehouse.

One thing I’ve loved about working with Windemuller for the past 22 years has been their flexibility. From the very beginning, they were willing to work with me to tailor a position that played to my strengths and emphasized the type of work I wanted to do. They’ve stood by their word all these years, allowing me to do work I enjoy without worrying about the parts that just aren’t for me.

Within the next few years, I’ll be nearing retirement age and I certainly hope to retire out of Windemuller. This company has become a home for me over the years, and the people I’ve worked with have been among the most talented professionals I’ve seen in this industry. I’m proud to be a part of that legacy, and to have Windemuller be a part of mine."
 


 

JAMES, Automation Engineer

"Taking a job with Windemuller has been the most fantastic career move of my life. This company has invested a lot, helping me grow and develop as an employee. Crucially for me, the work-life balance with Windemuller is fantastic and has enabled me to be more present for my family."

"From a young age, I had an interest in building and design. I loved working with my hands and also enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together. In summer jobs during my high school years, I developed a strong work ethic and a knack for understanding how things work. By the year 2000, I’d gone to work for my father at Grandtech Inc., where I built up a foundation of electrical and mechanical skills. We specialized in pumps, valves, and controls for commercial and municipal water and wastewater facilities. The skills I gained in those years would go on to be instrumental in bringing me to Windemuller—and to the best job I’ve ever had.

I worked for Grandtech for the better part of eight years and earned my journeyman’s electrical license while with the company.

After leaving Grandtech, I tried out two different companies but the drawback of both jobs was that they were with very small operations with just a few employees. One was highly stressful and the other involved a lot of time away from home.  When a friend from high school offered to refer me at Windemuller, I jumped at the chance.

Taking a job with Windemuller has been the most fantastic career move of my life. I was able to apply my knowledge about water and wastewater projects, and have learned new skills for PLC and HMI programming and designing control panels. My job in the automation group has an enjoyable amount of variety, utilizing all of the abilities that I have developed prior to and since coming to Windemuller. This company has invested a lot, helping me grow and develop as an employee. It’s gratifying to see how much the company values the people they hire.

Crucially for me, the work-life balance with Windemuller is fantastic and has enabled me to be more present for my family. It’s a night-and-day difference, to go from positions with small businesses without a ton of resources to working for a larger, more established organization like Windemuller. There are more employees for spreading the work load around to cover all the bases, which means hours are more predictable and days are a lot less stressful. I am so thankful to have found the opportunity, and I genuinely enjoy going into work every day."
 


 

SUSAN, Apprentice Electrician

"Working at Windemuller has brought about a tremendous and positive change in my life. It’s allowed me to find fulfillment in my professional life and take care of my family in my personal life."

"For 15 years, I was a stay-at-home mom. I was running my own communications business on the side, running fiber and working with clients to hook up their computers and network systems. For the most part though, my full-time job was “mom.”

I knew that, eventually, I wanted to work more. I wanted to go back get my high school diploma. I wanted to be able to support my family and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

That opportunity came six years ago, when I got an offer through a trade organization to do some contract communications work for Windemuller. For a few years, I was doing one day of work a week for Windemuller. Just having that stable contract job helped me rediscover my career ambitions and start chasing my goals. I earned my high school diploma in 2016, and then went on to earn an associate’s degree in business. Then, in 2016, I got an offer to come aboard at Windemuller as a full-time electrical apprentice.

Working at Windemuller has brought about a tremendous and positive change in my life. It’s allowed me to find fulfillment in my professional life and take care of my family in my personal life. Windemuller values family, and they value education and career. The company has pushed me to learn new things and to step outside of my comfort zone. I regularly work with both the communications department and the electrical department. At the same time, I am currently taking double classes for the apprenticeships program.

Best of all, I know that all the hard work is leading me somewhere. Windemuller is a great company because there are so many opportunities for employees to climb the ladder. By next June, I will be ready to take my journeyman’s test. After that, I look forward to pursuing the next steps in my career—first as a foreman for Windemuller, and eventually as a project manager. These goals feel achievable to me, because I know Windemuller will always support me and help me get where I want to go. It’s part of the reason that I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for."
 


 

JASON, Construction Foreman

"Most of all, I love working with the people at Windemuller. I also appreciate the opportunities for growth that are available here."

"I started with Windemuller in the summer of 2005, right after I graduated from high school. I had been a part of the Electrical Occupations program at the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center in Traverse City, a vocational program focusing on electrical work. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a living, but Windemuller ended up offering me a job and the rest was history.

In the years since, I’ve spent most of my time working on projects at Munson Medical Center. Windemuller is a preferred contractor for the hospital and we handle everything from minor remodels to brand-new buildings. I’ve had the privilege of working as an electrician and an electrical foreman on these projects, some of them around patients and visitors. I’ve enjoyed seeing the impact that Windemuller’s field work has on customers and the community in general.

Most of all, I love working with the people at Windemuller. Most of the guys who were here when I started working with the company are still here. It’s a very positive team environment and I can’t imagine not working with some of these guys. I value the relationships I’ve built and am so glad they are a part of my day-to-day work life.

I also appreciate the opportunities for growth that are available here. Windemuller values its employees, which I think shows in the fact that so many of my team members have been here as long as I have—if not longer. If I wanted to advance, whether to a project manager role or some sort of office supervisory job, I know that Windemuller would be on board to help me achieve those goals. For now, I’m enjoying my field work and how the responsibilities differ from one day to the next. And with a few exciting projects coming down the pipeline at Munson, I plan on staying in my current role for the foreseeable future. But it’s comforting to know that Windemuller will have my back whenever I’m ready to take a new step."
 


 

JIM HOVEY, Account Manager

"Windemuller is a very fair employer and I know that, when I retire at the end of 2018, all the people I have spent the past 20 or 30 years working with will be in very good hands."

“I started my career as an apprentice in the Dow Chemical Electrical training program in the late 1960s, ultimately working my way up to a supervisory role with Dow. In 1971, I moved to the J.W. Construction Company as a superintendent for electrical and instrumentation work. That business was ultimately bought out by Collinson Construction, and I continued to work as a superintendent with the company until 1979. That year, my wife Rita and I acquired Collinson’s Electrical Division and turned it into our own business, Hovey Electric.

We ran Hovey Electric for 36 years, out of an office in Midland. By the end of 2013, Rita and I were starting to think about retirement and wondering how we were going to exit the business without closing the doors or leaving our employees without jobs. Many of our team members had been with us for the bulk of our three-plus-decade run, and we wanted to make sure the business could continue on without us.

The answer arrived in the form of Windemuller President Dave Beemer. He approached us and basically said that Windemuller wanted to establish a presence in Midland but didn’t want to compete against Hovey Electric. We talked and put together a deal where Windemuller would acquire Hovey Electric and make employment offers to all our employees. We closed the deal in 2014 and the last day of the year marked the last day of business for Hovey Electric. Since January 1, 2015, we have been a part of the Windemuller family.

I have been extremely pleased with the way things have gone since. Everyone on my team decided to accept the offers from Windemuller and we all came over as a team. Throughout my career, it’s always been important to me to bring young folks into the trade and support them as they go from apprentices to journeyman to supervisory roles and beyond. Being able to stay true to that side of things, even under the Windemuller umbrella, has been amazing. Windemuller is a very fair employer and I know that, when I retire at the end of 2018, all the people I have spent the past 20 or 30 years working with will be in very good hands.”
 


 

JEREMY, Account Manager

"I’m so glad to be in a career that makes me feel good about coming to work again. I have Windemuller to thank for that."

"I started my career installing communications and cabling back in 1998. Over the years, I’ve worked at companies of all different sizes. I’ve never found a work environment that feels as welcoming and fulfilling as what I’ve found at Windemuller. From the top down, there is an effort to create a tight-knit, family-oriented business. The feeling of walking into an office and connecting with everyone, or of knowing that the ownership and management really care about the employees here, is something that I really value.

I ended up coming to Windemuller because my previous job started to shift focus. I didn’t like spending so much time sitting in front of a computer, or never getting to go out in the field and meet people. I dipped my toe into my own communications and cabling business on the side for a bit, but when this opportunity came along I knew Windemuller was where I was meant to be.

Toward the end of 2015, I connected with Windemuller through a mutual contact. He told me they were looking to get deeper into the communications realm in the Midland area. It turned out Windemuller was looking for someone with exactly my experience and skillset. I took the job with Windemuller in January 2016 and spent the first year in the field, just getting to know the team and familiarizing myself with Windemuller’s processes and procedures. Now, I’ve moved into an account manager position with a lot more responsibility. The past few years have been a whirlwind, but I’m so glad to be in a career that makes me feel good about coming to work again. I have Windemuller to thank for that."

 


 

JESSICA, Project Manager

"Windemuller is a great place to work and I feel like I have so many opportunities to keep moving forward in the company. I truly feel like the sky is the limit with Windemuller.”

“I never anticipated working at Windemuller, or even working in this industry. I was going to school to get my accounting degree and I needed a job. On a whim, I sent my resume to Windemuller. They told me that there wasn’t a position available but that they would keep my resume on file in case something opened up in the future. I just appreciated them for responding at all, so I followed up with a simple thank-you email. Later that same day, they called me and asked me to come in for an interview.

Even though they didn’t technically have a position available, Windemuller took a chance and hired me. I spent a couple of months with the company doing odds and ends stuff: answering phones, doing paperwork, working with project managers; things like that. After the semester was over Windemuller was gracious enough to offer me a full-time position as a receptionist. Windemuller was very helpful in working with my schedule while I finished my accounting degree.

Slowly, Windemuller became my home. After I’d been with the company for about a year and a half, they offered me a position as electrical designer. I had some CAD experience, so I took the job. Fast-forward six and a half years and I’ve grown more here than I ever would have expected. I did electrical design for six years, went back to school to get my construction management degree, and now I’m a project manager. Windemuller is a great place to work and I feel like I have so many opportunities to keep moving forward in the company. I truly feel like the sky is the limit with Windemuller.

Learn more about Jessica’s path to success in this video from the Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area.
 


 

CURTIS, Electrical Services Account Manager

"I don’t see any reason that I’d ever leave Windemuller. This company really values its employees and is committed to helping them grow."

"Windemuller is the only place I’ve ever worked. I’ve been here ever since high school, when one of my instructors asked me if I was interested in taking on an internship. I was attending the Career Tech Center here in Traverse City at the time, not really because I saw myself having a career in the trades, but because I liked the idea of getting off school campus every day. I jumped into the Electrical Occupations program over there at the beginning of my junior year, and things snowballed from there. Senior year, one of my instructors was a former Windemuller employee, and he gave me my first connection to the company.

I worked that internship throughout my senior year. I was mostly just loading up materials and driving them out to job sites, but I loved the work and the atmosphere of the company. When I graduated from high school and my internship ended, Windemuller offered me a full-time job. I took it.

That was 2002 and a lot of things have changed since then. I started out working in the field as a first-year apprentice. I was one of the only apprentices in the Traverses City office at the time, so I got to know a lot of people and work a lot of different types of jobs. I had so many mentors in those years, and I took a little knowledge from all of them. It helped me pass my journeyman’s test and move up the ranks to become a foreman.

Eventually, I moved into the office and became an account manager. These days, I work with customers, learn their needs, and figure out how Windemuller can meet those needs. It’s the perfect job for me, because I get to work face-to-face with people and because every day is a little bit different.

I don’t see any reason that I’d ever leave Windemuller. This company really values its employees and is committed to helping them grow. I always know that, if there’s some sort of training or development opportunity that would help me reach the next level, Windemuller would be receptive to that. The team atmosphere here is also just so incredible. Everyone is willing to teach and mentor one another. Without that spirit of mentorship, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It makes me humble, and it makes me want to do my part to mentor the next generation of guys like me."
 


 

JAMES, Communications Account Manager

"Windemuller is extremely loyal to their employees and always gives opportunities to grow and keep advancing."

"I came to Windemuller almost by fate. As I neared the end of high school back in 2008, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career. I knew that college wasn’t the right fit for me, but I wasn’t sure what I should pursue instead. At my graduation party, I had a conversation with my cousin, who worked at Windemuller at the time. He said they were hiring a communications apprenticeship and encouraged me to apply.

Throughout high school, I’d worked for the dad of one of my friends, doing roofing, drywall, and other residential construction work. I didn’t have a ton of experience, but I got the job and the employees at Windemuller really took an interest in helping me learn and grow. In those early years, I spent a lot of time doing on-the-job training with my foreman, just learning the ropes of the industry. I caught on quickly, and three or four years in, I was starting to run jobs by myself.

Windemuller is extremely loyal to their employees and always gives opportunities to grow and keep advancing. I went from being a communications apprentice to a foreman to an account manager in less than nine years. Over time, I’ve had opportunities to work with people in every department at the company, and everyone shares the same philosophy of working as a team and helping others succeed. It’s a great environment to be in, and it makes work feel like home."
 


 

JOHN, VP of Electrical Services

"In my eyes, the best thing about Windemuller is how it allows employees to grow from first-year apprentices into company leaders—just like I did."

"Today, I’m Windemuller’s Vice President of Electrical Services. Years ago, though, I was just like many of our other entry-level workers: a first-year apprentice learning the ropes of the field. My first chapter with Windemuller didn’t last long. After a quick stint from 1993 until 1994, I took another job to be closer to home. While I was out getting experience in the oil fields and working with other contractors, though, Windemuller was always ready to welcome me back. I rejoined the team in 2002 as a project manager, and the rest is history.

My return to Windemuller was motivated by a search for a leadership responsibilities, I got the chance to shift my focus “from projects to people,” managing electrical teams and mentoring new talent. In my eyes, the best thing about Windemuller is how it allows employees to grow from first-year apprentices into company leaders—just like I did.

That’s the culture here. We want people to be successful. We believe in promoting from within. It’s not unusual for people to have been here for 20 or 30 years starting as field techs and growing to company leaders. You see people retire from here. It’s really unique. But as we grow, there are so many opportunities for new leaders. The future leaders of this company are probably already working here."
 


 

NATHAN, Service Technician

"I know that Windemuller has a culture of advancement and growth, and that someday I’ll move beyond my role as a service technician for bigger and better things."

"When I came to Windemuller as a first-year apprentice in 2014, I was 18 years old and following in my father’s footsteps. My dad had worked at Windemuller for years, moving up the ladder from a service role to an account manager position. After a year or two, though, I decided to forge my own path and left Windemuller for a job at another electrical contracting company. I was enticed by a higher salary, but I quickly realized that I was missing the Windemuller culture. I missed Windemuller’s familial atmosphere, absolute commitment to safety and quality, and variety of projects. As I started my own family, I also began to feel that Windemuller’s employee benefits—from insurance to 401(k) matching—were a cut above what other companies in the industry were offering.

Before long, I came up with a plan: build up some more experience, earn my journeyman electrician license, and then return to Windemuller. Now I’m 22 years old and happy to be back with the company where I got my start, working alongside my dad, my brother, and a team of people who care. And this time, I’m sticking around for good. After watching my dad move up at the company over the years, I know that Windemuller has a culture of advancement and growth, and that someday I’ll move beyond my role as a service technician for bigger and better things."