“Even when I was a kid, it seemed I was destined to end up in the skilled trades (never felt comfortable in a tie). My dad was an electrician with his own company, which meant I often ended up being a default helper whenever he needed a hand. When both my brothers went into the trades, it was even clearer what my path was likely to be.
It wasn’t the fork in the road I took immediately, though. Rather than head to a trade school or start looking for jobs with electric contractors after high school, I enrolled at Michigan State University to study horticulture. After graduation, I chose to take some time to myself and travel the world (for 12 years (!), which took me to Alaska, Australia, Antarctica, and a two-and-a-half-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps, among other travels).
It wasn’t until 1987 that I came home and started thinking about what my next steps should be. At the time, my younger brother happened to be in the process of taking over my father’s business, called Top Rail Electric. He asked me to join him. I agreed, and for 21 years, we worked together – the two of us and a small 10-15 person team.
In 2004, my brother sold Top Rail Electric to Windemuller. It turned out we checked a few important boxes for our buyer. Not only were we a company with a strong west Michigan presence, but we’d also built up skills, experience (and an MDOT prequalification) doing MDOT traffic signals, airport lighting and signage. We also developed relationships with water tower builders, doing the electrical, grounding, and SCADA installations on these projects, having done our first tower in 1995. We have strong relationships with all the water tower builders east of the Mississippi, and land 4-8 towers a year in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. These days, I am still Windemuller’s go-to guy for water tower, lightning protection, or electrical grounding projects.
I fell in love with the large, tight-knit family feel here at Windemuller. I knew I wanted to be a part of that. It’s a company where everyone supports everyone else, whether in moments of personal accomplishment or personal tragedy. It’s a company where we work together to address challenges or mistakes constructively, rather than throwing anyone under the bus. And it’s a company where every person is willing to go above and beyond to make the client happy. I’ve been honored to spend the past 16 years of my career here, and look forward to more years to come.”