Jeff N.

Automation Account Manager

“From a very young age, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I would end up working in the electrical trades. My dad was a radio engineer, and I learned all about electrical from working alongside him as a kid. In college, I worked with radio, TV, car audio, electronics, and just about anything with a wire. After graduating college with a degree in electrical tech, I made the move to Traverse City and began my career with Windemuller.

I started with Windemuller in 2005. Right from the start, my supervisors and bosses took an interest in my interests. I’d come to love doing PLC programming in college, after my apprenticeship Windemuller got me started doing PLC stuff. During my first several years at Windemuller I was traveling as an electrician all over the country, working on big industrial jobs in North Dakota, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, and beyond. It was a thrilling start to my career, and it made me a well-rounded electrician.

One of the things I’ve always loved about this company is how great it is as a place to learn and grow. There’s real potential to start at the bottom and work your way up. A big part of that growth-centric mindset is the people who work here. Windemuller is like a family, where everyone is happy to help one another and where the older, more experienced pros are always willing to turn around and help the next person in line.

I feel particularly fortunate to have had two wonderful mentors during my time here.

The first was Greg Decker, who was my supervisor when I moved into the automation department. I thought I knew a lot about electrical and automation coming out of school; looking back, I learned pretty much everything I know from working on the job under Greg.

The second was Matt Vaughan, who I had the privilege of working under for a brief time after returning to Windemuller in 2020. I had left the company in 2015 to take a too-good-to-turn-down offer working on the MarkWest Marathon oil pipeline. I was drawn back to Windemuller in 2020, due to the family atmosphere and the supportive environment. Working with Matt reaffirmed those qualities of the company for me. Matt passed away in March 2021 after a brave battle with cancer—a heartbreaking, incalculable loss.

Watching the great leadership of Greg and Matt taught me a lot, and made me think that I might just be up to a similar challenge. I applied for Matt’s job, as automation account manager, thinking that maybe I could pay forward what he and Greg had given me and help train Windemuller’s next generation of automation pros. I only hope I can help them grow half as well as Greg and Matt – and the whole Windemuller team – have helped me.”