Even growing up, I knew I loved electrical work. As a teenager, I used to build my own control panels next to my bed, so I could control everything in the room without even having to get up. Still, despite my dabbling, I never seriously considered a career in the skilled trades – mostly because I was put off by the idea of working out in the elements on a construction site.
I also knew my personal path was going to lead elsewhere: to the United States Army, to be exact. Three days after I graduated high school in 1991, I enlisted. I figured I’d serve for years and years, work my way up in the ranks, and eventually retire.
Instead, I got out of the service in 1993 and had to figure out a new plan.
My role in the Army had been as a mechanic, so all arrows seemed to point to the trades. My first job out of the service was working maintenance on the production equipment at a factory. I worked that job for more than eight years, but when that ended in 2002, I needed yet another new roadmap.
I sent out resumes to companies throughout the Traverse City area and ended up getting an electrical service technician job with an industrial and commercial electrical company in the area. The catch? The job involved a lot of field work, the one thing I’d always told myself I wanted to avoid! As it turned out, though, the field was a better fit for me than I’d thought. So, for 19 and a half years, I serviced equipment in and around food, waste, and sawmill operations.
In the fall of 2020, I decided it was time for a change. I was getting older and was starting to feel the toll that field work can take on your body. Windemuller offered me exactly the next step I was looking for: an opportunity to join their service department as an account manager. Now, instead of servicing equipment in the field, day in and day out, I work behind the scenes in the office – coordinating our crews, bidding new projects, and making sure everyone has the materials and manpower they need to get the job done.
The new job has been a whole different animal from what my life was for the better part of two decades. There have been learning curves along the way, from new software to all the policy and procedure stuff that comes with moving to a new employer. But I’m feeling at home here. I wanted the opportunity to make a change, and Windemuller gave it to me. Plus, this company, being smaller than the one I used to work for, is more personal and more family-oriented than anywhere I’ve ever worked. You’re not just a number at Windemuller, but always a valued member of the team. It’s reassuring to know that I can always go to people for help and to know that they have my back and are willing to lend a hand with whatever I need.