I always enjoyed doing work that I could see, so my journey into the construction industry followed an unusual path.
I went off to college with the goal of becoming an electrical engineer. While obtaining that electrical engineering degree, I felt more compelled than ever to find an industry that allowed me to work with my hands and build something good. By the time I graduated, I decided to aim for a career in electrical contracting. I bent conduit, dug in underground raceway, roughed in walls, and hung light fixtures. At the same time, I worked my way through the 4-year electrical apprenticeship program and became a Journeyman electrician – and eventually a Master Electrician. I worked in many facets of electrical contracting over the next several years as I estimated work, designed many types of facilities, negotiated buyouts & contracts, scheduled manpower, and did project management.
All those disparate pieces of experience early in my career ended up being extremely valuable to me. I had developed into a master electrician with an electrical engineering degree and a broad background in all aspects of electrical contracting. I had experience with the entire cycle of a project, starting with design, then estimating, purchasing, scheduling, project management, and finally the installation in the field.
Dave Beemer, Windemuller’s former president, and I had maintained a relationship over the years built on mutual respect. In 2014 Dave and I met, and he sold me on Windemuller as a great company and a great place to work. I took a leap of faith and joined the family, and I’m forever grateful that I did.
True to my career journey, even my time at Windemuller has brought diverse work experience. Dave brought me in as the automation manager, a role I enjoyed for two and a half years. Then, I moved into the construction department, taking on the role of vice president of construction. Along the way, I’ve witnessed everything Dave promised me about Windemuller years ago: a company with a dynamic culture, and the versatility and strength to do any project.
That versatility was the first thing I noticed about working here. Coming from a smaller company, I’d never worked somewhere that could offer as much to its customers as Windemuller does. I’m constantly impressed by the variety of ways we can take care of our customers under our corporate tent. Selfishly, I also love how much more exciting my job is because of the variety of the work we do. Not every company’s team gets the opportunity to take on cutting-edge renewable energy projects, construct federal work, develop large SCADA projects, or construct large-scale healthcare facilities, but we do. I’m grateful to work somewhere where I have a chance to take advantage of those opportunities, and for the considerable challenges and rewards they bring.
The other thing I’ve noticed over the years is that, while Windemuller is a big company, it doesn’t feel like one. Previously I had worked at smaller companies, but they didn’t have the tight-knit company culture that drives Windemuller. This business does a really good job of maintaining a family-like feel among its employees. Windemuller is a team of real people. They go through rough patches in their lives, they let their coworkers in on those struggles, and together we get through it. Like others on our team, I have gone through tough times and felt cared for and supported. My coworkers did an amazing job lifting me up, and I’ve seen them do that several times with other people. We enjoy our work, and our team is not just colleagues, but also friends.
I’m looking forward to taking the support I received and paying it forward. My mission now is to help the next generation of Windemuller employees as they go from apprentices to journeyman, and from journeyman to foremen, and from foremen to company leadership. I love working with our team on growth and development and doing my part to make sure Windemuller has many more chapters as successful as the current one. First and foremost, as a leader, your legacy is your people, and I see a bright future ahead for the people of Windemuller.