Wired for Success
Master Electric provides southeastern Wisconsin with affordable, quality electrical installations and services
Bob Salinas and Chad Smith are master electricians in more than name only. As the co-owners of West Bend-based Master Electric, the two business owners have used their experience in the trade to grow their company into the “Cadillac” of electrical firms.
Building and Rebuilding
Bob and Chad’s working relationship goes back a long way. Bob had worked for Master Electric for about seven years when it was owned by Chad and another gentleman. When the other owner stepped down, Bob and Chad created a “mother company” called Excel Electric of WI, LLC, of which Master Electric is a division.
Navigating three or four tough years after the recession, Bob and Chad downsized the company until it was just the two of them. “We basically worked our way back up from the trenches,” Bob says. “It is just about nine years ago that we took over the reins at Master Electric, broke it down to the bare essentials and rebuilt it. It’s been a process. For a while, we pretty much did everything by ourselves—billing, estimating and working the jobs in the field. We had no other employees because at that point, we couldn’t afford it.”
Slow, Steady, Smart Growth
Bob shares, “We are growing slowly—by choice. We want to be sure everyone who works here shares our work ethic and at the same time enjoys being part of our team. Each employee plays an important role in our company and contributes to our success.”
As momentum and profits begin to rise for Master Electric, Bob and Chad keep their high standards for workmanship and job quality. This has proven to give Master Electric an outstanding reputation throughout the industry.
Their reputation as a top-of-the-line electrical service firm is something Bob and Chad are extremely proud of. Chad relays a story that gives a glimpse into their reputation. He was at an electrical supply house one day picking up material for a job. There were other electrical contractors there and they were all shooting the breeze while waiting to place their orders. Another electrical contractor approached Chad with what was meant as a dig, saying, “Oh, you’re that ‘Cadillac’ electrical contractor.”
Chad recalls turning to that other contractor and asking what he meant. The response: “You guys are all finicky. Everything always has to look right.” Chad replied, “That is the best thing you could have ever said to me.”
Chad further explains, “That’s what we expect our customers to see. That’s what we’re striving for. We don’t just come in, do one job, walk away and never see that customer again. We create relationships.”
Making More Than an Electrical Difference
Master Electric has also created opportunities for students and apprentices. Since Chad serves on the electrical program committee at Moraine Park Technical College, he works closely with the college to improve the course curriculum taught to students.
Additionally, Chad collaborates with the ABC apprenticeship program. Each of these programs provides Master Electric (and other companies) with students who are educated with the basics and are ready to learn the field.
Chad is also one of the contractors who testified in front of the State Senate and Assembly to get the apprentice ratio changed to benefit small contractors.
Versatility and Experience Mean Success
As for the work itself, Master Electric has a great deal of versatility—everything from residential to industrial and commercial—including brand new commercial buildings, three-story office facilities, McDonald’s restaurant remodels and other fast food restaurant chains, DSW shoe stores, fitness centers, Best Buy build-outs, Walmart remodels, high-end residential homes, to name a few.
All in all, Bob concludes, “Our team has more than 50 years of combined electrical experience. We’re not one of those electrical contractors that slap the job together as cheap as possible and walk out the door. We want to provide quality work, a legitimate install, whether it’s a whole new building construction, a small high-end residential remodel or anything in between.”