GIRARD - The idea of an electrical contractor purchasing a general contractor business with hopes of expanding its horizons had been virtually unheard of before Girard-based Valley Electrical Consolidated made the move a few years ago.
Company chief operating officer and then-senior vice president Chris Jaskiewicz saw an opportunity for the company to control its own destiny, and he ran with it. The company purchased Illinois-based J.L.Allen in 2010, and in 2011 the growing company became established as VEC Inc.
"It's usually the general contractors that go out and buy electricals. We, as an electrical, went out and bought a GC, and it caused a lot of stir in the industry," Jaskiewicz said recently.
The foresight landed the firm well ahead of the competition in the oil and gas industry and may have helped land Jaskiewicz in his new role as company president.
Jaskiewicz, who had been COO for seven years as well as senior vice president, took over recently as company president. In his new role, Jaskiewicz said his focus has shifted more toward growth, long term planning and sustainability of the company.
VEC continues to grow in both business revenues and number of employees. The nearly $100 million company is now parent to J.L. Allen Oil & Gas Fabrication Services, Evets Oil & Gas Construction Services, Valley Electrical Heavy Industrial and VEC Systems Integrator. It has about 115 internal employees, plus hundreds of skilled trade workers on various projects.
Jaskiewicz, a self-proclaimed "dreamer," said he first thought of the idea of taking over a general contractor several years ago when a good client decided to start its own electrical contracting company. Worried that the idea could become a trend, Jaskiewicz said he approached company CEO Rex Ferry with his idea. Realizing the need to "control their own destiny," he said they started pursuing being a general contractor.
The young Trumbull County native - he's only 39 - chuckled at his background before coming to VEC in 1995. He noted he previously worked at Mocha House and, years ago, delivered the Tribune Chronicle.
Despite his hard work and dedication, Jaskiewicz remains fully committed to the adage openly cited by Ferry on the VEC website: "Faith, Family, Community, Career ... Priority in that order makes for a happy home and productive work environment."
"We are a company of faith," Jaskiewicz said.
He lives in Braceville with his wife and two young children.