Business Spotlight: Harwood-Based Colonial Electric
As part of our regular line-up of stories, South River Source will begin spotlighting one South County business a month. This series will allow our readers to get-to-know some of the locally-owned businesses in our area.
This month, we spoke with Bandon Yost, vice president of the service division at Colonial Electric Co. Colonial Electric is a family-owned business located in Harwood, next to Southern High School. Colonial also has satellite offices in Annapolis and Baltimore.
Colonial Electric was founded in 1970 by Robert “Butch” Katski. Today his son Travis serves as president. Travis’ mom Joann remains active in the day-to-day business while Robert remains on the Board of Directors.
Take a moment to read about this local electric company, and feel free to contact us about spotlighting your organization in an upcoming Q&A.
Q. Brandon, tell us about your job at Colonial Electric.
A. I have been with Colonial Electric for three years and manage our service division along with Jim Cox. I specialize in managing the day-to-day operations with Jim which includes project management, estimating, material buy-outs. I also head Colonial Electric’s marketing division.
Q. What types of services does Colonial Electric offer?
A. Colonial Electric specializes in any type of electric work from building a large commercial building from the ground up to installing an outlet in your home. Colonial has two divisions including a large construction side that specializes in building commercial projects such as senior housing, apartment and condo buildings, schools, restaurants and more.
We also have our Service Division which has on-call technicians available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any type of electrical need. Our services include recessed lighting, troubleshooting, generator installation, service upgrades, home remodeling, ceiling fans, pier wiring, thermal imaging/safety checks, pole lighting, and most recently a solar division for any solar projects.
Q. How much of Colonial Electric’s business is construction versus residential?
A. I would say 60/40 construction versus residential. Even though we have grown over the years, we still operate like a mom and pop business to make sure the customer is satisfied from start to finish and gets quality customer service.
Q. How many clients do you currently service?
A. Around 400.
A. How many employees do you have including the Annapolis and Baltimore satellite offices.
Q. We employ more than 100 individuals.
Q. Who are some of your corporate clients?
Q. Has the company won any notable industry awards?
A. We recently were chosen as a Readers Choice for Best Electrician in the Capital Newspaper for 2012. We were also ranked number 15 in the Washington DC Metro areas top Electrical Contractors in 2012. We were chosen to be in EBSCO Research magazine in 2012-2013 which recognizes a company with a 93 percent approval rating or higher out of 300 customer interviews.
Q. Is the company involved in the community?
A. Colonial Electric supports many local area high schools including Southern High School, St. Marys High School of Annapolis, the Summit School, and Howard Community College. We donate to all of their charitable events. We are involved in Light the Night, a fundraiser for cancer and donate to the NICU unit of Anne Arundel Hospital as well.
Q. I see that you worked on an episode of Extreme Makeover? How did this come about?
Colonial Electric was invited to work on the the rebuild of a home located in Baltimore that was featured in an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Colonial supplied the materials and installed the electrical system at the home. It was one of the largest projects they ever built and was a real success in the Baltimore community. We were very fortunate to have been a part of this project as we felt like we were giving back to the community.
Q. Are you currently hiring?
A. Yes, we are hiring for Service Electricians with experience in generator installations, troubleshooting, and service work. Technicians must have a clean background and be customer friendly.
Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. Our mission is to communicate effectively with the customer and to stand by our work; two items that most customers often say contractors have trouble with. We do this by being punctual with everything from being on time when we say we will be and warranting all of our work for at least a year. We maintain a close knit relationship with our customers and community and are always looking to help and contribute in the area.