CONTRACTOR SPOTLIGHT: Aspire Electric LLC — Focus on what’s important in life
Editor’s Note: How fitting to spotlight Aspire Electric and Sol Johnson-Mey in this month’s Aspire Higher themed newsletter.
Aspire Electric LLC was established in 2017. The team at Aspire has over 50 years of industry experience combined in the local Colorado market. They specialize in residential and commercial electrical construction and services.
“The genesis of the Aspire name comes from the fact that complacency is not my style,” says Sol Johnson-Mey, owner of Aspire Electric. “It speaks to the challenges I knew we’d encounter as a relatively new business. Every day, we strive to be better than we are today.”
Aspire Electric has been in business for a little over four years. Sol has been part of IECRM his entire career. “I graduated from IECRM in 2009 and am a proud alumnus,” says Sol. “When the pandemic hit, I absolutely knew that we needed to join IECRM. They are my business voice, my resource for lifelong learning, and in many ways, my connection to the industry.”
Sol comes from a family-oriented company before he began Aspire Electric. “When I ventured out on my own, I lost that close-knit ‘family’ sense,” says Sol. “Being a member of IECRM gives me that back.”
Aspire Electric has been an active participant in the regular IECRM Member Forums. “These sessions are always helpful and in some cases eye-opening,” he says. “But the standout is the forums about the impact of COVID-19 on the business. I had no idea how to deal with the employee, OSHA, Worker’s Comp, and legal aspects that suddenly turned our world upside down and sideways. We were in a state of ‘trial by fire.’”
He also admitted that once he sent apprentices to a different school. What he found was that the education they were getting was nowhere near the quality of IECRM’s training program. “We did that for a semester and found that our apprentices weren’t learning the actual trade,” says Sol. “What IECRM does that is different is they actually teach! They teach apprentices how to learn, how to aspire to become an electrician by completing the full four years in the classroom. And the hands-on lab discovery experience applies to the classroom lessons.”
In what ways do you take advantage of your IECRM membership?
“I’m a field guy,” says Sol. “The business side of electrical contracting is all new to me. IECRM helps me be a better business manager.” Aspire Electric also takes advantage of the Member Forums and continuing education, and their apprentices are enrolled in the training program.
What work habits does Aspire Electric emphasize and teach your employees and apprentices?
“I literally preach that an actual installation is 50% of the job,” says Sol. “Anyone can do that. But, bringing out and attending to the human side of the industry is very important.”
He emphasizes that treating employees, customers, vendors, and trade partners with respect and putting yourself in their shoes to better understand what might be going on with them, is the other 50%.
“We do the best job we can,” adds Sol, “And we treat everyone the way we want to be treated. I believe this makes a big difference and sets us apart. It proves that we go that extra mile.”
Inspiration statement for colleagues, apprentices, business owners, etc.
Aspire Electric’s culture is based on aspiring higher. “Our drive, direction, and commitment are the force within our company,” he says. “We want to work with the best people with great skills; people with great skills who set us apart. That makes a big difference.”
Safety plays a very important role at Aspire Electric. “Safety is our culture,” says Sol. “You can either embed it in your culture or just talk about it and do the bare minimum. For us, safety is a by-product of thoughtfulness, planning, and follow-through on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.”
Left: Clint Janssen
Middle: Sol Johnson-Mey
Right: Brian Doyle