A Duty to Give Back and Continual Quest for Learning
In Yuma County, Wray sits very near Colorado’s border with Nebraska and Kansas. Started as a cattle town, today agriculture is the driving force behind Wray’s economy. In fact, Yuma County produces more corn than any county in the United States.
With the increasing sophistication of farming technology, 4D Electric has found its niche and, though small, has a busy contracting business as a result. Chad Deyle, 4Ds owner and founder, is also an involved community citizen. Chad says, “It is your duty to give back to your community. If you don’t, then the American Dream is done.”
Chad and his wife “walk the talk,” too. Chad recently was elected Mayor Pro Tem of the Wray City Council. He also sits on the boards of the Water Authority, the Wray Airport, and Yuma County waste management. His wife runs Heavenly Rain Thrift & Boutique, a nonprofit thrift shop to help kids get the clothing they need for school. The couple also manage rental property in Wray as well as 4D Electric.
One of the most prestigious examples of Chad’s “give back” philosophy is his appointment to the State Electrical Board by Governor Polis. He will serve through 2022. “This one is especially important to me because I’ll be able to give back to the profession that serves me so well,” he says.
4D’s name comes from the four Deyle brothers. “We always wanted to have a company that was well-branded and memorable,” says Chad. While his brothers are not in the business, Chad created the 4D name to honor that dream. 4D employs three apprentices, two master electricians (including Chad), and they bring on 8-10 licensed construction personnel during peak times of the year.
When he graduated from high school, Chad says he had no idea what he wanted to do. “I went to work for an electrical contractor right away,” he says. “My boss was a great mentor and over the eight years I was there, he taught me everything about electrical contracting.” When Chad left that job, he went to work at a potato farm and did full-time work for the farm. He went on to work at a local potato plant as its general manager, still doing a little electrical work on the side.
Learning how much he missed electrical work, Chad and his wife launched 4D six year ago. “I was able to take the trade that I know so well along with my agriculture experience and help farmers design and manage to a new level of conservation and water management,” he says.
“My favorite project is every single one I work on. Once you do the punch list and walk away from a project well done, you feel a lot of pride.” Chad also notes that his favorite day is when he actually puts on his tool belt and goes to work.
Successful work habits…
Chad credits his often surprising fearlessness as one of his successful characteristics when it comes to his business. “Going out on my own was a scary thing to do, but we believed we could and were determined to give it a go,” he says. The ability to continually keep the new business pipeline full is one that he firmly believes must be managed every day. “Sometimes not knowing where the next project will come from can be unnerving,” he says. “And, in a small town, you have to balance the small projects with the big ones. At 4D we definitely are big project people.”
Being three hours from Denver, Chad doesn’t get to the Northglenn campus much. But his apprentices are enrolled in IECRM’s online apprenticeship training program. “My job is to provide them a career path. Teach them a trade and how to do quality work,” says Chad. “4D also offers them a broad spectrum of on-the-job experience that helps them in the classroom.”
For 4D, IECRM is a quality learning opportunity and a doorway through which to transition from just a job to a career.
“I have to say my first boss at Pivot Electric is my hero for the encouragement and the push he gave me,” says Chad. “But my biggest hero is my wife. She’s brave, my biggest fan, and critic. We’ve been through a great deal together, and she has dealt with the ups and downs with grace and courage.”
Chad’s wife Melissa also coaches the Wray Eagles high school volleyball team. “Coaching brought out the confidence that perhaps she didn’t know she has,” says Chad. “With that, she keeps me grounded and optimistic, reminding me that it’s ok to not be perfect. That you have to fail sometimes in order to learn.”
“Nothing is ever given to you,” says Chad. “You have to work for it. You have to take it and make it happen.” He’s a big proponent of lifelong learning. ”I tell my people to always understand that learning is a continual question and once they achieve their dream of a journeyman’s license, they understand why I place so much emphasis on that.”