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CONTRACTOR Spotlight: Jeff Magee, Magee Electric

Family, Flexibility, Communication, Reputation

About…

The electrical field is in his blood…Jeff Magee was born that way to parents Steve and Brenda Magee who founded the family-owned business, Magee Electric, in 1991.  Magee Electric specializes in new construction, tenant finishes and service work on commercial sites, as well as remodel projects and service calls at residential properties.

From the beginning, Jeff knew he’d be in the family business and began his career in electrical contracting in 1997 at a young age.  He worked full-time as an electrician and earned his bachelor’s degree – at night — from Metropolitan State University before he was 21.  He went on to become a Master electrician by the time he was 22. Since 2003, Jeff has overseen Magee Electric’s day-to-day operations and he began teaching at IECRM in 2013.

Today, Jeff, and his brothers Tim and Joe, manage the business, but their parents, Steve and Brenda are still involved.  The Magee way is to treat customers and employees like family, be flexible, and communicate effectively.

Favorite Project…

“There have been so many projects that I have loved that it’s pretty difficult to pick just one,” says Jeff.  “Since I have to pick one, I’d say my favorite was a rock-climbing gym in Louisville.”

Called Evo Rock Fitness, or EVO LOU, it is 25,000 square feet of bouldering, top rope, and lead climbing with a yoga space, weight and cardio equipment and a childcare room just minutes off the Boulder Turnpike.  “Seeing the final result of this project was humbling,” says Jeff. “We assembled a team of all the right people and put together a really cool facility!”

Most Successful Work Habits…

“It’s pretty simple,” says Jeff.  “Be early and always have a plan.”  He adds, however, that, “It’s important to keep in mind that plans change, so be willing and able to adjust and adapt to those changes.”  Flexibility is important in Jeff’s world.

Best Business Books…

Jeff recommends two books.  The E-Myth by Michael Gerber about why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it.  “Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed,” says Jeff.  Most importantly he draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.

The other book that Jeff recommends is the Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. “Maxwell presents the notion that true leadership isn’t a matter of having a certain job or title. In fact, being chosen for a position is only the first of the five levels every effective leader achieves,” says Jeff.  “To become more than ‘the boss’ people follow only because they are required to, you have to master the ability to invest in people and inspire them.” 

Using Our Membership in IECRM…

“We use our membership to make sure our people get the training they need to become better electricians; and also, to network, build relationships and learn from other members,” says Jeff.  “We have met so many people through IECRM who have helped us grow, be active on the safety committee, cultivate our emerging leaders, and have a voice in government relations.”

Mom, Brenda, sits on the IECRM Board of Directors and Magee Electric belongs to a national forum group.  “That group has been enlightening,” says Jeff. “Seeing how other companies across the country conduct their business and structure their companies has helped us make some good changes to be better.”

Heroes…

“My Mom, Brenda Magee, is my biggest hero and role model,” says Jeff.  “The countless hours she has worked and sacrifices she has made for our company is astounding.”  

Jeff gives his Mom huge credit for keeping the company moving forward through some difficult times. 

Words of Wisdom for Colleagues, Apprentices, and Business Owners… 

“Communication is a contact sport,” says Jeff.  “It’s the key to being successful.” So, in other words, get out there and talk to people.  Lend the personal and in-person touch. Come out from behind a computer or phone and make a connection or build a bridge to a great relationship.

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