Contractor Spotlight: Pete Farreny Chief Operating Officer, Weifield Group
People Make the Difference
As partner and Chief Operating Officer, Pete Farreny manages Weifield’s large construction division. He oversees the wide variety of private and public construction projects across all industry verticals, including high-profile and difficult large projects. Pete holds a Master Electrician license in Colorado and New Mexico, and has over 30 years of experience in construction and management; however, his leadership experience extends beyond Weifield into the entire industry, as he has served as president of the Independent Electrical Contractors – Rocky Mountain (IECRM) association for three terms in recent years.
In this role, Pete helped to guide the Board in its valuable work of educating and training apprentices in the trade, and evolving the skills of the workforce through education and training of new construction technologies being introduced into the industry. “Not only has my board service helped guide the electrical industry in Colorado — which is incredibly rewarding,” says Pete. “It also has helped me to grow personally in my leadership skills.”
Pete emphasizes a strong focus on training and quality control within his team and personally holds OSHA 30-hour certification and has completed numerous management and training control courses (e.g., Purdue’s Electrical Project Management Institute and DOE safety certification). He ensures Weifield achieves an impeccable safety record on an ongoing basis through a continual focus on training programs to keep employees aware of new codes, technologies, processes, and procedures that enhance performance in the field.
With respect to his COO role, most rewarding for Pete has been seeing his employees grow with the business. Pete takes tremendous pride in watching his people achieve success at what they do using the Weifield process. Once they reach their goals, they realize the benefits of all the steps along the way – and that realization, for Pete, makes all of his hard work over the years pay off in spades. “Today my goal is to continue to grow the leadership beneath me successfully, and as that happens, I believe that Weifield will achieve our goal of becoming the #1 electrical contractor in the Rocky Mountain region.”
“I’d have to say my favorite job was when I was still in the field running projects as a foreman. I loved working hand-in-hand with the guys and seeing the fruit of everyone’s labor as well as the project come to life from paper. I also enjoyed the winning aspect of driving the project schedule through the planning, layout, and crew execution,” he remembers. “But the most rewarding part was watching some of the guys grow into journeymen, leads, or foremen over time – especially since those are the people who will carry on the electrical trade and teach the next generation.”
Most Successful Work Habits…
Without question Pete emphasizes, “Layout is never done, and you can never over-plan.”
Best Business Book Read…
“It’s not a business book but I feel I could have written it myself – it is called Construction Leadership Success by Jason McCarty,” says Pete. “Every foreman should read and implement these simple but key steps for running safe, efficient, profitable projects.”
Pete credits his success to the mentors and teachers he had along his career continuum, “My heroes are all of the people who doubted me because they have driven me to where I am today.”
Best Advice for Apprentices and Colleagues…
“I could go on for a while about this,” says Pete. “But here are four things to always keep in mind and you can use them in everything you do in life:
- Base everything you do on ‘Would I put my name on that?’ and all your decisions on, ‘Can I look myself in the mirror afterward?’
- ‘Be careful what you wish for’ — it might not be what you thought it was going be.
- Always have a backup plan because sooner or later you’re going to need one, you just don’t know when.
- Never burn a bridge — you never know when you might have to cross it again.”