Apollo Electric Inc.
In 1995, Apollo Electric Inc. began as a small, residential electrical contracting business. Today the company is a leading firm with more than 50 employees serving the five boroughs of New York City. With a team of licensed master electricians, Apollo specializes in providing power management, home automation, design and consulting to owners of prime residential and commercial properties.
Apollo was founded 21 years ago by George Wasilewski, who emigrated to the U.S. from Poland. With only $50 in his pocket, Wasilewski set out to live the American dream. Beginning his career as an electrician’s helper, he learned all aspects of the trade and industry eventually becoming an electrician, foreman and then project manager. When Wasilewski decided to form his own company, he started completely from scratch. “I’ve worked in every position of this company at some point,” he says.
The skilled staff at Apollo is able to assist clients at any point in the project schedule, from design, calculations and specifications to the installation of new electrical services. The company has considerable experience in backup battery systems, which can enable a home or office to become more grid-independent. With highly trained personnel and cooperation with others, Apollo is able to provide full spectrum of services for lighting control systems, shades, security, data and audio-video installations.
Finding success in the right places
Throughout his experience as an electrician and business owner, Wasilewski has discovered what success really means in this industry. “It’s all about the people you work with and work for,” he shares. “The relationships that we have developed with our clients have been the key to our success. At the same time, we have to make sure this is well understood and appreciated by our team.”
Apollo maintains a staff with the experience and knowledge to conduct all scopes of electrical work in-house. With many levels of staff including project managers, master electricians, journeymen and apprentices, the Apollo team is equipped with dedicated people. “Many of our employees have been with us for a long time,” shares Wasilewski. “That has basically been the key to our level of quality.”
The aspects that Wasilewski looks for in a potential employee are not unlike most employers. Dedicated, hard-working and knowledgeable prospects make up his target talent pool, though one of the most important and often not immediately tangible traits that he seeks out is character. “You can teach someone a trade but you cannot teach them character,” asserts Wasilewski. “Character is the most important trait when it comes to having key people who will promote and build your company.”
As an immigrant from Poland, Wasilewski has been able to relate to the culturally diverse population of New York City. This has enabled him to empathize with the employees of his company as well as prospective associates. The staff at Apollo consists of people of multiple nationalities and races. Wasilewski claims that this has been a contributing factor to the success of the company. “I have people working for me from all over the world,” he says. “I can relate to them and understand their situation because I have been there. I am very fortunate to have such great employees because they are the future of the company.”
Apollo completes projects of all sizes throughout New York City. The company covers all aspects of electrical work including townhouses, single-family housing, apartments and renovations. Apollo’s portfolio has included high-profile clients with celebrities and business people.
The diverse set of clients that Apollo has established generates the opportunity for the company to be involved in interesting work. Although the scope of work is often similar from project to project, the locations of each job present unique challenges when incorporating design aspects. “We are very privileged to be able to work with premier architects and designers,” says Wasilewski. “We’re usually the last ones to leave a project so we get to see a beautiful end product. We also get to go back to provide service.” At any given time, Apollo is involved in up to 30 projects running concurrently.
It’s all about relationships
The quality and dedication to customer satisfaction has proven to be a factor in Apollo’s ability to weather the economic downturn. While many construction companies were forced to downsize or even shut down operations completely, Apollo saw a slight decrease in revenue but ultimately remained on track. “Everybody was hurting in 2008 and 2009,” recalls Wasilewski. “We weren’t extremely busy, but we still had work. Surviving the recession for us was really due to the relationships that we have developed over many years.”
Not only have Apollo’s relationships with clients generated much needed work during economic turmoil, but they have also helped the company gain a competitive edge as the economy bounces back. “Fortunately, the folks we work for practice the same mentality,” Wasilewski explains. “Our suppliers are faced with the same economic challenges that push them in regard to prices.”
Essentially, Wasilewski views all clients, suppliers and vendors as members of the same team in the building world. “We’re all in this together,” he says. “Whether you’re the president of a company or in an entry-level position, it all comes back to character and how you represent your company.”
This philosophy is an aspect that Wasilewski takes a great deal of pride in concerning his company. “I really hope to ingrain this mentality in the people that work for me,” he says. “I want them to experience the same level of pride as I do in working for this company.”
Routed in diversity and experience, Apollo Electric is an example of how the entrepreneurial spirit can play a part in living the American dream. With a well-established reputation in one of the biggest and most competitive cities in the world, Apollo Electric Inc. raises the bar in quality and customer satisfaction in the electrical contracting industry.
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