Champion Electrical Contracting LLC
In 2009 Richard and Carolyn Taylor founded Champion Electrical Contracting LLC (Champion) as a growing commercial electrical contractor based in Jupiter, Fla. Both Carolyn and Richard grew up in the New York City electrical industry with their respective families; therefore, the duo’s background offers unique insight into the industry, as well as decades of experience.
“We were pretty much born into the industry,” Richard laughs. With strong expertise and deep knowledge about operating an electrical business, the Taylors felt opportunistic building a strong operation in Florida.
“We started in April 2009,” Richard recounts. “Everyone told us we were crazy for starting up then. Before making the move to Florida, we were part of Local 3 in New York City for over 20 years and I was a contractor during 15 of those years. Once we settled in Florida, I looked at Carolyn and told her that we needed to start our own company, so we did.”
According to Richard, he forged strong relationships through consulting work at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, ensuring the company’s success. “It was through these relationships that we were able to begin our business,” he continues. “In today’s economy you have to bring a value to a customer if you want them to come back. We work hard every day to make sure we’re bringing that value to get our customers’ repeat business.”
Richard goes on to note that the team at Champion performs mostly fast-track GMP projects, which benefit both Champion and the owners. “We are able to use our skills, both planning and production, to keep our costs low, which allows the owners savings at the end of the project,” he elaborates. “When we do quality work, bring the job in on time, and save the owners money, I guarantee they will use us again.”
A Strong Presence in the Commercial Market
Champion is exclusively a commercial contractor. “We are fortunate to be in a niche market, and the majority of our projects are casino work and a lot of other specialty projects,” Richard explains. “We do a vast majority of work for the Seminole Tribe of Florida; Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock Casinos in Florida.”
Richard goes on to note that Champion self-performs everything except low-voltage and fire alarm work. “We are starting to do quite a bit of prime contractor work, because our customers are comfortable with how we plan and perform our projects,” he continues. “We are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the game, such us using new technologies and tools that set us apart from our competitors.”
Recent Portfolio Additions
Strong capabilities and relationships have brought in a lot of work for the Champion team. “Recently we were part of a team that completed the overall construction of a $125 million casino project,” says Richard. “We did the Coconut Creek Casino for the Seminole Tribe here in Florida. This was a nine-month project, which was a very short amount of time for the size and complexity of this project. We had three shifts working 24 hours a day in order to make sure we never missed a milestone on the schedule. We brought the project in on time and on budget.”
According to Richard, one of Champion’s most interesting projects was the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. “We needed to replace two 4,000 amp services that fed the main hotel and the gaming floor, as well as the Central Plant without any interruptions,” he details. “The hotel and casino operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It took about four months to plan and two months to install. We replaced the two underground services with new overhead copper bus duct feeders. It was an engineering challenge, as well as an installation challenge, due to the imminent failure of the service transformers. We were able to accomplish our goals on time and without any guest complaints, which was a key factor to our customer.”
However, that is not all Richard has in store for Champion’s team of champions. “In addition to the projects we are currently working on we have a number of projects that we’re getting ready to sign, as well as a few projects that are about to begin,” he continues. “In April we started a new 13-acre Public Administration and Safety complex in Brighton, Fla. The Brighton Reservation project will reach LEED Silver certification. It is an interesting project because is it environmental friendly.”
Up for the Challenge
When the Taylors founded the business, the U.S. was at the peak of the recession. Doubts from consumers, business owners and banks alike have kept many markets from growing, although Richard explains that his team’s circumstances are unique.
“We are very fortunate that our main customers have stayed busy throughout the economic crisis,” he says. “As we continue to grow and provide our customers with our outstanding quality, our customers are more comfortable with us, and the sizes of the projects are getting larger.”
According to Richard, customer service is what sets Champion apart. “We believe if you do what you say you’re going to do, you will continue to work on projects,” he says. “It’s also about the quality of work, being timely and being fair. We make sure we are not only there before and during the project but also after the project is complete. We strive to maintain long-term relationships.”
In addition to establishing strong relationships with suppliers and subcontractors, having a team capable of working efficiently has been one of many ways Champion stands apart from other contractors in the industry.
“We use a set network only because we work differently,” Richard notes. “We can’t afford to cut corners and it is important that we find people who have the same philosophy as us. Customer satisfaction and repeat business are our biggest success indicators.”
Champion remains financially stable and highly qualified for major electrical projects; a growing customer base means Richard and his team have their eyes on expansion. “We are just getting ready to hire some additional employees,” he adds. “We are growing fast and are looking for people that have a lot of experience. We currently have offices in Jupiter and Coconut Creek and are looking to add a third location in Tampa soon.” With a growing geographic footprint, Champion Electrical Contracting LLC is well-positioned for major growth as a leading electrical contractor in the Sunshine State.
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