- Written by: Kadie Jepsen
- Produced by: Caitlin Mugford
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Steven Petri Sr., president of DECA Inc., explains that the company was founded in 1967 by his father Wendell A. Petri Jr., as well as William G. Ruley, whom specialized in electrical power and automation line control work. “In the following years I joined the company and started to get into HVAC controls and expanded from there,” Steven details.
Steven explains that DECA continued to grow its business through the years into estimated bidding and pneumatic controls, but throughout the evolution, DECA still retains its electrical power division.
“If a company wants to put in chillers, boilers, upgrade building power, install fire alarm, we still do electrical work,” Steven details. “Working in different avenues allows us to keep our hands in everything and provides the customer with a one-stop electrical contractor.”
Services and backgrounds
DECA provides numerous services, including industrial and commercial installation and repair of high, medium and low voltage power wiring, lighting, low voltage control wiring, pneumatic controls, generators, fire alarms, fiber optics, industrial control design and HVAC control design. In order to maintain such an expansive list of services, DECA has assembled a crew of 60 full-time electricians, two steamfitters and 30 service vehicles.
While Steven joined the company in 1982, he had a love for the job long before that. “My first electric shock was when I was about six or seven years old helping my father hook up the trains at Christmas,” he says. “I knew I was going to be an electrician.” Wendell was an electrician and Steven’s grandfather was a plumber, so it’s safe to say the industry ran deep in his veins.
One of a kind
DECA sets itself apart from the competition through the company’s skilled employees. “We have a lot of men and women who know how to do the control work,” Steven says. “Our employees need to understand the work of the control contractor, as well as the mechanical, electrical and general contractor.”
As an electrical contractor that performs pneumatic installations, DECA’s specialty is controls installation.
The company has worked on both larger and smaller projects, from automation work for a small library in Baltimore to large projects, such as BWI Airport, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Ravens Stadium, The Baltimore Convention Center, as well as many governmental facilities.
“We do a lot of frequency drive and building automation work for John Hopkins University; we’re big on energy savings,” says Steven.
Self-performance in the workplace
The work done by DECA is always self-performed. “Most of the people and contractors that we work for don’t allow us to use subcontractors, because they want us specifically,” Steven details. “There are a lot of people and companies that try to do what DECA does and are not successful. There are people out there that can do it but not many – and not many of those companies are as big as we are.”
Steven goes on to explain that DECA measures its success by its repeat clients. “We measure each job by its individual merit and we, as a company, try to remain humble,” he says proudly.
The team that the company has assembled represents DECA in a positive way. Company success largely depends on the employees and how knowledgeable and skilled each team member is.
“My partners in the company, Mike Litchfield and Pete Raab, as well as Mike Mcquay, project manager, are all experts in what we do,” Steven details. “They all came up as electricians and know how things work.”
The majority of DECA’s field employees have also had many years of experience in the control and electrical industry. Furthermore, the company even has several master electricians on staff.
In the upcoming years, DECA’s success will continue to grow. “We’re doing well and we hope to get more work,” Steven continues. “We take on what we know we can do.” DECA never takes on a project that it knows won’t be performed properly, because getting the right people for the job is crucial for company success.
To become a thriving company, product and service knowledge is crucial. DECA knows that the employees who represent the company on a day-to-day basis are well-trained and are able to handle the jobs that come through. With an expansive list of services offered, it’s no particular surprise that DECA has built up a respectable reputation and is in high demand by its clients, as well.
Coming from a long line of industry professionals, Steven knew that this job was where he was meant to be and judging by the success of the company, Steven made the right choice. DECA Inc. is dedicated to its clients and to maintaining a high quality of installation.
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