Case Studies

Divane Bros. Electric Co.

Electrical construction, service and maintenance in the Chicago metropolitan area

Divane Bros. Electric Co. (Divane Bros.) has been in business since 1920, when Daniel, John and William Divane established the family company. After three generations in business, the operation has become one of the larger electrical firms in the Midwest. In 2015, Divane Bros. employs more than 200 people and serves municipal clients in the greater Chicago region. The crew works in Cook County and DuPage County, with a primary footprint in metropolitan Chicago.

Dan Divane is a member of the third generation management of the family business. He has been working for Divane Bros. full-time since 1981. According to Dan, there was never a doubt he would someday continue the family legacy.

While Dan’s primary occupation is his business development role at Divane Bros., from 2013 to 2014 he also served as chairman of ELECTRI International, the research and education arm of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

ELECTRI International strives to build opportunities in the electrical construction industry through funding, conducting, coordinating and transforming research results into meaningful and useful educational and consulting programs for electricians and apprentices working in the field. NECA, the parent organization of ELECTRI, offers support in the form of networking, education and legislative representation for member businesses.

Dan’s affiliations with such partner organizations display a major dedication to the industry. Dan has most recently been awarded the prestigious Albert G. Wendt award for outstanding leadership and commitment to the electrical construction industry.

Divane Bros. Electric Co.

Building relationships

Divane Bros. works primarily for a small selection of core customers, typically in the infrastructure sector. Major clients include Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). The business provides a broad range of services for these repeat customers. “We do everything from low voltage to lightning,” Dan explains. “We work from 350 feet below the ground to 500 feet above ground. Our capabilities are very diversified and we perform most labor in-house.”

Divane Bros. is currently working on enabling projects at ORD for the most recent runway installation. The company is performing all the lead-in lighting and all the controls for the project. The crew regularly performs contracts for the CTA. In 2011, the company finished a signaling, train control and communication project. The business replaced all the aforementioned components on the elevated portions of the loop downtown.

One of the most memorable projects for Divane Bros. has been working on the West Hall expansion of McCormick Place. Divane Bros. performed the full scope of electrical work at the convention hall, which held the annual NECA convention in Chicago in 2014. Divane Bros. collaborated with another NECA contractor on the project. As chairman of ELECTRI, Dan gave speeches and presentations at the convention in the hall his team helped complete.

Taking challenges head-on

The Divane Bros. team has built a reputation over the years for quality, efficient work and reliability. Clients have come to trust the business for complicated projects, often revolving around existing infrastructure. 75 percent of contracts involve occupied spaces, such as CTA lines and airport runways and taxiways. “We typically work at night during planned closures, then we have to make sure these components are up and operating in the morning for the next day,” Dan says. “Our customers rely on this infrastructure to generate revenue, whether that means having planes take off or running trains. There are very significant penalties if we are not done in time so we place a tremendous effort into coordinating, planning and scheduling.”

With a proven record for hard work and the ability to meet schedules, Dan and his team are looking ahead to a growing market in 2015 and beyond. “I’m optimistic about the amount of work opportunities coming up for us,” Dan says. “The infrastructure in Chicago is very old; a lot of it more than 100 years and it needs to be maintained. People need to be able to move around efficiently – they need planes, trains and automobiles. Divane Bros. also is a major force in the water/wastewater industry, and those facilities need refurbishing. Our core customers’ needs are great and hopefully they can get the funding to build what they need.”

Looking ahead, Divane Bros. will continue to serve a distinct target market, made up mostly of repeat clients. Dan is confident in the ability of Divane Bros. tackle demanding work and complicated projects. The team’s continued dedication to quality and scheduling will continue to benefit the company as the operation grows. After nearly 95 years of quality work and service, Divane Bros. Electric Co. continues to provide high-performance solutions with the relationship building abilities of a small, family business.

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Spring 2018



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