Mayer Electric Corp.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In 1948, Richard and Ernest Mayer established a small contracting company known then simply as Mayer Electric. Over the following decades, the brothers expanded the business, incorporating a larger scope of general contracting work to serve a broader range of customers. Eventually, the business returned to its roots and has since built a reputation in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, as Mayer Electric Corp.
When the time came for the Mayer brothers to retire, they turned to their dedicated base of employees. Three long-term employees, Myron Nash, Jerry Holm and Floyd Forsman stood out as candidates for ownership, though their union membership prevented them from taking on roles as contractors. Instead, their wives took the reins of the company, embracing the entrepreneurial spirit. Cherie Holm became president, Bonnie Forsman became secretary and Thelma Nash became treasurer, each securing a $5,000 loan to purchase the company.
Jerry and Cherie’s son followed suit and took on managerial responsibilities, marking a second generation of family operation. Today, Allan Holm serves as CEO and president, leading a team of 65 skilled professionals. Continuing the family tradition, Allan’s son Jacob became the vice president of the company in 2013, and his son Seth joined the team as treasurer in 2014.From a single office in Minneapolis, Mayer Electric is the Twin Cities’ premier electrical contractor, serving Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as areas in northern Minnesota.
Continuing a legacy of quality
“Our history goes a long way back,” says Allan. “Over the years, our team has consistently stood apart from competitors through hard work and providing value across a range of services. We’re in several different areas, so we’re not stuck in one niche. We wire new and remodel electrical construction projects as well as control work, emergency power and generator work and we are also a generator dealer.”
Mayer Electric directly contracts a full range of low voltage products and wiring services. With a strong market presence in the commercial and industrial sectors, the business is able to compete with many of the region’s large electrical contractors. Clients include institutions, such as schools and health care facilities, as well as energy providers, sports complexes and large commercial warehouses. Property managers such as Liberty Property Trust, CB Richard Ellis and First Service Residential rely on the Mayer Electric team for ongoing service and maintenance as well.
In-house expertise makes Mayer Electric a trusted partner for property owners, organizations and general contractors throughout the state. “Our team self-performs almost everything,” explains Allan. “We occasionally outsource heavy operator work for dirt moving and directional boring. Aside from that, we do it all in-house.”
Self-contained capabilities allow the business to maintain better control over safety and quality. Mayer Electric prioritizes using best practices in order to build in value through efficiency. “We are always looking for ways to improve,” Allan explains. “Our team works to stay up to date with new wiring methods and other labor-saving practices.”
Taking on challenges
Like many contractors across the U.S., Mayer Electric felt the worst of the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009. “Things have been getting better since,” notes Allan. “It’s not booming — not yet — but it’s better. During that downturn, of course, there were quite a few challenges. The biggest was just trying to keep everyone working. We did everything we could to keep the company going. Now we are striving to get in good shape so we’re ready for another downturn if it happens.”
Allan says it’s hard to gauge the overall progress of the economy solely based on the performance of his own market, but he expects the continuation of slow and steady improvement. “We don’t expect any huge spikes, but we’re hoping that things slowly and steadily get better.”
Now that the recovery is in full swing, Allan and his team are focusing on different kinds of challenges. “We’re challenged every day here,” he laughs. “One of the more recent challenges is that we’re designing a large solar array for Great River energy. It’s 6 megawatts, which is exciting for us.”
Mayer Electric is involved in another large and challenging project. “We are wiring the temperature controls for the Minnesota Vikings stadium,” he adds. “It’s exciting to be part of a landmark project like that. We’re a little player in this one, but it’s a big name.” The team is also completing work on a large warehouse for United Properties in Maple Grove, Minnesota, at more than 300,000 square feet. The crew is also preparing for a large institutional project in the Chaska area, though Allan reports that the contract is not yet guaranteed.
Mayer Electric is also looking forward to some changes. The company recently brought an electrical engineering firm into the office to work together. While the business is a separate entity, both companies work together frequently, collaborating on a range of large and complex projects.
Allan has few concerns for the future of the company. “We’re slowly increasing sales, not trying to jump into things,” he says. “We are always bringing in new people, but we keep things growing slowly — we don’t want to grow so fast that the business gets away from us.” He is also preparing for a big transition. “In the next couple years I expect to retire,” he adds. “My sons will be taking over the company. I expect them to keep on moving ahead. They’re doing well.”
With another generation moving into management, Mayer Electric Corp. will maintain the same commitment to quality, technology, safety and integrity that has made the business a preferred contractor for customers in the Twin Cities.
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