- Written by: Erica Berry
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Founded in 1919 by Tony Muska, Muska Electric (Muska) began as a small company that converted homes in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul from gas lighting to electric. Over the past 95 years, Muska has continued to uphold its values of honesty, integrity and professionalism; the company has become an active leader in the electrical industry.
In 1946, Tony’s son, Bill, became a partner in the company and used his expertise in commercial and industrial electrical engineering to grow the business and expand into the industrial, commercial and retail facilities markets. Now, 32 years later, Muska adopted an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) and is now held by a small number of owners, including Jeff Marko, vice president.
“Through all our changes as a company, we have always prided ourselves on our growth, ongoing stability and service,” explains Jeff. “This is a reputation we have earned through a working partnership with our clients.”
Headquarted in Roseville, Minn., Muska works primarily with local clients in Minneapolis and St. Paul; however, the company has completed work across the country and is licensed and equipped to work in 15 states. The company generates $40 million in annual revenue and employs 225 people; 35 in office and 190 in field.
In addition to standard residential, commercial and industrial electrical services, Muska also provides electrical repair, maintenance, voice/data, security, sound and paging, commercial and residential plumbers and home electrical hazard detection.
Because Muska offers a wide array of services, the company does not follow a standard procedure when it comes to subcontracting or self-performing projects. Rather, the company offers a complete line of design-build services, as well as traditional takeoff and estimating services for engineered projects to best meet the clients’ needs.
Electronic estimation also allows for cost tracking of each project. “At Muska, we forge long-term partnerships with our customers,” explains Jeff. “We earn trust by consistently meeting our clients’ needs and exceeding their expectations, time and time again.”
Additionally, Muska pays special attention to matching project managers to new projects. As each project manager has a specific set of skills and their own unique electrical background, the company carefully matches project managers with the most related experience to each job. The assigned project manager then works with Muska’s shop superintendents and a project foreman to provide with high-quality, efficient service.
“Our workmanship, materials and service remain ahead of the curve, which means that you will get the results you need and complete satisfaction,” says Jeff. “We never try to take a job for the sake of a job. We always pursue work with the intent of creating a long-term customer.”
Behind closed doors, Muska operates on a unique self-management system that allows each worker flexibility and the ability to prescribe their own workload. “Rather than one person dictating, each of our employees manages their own projects and functions as their own department,” explains Jeff. “We put a lot of faith in the people we have working with us and give them a lot of authority. The company’s entire staff is experienced and equipped to meet even the most complex electrical challenges and needs. I’ve been here 26 years and we have electricians who have been here longer than that. Our turnover is very low. We see most of our people leave when they retire.”
Over the years, Muska has completed several impressive electrical projects in Minnesota, including work for big-name companies, such as CostCo, Chipotle and Target. Recently, the company has completed electrical work for a $6 million Walmart distribution center in the southern part of the state, as well as a $3 million project at Shutterfly and a $2 million Compass Datacenter, both in Shakopee.
Currently, Muska is completing a $7 million electrical remodel of Toro’s worldwide headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., where the company is finishing up a new office addition, as well as launching into a remodel of the entire facility.
While the company primarily serves the commercial market, Muska has a rich history in residential electrical work. Therefore, when it comes to residential projects, each of Muska’s residential clients are backed by the +5 Homeowners Electrical Protection Plan, which is a no-cost program that covers workmanship and materials used on the home’s entire electrical system. Because Muska is a +5 qualified electrical contractor, the company’s work and materials are automatically covered without additional paperwork or legal procedures.
As a member of both the St. Paul and Minneapolis National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Muska remains on the cutting-edge of the industry. This means the company is always up to date with the latest safety codes, industry standards, regulations and business practices.
“NECA allows us to stay educated and connected with other members of the electrical construction industry,” says Jeff, also current vice president of the St. Paul NECA chapter. “As much as we’re all competitors, we are very willing to share experiences and what we’ve learned about the business; we’re not adversaries all the time.”
Jeff has been on the NECA executive board for three years, originally serving as the association treasurer. “Being involved in the process is a great way to network,” Jeff explains. “I enjoy working with other industry leaders and encourage everyone to join.”
In addition to its regional chapters, NECA also hosts national functions that provide educational and networking opportunities for its members. “NECA provides an astonishing volume of resources,” explains Jeff. “They can help you with anything you can imagine. If you have a problem or are in a situation you’ve never dealt with before, NECA will find someone who has had that experience and can walk you through it. It’s a fantastic resource for even the most experienced contractor.”
Muska experienced its best year ever in 2012 and shows no signs of slowing down. To pursue its desired growth, the company will continue to look for innovative ways to stay competitive, such as expanding into new markets, including prefabrication, building automation and other building services, as well as creating more stream-lined and efficient processes. “Eventually we’ll be a one-stop shop,” says Jeff.
In an industry known for its rapid growth and declines, Muska has maintained a strategic focus on steady, orderly growth. No matter which direction the team chooses or how the market ebbs and flows, Muska Electric’s dedication to customer service and quality craftsmanship will lead it to success.
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