Rock River Electric Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
T.J. Thompson, Marisa Thompson and John Darin, who recently retired, established Rock River Electric Inc. (RRE) in 2007. T.J., Marisa and John set a goal of providing high-quality electrical services and building a business not only they, but also RRE employees, could be proud of.
“We got tired,” reflects T.J, president of RRE. “I worked for several different companies as a service manager and each one had financial difficulties. One after another went out of business. My service guys and I stayed together and we had established a regular client base and decided to try it on our own.”
RRE’s approximately 30 employees make a strong team, including experienced and fully qualified electricians. Marisa, vice president of RRE, is proud to be in a leadership role. T.J. has been in the electrical industry since high school and despite his leadership role, he is deeply involved with day-to-day operations.
“I try to stay very hands-on in the business by reviewing every bill before it goes out the door, estimate each project and create a one-on-one relationship with the customers,” he explains.
RRE is a full-service electrical contractor serving a broad area. Located in Colona, Ill., the family-owned and -operated business usually serves customers within a 100-mile radius, serving the Quad City region of its home state, as well as Iowa. RRE provides residential, commercial and industrial services. Additionally, the company provides a 24-hour service department with technicians on hand for all types of electrical needs.
The RRE team works to serve a broad range of customer needs. The business has several full-time industrial service accounts. Most of the company’s volume comes through individual projects. RRE has completed contracts ranging from $100 up to an estimated $2 million.
“Our employees work year-round,” says T.J. “Our diverse capabilities keep us competitive in this market. We do a lot of house service calls, new home wirings and customers will call us to check out minor electrical issues such as a ceiling fan that isn’t working. Therefore, we perform and treat all customers the same no matter how minor or major a job reflects.”
The company’s portfolio includes some much larger projects, as well. The team frequently works as a subcontractor for major new construction projects. The crew performs most electric work in-house, although T.J. notes that the business partners with specialty contractors, such as communication, audio-visual and theatrical lighting businesses.
One recent project is the company’s work on the Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel combined with a Restaurant and Grill located in Davenport, Iowa. RRE is working with the general contractor, Heart of America Hospitality, on the project. The team’s scope of work on the new construction project includes all associated electrical and communication work for the hotel and restaurant. The hotel will be complete in fall 2014.
One of the crew’s larger projects has been the new additions and renovations regarding John Deere Middle School in Moline, Ill.; the $1.3 million contract was complete in 2011. Another major contract was a project for Von Maur E-Commerce. The $1 million project provided electrical installation for the company’s main office building, existing warehouse, as well as an 80,000-square-foot addition. RRE worked with the general contractor General Constructors to complete the project on time and on budget.
T.J. and Marisa employ union electricians and the business is a NECA member. “NECA is all about the contractors,” T.J. explains. “We serve on boards and I am currently working with the pension committee. I volunteer my time to learn more. The organization offers recognition and educational opportunities and we take advantage of those resources. Many of the relationships between contractors are impressive. There are several companies that I can contact and ask a question or borrow equipment from. We try to help each other out as much as we can. We all have a common goal to be successful, but at the end of the day we are still competitors.”
After seven years in business, RRE has established a reputation in the industry for quality performance, safety and customer service. T.J. and Marisa take a lot of pride in the RRE team and the work performed together.
“I like to get out of the office to visit the jobsites and talk with the electricians, therefore, I can physically see the progress were making,” T.J. says. “We know RRE has done a good job if a customer calls us to work with them again. Other than that, the numbers speak for themselves.”
T.J. and Marisa are confident toward the growth in the company’s future. As the economy begins to pick up, new opportunities are opening throughout the region, and RRE has a significant backlog alongside current projects and full-time accounts.
“Our red, white and blue logos are noticed on our vans and trailers throughout the area,” T.J. says proudly. “RRE’s logo represents America, pride and honesty and this is what our business stands for.” By leveraging relationships and staying focused on quality work, Rock River Electric Inc. is set to continue providing leading electrical services in the Quad City area.
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