Get to Know Chris Stratman, Commercial Project Manager

Our team is an important cornerstone here at Hiller Electric. They are the ones who answer calls, get out in the field, and ultimately, they are the ones responsible for living out and maintaining our reputation.

Over the coming months, we’re going to highlight some of our employees so that you can get to know our team better. You can see our interview with Chris Stratman, Commercial Project Manager at Hiller Electric, below.

Hi Chris. To begin, would you mind telling us a little bit about your background?

Well, I started in the electrical trade in 1991. I then came to Hiller Electric as a second-year apprentice in 1992. At Hiller, I was fortunate enough to receive on-the-job training from a number of exceptional journeymen electricians. For years, I worked in the field on many projects with crews ranging from one to 50 people. Then in 2010, I began working in the office as a project manager.

What does your average day look like as a commercial project manager? Can you walk us through what would be a typical day and some of the most common projects you work on?

My typical day involves dispatching employees to job sites and service calls, ordering materials, scheduling appointments and coordinating with job site foremen. As a commercial project manager, my team and I work on a variety of projects, ranging from one-hour service calls to three-year projects. Hiller Electric also has a strong customer base that we work with on a daily basis.

Do you work alone or with a team? What does this entail?

In order to accomplish daily tasks, it is crucial that I work with a team. Quite often at Hiller, we have to move employees from job to job, involving different projects and managers. When we have a great deal of service calls, we have to pull employees from other projects to take care of them. This all takes a lot of coordination among both managers and employees.

One of the things that we find distinguishes us at Hiller is how committed we are to quality service. Could you talk a little bit about how you see this acted out on a daily basis?

I think we have an outstanding crew who understands the importance of catering to our customers. I have many times received emails from customers complementing our abilities and, more importantly, our concern for their needs.

Why would you recommend Hiller Electric for commercial projects over other companies in the area?

While Hiller Electric tackles large projects on a daily basis, we strive to make every customer experience a personal one. We deal with building managers, general contractors, sub-contractors and other trades at a personal level in order to not only accomplish the task at hand, but also to foster ongoing relationships. We have worked with many of our customers for decades and plan to continue these relationships in the future.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on while doing commercial work for Hiller?

I was part of a project that involved replacing three 2,500-amp electrical services in a 15-story building. This project was one of a very critical nature: The building housed multiple phone service providers that would not tolerate any outages. As you could imagine, removing the existing electrical services and installing new services without any interruption of power was an enormous challenge. However, we were able to get the job done on schedule and without interruptions. That was probably the most interesting project for me—having to work under such constraints, but in the end, coming out successful.