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 John Hiller, President of Hiller Electric, below:
Hi, John. Could you tell us a little bit about your background, and how you got involved in the trade?
I’m second generation, so I grew up in the trade. My father started Hiller Electric when I was about ten years old. I started working here when I was in high school, and continued work after graduating high school and college.
Although I worked a few other places during that time, I always seemed to feel more comfortable at Hiller because I knew it better. I started out as an electrician just helping out around the field. Some of my first projects were installing air conditioning in houses in the late 60s and early 70s when a lot of houses were first getting AC. I spent a lot of summers in my high school days going house to house and working with journeymen electricians.
In college, I started working on more commercial jobs and taking on more responsibility. By the time I was almost finished with college I was in charge of sourcing materials for different projects and making sure they got delivered. I did that for several years, and my role evolved more into estimating for electrical projects, and doing some management as well. Today, I’ve taken on more day-to-day responsibilities and I suppose the next step is figuring out how to hand the business off over to the next generation.
What does a normal day look like for you?
As I just mentioned, I’ve taken on a lot more day-to-day managerial responsibilities. Usually, I’ll start my day off by pulling up my email to see what happened overnight. We have electricians and project managers that come in early in the morning and I always like to make sure that I didn’t miss anything, and that I’m up on what’s going on.
From there, I have lots of meetings—some formal, some informal—where I oversee and make sure everything’s going how it should, sometimes giving advice to different folks to keep things running smoothly. I get back into projects that I’m personally managing and go through my to-dos for the day and get to working on those. In the afternoons, I like to try to get out onto our job sites and make sure everything’s going well. It’s important for me to still have a presence out in the field.
And then, at the end of the day, I spend some time reviewing what I’ve done, maybe doing some strategic planning on how we can improve and what we need to do differently. My days tend to vary a lot, but those are some common things you’ll find me working on nearly every day.
What do you think is so distinctive about Hiller Electric?
I think that nearly every small business takes on the personality of the people in charge. I’ve had to do a sort of self-evaluation to see what my personality is and how it folds into Hiller Electric. I did that at an early age so I could see how I could use my strengths, and overcome my weaknesses, to make our business more successful.
From a strengths perspective, I’ve always thought that I was best at dealing with people, being straightforward and honest, and having high integrity. I’ve tried to make sure that those qualities carry over to the rest of the business and I think those are very important qualities to have. I’m proud to say that I think those qualities have carried over, due in large part to the great team we have here, and I’m proud of what we’ve built.
We’ve been told in the past that on jobs we’ve completed, we’re among the few people who always come back. If there’s a problem with a job we did six months ago, we’ll show up and make it right. I was taught at a young age to treat every customer as if you were working in your own home and I know all of our employees do the same.
Finally, we have to ask—what do you do in your free time?
Well I was born and raised in Omaha, so I don’t anticipate leaving. I’d like to do a little more traveling with my wife. We try to travel a couple of times a year. I enjoy spending time with my family—that’s one of my biggest joys in life.
I also like to hunt a little bit; it’s something I do throughout the year. I play a little golf in the summertime, but I wouldn’t exactly consider myself an avid golfer. Overall, family is very important to me—both immediate and extended. I have a lot of family members working at Hiller Electric and hope it’s that way for years to come. I see our employees as an extended part of our family too. I feel a true commitment to the people who work for us, so that guides a lot of my thought outside of work.
Want to know more about John, or want to learn more about Hiller Electric and any of the services we offer? Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know! You can get in touch by phone at 402.339.0524, or visit our Contact Us page for more information.