On April 20th Willmar Electric will turn 100 years old. We had planned several parties to celebrate the milestone and the many people who made it possible.
We have no idea how many people have helped us reach this milestone.
We know six different Chapins across four generations have owned all or part of the company. Each of us has had the loving support of a kind and understanding spouse. Many more of our sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins have worked alongside the six of us as we have tried to make our family business something the entire Chapin family could put our name alongside.
We currently have over 140 coworkers who we proudly stand side by side with day after day. But thousands came before us.
Our customers are too numerous to count. We would struggle to count each of the individuals we have worked with at each of those customers.
Our vendors and suppliers are also too numerous to count. Like our customers, we could never hope to identify all the individuals from those organizations.
Nearly every project we have ever done involves several other trades. Those other trades are an essential part of our longevity, and they have helped us more than we can list in this brief letter.
We also owe a debt to many fellow electrical contractors who have to help us understand and improve our business.
We have enjoyed the support of countless business professionals: accountants, bankers, insurance brokers, bonding agents, and attorneys that have helped guide us to this milestone.
Numerous government officials, including inspectors and elected officeholders, have helped provide a cooperative environment where we could provide a safe product efficiently to our customers.
We have served alongside and benefited from many civic organizations, associations, and business groups who have helped us make our communities and industry a better place to live and work.
Since we can’t put a number to all the people, it is hard to know where to start to thank this large group of people.
Decades ago, we adopted the purpose statement of “People Making A Difference For People.”
It is easy to understand who makes up the first group of people in our purpose statement. We often get asked who the second group of people is we are referring to when we introduce people to our purpose statement. With the second “people,” we are referring to all the groups of people we acknowledge above.
Every day each the first set of people works to live up to our purpose statement when we interact with each other and the second group of people.
The extended version of our purpose statement could have been, the employees of Willmar Electric making a difference for our coworkers, customers, vendors, suppliers, related business professionals, competition, government officials, and civic organization.
If you ever find us not living up to this statement, please let us know.
More importantly, if you ever find one of our coworkers making a difference for people, please let them know, it means a lot. Everybody likes to succeed, and your feedback will help our coworkers know they are making the difference they are trying so hard to make in the lives of others.
Sometime this year, when we are all allowed to come out to play, we are going to have the parties we already planned.
For now, we are sending out this note to thank all the people who helped us get to 100.