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|Intriguing Women-Led Businesses – Electrical Installations|
|Published Monday, December 18, 2017|
For the past six years, Business NH Magazine has spotlighted women-led businesses in NH to demonstrate their economic influence. The inaugural list had 50 companies with at least $1 million in revenue. This year the list includes 85 businesses. Together, these companies generated $4.9 billion in revenue in 2016 and employ more than 4,000 people in NH.
We are also profiling five intriguing leaders from this year’s list, who are chosen either for their companies’ fast growth, the influence they wield or their significant achievements. Here is one of the profiles:
Electrical Installations, which designs, manufactures and installs instrumentation and controls that automate operations for water and wastewater treatment plants, has worked on treatment plants in almost every major city in northern New England over the past 30 years. It also has longstanding contracts with many utilities and municipalities throughout New England.
Darlene Fritz, president and treasurer, says the company primarily works as a subcontractor for low-bid industrial and muni-cipal projects, building relationships based on the quality of their work and expertise, so clients return for maintenance contracts when technology needs to be upgraded.
Fritz says controls work has become the company’s niche, and the diversity of their services provides a competitive advantage.
“The secret of our success is we gravitated towards instrumentation and controls, and now we’re the only instrumentation and control contractor in northern New England that also runs electrical crews,” says Fritz. “My husband [Charlie] is someone who doesn’t sit still well, and it was his curiosity of the technology that was the spark that’s kept us going.” Charlie (now vice president) and Darlene aren’t the only Fritzes helping Electrical Installations succeed. The couple was among four family members who launched the business, which has since grown to include five more Fritzes from the next generation.
That includes two grandsons who are training as apprentices, which Darlene says is a move toward solving struggles with hiring young talent. “This year has been unprecedented for us with the volume of projects, and we have really struggled to find people who are coming into the trades to keep up,” she says. “We’ve been blessed to have found a handful of very good workers this year, but we always have a sign out front that says we’re hiring.”
Fritz says she feels “blessed” to have the company’s current staff of 35, including employees based in Moultonborough and a satellite office in Westport, Mass. as well as independent crews in Maine and southern New England. Half of these workers have been with the company for more than a decade, and eight have been on staff for more than 20 years. “We wouldn’t be here without the people we have and have had in the past,” she says. “We consider them all family.”
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