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Home | DALLAS / FORT WORTH | Spotlight | Spotlight - Coty Owens, Coty Owens Electric Service LLC

Spotlight - Coty Owens, Coty Owens Electric Service LLC

image Beth and Coty Owens

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Coty Owens has worked in the electrical trade his entire adult life, and he considers it years well lived. The managing member of Coty Owens Electrical Service LLC, Owens has built a business in which he takes enormous pride, and hopes to continue serving the metroplex.

 

 

 

Share about your background and how you were introduced to the electrical industry.
    I grew up in Brady, TX out in the hill country. When I graduated high school at 18, a guy who was looking for an electrician’s helper came through town. I hired on with him doing work on a Dollar General store in Brady. When he finished that store, I left and worked for another company called Owens Electric out of Brady for about a year. Then, the guy I had worked for at the Dollar General called me; he was doing some Walmart stores in Louisiana. I was looking for any reason to leave Brady, so I took off and went to Louisiana. I worked for him for about a year but got tired of traveling. I then moved to Fort Worth where my dad was already working. I went to work for a company for about six years and that’s where I got my journeyman’s and masters. I started my company, Coty Owens Electric, at age 26 in 2002.

How was the transition from employee to owner?
    It was scary. This was right after 9/11 and everything had slowed down. I started with one employee and I was trying to work in the field and get jobs on the books to have in the future; it was a challenge. Money went fast and it was a struggle. Plus, I had my wife and son to support.

How did you push through that challenge?
    I put in a lot of hours, tried networking every which way I could, trying to meet people and builders. A lot of our work is on the west side of Fort Worth. We do a lot of high-end residential custom work, and I was fortunate enough to get in with some of the builders over there who really took a chance on me early on and gave me a chance to prove myself and it paid off. As I proved myself, of course, the business grew. We were able to add some more employees; it started gaining some traction and took off.

After the economic aftermath of 9/11, did you face any other major challenges?
    The economic decline of 2008 was a shocker; that definitely posed a challenge. We were fortunate enough that, with the type of work that we do, things definitely slowed down but we never laid anybody off. I’m proud to say to this day we’ve never laid anybody off. But there were some major struggles during that time trying to keep the business going and keep business running through here. That was probably worse than starting the business immediately after 9/11.

How many employees do you have now?
    We have about 23 employees. I’m lucky to work with my dad Eddie, my wife Beth and my mother-in-law Ellen Johnson. I’m also fortunate to work with my nephew Logan Owens, who is a field tech, and another nephew, Colton Little. It’s awesome. There has never been a conflict; everything meshes.
    Besides my family working here, a lot of my employees have been here for a long time. What we try to cultivate here is quite literally a family culture. We all get along very well. I’m concerned about my employees and they’re concerned about me in my daily life. When I’m away from them, or if I go on vacation for any period of time, I miss my employees. And because we are kind of a family culture, there’s a lot of trust with my employees. I trust them, and they do what I ask of them; if they can’t they let me know.

Who has served as your most influential mentor?

    Probably my dad has mentored me more than anybody else. I run just about every decision I make about this company through him first and get his advice. Sometimes I take it and sometimes I don’t, but I run everything through my dad. I think he’s been instrumental in helping me build this company and making it what it is.

What plans do you have for the future of the company?

    I’d like to continue to grow the business and continue to take on employees and train them. We’re members of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC) so almost all of my apprentices go through the IEC program’s school. I like that; I think we produce great electricians through the IEC and I’d like to continue that.

What has been your involvement with the IEC?

    I’ve served as president of IEC Fort Worth/Tarrant County and I’ve served as president of IEC Texas in Austin. Through the IEC, I’ve been able to network and meet a lot of fantastic contractors. Being new in business, when you have struggles or questions, most of these contractors are just a phone call away and they’re always more than happy to help you if you’re struggling with a decision or need some advice. That’s been fantastic. What the IEC has done has helped in training my employees and I think that’s one of the reasons we’re able to do so well, is because we have fantastic electricians that are very thoroughly trained. I think the IEC has done more for me than I could ever do for the IEC.

Share a bit about your family.

    I’ve been married to Beth for nearly 18 years. Beth is from Brady as well. We went to the same school, but we were two years apart, so we didn’t really connect until we each independently moved to Fort Worth. She’s one of the strongest, most fearless people I know. A few years ago, she had a heart and a kidney transplant. I also have one son who lives down in Brady, but he’s not in the electrical trade at all.
    I have a Red Heeler, Chelsea, and a Cowboy Corgi, Cassie, which we just got. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a Cowboy Corgi, but they are part Blue Heeler and part Corgi, and she is fun! She is about 6 months old, and every time I’m around her, I laugh. She’s all puppy. She leaves March 1 to go to what I call a “boot camp” for a month.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    I have some land down in Brady; I go down there pretty often. I like to deer hunt in Brady and I like playing golf up here, especially at The Resort in north Fort Worth.

Is your game pretty good?
    No, it’s horrible! A good day is breaking 100, but I have a good time doing it. I had a guy tell me once that you can be good in business or good at golf but you’ll never be good at both at the same time!

Is there anything you would like to try to do more of?

    I would like to travel more. As it is, we haven’t taken a vacation in a couple of years of any substance. I would like to start getting the company into a better position where I can start traveling some more. We love Hawaii; we’ve been four times and that’s our place to go.

Do you think you will always work in this field?
    There’s no doubt. I love the electrical trade. It’s constantly evolving; there is always something different. One of the things I like about this trade and being in business is meeting the different people, being out in the field, and shaking people’s hands. I love that.
    Also, technology is constantly evolving! If I were to ever step back for a year and then try to step back into it, I think I’d be lost.
    I don’t see myself doing anything different. This is what I chose to do at an early age and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.
    Subcontractor Coty Owens Electric Service LLC in Hurst works on commercial and residential projects. –mjm


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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net