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Bolt of rightening

image Ronnie Bowles of Bolt Electric

SAN ANTONIO - Ronnie Bowles remembers being initiated into the electrical industry – with the emphasis on “initiated.”







    “In 1985, when I got out of high school, I started as a helper wiring houses,” Bowles says. “One of the men who taught me was older. The first day, I asked him what I would be doing and he said, “I’m going to have you driving in nails all day,” and kind of giggled about it. He dropped me off on the street and gave me a bundle of 8ft. ground rods and a sledgehammer. All day, I had to try to drive ground rods into the rocky ground. I didn’t get very far but I’m sure he sat back and laughed at me!”
    Bowles ended up having the last laugh. After learning the trade from every angle, working for electrical contractors and earning his journeyman and master licenses, Bowles started Bolt Electric in 2010. Today, his business bears the distinction of having “The Most Five Star Reviews in San Antonio.”
    Bowles had initially considered being a plumber, but after two days was relieved when a childhood friend invited him to work for an electrical contractor.
    “I wasn’t thinking about it being a career for me, but as I’ve gone through the years, I really do enjoy what I do,” he says. “I never went through any formal training; all of the training I had was on the job. Over the years I’ve had to learn the code book on my own without taking courses and study for the journeyman and master tests. There’s also theory which, when it comes to engineering and designing jobs, comes in handy, but it’s performing the work that helped me do the trade.”
    Hindsight being 20/20, Bowles is confident he made the right choice.
    “I like working with my hands,” he says. “I enjoy meeting people. I’m very much a pleaser and try to please. I really enjoy the trade because I’ve worked in every aspect of it, not just in the field. In my over 30 years of experience, I’ve done a little bit of everything.”
    In eight years, Bolt Electric has grown to a fleet of five trucks, two bucket trucks, and four electricians. Bowles, who worked 18-hour days in Bolt’s early years, was grate-ful when his wife Wendy Bowles left her job and joined him in the business. His 20-year-old daughter Hailey Bowles also does clerical work part-time for Bolt while attending college. He depends on recep-tionist Kristie Tuttle as well to keep the mountain of paperwork at bay.
    Bowles values having both a trusted support system and time with his family.
    “It really does mean a lot because I’m providing an income for our family,” he says. “We’re not near each other all day but we have each other’s backs. Wendy has become the backbone of the office; I can rely on and trust her to do the banking. With my daughter, we’re able to accommodate her schedule by allowing her to work here. My older daughter is already moved out, so it’s just a matter of time before it will be just my wife and me. It is good to still be able to spend that time with her. One day we will look back on it and cherish these times. It’s a win-win both ways.”
    Bowles hopes to keep winning with his customers by initiating them in the golden rule.
    “It’s something I want to continue to play a part in but I want to continue the customer service that has gotten us this far,” he says. “When people think of Bolt Electric, I want them to think, ‘That’s a good company.’ I always want to be a man of my word, to do what I say and say what I do until we can’t run the business anymore. I don’t want it to change. Our motto since the beginning is ‘Treat people well.’  It’s gotten us this far.”
    Subcontractor Bolt Electrical is located in San Antonio. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net