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As the third-generation CEO of Cache Valley Electric, which recently marked a century in business, Jim Laub has reaped the benefits sown by hard work and consistency, a family tradition that started when his grandfather first tacked a sign advertising electrical services to a humble Logan storefront on April 1, 1915.
What changes have you observed during your time at Cache Valley Electric?
The sheer size of the company and the technical aspects of what we do on a day-to-day basis have been the biggest. When I started, we just had a handful of employees at our Logan headquarters and 50 to 75 electricians in the field. Now we have revenues in excess of $300 million, over 1,200 employees working in possibly 30 states on a given day, and offices in Portland, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Arkansas.
We consider ourselves the most diversified electrical contractor in the country. We do traditional electrical construction, but we’ve developed a technology division over the last 10 years that’s growing by leaps and bounds and is going to be a big part of our future.
To what do you attribute the company’s longevity?
I think we’ve retained the core values that both my grandfather and my father set up, which were to take great care of your customer and your employees, to just keep building on those two building blocks and operate with integrity—to treat people the way you want to be treated. I don’t think it’s a real complicated way of doing business; it’s just common decency. I’m also a firm believer that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
How will you ensure CVE’s continued success?
A full 100 years are already in the books. It’s a great 100 years. It’s a great tradition and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but going forward, it’s the next day and the next year after that, that are really important. We want to stay on the cutting edge with all the technology that we’re doing. We want to keep adopting the same philosophy we’ve always had, but change it as times demand also.
What inspires your generous contributions to Utah State University?
I’ve always been a USU fan, and recent opportunities have come along where I was able to support the university in financial ways. We were the primary donors for the Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex and the Wayne Estes Center. We’re involved with the expansion of Romney Stadium right now.
We’re probably well-known for supporting the university, but we support dozens, if not hundreds, of other deserving organizations as well. We encourage all our employees to give back to the community.
What role does the family dynamic play in the business?
Every day of my life has been Cache Valley Electric, so it was just a natural transition for me to go into the company. I’ve been full-time now for 40 years and it’s been a wild ride, but a fun ride. I look forward to every day.
My oldest boy is 28 and he works at our Salt Lake office. My other son is 17 and has indicated that he’d like to go into the business someday. We’ll carry on the family tradition as long as we can, and as long as it’s something that they want to be a part of.