Page 14 - MECO | Winter 2016
P. 14

A Tale of

        Two Companies

        An Interview with Henry Brown and Ralph Marcum

        Back in the late 80’s, Ralph Marcum had the idea that he could build a successful electrical business and make a good living for his
        family and his future employees. Now 23 years later, Marcum Electric has a long record of good work and a solid reputation with all of
        their clients.

        We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Alabama-based electrical contractor Marcum Electric. Headquartered in Pelham, AL,
        Marcum has served the needs of Heavy Industrial and Power Generation clients.  Robert Tesney, Vice President of Miller Electric
        Company, has relocated to Pelham to lead the combined operations, and Ralph Marcum will continue to be involved on a daily basis.

        Q: What is the story behind Marcum Electric?

        RM: I worked for another electrical contractor that focused on
        industrial work.  One day I thought to myself: “If I can work and
        make them money, why not do it and make money for myself?”
        So I planned for a long time, went back to school and got a
        degree in business. I figured if I was going to run a successful
        business, I should probably learn how to do it.  Afterwards, I
        put together a business plan and a strategic plan; then in 1994
        opened Marcum Electric.

        Q: How did the strategic plan work out?
        RM: My main goal was to build a business that provided good
        quality work at a reasonable price. Simple. This allowed us to
        finish every project we ever started, on time and on budget.
        I didn’t want to pursue all customers because I couldn’t be
        everything to everyone. I simply wanted to build strategic
        relationships. My first two customers are still clients today and
        they happen to also be the biggest; Alabama Power and US
        Steel.  The relationships we have cultivated have worked well
        over the years.

        Q: Why Miller Electric over others that were interested in
        RM: I have known about Miller for many years.  I was friends
        with Robert’s dad (Vice President Robert Tesney) and built a
        friendship with Robert over time. As a matter of fact, I once
        even tried to hire him away from Miller.  He was happy with the
        company so that didn’t work out.  When it was time for me to
        come up with an exit strategy, I hired a consultant to help me
        locate possible buyers and Miller was one of them.  Miller was
        by far, the one that aligned with our values and the way we
        conducted business at Marcum. Of course, Robert facilitated the

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