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Leaving a Legacy: Greg Gossett Announces Retirement from ERMCO after 40 Years

Greg Gossett
Greg Gossett
Ed Gossett
Ed Gossett
ERMCO's first office
ERMCO's first office
Indianapolis International Airport
Indianapolis International Airport
Louis Armstrong Airport
Louis Armstrong Airport
Ed Gossett founded ERMCO in 1962, and his son Greg grew up with the business. After graduating from the Indianapolis Electrical JATC Apprenticeship Program in 1985, Greg joined ERMCO as a Journeyman Electrician. He then served in a variety of roles, including foreman, estimator, engineer, labor superintendent, project manager, vice president, COO, president, and CEO. Under Greg’s leadership, ERMCO grew to over 700 overhead and field staff, achieved an annual revenue record of over $212 million, established a strong national presence, and expanded services from primarily installation to include preconstruction, technology solutions, automation, and maintenance.
When did you start at ERMCO?
Greg Gossett, Former CEO at ERMCO
As soon as I was old enough to be halfway responsible – around 10-11 years old, I started coming in with my dad during school breaks and working in our service center, learning about the materials, sweeping floors, helping unload trucks. At 12 years old, I learned to drive a fork truck in our warehouse. As soon as I graduated from high school, I started full time in the electrical trade. It's really been all my life. It's the only thing I've ever done. This was where my heart was.

How do you think your relationship with your father impacted the approach you have taken throughout the years?

Gossett
Dad was really committed to and focused on the growth of ERMCO and the industry. I watched how he worked with our team and with competitors. He taught me that competitors aren't bad people. They are trying to feed their families, trying to grow their teams, trying to make a mark in the industry, just like us. He would never disparage or talk badly about any of our competitors. Watching him, I knew that that was how I wanted to be.

Having the opportunity to work with my dad was special. Working here with him, my brothers, and my sister – every day was like a family reunion. Many ERMCO employees grew up with their parents or grandparents working here. Now they work here, and their kids are coming into the business. Although we've grown into a much larger organization since dad started the company-- ERMCO was a family-owned business until 2014 when we transitioned to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)- we've maintained a family feel within our company culture. That makes every day coming into work special.

How do you think ERMCO is positioned to sustain and grow upon the success that you have had recently?

Gossett
Whether it's the hospitality, healthcare, retail, industrial, or transportation market, we're poised to grow in every one of those areas.

It's about how we support the people we're working with in the marketplace. It's how we react to a customer's needs, how we support them. People work with people that make them look good and make them successful. We want every client to be successful and have a successful job. We strive to instill that in our team members. And by doing so, I think we're set up for long-term success.

When I left the CEO office at the end of 2023, I knew this team would be able to move on without me because of what we've built. I've always believed that I'm here to support them. As long as they keep doing all the right things and keep growing, they are going to continue to be successful.

What are some lessons that you feel have been the most important to you throughout your career?

Gossett
One thing my siblings and I learned early on: family is important, but the ERMCO family is equally as important. We were here to support the company; the company wasn't here to support us.

Many family businesses don’t survive past the second generation. The first generation builds it and creates it, and the second generation tends to drain the money out of it. Well, we're on our fourth generation of ERMCO leadership. And I think it's because of the lessons we've learned, the way we embrace our team concept, and being intentional about growing strategically.

Six-hundred people – employees and their families – came to the most recent ERMCO company picnic. Each employee has a few people at home. And those few people have other people they're connected with. You realize that every decision you make doesn't just affect you and your family; it affects them, their parents, and the people they interact with. As a leader, every decision I make affects thousands of people, not just me. We've tried to help every ESOP member understand that they're in the same position. It doesn’t matter if you're a receptionist or a truck driver or if you're on the executive team, you can affect the direction of the organization.

Do you anticipate any changes or challenges with the industry moving forward?

Gossett
When you think of how fabrication continues to become more of a manufacturing process, and how we've seen things coming in from overseas changing the way installations take place, we need to be prepared and ready as an industry to embrace that change and find ways to adapt and grow with it.

With emerging energy technologies, such as solar, wind, nuclear, and hydrogen, I think not just our industry, but our community at large, is going to change. We want to be at the front of that. We must be a part of it.

Do you have a project or even a memory or a moment that you're proud of or grateful for from your career?

Gossett
Every Sunday, when I watch the Colts, I appreciate the fact that we are so heavily involved in Lucas Oil Stadium. We were also involved with the construction of Paul Brown (now Paycor) Stadium in Cincinnati and Heinz Field (now Acrisure Stadium) in Pittsburgh.

I thoroughly enjoy seeing the buildings that ERMCO has helped build and maintain. In downtown Indianapolis, we were part of the original construction for both the OneAmerica building and the Salesforce Tower, and we have continued to provide services ever since. When I travel with my family for vacation to Disney World, I recognize that for 20 years, we did almost every major project at the Disney World parks. ERMCO was also involved in one of the largest uranium enrichment facilities in the United States. At ERMCO, we've been fortunate to be engaged in about every type of project you can imagine. That brings me great pride.

When you're working in construction, you are part of a much larger team. Every job has a team. Whether you're working with an HVAC contractor, a roofing contractor, the general contractor, or directly with the owner, we're all a team trying to build something. I love this industry and I couldn't imagine having done anything else.

One of the best memories of my career was having had the chance to work with my family – with my father, my brothers, my sister, my kids – every day. The hardest part of leaving the day-to-day operations is knowing that I won’t be here with these people every day. They've been my family for 50 years. I will be continuing as the Chairman of the ERMCO Board of Directors, so I'm not going to disappear, but I won't be here with them every day. The greatest thrill of my career has been working with people I consider family.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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