District Operations Manager; Crescent Electric Supply
By Joe Nowlan
In 2012, Ryan Micheletto was working in retail more as a means to pay his way through school rather than as a career.
Married with a young family, though, Ryan began to see that he wanted more in a career. Retail had its limitations, such as having to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, among others.
His attention was drawn to the electrical industry and Crescent Electric in particular. Somewhat sheepishly, Ryan admitted, he initially thought he was applying to an electric utility company.
"I originally was just looking for anything that might get me in the door somewhere and out of retail but where I could take my experience with me," he explained.
Today, however, Ryan loves the work and the industry.
"I wish I knew about the electrical industry before I went to school because I would've pursued a degree somewhere in electrical engineering or that line of work. But I didn't really fall in love with the industry or even know about it until I was in it," he said.
Initially he was struck by the vastness of electrical distribution, especially the number of product lines and related customer bases. While it was close to overwhelming at first, Ryan found he loved the learning challenge and soon thrived in it.
"I have always been one to want to learn more. I have never stopped that," he said. "We have a lot to do and are busy but if I came in and it wasn't that way or if there wasn't something new going on or something new to learn, then it wouldn't be fun or worthwhile. I love that there is always something new and exciting going on."
His current title is district operations manager at Crescent Electric's Joliet, Illinois branch.
"More than anything my role is a support role for everyone in our district. Whatever needs to get done to help our people help a customer, then that is my role. It can be as small as saying they need me to find this three dollar part," Ryan explained. "Or it could be that I need to cover the counter at a branch. It expands out of that operations role a ton. There is nothing too big or small that I do not do to support the branches and what they need."
Ryan and his wife Niki have three daughters: Kaylee, 6 years old, Mia, 5 years old, and Raegan, 3 years old.
He and his wife recently took the girls and to their very first concert, a show by Carrie Underwood.
"My wife is a huge country fan. And the girls loved it. They know all the songs," he laughed. "When they found out they were going, they were really pumped."
Over the years, Ryan has also found time to coach diving in the same Illinois high school district he attended as a student.
"It's just something that I have a passion for and do it for fun," he said. "One of the things the girls love the about summers is when they go to these diving camps with me. They love the water, the pool and the kids."
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. Young professionals in the electrical industry—because of their age, because of the industry they are in and the need in this industry for young talent—they are in a great position. My advice would be to jump on every opportunity you get and don't be afraid to take a chance. Get out there, learn, meet people and take chances. I think you'll see that this industry is very supportive, very open for our group. If you take the chances it will pay you back tenfold especially if you show people that you are good at what you are doing and that you are passionate about it.
Q. What motivational approach/tactic has been most effective for you in your career? That is, effective both for you personally and, if applicable, for those employees whom you manage?
A. I've got four beautiful women at home that rely on me. To say that is not my number one motivation, to be good at what I do, would be a lie.
But on the professional side, I like to think that while I may not be the best at something, given enough time I can be. So I'm always working to get there, to be good and great at what I do. It is very motivating for me that I have people on my team who are working as hard as they are and do what they do well to take care of the customers. And that makes it very easy to for me to come in here and work that hard for them.
As far as motivating others, my biggest thing is not my title. It is doing the most basic of things. Answering the phone. Being available to people. Showing that I am willing and able to help them out in every way that I can. And not being afraid to do anything that I would ask them to do as well. If someone is not here and that means I have to go out and sweep the warehouse, then guess what? You're going to see your district operations manager sweep the warehouse. And I think that goes a long way.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at email@example.com.