Warren Olson, Olson & Son's Electric, Monticello MN
Happy 60th membership anniversary to Olson and Sons Electric!
The business first started in 1959 by Milton Olson. When the business grew too large to operate out of the home and the city would not allow them to build an adjoining warehouse, the Olson’s built a second home to house the business opting for an open floorplan without walls. Eventually the business grew large enough to move to its current location on 5 acres of land off of I94 in Monticello.
Milton had 5 sons; 4 of them worked in the business. The company incorporated in the late 70s, when the 3 oldest sons, all master electricians, bought interest in the business. A fourth brother bought into ownership in the late 80s. The company is currently owned by Warren Olson, the primary shareholder, and his son Daniel Olson. Warren attributes the company’s success to a great TEAM of employee’s and the good relationships they have with the community; bankers; vendors; and their customers. Warren added that the new leadership skills that Daniel brings to the table, has made a big difference in their success today and is confident that Olson and Sons Electric (OSE) will be in good hands for many years to come.
Part of the customers-first philosophy Olson & Sons employs is to be a one-stop shop for “all their electrical and related mechanical needs. Services include electrical contracting, field service, and the addition of an electrical service center that houses a retail store and Motor Shop USA, which offers specialized electrical mechanical services across the nation such as electric motor, pump, generator repairs and rewinding.
When asked what challenging projects OSE has done recently:
When asked about what particular aspect of the Electrical Association they find most helpful:
- "Fair Oaks School renovation in the Metro Area was challenging because the project of this size was normally done in two summer breaks. We did it in one. The project consisted of gutting all the ceilings which included the lighting and wiring from classrooms, hallways, district offices, penthouses, and rooftop units. We replaced all wiring which included data cabling to every fixture and setting up hubs and lighting controls throughout the building. We provided all new wiring and controls to all new rooftop units and replaced old main gear feeding the building. We installed and wired VFD drives on all pumps and related equipment. We updated the fire alarm, security, clock, phone, and intercom systems. The challenge on this project was the short time timeframe.
- Minneapolis Fire Station remodel and addition, which include the 911 system. The control wiring, programming and the many systems involved, made this project challenging. Thanks to my son Dan, OSE pulled this off.
- Renovation Projects with Centra Care Hospital…it is sometimes challenging to maintain power to all systems, while wiring and replacing equipment."
Warren mentioned the Association is a good place to get the latest information. He appreciated the ability to buy code books from our organization. He likes to bounce ideas off other contractors at meetings. Meetings also allow him to receive a better understanding from vendors regarding insurance, training and products. The networking that happens at meetings helps grows friendships within the industry. Warren loves how the Association provides direct access to OSHA reps and other compliance issues.
While Warren grew up in the electrical industry, his start was not traditional. Warren loved music and played in a rock & roll band in high school. As a senior in high school, he was called to his Christian faith and realized the rock lifestyle was not consistent with his values.
He went to a Christian college in Canada. After his freshmen year and his mom’s diagnosis with cancer, he decided not to return for his sophomore year in order to help out at home. Instead, he enrolled in tech school and learned the skills in engineering and design that helped to grow the services in the motor shop including rewinding motors, motor controls & repair, and dynamic balancing of equipment. Years later, the Christian college reached out and offered Warren a position on their board where he advised for 16 years. Warren’s faith and volunteerism is obviously very important to him. He still devotes time to his music playing stringed instruments such as lead guitar, bass guitar, banjo, and ukulele. He has provided volunteer entertainment at Monticello’s Art in the Park, community fundraising events and has organized community jam sessions.
We are so proud to have a member like Warren in our community!