Every month we highlight one member of the A.F. Smith Electric team. This month’s staff member spotlight is our fearless leader, Brian Koepp. Brian is celebrating 36 years with the A.F. Smith Electric team this month and is thrilled to share his story.
What brought you to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area?
I was born in Ann Arbor and spent the first 13 years of my life in the area. My family then moved to Ypsilanti, and I’ve been here ever since.
What got you started in the electrical business?
My uncle was an electrician, and my dad followed his lead, eventually working in management and then ownership of A.F. Smith Electric. I always knew I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps as well. I was always running around the shop as a kid, and when I was 14, I started working here as a summer job doing whatever work I could get my hands on — yard maintenance, stocking shelves, cleaning the floors, emptying wastebaskets.
After high school, I went through apprenticeship training and earned my journeyman’s card after four years. I then became a foreman and worked in the office where I learned estimating and project management and worked my way up from there.
What are your favorite memories of working at A.F. Smith Electric?
I really enjoy getting the entire staff together for things like Christmas parties and company picnics because it’s a chance for me to communicate with the employees on a different level. We appreciate our staff immensely, and it’s always nice to see them feel that appreciation.
As far as business memories, I’ve been involved with so many jobs that took a lot of input and required step-by-step advising for our customers. Seeing their satisfaction from our team’s work and a job well done will always put a smile on my face.
Describe A.F. Smith Electric in three words or less.
Competitive. Quality. Superior.
What does a typical day look like for you as President?
There is no typical day in my position — every day looks a bit different. I typically read through and respond to masses of emails, guide my staff on things to do, whether it’s a management issue or an estimating issue, and go through the everyday routine of business.
What does being President of A.F. Smith Electric mean to you?
Being President means everything to me. This was the end goal I had my sights set on for years. I am extremely proud to hold this position and to have been able to serve this organization for 36 years.
What are you most proud of, personally and professionally?
Personally, I’m most proud of being a good, responsible family man. Professionally, I’m proud of deciding the career path that I wanted to pursue and accomplishing every goal I have set for myself — every step of the way — to get me where I am today.
Who is your strongest influence in life?
That would definitely be my dad. We’ve always had a very strong bond and close relationship. Following in his footsteps was always a point of pride for me. I have talked to so many people who knew him and dealt with him in business, and I have never heard any negative comments about him. It’s always, “How’s your dad doing? He’s a great guy.”