We love highlighting the outstanding members of our team. This month, we are spotlighting Service Manager Darrell Kasem.
How long have you been with A.F. Smith Electric?
I've been with the company for a total of about five years. I first started as an apprentice, after which I worked for another electrical contractor for 16 years. Then I came back to A.F. Smith in 2018.
What got you into the electrical trade?
In high school I had a summer job at U of M in the electrical department, which is how I was introduced to commercial electricians. After high school I began community college, but wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do yet. As a kid I had always liked circuitry, electrical stuff, and doing things like taking apart and putting back together remote control cars. I ended up applying for and being offered a place in an electrical apprenticeship program, and now here we are 21 years later.
Why A.F. Smith?
I’ve always had a good relationship with the company’s owner, Brian Koepp, having first worked with him as an apprentice. So coming back seemed like the logical move to make. It’s a good company. Brian was looking for a foreman for some jobs that were coming up, and I was looking for new challenges.
As a foreman, what memorable projects did you work on?
I was running a job over at the University of Michigan Commons Building installing a new chiller, and they ended up needing a foreman at the Ross Business School for a first and second floor renovation. It was a complicated project on a tight schedule, which we met.
What is your current role?
Until recently, I was the Service Manager for both residential and commercial work. The job became so busy that I needed a second person, so now my role is mainly commercial with a little bit of residential. I help facilitate and coordinate jobs with the guys in the field, and I deal a lot in customer relations. I also handle emergency calls during the week.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I enjoy talking to customers and helping them figure out what they need done, and then facilitating the job from start to finish. Once the job is done and the customer is satisfied, it’s both a relief and a good feeling.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting into the electrical trade?
I would tell them this is a great opportunity if you're willing to put in the time and energy. The money is really good, and the work is rewarding. This is a profession that can be what you want it to be.
What would you like potential customers to know about A.F. Smith Electric?
We’re a very professional company. We have a lot of experience with numerous aspects of the trade and we have experienced personnel. We can execute the job in a timely manner, and they will be satisfied with our work.
What are you most proud of personally or professionally?
Professionally, I’m most proud of my work ethic and my determination to do well. Personally, I’m most proud of my two kids, who are eight and nine years old.