By Mira Brody CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGIST
BIG SKY – If there’s one common theme amongst the Making it in Big Sky series, it seems to be business owners’ positive expressions on the overwhelming support of the Big Sky community. Lee Shaler, Journeyman Electrician and co-owner at Mountain Home Technology, is no exception to vocalizing these praises.
Shaler did not hesitate to take an interview with the electric wiring service company while on vacation with his then-girlfriend (now wife) back in February of 2008, and they moved here shortly after. He now co-owns Mountain Home Technology alongside Mark Tedsen and together they have been adapting to the area’s construction demands with their solid team of nine employees.
This series is part of a paid partnership with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The following answers have been edited for brevity.
Explore Big Sky: I’d like to start with a little background information on you, when did you arrive in Big Sky and what brought you here?
Lee Shaler: I arrived in Big Sky in February of 2008. My wife (girlfriend at the time), and I had come out on vacation about a couple weeks prior to visit family and check out the area. The economy had already taken a huge hit back in Michigan, and I was curious to what the job outlook looked like here in Montana. My uncle Jim [Jim Anderson, former owner of Anderson Enterprises] had set up an interview for me at Mountain Home Technology while we were here on vacation. Right then and there I was offered a position as an apprentice electrician for Mountain Home Technology. When I asked how soon do you need me, I was told tomorrow! Needless to say I asked for two weeks, went back to MI, loaded up my stuff, and moved to Montana.
EBS: Tell me about the history of Mountain Home Technology—when did it first open? How/when did you become involved?
L.S.: Mountain Home Technology first opened its doors on Feb. 15, 2003. It was originally started as an integration company, and through the years has found itself more as an electrical contracting company.
“… thank you so much for the continued support of local businesses like Mountain Home Technology throughout the years. In an area that feels like it’s growing and changing so much from year to year, Big Sky seems to have this uncanny ability to hang onto its small-town glamour.”Lee Shaler, co-owner, Mountain Home Technology
After high school I pursued a college education as an electronics technician and realized after a year that the work environment wasn’t really suited for me. I had always done excavation work and enjoyed doing it. I figured the perfect blend of careers to me at that point would be to become a construction electrician. After about four and a half years [with Mountain Home Technology] I took the journeyman exam and received my Journeyman Electrician license. From there I was the lead electrician in the field for a few years at Mountain Home. At about this point I was approached by Mark Tedsen (owner at Mountain Home) to see if I would be interested in owning the company one day. I was slightly hesitant at first since I was raised in a family-owned business, but after taking that first step I haven’t looked back. Mark and I have successfully been working on the succession since, and it’s been a blast.
EBS: With the growth of Big Sky, how have you grown over the years to meet need?
L.S.: I’ve had to add a couple employees here and there to keep up with the demand. Luckily the people in Big Sky are generally patient and willing to wait for services if it’s not an emergency.
EBS: Tell me about the different services offered by Mountain Home Technology?
L.S.: Mountain Home offers residential, commercial and industrial wiring services from new construction to remodels and service calls. We sell and install Briggs & Stratton standby generators, Lutron lighting systems, SONOS, etc.
EBS: What is the best part of working at Mountain Home Technology?
L.S.: I feel the best part of working at Mountain Home is the relationships I’ve grown and established with customers/coworkers.
EBS: What is the best business advice you have ever received?
L.S.: This one applies to a few different aspects of what I do, but by far my favorite: “It’s always better to be looking at it, than looking for it.”
EBS: Anything else you would like to tell the Big Sky community?
L.S.: I would love to tell the people of Big Sky thank you so much for the continued support of local businesses like Mountain Home Technology throughout the years. In an area that feels like it’s growing and changing so much from year to year, Big Sky seems to have this uncanny ability to hang onto its small-town glamour. You stay classy Big Sky!