The Spark That Started It All: The History of Viva Electric
Jimmy had just walked across the graduation stage to receive his high-school diploma and also down the aisle with his new bride. It was a fast-moving and unknown time in his life. And to add more change to this season, he was soon walking out of the delivery room with his first born child.
With all that was going on and a new family to provide for, Jimmy knew he needed a job. It was his father-in-law, a local electrician at a small company, that gave him his first opportunity. But it wasn’t just a professional opportunity that Sam gave him, it was an opportunity to discover a trade that he’d soon learn he loved.
Although he was only making $8 an hour, the time he spent learning under Sam and others in this business was priceless. Sam’s right-hand-man became Jimmy’s teacher and showed him the intricacies of electrical work and opened his eyes to what this craft was really like. Jimmy worked his way up and received promotion after promotion, and eventually became interested in more than just working with his hands.
Leadership and the business-side of the industry began to call his name. “I wasn’t only working with my hands at that point; I began connecting with people and building relationships, which is what allowed me to start Viva. 2017 Jimmy and his wife Meagan decided it was time to go out on their own, go at their own pace and go after their dream. Once again family was the backbone of the business. Over a cone of ice cream, Jimmy told his mother about his goals, his business plans and his passion for the work. She loaned him $2000, financed his first truck and gave him the security he needed to begin. “Even without much, she was so giving and always supported me.”
But it wasn’t just Jimmy’s mother who supported him during this stage of his career.
In the summer of 2016, Jimmy inquired about a quote on the Skyline Terrace and met Mike Griffin. At this meeting he met with Mike and his executive apprentice, Austin Helms (now the founding partner of Ease Plumbing and Air). “I knew Mike owned a number of businesses and he was a respected business owner in the region.” But he didn’t know that he’d be seeing Mike later down the road.
Fast forward to April of 2018, Jimmy hired his first employees and things were going great. One day, Meagan called Jimmy and said a guy googled Viva Electric and had questions about a job he had previously done for another company. This guy was Austin Helms.
Over lunch, Austin and Jimmy talked about business and the ZoomUp Investments group. From there, the relationship blossomed. After discussing the opportunity with Meagan, Jimmy met Mike for lunch at Taco Mac. Mike told him, “You guys are gonna get where you wanna get, and you will be successful. But I will get you there faster.”
And while growth is important and there is always the “business-side” of things, it’s always been about the heart for Jimmy and Meagan. The familial ties run tight and unbreakable within this company. They started Viva with the hopes that it would become a legacy, like its name implies, and that the employees and customers would become family.
Jimmy started out as a young father with no experience but with a heart for learning, loyalty and legacy. Now, his father-in-law is Viva Electric’s construction manager and his business is booming. And there’s no telling how far they’ll go.
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