26 (25 at the time of nomination)
Lead project manager;
Dulles Electric Supply
By Joe Nowlan
Andrew Pomeroy was about to graduate from George Washington University and, like many soon-to-be college grads, was exploring various job markets. A friend alerted him to an ad on Craigslist.
“He knew that I was looking for a job in this area because this is where my family lives,” Pomeroy said, referring to the Washington, D.C.-Maryland region. “He forwarded me the link. I gave them a call and I ended up here.”
“Here” meant Dulles Electric Supply. But it wasn’t until his interview there that Pomeroy had heard about the electrical industry.
“The ad was a bit nondescript as far as describing the actual industry,” he explained. “But I came in for the interview and they started off by telling me what they did.”
He was hired as a junior project manager in lighting. Three months in, Dulles promoted him to project manager. It was at about this point that Pomeroy realized that this job was something in which he could thrive.
“The big thing about project management is that you get a certain amount of ownership over the project you have,” Pomeroy explained. “I started my own projects … [and] having that sense of control over your work environment is important. That was the part that clicked in my head.”
The project manager position carried more responsibility, but that was something that Pomeroy welcomed.
“The whole point is to put our name on a project, take responsibility for the good and the bad, and that way it is more about creating relationships with the customers that will encourage further work,” he said.
His current title as lead project manager carries added responsibilities.
“The big difference is that I have more control over both the front and the back end of our projects,” Pomeroy explained. “On the front end, I get the projects earlier to look at them and see where it’s going to be assigned and what kind of project it’s going to be. On the backend…I take care of the invoicing to our customer and pay the bills to our manufacturers…make sure everything is tied up.”
Pomeroy and his sister grew up in Rochester, N.Y.
“I was actually born in South Korea. I was adopted and came over here when I was five months old,” he said.
He also earned his master’s degree at Virginia Tech in STS—science and technology studies.
“It is a relatively new field,” he said. “It’s about studying technology and science and how it has grown throughout history and how it impacts people in their lives today.”
Pomeroy has a dog, a chocolate Labrador named Riley. He is also an avid collector and fan of comic books.
“I like the ones where there are classic characters, classic stories but that take place in a different setting and in a different world, with different ideas,” he said.
Ask for his favorite and Pomeroy answers immediately.
“In my opinion, the best comic strip of all time would definitely be Calvin and Hobbes,” he said. “They are remarkably thoughtful as well….”
Q. What advice would you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. I would say get involved in the actual processes at an earlier stage. Get familiar with the actual products out there. Get familiar with how people along different stages in this industry operate. Be able to communicate and understand the point of view of a general contractor who is having to deal with a factory which is stuck because they’re waiting for parts from one of their vendors. Being able to empathize with them is very important to understanding how to deal with it and make sure that everyone is able to get that project completed.
Q. Where do you see the industry in five years?
A. I see the industry being more closely tied to the energy industry. I believe that lighting will be one part of the industry that will be pushing renewable energy. The way that our economy is designed, being intertwined not just here but everywhere else around the world—it presents an opportunity for physical growth in a very tangible sense. [For example, the way] you can see buildings going up. So I believe that lighting will be a like a vanguard in the changes were going to see in technology.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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