Blaire Barlow, 29
Director of Marketing and Business Development
Wholesale Electric Supply
Blaire’s entry into electrical distribution was actually a shift in careers. “After a career in teaching, I moved back to my hometown, Texarkana, Texas, where Wholesale Electric Supply was founded,” said Blaire. “I knew I wanted to make a change into a different field. The McCulloch family, owners of Wholesale Electric Supply, recognized a talent in me that I had no idea I had. Wholesale Electric prides itself on heavily rooted relationships with customers, manufacturers, and employees—and I quickly learned that my talent was my emotional connection to people.”
Blaire spent her first six years with the company as director of marketing. Recently, she was promoted to director of marketing and business development. “I will be moving to our Austin, Texas location to assist in growing our business—not only in the Austin metroplex, but also company-wide,” she said.
Blaire acknowledged that, as a new hire, it was the potential for growth that appealed to her. “The potential to grow tremendously with a company and growing relationships across America, truly is something special to be a part of,” she said. “Our company is family owned and operated, which is somewhat unique in our industry. I am thrilled to have a role in something that is making a difference in every community that we grew into.”
Asked to identify a problem the industry is currently facing, Blaire pointed to the lack of employees—both in distribution and manufacturing. “People are your best asset. Electrical distribution isn’t glamorous to a young person. However, I think the more we share with our communities, our colleges, and even our high schools the importance of electrical distribution their eyes will be opened to an industry that ‘sheds light’ on the bigger picture—which is that electrical distribution, and the electrical industry in general, will continue to see record growth while also offering very viable, lucrative, and fulfilling career options,” she said.
Looking ahead, Blaire said her next career goal is to assist in the growth of each market the company moves into. “I believe that continuing to grow and sustain relationships with members of each community is key to our success,” she noted.
What would Blaire tell someone just entering the industry? “You will not know all of the answers and that’s okay!” she said. “Everyone started somewhere. Find a mentor, someone who has been in the industry for a while and pick their brain. Ask them anything and everything. Take notes. Find the one quality that sets you apart from everyone else. Find the quality that shows that you will always go above and beyond. Teach that quality to someone else, tell them it’s mandatory in the industry. Challenge them to come up with a quality that makes them stand out from the rest. It’s called ‘quality re-assurance’ and you as a leader are paying it forward.”
When she’s not working, Blaire spends time volunteering, traveling, yoga, and spending time with her rescue dog, Ollie.
Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2023 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at email@example.com.Tagged with 2022 30 Under 35, 30 under 35, people