BRANSON, Mo. – Rusty Priest, branch manager for the new CES Branson store, has been in the electrical supply business for a while.
He started delivering for Consolidated Electrical Distributors as a side job in college. When he graduated in 2008, there weren’t many openings in his field of study, so he continued with electrical wholesale. After moving up the ladder and holding several positions with Wholesale Electric Supply, he moved to City Electric Supply about four months ago.
At Wholesale he was an area manager and oversaw two stores in Arkansas that he helped open. But when the opportunity came to start a branch from the ground up for CES, Priest decided to make the change.
“It’s as close as you can get to running your own business,” Priest said. “And it’s all on you, but that’s a good thing in a way.”
Priest brought several of his team members from Wholesale with him, including CES Branson’s new operations manager, inside salesperson, and counter salesperson. The Branson staff has worked hard to maintain relationships with customers from previous jobs and to bring those clients over to CES.
They’ll be servicing customers from a fully renovated building just south of Branson in Hollister, Missouri. To make the building fit their needs, the team knocked out walls, removed drop ceilings, removed flex duct, painted, and stripped and sealed concrete flooring.
The Branson branch is in a prime location, close to Menards, Lowe’s, and Sherwin-Williams, in an area of town that contractors already frequent and are familiar with. Priest anticipates getting some business from DIYers, though his focus is more on professionals and larger companies.
“Branson is a big timeshare city, so some of the property management companies will be our targets. We’re also already doing business with some contractors in the area,” Priest said.
Priest is excited to have this opportunity to grow the CES brand. Because there are currently no locations in his former stomping grounds in Arkansas, he aims to serve the customers he had there from the Branson store. He’d eventually like to spearhead opening a few more new branches in Arkansas.
“That’s one of my main goals is to get us into Arkansas. Get some locations opened up and create opportunity for all of us,” Priest said.
Visit CES Branson at:
139 Industrial Park Plaza, Suite A
Hollister, MO 65672