Fred Sargent

Freelance Writer

Former CEO of a nationally-ranked electrical contracting firm, now with 45 years experience in the business, Fred Sargent today focuses on programs to benefit the advancement of service and maintenance work in the overall sales mix of electrical contractors.

Articles by Fred Sargent

April 2017
Electrical contractors who have built a successful business in commercial or industrial construction are quick to offer very standard explanations as to why they never pursue residential service work.
February 2017
Rachel Hienz would have never expected the situation that was about to unfold as she entered a bank branch one morning. She was there for a pre-job walk-through with other representatives of companies that would soon begin renovations on the building.
December 2016
Organizations, particularly contracting businesses, tend to fade from history rather quickly. So, whenever we encounter a great old company such as Harrington Electric Co. in Cleveland, which is about to celebrate its 110th year of continuous operation, we have to ask how it has managed to hang around so long. What is the secret to such extraordinary longevity? READ MORE
June 2016
It was just another beautiful Thursday afternoon in San Francisco when someone on an upper floor of a gleaming downtown office tower, taking time out for a quick game of bean bag toss, put a little too much arm in his delivery, hit a sprinkler head on the ceiling, and set off the building’s emergency sprinkler system. READ MORE
April 2016
Started in St. Louis in 1953, PayneCrest Electric Co. Inc. is broadly diversified in electrical and communications installation work, which the company now takes on throughout the United States. Its signature “PCE way” embodies a customer-centered philosophy with a constant drive toward creative solutions that has resulted in an impressive project resume and an enviable client roster.
February 2016
In 1999, Kevin Ashton, a British entrepreneur making a presentation about radio frequency identification (RFID) to a major U.S.-based consumer products manufacturer titled his slide “Internet of Things.” That expression, often abbreviated “IoT,” is now a permanent part of business vocabulary and denotes where the physical world and cyberspace have collided to give us not only new words but, better READ MORE
December 2015
Malcolm Gladwell, author of several New York Times bestsellers, offered a great lesson for electrical contractors in his most recent book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.” While he wrote it for a general audience—and certainly never mentions electrical contracting—within its pages there are plenty of takeaway lessons for the majority of electrical contractor READ MORE
October 2015
When Chris Chastain took time out to talk with us, he revealed two facts about himself that we highlighted and circled in our notes in preparation to write this column. The first is a special part of his personal work history. The second is a surprise that we divulge at the end of this column.
  • Chris Nichols, Vice President of Special Projects, Sequoyah Electric
August 2015
“Sequoyah” may look like an alternate spelling for the species of majestic trees that grace the landscape of the western United States. Actually, Sequoyah was the name of a Native American who is the only individual ever known to have single-handedly invented an entire “alphabet” (more exactly, a “syllabary” made up of 86 characters) that was adopted by an entire nation. READ MORE