Chad Strecker, 40 Under 40

Chad Strecker, 40 Under 40

Age: 39

Hometown: Billings

Chad Strecker is working to make his business grow. He started out working as an apprentice, then journey and now out on his own. Clients speak of how they've been impressed to be treated like family. His family is amazed by his dedication.

How did you decide to become an electrician?

After graduating from high school, I started in construction as a tile installer. After six years I realized that I wanted a new challenge, and had the opportunity to sign on as an apprentice electrician.

What is a good day in your business?

Walking through a completed job with a client and having them thank you for a great job, all while knowing I have five to 10 more jobs to finish, hopefully with the same results.

Having your own business and working for yourself is bold. Were you ever worried you were going to fail?

I think at the very beginning those thoughts where there, but once we hit the ground running it all felt natural. There was no looking back, for me the satisfaction of working for myself and gratitude from my customers has been extremely satisfying.

Where do you see your business 10 years from now?

I definitely see growth. I am working with a young apprentice now with the hopes to add more electricians and then expand my storefront and/or build a shop.

What made you decide to make Billings your home?

Growing up in a small town, Custer, Montana, I liked the opportunities that Billings presented and yet enabled me to stay close to family.

How do you maintain a work-family-life balance?

This is the hardest balancing act that I have. I typically start my day very early in the morning, which frees up the time needed in the evenings for my children’s extracurricular activities along with a sit-down dinner with my family.

What is the best piece of advice ever given to you, and who gave that to you?

My father always told me to stop and smell the roses, don’t get too focused on the job and forget why we are doing what we are doing. You have to remember the wonderful people that we are working so hard for.

Your nominators all mention the importance of family. How did that value become so instilled in you?

From a very young age, my brother and I would go to work with our Dad, some of my most fondest and colorful memories come from those times. Now I get to enjoy spending time with my children when they want to come along to work with me. My wife is my right-hand person and I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

Tell us about the failure in which you learned the most?

I wouldn’t necessarily say there was one gigantic failure. I have learned over the years from many small mistakes that help me in my decision-making every day.

If you couldn’t do what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?

I would own a small farm or ranch. You can take the boy off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.