Electrician: ‘Be not afraid’ to merge faith life with business life

| August 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

When Paul Archambault lost his job due to the recession in 2008, he started his own company, Stinson Electric.

He hired other out-of-work electricians — sometimes even putting them on the payroll before there was enough work — and now has grown the company to include 15 employees.

Andrew Klaesges was one of those unemployed tradesmen, and he and his wife, Christine, said they nominated Archambault for the Leading With Faith Award because “he has been a good mentor and strong role model in his electrical business and in his faith life.”

While paying a just wage, Stinson Electric often will do work for churches for little or no profit.

Archambault lectures pro bono at Dunwoody College, where he is on the board of directors. Among other volunteer activities, he has befriended a disabled man, who he and his wife, Pat, bring to church and help with shopping and other tasks.

ArchambaultPaul Archambault, 61

Company Stinson Electric Inc.
Title Owner — Vice President
Parish St Olaf, Minneapolis
Spouse Pat — Owner and President; married 41 years
Children Jennifer Villella (Matt), Michelle Craemer (Jeff), Tom Archambault (Annie), Bob Archambault (Shauna) and nine grandchildren
Volunteer activities Religious education instructor, lector, mentor couple for engaged couples, facility committee member, board of advisors member for Trinity Sober Homes
Education University of Minnesota and Dunwoody College of Technology


 

How do you apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

First and foremost it is important to treat each person with respect and dignity, whether they are an employee, customer or vendor. I always try to see the transaction from the other person’s point of view and try to structure win-win outcomes. In addition we surround ourselves with simple reminders of our faith. My office décor includes a crucifix and family pictures which remind me of who I am and why I am working. We usually pray grace together before we share a meal and invite our non-Catholic employees to take their turn to lead prayer.

One of the great joys we have is being able to serve Catholic churches, schools and senior living facilities by providing affordable electrical repair and construction services, lighting design and installation. It is especially rewarding to complete a re-lighting project in a church and see how it transforms the look and functionality of the space and enhances the worship experience of the congregation. This also gives us a chance to meet other Catholics who are working to build up the Church and in a small way, share in their mission.

We have the pleasure of working with our son Bob, our daughter Michelle and for a short time our daughter Jennifer who has now returned to teach at St. Charles Borromeo. It has been wonderful helping them grow in their career and their faith as adults. Their maturity and leadership have made working together a joy.

Please tell a story about a time when applying your faith at work really made a difference.

The founding of our company in 2008 came out of my job loss during the great recession. Pat and I very much see this company as an answer to our prayers and an opportunity to share our faith. Several of our employees were out of work electricians who share our faith and values. We took a risk each time that we added an employee to help them meet their employment needs before we had enough work to justify hiring them. Several of our employees were looking for a workplace that reflected their values and would allow them to integrate family and work. We make every effort to help them meet this goal.

Who or what has been most inspirational to you in bringing your faith to the marketplace?

There are several people who have inspired me to be unapologetically Catholic in the way we approach the business. Cary Becker of Becker Building and Remodeling who does a beautiful job integrating his faith, family and business life. Mary Ann Kuharski, director of Pro Life Across America, who has been a great friend of our family for 35 years and is definitely not shy about expressing her Catholic faith through her work. Father Joseph Johnson, pastor of Holy Family Church, who has been a close friend, advisor and role model for many years.

What achievement at work are you most proud of?

I believe that one of our greatest achievements as a company has been to create a very dynamic, creative and caring work environment. Our employees continue to perform at very high levels of productivity, quality and customer service while they truly have blended into a “band of brothers.” Much of the credit for the cohesiveness and high morale goes to Andy Klaesges who was our first employee and who sets a great example as a man of faith and action.

In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

The Holy Spirit is very active in our lives, which is apparent if we allow ourselves to see the fruits of his handiwork. When we were getting started during the recession and work opportunities were difficult to find, Pat and I and many of our friends turned to God in prayer for the success of Stinson Electric. Often we are overwhelmed with the number of new customers and projects that came as a result of fervent prayer.

What advice do you have for others who want to lead with faith?

Be not afraid! Integrate your business life with your faith life. I often remind our employees that the most important success factor in any business or career is summed up in one word: relationships. The primary relationship is your relationship with God which helps you gain grace and wisdom. The quality of your relationships with family, employees, customers, vendors and the larger community are guided by your relationship with God. You will be better able to understand your role as a servant leader and put your resources to work in a manner that is pleasing to God.

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Category: Leading With Faith