Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Industry: Electrical Construction
Jonathan Fowler always puts family first.
“I consider my team my family just as much as others in my life, and equally important are their families,” Fowler said. “I choose to lead with integrity and humility, and it is my responsibility to provide a safe company for everyone involved.”
Born into the business, Fowler, vice president, of J.F. Electric, a 5th generation family-owned company, said he never questioned what he wanted to be in life.
“I knew I wanted to be like my dad,” he said.
Joining his father in the family business at age 15, Fowler eventually graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a degree in electrical engineering. He then went to work for his mother’s business, Donco Electrical Construction (now Utilitra).
“I started to analyze the business and made a decision to go in a completely different direction. I decided to sell the similar divisions of Donco to J.F. and start new complementary lines of business,” Fowler said. “We also purchased the engineering division from J.F. along with the meter reading division to condense those offerings to one company.”
Fowler found that as the company changed, so did the margins.
“Donco was offering commercial, industrial, and utility electrical construction when I started in 2010, and when I left to go back to J.F. in 2017, Donco offered electrical engineering, meter reading, and fleet and mechanic and IT services. Revenues grew 50% over this time period and profits rose 425%. In 2017 I became an owner of J.F. Electric and have been working with our vice presidents and managers to diversify our markets and focus in the areas that we will thrive in.” He added, “Our revenue was just above 200 million in 2017, and we will close out this year approaching 300 million.”
Fowler’s hard work and dedication has not gone unacknowledged. Supportive of his community and many charities, he was named in The 2018 St. Louis Business Journals 40 under 40 and 2019 People to Watch. Earning a keynote speaking engagement at the SIUE Engineering gala, and winning The 2016 Business of the Year award, the company has remained consistent on the top 150 privately held companies in St. Louis and was recently named The Largest St. Louis Electrical Contractor.
Fowler said in the next five years he would like to continue to work on multiple projects including diversifying offerings within the current customer base, while increasing margins through further efficiency and technology.
While he is proud of his accomplishments and his goals thus far, he is the most proud of the respect that he has attained from his co-workers and peers.
“I have our family of employees in mind and will find the best opportunities and the most successful paths for us to go down. I trust in the people I am working with and allow them the latitude to be successful.” He added, “Great companies are made of teams not individuals.”
And in Fowler’s world, those teams are based on family.
Jonathan owns a restaurant in Edwardsville called Moussalli's Prime with his best friends from 7th grade.