Star City Six – Crystal Collins
Oak Electric, Inc. is a locally-owned and operated, full-service electrical contractor. Crystal Collins is the owner and president of Oak Electric.
Tell us a little about your business.
Oak Electric is a 100% woman owned and operated company. We have a fantastic team of individuals who care about precision and craftsmanship and who can represent Oak Electric’s core values while providing a wide range of services to both residential and commercial customers.
How did you get started in the business?
My husband Matt has been an electrician since the day we met, and I have always been impressed by his vast array of knowledge. With his talent and my background in business administration, we decided to open Oak Electric.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Staffing shortages. The electrical industry, among other trades, are facing a staffing crisis. With a flourishing economy and shortage of tradesmen, it makes it difficult to respond in a timely fashion with our customers. We, as a society, need to encourage the next generation to consider a career in the trades.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
They say that a referral is the best compliment, and it truly is. Having a customer share our name or call us back for continued service is very rewarding.
Tell us a little about your family.
Matt and I are blessed with two boys, ages 13 and 19. Our youngest is an eighth grader at Scott Middle School, and our oldest is on campus enjoying his freshman year at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by my 19-year-old son Grant. He is majoring in special education. He has so much patience when working with special needs children, and he embraces all the differences. To see him in action inspires me to love more and critique less.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
The day I resigned from my corporate job with a corner office. Starting your own company can be scary, liberating, and exciting at the same time.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
We all live in such a fast-paced, connected world. I am so grateful for a day off when I can be with my family and dis-engage, preferably at the lake.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When I was a little girl, I was told that I can do and be anything I want if I put my mind to it and work hard.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). One of our boys was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was only four years old. Since that day, our lives were forever changed. For many years, we participated in fundraisers and, for the past two years, Oak Electric has been a corporate sponsor.
What is your favorite movie?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite movie, but I really enjoy going to the movie theater.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?