From Apprentice to Electrical Contractor
Darrell Reid is a journeyman electrician working for various area contractors in the oil/gas industry for the last five years. He got his experience assisting other electricians while completing theory course work by correspondence. He started out as a floorhand (worm) and worked his way up to a derrickhand. Now it was time to go out on his own, and become an oil field electrical contractor that employs electricians. He became well known in the oil field business as a major asset to them. Darrell started out his business, Sand Butte Rig Service, Inc., in 2007, with himself and one other electrician. He now has four electricians working for him.
The oil field electricians usually work long hours, outdoors, in all weather conditions, dusty, dirty, hot, wet or in confined spaces and in other uncomfortable places. They usually have to stand for long periods of time and may also be required to work at heights on masts, towers and roofs. Electricians risk injury from electrical shock, falls, and cuts. Work is generally hard and physically demanding.
When the drilling slowed down a few years ago, Darrell and Dan Moline, Vice President of Lending, for Wyoming National Bank in Riverton visited about SBA Express Loans. He ended up needing the Express Loan for two years in a row and repaid the loans consecutively each year. Now, after going through one year, he has applied for another Express Loan, which is being processed at this time.
Darrell enjoys being with his wife, Annette, and their two sons, ages eight and two. In the oil/gas industry there are times when his business takes him outside of Wyoming for jobs. He doesn’t like to leave his family, but has to go where the work is. When he gets a call to go to North Dakota, off he goes. They have just rented office space in town and Annette hopes to be able to move their office things in soon. Now she will have lots of space to work on the accounting records for the business. When Darrell finds time away from work, he likes to volunteer his time at the USA Wind River Wrestling Club, which consists of local kids from the Pavillion, Wyoming area, ages 3 to 16. Both his sons are active wrestlers, following in their fathers’ footsteps.
In June of 1986, Reno, Nevada, Keith Richardson founded Sierra Trading Post. The company purchased name-brand overstocks and closeouts and passed the savings on to its customers – selling dress, casual and outdoor clothing, footwear, home furnishings, accessories and gear at savings of 35 to 70 percent.
In 1992, the company relocated to Cheyenne, Wyoming where it obtained a 504 loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help purchase land, construct a building and purchase equipment. On completion of the 30,000 square foot facility, the stage was set for a period of substantial growth. Sales increased with catalog mailings exceeding 20 million worldwide. In a little over two years, Sierra Trading had outgrown their facility and needed to expand their storage capacity. In December 1994 they again obtained a 504 loan from the SBA to help with construction of a 36,000 square foot addition and to purchase automated shipping and handling equipment. .
Today Sierra Trading Post has four retail stores in Boise, Idaho; Reno, Nevada; Cheyenne and Cody, Wyoming and two customer service call centers in Cheyenne and Cody. The corporate facilities in Cheyenne total about 500,000 square feet with 60 acres set aside for future expansion. They started with a staff of 65 and now employ more than 700 employees. More than 150 telephone representatives at the call centers handle up to 150,000 calls monthly – 90 percent of these calls are answered in 30 seconds. Their shipping department moves 5,500 to 7,500 orders daily and the majority are shipped within 24 hours. The company currently works with more than 1,000 vendors who look to Sierra Trading Post first when they have closeouts to sell.
Sierra Trading Post offers its products through three convenient channels: four retail stores, four mail order catalog titles and its online store, SierraTradingPost.com. Catalogs have expanded since 1986 from the initial 16-page catalog mailing of 100,000 to four catalog titles with an annual circulation of 30,000,000. Sierra Trading Post is in the top 100 internet retailers in the United States and currently 74th on the internet retailer list.
The current Executive Vice President, Gary Imig, said “We didn’t own any real estate back then and capital in those days was hard to get to build. SBA was very instrumental in the financing of our first building, we couldn’t have done it without SBA.”
Should you meet Mike Ohu, you would know he is a self made man, you can’t help but admire what he has done with the Cheyenne Motel by taking it from rags to riches with the help of an 7(a) Guaranteed Loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on April 15, 2003. When Mike hired Steve Johnson, almost two year ago, to be his director/manager, he found a very dependable employee. Now, Mike is doing it again, by getting another SBA 7(a) Guaranteed Loan to do the same renovation with the Round-up Motel in Cheyenne.
Mike had two years of college in the Nazerine Bible College, six years in the U.S. Army and retired from the US Post Office after 13 years of service. He decided to invest in the Cheyenne Motel, his family wondered why, but were very much behind him.
The reputation of the Cheyenne Motel was quite a hurtle for Mike to get over. It was known for being a motel where alcoholics and drug addicts were found. Mike cleaned this up, the changes were a miracle, he made it happen!
It was only after purchasing the Cheyenne Motel that Mike discovered several units had water damage to the ceilings and when you turned on the water it was brown. The pipes for the motel were too small to handle the supply. The air conditioning kept popping fuses, the ice machine wasn’t working and the phone system needed upgrading. All in all, Mike reinvested everything the Cheyenne Motel brought in, for upgrades and repair work, trying to get it ready for Frontier Days. After Frontier Days, Mike continued to reinvest up until 2006 when finally the motel was in full operating and functional condition. Now that this was achieved, Mike continues to reinvest to remodel all rooms, one at a time, to offer his customers an attractive and comfortable room at an affordable price.
Mike feels 100% strong since purchasing this motel and has a lot of confidence in himself. He says that customer service and being helpful and kind to people in need is very important to him. That is why, from time to time, he hired needy people to help him with some of the renovation of the motel.
Oh yes, the mascot, Maxie, is the official greeter in the front office, he will treat you as family. You can find Mike at 1601 E. Lincoln Way, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 307-632-6802.