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Electric Engineer Named Small Business Person of the Year
Orlando, FL --- Andre Uribe, Co-Founder and vice president of Business Development for Power Grid Engineering, LLC (PGE), has been named the 2013 North Florida District Small Business Person of the Year. Uribe’s company has seen tremendous success, growing their electrical engineering firm from a small three person startup to a multi-million dollar corporation with nearly 100 employees in just six years.
Uribe attributes the company’s success to the firm’s commitment to quality assurance. Six years ago, PGE was founded on a vision to transform the way electrical engineering consultants provide service to utility clients throughout the industry when Uribe, along with his co-founders Michael Wright and Glenn Durie, identified an opportunity to improve an industry wide problem related to a lack of quality assurance standards.
Prior to PGE, the trio worked as electrical engineers in the area of Protection & Control for one of nation’s largest investor owned utilities where they witnessed firsthand the lack of consistency and quality among consultants. The three saw this as an opportunity to serve as a leader in bringing quality standards to the industry and created a model that would focus on quality assurance, and aim at serving investor owned utility (IOU) clients.
Their model has proven to be quite successful. PGE reported more than $11 million in revenues in Fiscal Year 2012, and serves several Fortune 250 IOU‘s. The firm’s growth has been led by Uribe who is responsible for identifying new service lines, opening new offices and expanding the company’s geographic reach.
Uribe also analyzes industry trends and federal regulations to help identify new opportunities. In 2012, Uribe advised the firm to explore “smart grid” projects created as a result of federal regulators urging utilities to make technological advancements to aging electrical grids. As a result, PGE was awarded their first five million dollar contract for a yearlong smart grid project.
The firm also recognizes that the level of growth they have achieved would not have been possible without proper business planning. When the company was first founded, Uribe and his partners worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Central Florida to put systems in place to help them achieve their business goals. Uribe says “taking advantage of the SBC’s free business counseling in our early days was a wise decision that likely helped us avoid many pitfalls we may have otherwise faced.”
In addition to creating a profitable and fast growing business, the three partners have incorporated internal policies that aim to give back to the community and industry. Last year, beyond the firm’s philanthropic community efforts, Uribe created an incentive program for employees to volunteer their time towards charitable efforts. This incentive allows employees paid time each month to serve their community during regularly scheduled business hours. As a result of this program, PGE employees logged more than 235 hours in 2012.
PGE is also committed to “training the next generation,” and has partnered with local colleges to establish internship and co-op programs. Uribe has taken the leading role in developing a program that gives students an opportunity to apply their academic theories and education to real life projects. The firm also partners with local middle schools and high schools with engineering educational tracks to encourage students to consider careers in electrical engineering.
Prior to Uribe’s successful career as an engineer, he served four years in the United States Navy as a Communications Specialist. Upon his four year completion of active service, Uribe enrolled at the University of Central Florida where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 2004.
For more information about Power Grid Engineering, LLC (PGE), please visit www.powergridengineering.com or call (321) 244-0170.
For more information about the SBDC, please visit www.floridasbdc.org.