FOR SIXTEEN YEARS, Scott & Tammy Gordon have worked to keep Electrical Control Techniques Sales & Service (ECT) energized and growing. Though, as is the case with most small businesses, that hasn’t always been easy.
In October 2000, Scott started ECT, and soon after Tammy joined him there full time. Together they bring more than 60 years of experience in electrical engineering and the electricity industry to the business, and the rest of their team adds even more on top of that.
“We started small,” Scott says, “but by the time we built our facility in 2007, we were growing quickly and riding a real high. But then the economy crashed, and we, like a lot of other businesses, weren’t sure how we were going to make it.”
“The ups and downs of the economy really forced us to be flexible,” Tammy says. “Finding ways to adjust to the changes in our industry, and finding new ways to meet the needs of our customers, has been the key to our survival.”
“I’d say that’s our biggest strength,” Scott adds, “our ability to reinvent ourselves when we need to, and our drive to power through challenges.”
One of those challenges was the inhospitable financial environment that developed in the wake of the housing market collapse.
“When we started ECT,” Tammy says, “our main business account was with another financial institution. We had a good relationship with them, but as they changed and grew, we lost the personal connection we’d had. We still financed our building with them, but the interest rate on our commercial loan was fairly high. So in 2010, after interests rates had dropped quite a bit, we talked to them about refinancing our loan with a lower rate. But they weren’t willing to do that. So I went to America First. I’ve been a member since 1986, and we already had a couple of our business accounts there. They stepped right in and helped us refinance the loan with a great interest rate. That’s what really started our great business relationship with America First
"When that opportunity arose to refinance our commercial loan through America First, we jumped on it,” Scott says with a laugh. “And it’s been a lot better since.”
“With America First, I get that personal connection and service,” Tammy says. “When I have a problem, I can call them and know I’ll get help. When I call other places, I never know where I’m going to end up; I might get transferred a hundred times and still not get the answer that I need. But with America First, I’ve got people. I can pick up the phone and call a specific person I know and have a good relationship with. And even if that person can’t help with a particular problem, they make sure to connect me with someone who can.”
“America First has always been impressive to me because of the way they treat their members. They treat us like we matter—not like we’re just accounts, but like we’re people. And you feel like a member, you feel like part of it, like the credit union really cares about you. That means a lot to me because it’s how we feel about our customers. They are who we are. We understand the challenges they face. And without them, we’d be nothing.”
Scott & Tammy also know they have what it takes to overcome any challenges that may arise, and that makes them optimistic about the future of ECT.
“We definitely plan to continue growing,” Scott says, “to move with the economy, stay flexible, continue finding ways to give our customers what they need, and to continue finding ways to provide for our families.”
“This business is a true American family-owned small business,” Tammy says. “We’re hoping to pass it on to our sons, and we know we’ll have what we need to do that with the help of America First.”