Dan Puente
Owner/President, D.P. Electric, Inc.

Years in CRE: 33
Years at company: 23

What was it about the industry that attracted you?
I was very young when I first started in this industry. I learned quickly that this industry offers opportunity; you get out of it what you put into it. You can rise through the ranks working for someone or you can carve your own path and work for yourself. This industry is also filled with good, hardworking people who are always willing to help others succeed.

How has the industry changed since you started?
There are three things that come to mind: technology, improving efficiencies and contracts. When I started, my method of communication was a pager, a roll of quarters, pay phones and a fax machine with that rolled paper that turned black in sunlight. Today, our field managers use iPads as a common tool in the field. Technology has also helped with improving efficiencies. With everything at your fingertips, it has helped pave the way for lean construction and IPD delivery methods. The only negative in my opinion is the advancement of contractual legalities. When I first started, contracts were a couple of pages long and now they are two inches thick. Contracts today deflect all the responsibilities onto the subcontractors. Fortunately, there are a lot of good people in this industry, and we rarely have to refer to the contracts when issues arise; we just talk them out and the responsible partner steps up.

Of what professional achievement are you most proud?
I would have to say the growth of the people in DPE. I often say that personal and professional growth are interrelated. This is very true for us. With the dynamic people at DPE, the company has grown to be known as one of the premier electrical contractors in the commercial industry. One other thing that comes to mind is how the DP team handled the adversity of the recession. We all made sacrifices, changed and adapted to the new normal and stayed positive doing it. As the owner, I am very fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by so many awesome people. I have no doubt that someday when the DP at DP Electric retires, this company will live way beyond me. I am proud of that accomplishment.