Every month, we highlight one of our amazing contractors to showcase the top-tier services they provide to the greater mid-Michigan community.
This month, we are excited to feature Swan Electric, located in Lansing. We spoke with the company’s President, Jennifer Van Dyke, to learn more about Swan, the electrical services the team provides, and Jennifer’s role as President.
Q: What is your role at Swan Electric?
A: I am the President of Swan Electric. I oversee the day-to-day business administration and accounting activities of the company. I work with my brother, David Swan, who oversees the operations and estimating of Swan.
Q: How long have you worked at Swan?
A: I taught at Virginia Commonwealth University before joining Swan Electric full-time in 2004 as the company’s administrator. I became vice president in 2012, and I took over my current role as president in 2015. I also serve as a member of the IBEW-NECA Labor Management Cooperation Fund committee and serve on the Michigan Chapter NECA Board of Directors.
Q: What brought you into the electrical industry?
A: We are a third generation electrical contracting company. Swan was started by my grandfather, Herb Swan, in 1966. My father, Lynn Swan, took over in 1980 and ran the company. I was living out of state when my father reached out for my help on a big project in 2004, and I never left the company after that project.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: What I like most is the variety of my work. There are always set tasks that I need to complete, but that all changes with one phone call. From crunching numbers with accountants to discussing an issue with an employee, my days vary so much, and I really enjoy that aspect of my job.
Q: What are the current goals that Swan is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
A: Safety is one of our main priorities. We try to practice and preach safety on every project. We have a robust safety program that came out of working in the oil and gas industry in the 80’s, and we have continued to build on that over the years.
Safety always has to be the priority — one day it’s snow, the next day it’s working at extreme heights. As soon as you’re complacent with safety, it’s too late. We try to reinforce that the practices and procedures we lay out on the jobsite are also something that should be followed at home as well. We want our employees safe wherever they are.
Q: How would you describe Swan in 5 words or less?
A: Trusted partner. Quality. Safe. Efficient.
Q: What should customers know about Swan? Why should they choose Swan for their electrical service needs?
A: Our philosophy is working to be a project partner. We work with owners and customers who are trying to partner for the best solution for their situation. We’re working with trade-qualified electricians and we’re working to create a safe environment for the project.
Sometimes the work isn’t always going to be the cheapest price, but you can rest assured that it’s going to be the best value.
Q: What or who is your biggest influence as a leader?
A: I would say my father, Lynn Swan. I credit him for creating the culture we have at Swan Electric of building a good team, trusting the people you work with, being honest, and having high integrity.
Q: What achievement are you most proud of, professionally with Swan or personally?
A: I am most proud of the way our employees take care of each other. In the field and in the office, we support each other, without question. It’s a dedication to the company, but it’s more of a dedication to each other.
Our projects are also something I'm proud of. From the solar field in Lansing to our work at General Motors, we do some interesting projects.
Q: What is more unique about Swan than other electrical companies? What is the company culture like?
A: We strive to create an environment at Swan where people want to work with us until they retire, both in the field and in the office. Those are the types of long standing relationships we try to establish within our organization as well as outside of our organization with repeat customers.
The Swan Electric team brings the electrical experience, the business how-to, and the partner project approach that helps lead to strong working relationships and successful outcomes on projects.