New owner Tim Buchanan has 24 years experience with Listowel company
LISTOWEL – “That’s still my key focus – to focus on the customer’s best interest to offer a fair price and a quality product in the end.”
As an employee of J.E. Gabel Electric for 24 years, Tim Buchanan has seen his share of changes at the Listowel-based company. And now he finds himself at the centre of another big change, as the 46-year-old Atwood native and former Gabel’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) manager takes over ownership from Dan Raycraft. Raycraft purchased the business in 2017 from company founder Jack Gabel, who started it in 1986.
“I looked at it when Jack was selling it three years ago,” said Buchanan, adding that he moved into the position of HVAC manager in 2017 after 20 years as a mechanic with the company. “At that time, I probably wasn’t really comfortable with the office atmosphere. Over the last three years, I’ve grown into that role and feel a lot more comfortable doing what I’m doing now.
“Dan’s a very caring guy. He’s going down a different path in life, and I wish him all the best.”
Buchanan, husband to Kim and a father of two, is a Fanshawe College graduate in construction engineering and air conditioning refrigeration technology. He began his career in the industry with the Culliton brothers in Stratford, before moving on to Union Gas. He then took on an HVAC apprenticeship with Gabel in 1996.
J.E. Gabel Electric provides electrical and plumbing installations and service in the commercial, residential and industrial sectors. The business also performs sheet metal installation and fabrication, as well as gas piping, furnace, gas appliance, fireplace, air conditioning, ventilation, boiler, and in-floor heating installation and service.
The company employs 37 people and primarily services an area that stretches west to Lake Huron and east to Wellesley Township, and everywhere in between. However, Buchanan said that much of J.E. Gabel Electric’s business is still localized within North Perth and the Listowel centre.
“It’s a big operation we’re running here and it’s a busy atmosphere,” he said. “We have a pretty good core group, there’s a lot of knowledge here. A lot of the main guys have been here for 20-plus years. We’ve seen the town grow; we’ve probably been in at least half the houses in Listowel, probably more like three-quarters of the houses over the years.”
Buchanan added that database and technology advances have made service jobs that much easier and more efficient, with staff knowing exactly what equipment clients have in their homes and businesses at the touch of a button.
“All that information is at our fingertips now,” he said. “That’s definitely a huge benefit to servicing our customers.”
Buchanan maintains that J.E. Gabel Electric’s success wouldn’t be possible without of course its loyal clientele, but also its dedicated employees who continue to solidify the company’s ever-growing reputation as one of the area’s top electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning outfits.
“I’m pretty fortunate to have that wealth of knowledge in my employees,” said Buchanan. “It’s the people day-to-day that make this business what it is, and make it so valued to the community and our customers.”
J.E. Gabel Electric is located at 470 Maitland Ave. S. in Listowel. The business can be reached by calling 519-291-4455, or can be found online at gabelelectric.com.