yes you can succeed if you baffle them with bull shit.

Spark gone, but Lafferty looks after workers

Feb. 15, 2006 12:00 AM

Michael Lafferty has sold the Phoenix electrical contracting company he founded in 1983, but he isn't retiring.

"I'm repotting my career," Lafferty said, referring to his full-time shift into the development industry.

At the same time, he is making sure that his 120 employees, some of whom have been with Lafferty Electric Inc. for more than 20 years, will continue to have stable jobs with new owner Gaylor Electric of Indiana. advertisement

"This isn't about money. This isn't about me. It's all about them," Lafferty said. "The new owner will take them places I couldn't."

Lafferty, who moved to the Valley in 1980 from Dayton, Ohio, to attend Arizona State University, started his company when he was 20. Within three months, he had $4 million in contracts.

"I wore a suit and tie, and I think people wanted to give me an opportunity," he said. "They asked if I had electricians, and I said, 'Sure.' Of course I didn't, but it was easy to find them back then."

Lafferty's company has done some big Valley wiring projects, including Phoenix City Hall, Burton Barr Central Library and Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center.

He started his career shift 15 years ago, when he began moving into the development industry. A big part of the business is "building neighborhoods," which involves finding land, installing the infrastructure and selling the finished lots to home builders.

He joined with developers from Mexico in a gated community near Puerto Peasco, and he owns a hotel in Florida.

Next up is a plan to build a hotel on property he owns at 12th and Washington streets in Phoenix.

Lafferty said it was in his employees' best interests for him to sell the company because they will get better benefits and more job security. Plus, he was getting burned out on the electrical business, which he said would have affected the operation.

"My passion for the electrical business was going south, and my passion for the development business was going north," he said.


Contributor: Russ Wiles.

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