The Black Sheep Returns: How to Thrive in a Family-Owned Construction Business I Ep. 49


Craig Gini is an owner along with his two brothers, Kevin, Brian, and his dad Gene of Collins Electrical Company, a $177m contractor headquartered in Modesto, CA. He is Vice President and Renewables Manager.

He is responsible for a company-wide focus on “Green Technologies” and “Energy Efficiency.” Craig has been involved in the installation of energy-efficient lighting for nearly eight million square feet of Ford and Chrysler facilities nationwide. He has also been the driving force behind almost 68 Megawatts of Utility-Scale and Distributed Generation solar installations throughout all of California.

Craig’s focus is to bring back the values of true “Customer Service” by being attentive to his customer’s needs. He is dedicated to the process of utilizing a “Team Approach,” consulting with his customers to develop programs that are customized to benefit each individual and present “Efficient Solutions” as a viable option to the customer’s needs.

Join me as we discuss his journey from acting back to the family business. How he learned the trade, launched a company within a company, and contributed to the steady growth and success of Collins Electrical.


  • The black sheep returns: Craig’s journey back to the family construction business
  • How Craig learned to work hard at an early age
  • Starting as an apprentice at thirty-eight years old
  • How Craig quickly grew in his new career
  • Earning respect for performance and profitability
  • What Craig’s dad taught him about generosity and fairness
  • How to ensure that field personnel feel appreciated
  • How Craig built his own “business within the business.”
  • Craig’s “magical board” goal-setting process
  • The challenges and pains of growing his division from $400,000 to $10 million to $30+ million
  • How to balance employee’s capabilities and customer demands
  • Getting out of the micromanaging doom loop
  • How Craig learned to delegate and to utilize other’s strengths to shore up his weaknesses
  • How to target clients that value a partnership relationship
  • Riding the wave of industry change (without wiping out)
  • How Craig manages the sibling dynamic with his two brothers
  • The importance of culture and how leadership drives that in a company
  • How to maintain trust in the core leadership group
  • Why presenting a united leadership front is vital to organizational harmony and health
  • Craig’s favorite restaurant: Paul Martin’s American Grill

Since 1928, Collins Electrical Company has successfully managed multiple succession transitions. How well prepared are you for your business transition?  

Find out by clicking this link and taking a short assessment.

The results will show you where you are strong, and where you may need help.  

Podcast Reviews

Why the Construction Industry is Foundational to the Success of California | Ep 12


How to Win the Battle Against Silos | Ep 19

Pat, Glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate the feedback. I'll have some more episodes in the same vein, coming soon. Eric

How to Win the Battle Against Silos | Ep 19

Eric, really enjoyed this podcast. Extreme Leadership is one of my favorite business books. Nice to see that you are incorporating some of their leadership strategies into your podcasts.

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