Laura Richardson, President/Principal, KolKay Electric, Inc. (DBE/WBE Certified)

Why did you choose a career in the electrical trade?

My career in the electrical trade stems from a blend of family influence, personal interest, and a marital connection. Growing up around my father’s construction business, I developed an appreciation and fascination for the trades from a young age. Witnessing the tangible results of running a company fueled my passion and desire to start KolKay. Additionally, marrying an electrician provided me with firsthand insight into the electrical trade, highlighting its potential opportunities and advantages. This convergence of factors ultimately led me to open KolKay Electric, driven by a deep-rooted passion and a desire to make a meaningful impact in the field.

What do you love most about your job? 

What I love most about my job is the ability to provide our employees with livable wages, comprehensive health benefits, and a supportive environment. At KolKay, we prioritize the financial security and health of our workforce, understanding that it directly impacts their job satisfaction and overall quality of life. Emphasizing family and personal health, I started this company to prioritize my own family, and I extend that priority to our employees. At KolKay, we believe in working hard and playing hard, ensuring our employees have the opportunity to recharge and enjoy their personal lives, ultimately supporting their holistic well-being and happiness.

What advice would you give to other females looking at a future in the trades?

Firstly, recognize the progress made in inclusivity and diversity within the electrical trade. While challenges persist, opportunities for women have significantly expanded, with more support networks available than ever before. I also believe in allowing yourself to explore diverse opportunities within the trade beyond traditional roles like electricians. Consider roles in project management, estimation, or sales within supply houses.  I encourage you to seek out support and mentorship from other women in the industry or through formal programs like those offered by NECA, IBEW or other professional networks. Connecting with others can provide valuable guidance and encouragement. Lastly, stay resilient and persistent in the face of challenges. Always, focus on your goals, persevere through setbacks, and celebrate your achievements along the way. Remember, resilience and persistence are key to success in any career path.

How have your life experiences helped you to succeed in the trades?

My life experiences have been instrumental in my success in running my company. My strong work ethic, coupled with a willingness to listen and learn from others in the field and within the office, has allowed me to navigate challenges and seize opportunities effectively. By taking ownership of my actions, I’ve not only contributed to my individual success but also fostered a positive work environment. These qualities have enhanced my effectiveness as the owner of KolKay Electric, enabling me to lead by example and inspire those around me to strive for excellence. Through dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to continuous improvement, I’ve been able to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals in the industry, along with building a fulfilling and rewarding business.

What is the coolest project you’ve been a part of and why?

The coolest project I’ve had the privilege of being a part of was the specialty electrical work on the Climate Pledge Arena. This venue holds significant prominence as an iconic and high-profile location, renowned for hosting major events and sports competitions. The opportunity for KolKay Electric to contribute to the electrical infrastructure of such a renowned facility fills me with immense pride and a profound sense of accomplishment. Every time I attend an event at the arena, I’m reminded of the role our team played in bringing this venue to life. It’s not just about the technical aspects of the project; it’s about being a part of something larger, something that leaves a lasting impact on the community and the world stage.

KolKay Electric, Inc.
931 Washington Avenue
Enumclaw, WA 98022