Area electric service company grows from family roots

When Joe Ryan purchased Reliable Electric in 1998, it was a four-person business focusing almost exclusively on residential work, but thanks to new opportunities the Centerville-based business is set to grow and create more jobs.

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Ryan, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, purchased Reliable Electric from his wife’s uncle. Randy McCoy ran the business from 1968 to 1998. McCoy initially bought the business from his own brother Mac who founded the company in 1942.

After a few years, Ryan decided to expand and diversify his offerings after his customers asked if he would consider doing commercial work.

Reliable Electric now employs 90 workers and is a full-service electrical contracting company with a commercial construction division and residential and commercial service departments. Reliable just landed a $2.2 million contract for the residential components of the Arcade Building in downtown Dayton.

“We’re hearing so many amazing stories about the Arcade. Everybody has one,” Ryan said. “When we recently posted on Facebook that we were involved in the project, we were inundated with ‘I remember when’ stories. This is a special project for us, and we are excited to revitalize this historic landmark.”

The company also recently landed the first Fireblocks job in the Huffman Building on Third Street. Reliable plans to wrap up that work by the end of this year.

Centerville Deputy Mayor Belinda Kenley said the ability to land large contracts, while also successfully completing the opportunities is the reason the business is poised to expand.

“The company’s growth is a credit to its leadership. Developers know Reliable brings an A-Team and they want to work them,” Kenley said.

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Reliable is preparing for its own major office renovation in Centerville. The company occupied less than half of the 11,500-square-foot building it owns at 94 Compark Drive when Ryan first moved to the current site.

Over 15 years, the business grew into other sections of the building, and ultimately acquired the remaining 3,600 square feet this summer. An ED/GE grant from Montgomery County will provide $22,061 in funding for construction.

Ryan is planning to remodel 8,000 square feet of its existing building as well as update the exterior. He will also add a high-tech estimating room, an employee café area, and an exercise space. A 2,400 square foot outdoor area for equipment storage will also be constructed.

Ryan estimates these improvements will give him room for about 120 employees, accommodating his intention to add 30 workers over the next few years.

Ryan studied electrical engineering at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. and met his wife Leslie, a Kettering native, at the Academy. The couple now has three children and live in Lebanon.

Reliable is the fourth largest veteran-owned small business in the Dayton area.

“My Reliable team is the reason we are successful and have a strong reputation. I’ve worked hard to surround myself with quality people, and together, we believe becoming wildly successful not only enables us to care for our own families, but to also provide support and investment in our communities,” Ryan said.

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Reliable Electric is projecting a 10 to 15 percent growth each year through 2025. Ryan says his company already has a strong reputation in assisted living projects, downtown urbanization, and manufacturing, and he hopes to engage more with the medical community.

The company recently hired a director of technology in Ryan Mitchell, a former employee and Centerville High School graduate. Mitchell intends to catapult the company into a paperless work environment and improve customer service using digital platforms.

As a local business owner, Ryan invests in workforce development. He works with Centerville High School, Montgomery County and the Warren County Career Center and says he has had great success hiring apprentice level talent.

“We’ve probably had a dozen very successful hires in the last six months. Big hearts, great kids,” Ryan said, adding that with its current backlog, Reliable hopes to hire 10 to 15 additional electricians in the current calendar year.

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