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Turning New Territory into New Opportunity: Associate Spotlight on P1's Robert Bruegman

P1 Gretna Nebraska

P1 Operations Manager Robert Bruegman grew up in Bloomfield, NE, with a family of farmers. And even though farming continued to run in the family for some of his siblings, Robert always enjoyed the art of “tinkering” with things.

While still in Bloomfield, he worked as a full-time diesel mechanic and part-time apprentice electrician. After getting married, Robert and his wife moved to Lincoln, NE, for a change of pace. It was there he worked for dirt contractor running heavy equipment.

Then something happened that would change his career path forever.

In 1990, Robert was invited to interview with Miller Electric, who offered him an electrician position. That’s where he found just the right career to take those tinkering skills to another level.

“As soon as I tried it, I was hooked, and it’s been a ‘go’ ever since,” Robert said. “Every day in this industry brings new challenges, that is probably what intrigued me most."

“I love working with a team to build something, and then look back at a completed project and know I was involved in making it happen.”

Robert connected with P1 through a working relationship with Vice President Steve Smith.

“I have known Steve Smith for many years, dating back to when he was with Capital Electric. Miller Electric worked as a subcontractor to Capital Electric on the Convention Center in Omaha,” Robert explained.

Robert went from Miller to Capitol City Electric, where he partnered with P1 on several projects over the years.

But eventually Robert was ready for another change, one that might allow him more time to balance family and career, and when he left Capitol City, P1 pounced on the opportunity.

Robert Bruegman Gretna Nebraska

“Executive Vice President Marvin Loecker and Steve reached out to me and ask if I was interested in coming to work for P1 Group,” Robert said.

He says he wasn’t 100 percent sold at the time, but after several more meetings with P1 leadership, he realized this was exactly the right move.

“P1’s reputation precedes it, dating back to the ADJ-Huxtable days,” Robert said. “The reputation for quality, the financial growth, and the overall outlook were all attractive.”

“But most importantly, I know I have the full support and belief of P1 leadership.”

“The second thing was the true family atmosphere at P1,” Robert said. “I worked long hours and missed spending time with my kids earlier in my career, and P1 allows me the flexibility to balance work and family.”

He also had the knowledge and relationships to head up P1’s expansion into the Nebraska territory, and was enthusiastic about leading the new office.

“P1 has seen Nebraska as a potential growth opportunity for some time,” Robert said. “They just didn’t have the person to lead it.”

So when Robert became available, it all fell into place. P1 opened the long-awaited Nebraska office with Robert leading the charge.

But exactly where the office would be located was a topic of much discussion.

“The idea of the office being located in Gretna was kind of my idea,” he said.

There were advantages in both the Omaha and Lincoln markets, so Robert thought splitting the distance between the two big markets would be ideal.

“It’s about 30 miles east to Omaha or 30 miles west to Lincoln,” Robert said. “With Omaha growing quickly and spreading west, the customer opportunities are good.”

“We already have projects with McCarthy and JE Dunn in Omaha, as well as a job with the local contractors,” Robert said.

Robert also knows the manpower in Lincoln and Omaha, and has good relationships already built with those resources.

“I hope to help P1 work with more local general contractors, owners, and developers to bring on a larger work force,” he said. “They can rely on the solid reputation of P1, myself, and Electrical Estimating Manager Brian Gasper. We’re not going anywhere.”

Starting with their first and largest project - the University of Nebraska Omaha Durham Research Center with McCarthy - the Gretna office hit the ground running.

“We’ve picked up a lot of work in a short amount of time,” Robert said.

While the office is starting with electrical construction only, the plan is to eventually bring mechanical construction and P1 Service into the mix.

Robert and Brian were the office’s first employees, with nine Journeymen, two construction workers, and one apprentice currently working in the field.

And the small-but-mighty Gretna team is optimistic about the future.

“Expansion is first and foremost, and I had the space designed to add more offices quickly and economically in the future,” Robert said. “I even have a hand shake deal with the landlord to acquire more space if needed.”

“It’s also rewarding to see how P1 here in Nebraska has already progressed, from winning our first project to hiring our first group of field employees,” Robert said. “I have had great help from Brian in building this office, and trust him as my partner in crime.”

Having the support of good staff and the backing of P1 means a bright future for our Nebraska territory.

IN THE MEANTIME…

Robert Bruegman P1 Gretna Office

It’s probably not surprising that a Nebraska farm boy would be the outdoorsy type. Robert enjoys hunting, fishing, and attending his son Lynden’s sporting events at Missouri Western State University.

“I even enjoy returning to the farm to help my brother-in-law,” Robert said.

But ultimately, Robert says family is everything.

“I love my family deeply.” That includes daugthers Lexye, Leyton, son Lynden, wife Lynette, and the family dauchsund Richard - who sometimes serves as a greeter at the new office!

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