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FSG Corpus Christi: Whatever It Takes To Get It Done

For Dave Thomas, General Manager of FSG Corpus Christi, there was a market that needed to be served. The beginnings of FSG’s fifth independent branch came with that realization in December of 1991.

At that time, Dave was working out of the San Antonio branch, but serving customers in and around Corpus Christi. With the volume of opportunities there only increasing, and with FSG’s own growing capabilities, Dave knew he needed to be closer to the action.

“I talked to Bill [Graham, CEO of FSG], and I made the case for it,” Dave said. “He was excited about it immediately, and told me to get things started.”

“So we did.”

Getting Things Done

Dave and Chris McRae, Dave’s Operations Manager in San Antonio, made the move to Corpus. They set about hiring their team right away.

“Obviously, we needed folks who could do their jobs, and do them extremely well. FSG has earned a reputation for outstanding work, and we do everything in our power to keep that reputation safe. That said, we also needed people with a very specific attitude.”

Dave Thomas, FSG Corpus Christi

Under the leadership of Dave and Chris, the Corpus Christi branch developed — and continues to maintain — an atmosphere and attitude perhaps best summarized as “Whatever it takes, get it done.”

Dave Thomas, Chris McRae, and Jason Zipprian

“We don’t have titles,” Dave said. “You’ll see sales guys out unloading a truck sometimes. In fact, a lot of our folks began as delivery drivers for us, and have just constantly worked their way up.”

The Corpus Christi branch sees that sense of equal opportunity as one of their chief strengths. For them, it helps to know that everyone on the team understands what it takes to be successful. And that nose for success doesn’t just apply to on-the-clock matters, either.

Dave told us about Corpus Christi’s Division Manager, Jason Zipprian. Like so many at the Corpus office, Jason was hired early on and given a chance to grow. In fact, little did anyone realize just how much he would take advantage of that chance.

“We hired Jason when he was just out of his teens. He came on board as an apprentice electrician. But, in addition to apprenticing with us, he was going to night school to complete his undergraduate degree. After he finished that, he got his MBA, and he did all this while helping to raise five children.”

Dave Thomas, FSG Corpus Christi

“Jason went from an apprentice to the Division Manager in charge of a multi-million dollar enterprise,” said Dave with a smile. “That’s an example of our culture.”

1st ever sales order for FSG Corpus Christi (formerly American Light)

At the Top of Their Game

The relentless expansion of online purchasing, a trend only accelerating in recent months, has put distance between customers and companies. The folks at FSG Corpus Christi, however, are doing their part to maintain the sense of community between them and their clients.

“The fact is a majority of our clients do business with us because of our people. They know us, trust us, like what we’ve done in the past,” Dave said. “To them, it’s important that we have a physical counter where they can come to discuss not just projects and products, but what’s going on in the world.”

1st employees of FSG Corpus Christi. 7 of the 10 still working for FSG 50

“We’re only too happy to give them that.”

For members of the team, the community of FSG Corpus Christi (or FSG 50, as they like to call it) is vitally important, as well. The branch keeps an indoor basketball hoop, and games start at 5:00, with the lights staying on late into the night. Along with the hoops and some ping pong, the conversations about work and the world are worth hanging around for.

Though the original division was made up of American Light (lighting division) and Design Electric (electrical division), the team itself went to market as one team, one unit.

“FSG 50 started as one unit. So, today, we still go to market that way: as one unit, as FSG 50. We look at each other that way, too,” said Dave. “I think there’s a real recognition here among everyone that we need each other, that we all bring different skills to the table and all those skills are important.”

We encourage one another here, we build each other up because it’s important that, no matter what, we all feel able to rely on one another. I think that’s what gives us strength as a team.”

Dave Thomas, FSG Corpus Christi

The Right Attitude

“In the end, I think attitude and outlook are major components in our success,” Dave said. “If we — as individuals, or as a business — go into our lives and our work with poor, negative attitudes, we’ll always fail.”

On the 10th Anniversary as an FSG Division, the team dressed as the Blues Brothers (one of Bill Graham’s favorite movies at the time)

“FSG 50 knows that and it’s why we’re so conscious of our attitude here; it’s why we’re always trying to build up one another, smile at each other, and just keep things moving in a positive way.”

For almost 30 years, FSG Corpus Christi — FSG 50 — has been developing and cherishing that positive attitude, and it has, indeed, led to successful results. The team in Corpus has been helping clients improve their facilities with an ongoing and ever-present sense of fairness, equality, and genuine opportunity.

Visit FSG Corpus Christi online here. If you are in the Corpus Christi area and have lighting or electrical challenges in your facility, visit Dave & team at the branch. The FSG Corpus Christi office is located at 585 S. Padre Island Dr, Corpus Christi, Tx 78405, or call them at (800) 880-5685.

FSG Corpus Christi Branch

For career opportunities at FSG or to learn about FSG’s training program, visit our careers page here: FSG Careers & Training.

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