Carlson to become “Joe” Dickey Electric owner – Part 2: Carlson’s vision for Dickey’s future


Eric Carlson (left) is grateful for all the lessons he’s learned from Joe (center) and Dave Dickey (right).

This is Part 2 of a two-part series

As he transitions to majority owner, Eric Carlson wants the community to know the foundation and core values of “Joe” Dickey Electric will remain the same.

“My vision going forward isn’t any different than what Dave and Joe’s vision is,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate to grow up in this business, and very fortunate to grow up around two great mentors. Dickey Electric isn’t going to change. We’re still going to be a very customer service orientated business. We’re blessed that we’ve spent 62 years in business, and we want to spend another 62-plus years in business.”

In Part 1 of our series, we explored how the electrical trade shaped Eric Carlson’s life.

Carlson’s career with the company started during his teenage years as a materials handler. His father, Gary, was finishing up a project at WCI in Warren. Dave Dickey, CEO of Dickey Electric, wanted to show his appreciation for Gary’s hard work and asked what he could do for him.

“My dad said, ‘Get my kid a job. Get him dirty and make him learn about the trade and hard work.’”

That position grew into Carlson spending his summer vacations learning about the electrical trade. When he got his driver’s license, Carlson took on the task of making deliveries for the company.

“It truly just became home,” he said.

VIDEO: Carlson shares his vision for the future of “Joe” Dickey Electric

While attending Youngstown State University for his electrical engineering degree, Carlson transitioned to the role of jobsite clerk while the Mahoning County Justice Center was under construction.

“It was a big job and we had a lot of guys working there,” he said. “I got to spend a year-and-a-half with the general foreman. I got to see the job, how we interacted with other trades and how material ordering went. It was my first real taste of how the construction process worked.”

Soon after that project, Carlson found a home in Dickey’s estimating department. Once he obtained his degree, he brought the aspect of design-build into estimating.

“We were doing some design stuff and working with local engineers. Taking a project from basically concept to delivery, which was something new that we had done.”

As he continued to obtain knowledge, his next career path came into focus – management.

“Dave started grooming me on my next step,” Carlson said. “I was a very young man taking over as vice president 12 years ago. Now at 43, taking over as president and turning into a majority owner of the company, it’s a very unique perspective.”

Carlson is also very grateful for the opportunity that awaits him.

“I’m very proud to be able to say I get to continue on what Joe first started, what Dave then continued on and now I get to be a third-generation owner of ‘Joe’ Dickey Electric.”