In the early 1980’s, John Wiesel started in the electrical industry as the first apprentice with Conestogo Electric of Waterloo Ontario. Over the next 9 years he completed his apprenticeship, became a foreman, then the head estimator for the company which by now had 30 employees. He then joined WM Roberts Electrical & Mechanical of Kitchener Ontario as a junior estimator. His manager sent him on the Suderman estimating course so he could learn a more accurate and faster way to estimate a job. He was then given the job to work the company into the automotive industry beginning with “the big three” automakers from North America. After this was accomplished a big breakthrough came when Toyota built their first plant in Cambridge Ontario. Roberts became one of the major firms to continuously work in this plant. From here the company went on to add Honda, Cami and other major manufacturing firms to their portfolio. Over the next 20 years he went from senior estimator to estimating manager then to vice president of sales, estimating and engineering. When he became vice president, the company was doing 29 million dollars in sales a year. In just seven years, with his team of trained estimators and sales people, he took it from there to over 65 million dollars per year employing more than 400 people. All the estimators, project managers, foremen and journeymen electricians in this company took the Suderman course.
John, throughout this time, was also active in his church as a lay minister and also in the building and maintenance program. He not only travelled across Canada, but as well to Pakistan, SriLanka and Nepal. This helped develop his teaching and people skills plus gave him an international exposure to the industry. He is still very active in this endeavor adding the responsibility of new up to date audio visual systems in all of the buildings.
In the late 1970’s Peter Suderman, of Globe Electric in Regina Saskatchewan, was trying to find a training course for his young estimators. He ended up finding a course in Chicago and took it twice. From this, and his own experience in the industry, he developed the Suderman electrical estimating system. He turned over his electrical company to his employers and then for the next 20 years taught this Canadian based course across Canada to over 3500 people in the electrical construction industry.
In 2001, Peter at 72, decided he wanted to do less training. At a course in Kitchener Ontario he discussed this with John, who was looking in on the course since he had 2 estimators there. At the end of the day, on a handshake, John bought the company from Peter and has since taught it across Canada. The course is evolving with today’s modern technology and methods of the electrical contracting industry. John also has taken it to a more personal level with consulting and in house training in electrical companies.