A century ago, Bill Templeman set a precedent for ambition and growth that has been firmly rooted in the Premier Electrical team. Premier continues to encourage growth in employees and to seek  projects that will distinguish Premier for years to come.

In 1902 William Templeman, Sr. opened a vacuum cleaner and motor repair shop in the bustling heart of Chicago. Premier Electric Company was small, but Templeman and his colleagues quickly cemented their reputation in the community as can-do thinkers and problem solvers. Their firm became known for taking on larger and unique projects.

The company continued to grow until 1933, when the world’s fair prompted the city of Chicago to approach Premier with a unique challenge: design & deliver a fair souvenir that would commemorate the city’s centennial. Premier’s solution was the art-deco styled PECoptic—a film viewer which was distributed to nearly 40 million fair goers and remains a collector’s item today.

The PECoptic film viewer commemorative souvenir, 1933

Throughout the 1960’s Premier expanded to additional offices including one in New York and one in MInneapolis. In 1986, Fred Jahnke & Doug Olson took over ownership from the Templeman family, and the name was changed to Premier Electric Corporation.

During the 90’s Premier handled the installation of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s first total co-ordinated state of the art security system, the 18-story Minneapolis Federal Courthouse, and a $200 million dollar renovation of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

In 2010, Eric Jahnke and Colin Olson purchased the company from their fathers. Throughout the 2010’s they have continued the steady growth of the company with projects such as St. Michael/Albertville High School, many civil projects, including work on the light rail transit, and several high-rise apartment buildings in downtown Minneapolis.

In 2016, they purchased Foster Electric in Rochester, MN. This has allowed the company to expand further into the medical field as one of the preferred electrical contractors for the Mayo Clinic.

Premier Electric remains dedicated to the craft of fine electrical work and indebted to the talented tradespeople who have built it. This legacy is evident in everything from customer projects to employee composition. Over 50% of work is based on repeat business from satisfied customers, and the Premier team includes several 30-year-veterans and father-son pairs.

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