In April, the editors of tED magazine sent out a call for
the industry’s “rising stars”—electrical professionals 34 years old or younger
who have the initiative, drive, integrity, and creativity to move the industry
forward in the decades to come. The call drew nominations from all segments of
the industry—distributors, suppliers, rep firms, software/services providers,
and VARs. Here on tedmag.com, we will post a new, full interview with one of
these impressive young people weekly; coverage of all of the honorees can be
found in the July 2012 issue
of tED. Watch for information about our next “30 Under 35” competition in
By his own
admission, Nate Hagemeier came to the electrical industry, sort of “by
completed a six-year stint in the U.S. Army, during which he served two tours of duty in Iraq
and was twice decorated
with the Bronze Star.
he was working for a fire protection company in Miami. He first heard about
Lutron Electronics and the electrical industry after meeting a Lutron employee.
started to find out a little bit more about the company, I submitted my resume,”
Hagemeier explained. “I was attracted to the growth potential and leadership
opportunities that both Lutron and the industry presented.”
grew up in Florida with four brothers and two sisters. While attending the
University of Florida, he joined ROTC. Upon graduation, he received his
commission as an officer and was assigned to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
Iraq was not the typical college graduate’s experience.
younger person with lots of training, but next to zero experience. Immediately,
you’re put in charge of between 32 and 40 people, right out of college,”
Hagemeier said. “So you had to be prepared to earn respect, lead people and motivate
them to have one common goal.”
Many of his
peers in these “30 Under 35” articles have ideas as to how the electrical
industry can attract and retain young, talented employees. Hagemeier’s
thoughts, understandably, emphasize the importance of placing and hiring
returning military veterans.
companies … should have an initiative to hire veterans. Depending on what their
respective jobs were in the military, there are people out there with highly
technical skills and others who have very good leadership skills,” he said. “Whether
you’re looking for a salesperson or a sales manager, somebody with combat
experience in the military can probably serve you well. They are loyal, like to
be challenged and are used to a hectic schedule.”
hired a number of field service engineers who had very technical jobs in the
Navy and Air Force, he said. Many salespeople and sales managers also have
military backgrounds in the Army and Marines.
As an area
sales director for Lutron, Hagemeier is responsible for all commercial and
residential related business in Nevada, California and Hawaii. Lutron has
posted “positive numbers, double digits in consecutive years,” he said.
Much of that
growth came from the retrofit/renovation markets.
“A lot of
end-users are looking for energy saving strategies and lighting control certainly
serves as a critical strategy to enable end users to meet those goals,”
popularity of the iPad and smart phones has helped Lutron as well.
looking for things to integrate with their iPad and smart phone. The lighting
controls and shading solutions that we manufacture … are a crucial component of
that,” Hagemeier said.
He and his
wife Anne-Marie, along with 10-month-old son Grant, live in Irvine, California. He loves the fact that
they are a few hours away from a number of ski resorts.
A Florida kid?
in Florida, it wasn’t something that we had the opportunity to do very
frequently,” Hagemeier laughed. “Once I got a little bit older and moved to the
Midwest, I got a chance to try skiing. I’ve been in love with it ever since.”
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and
author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.