Success Story

Executive Coaching







Located in East Point, GA, E-TEC had earned an excellent reputation as a commercial electrical contractor. However, by 2015 growth had slowed and the business was at a critical juncture.


After growing E-TEC to $800,000 in revenues by 2015, Owner BJ Thomas was feeling seriously overwhelmed. Swamped by an endless array of details and unwilling to delegate, he was quickly losing passion for his business. Employee morale was plummeting and finding quality time for family was getting tougher every day. BJ was thinking of getting out.


In early 2016, BJ enrolled in Ascent’s Executive Coaching Program. “Ascent came to my office, we talked, and I thought, ‘This program can help me,’” BJ recalled. And it did. He and Adam Cooper, President of Ascent, met twice a month for eight months. The results exceeded BJ’s expectations.



Ascent’s coaching program focuses on personal development for leaders which ultimately benefits the individual as well as the organization.

STEP 1: Hire An Administrator

It was obvious to Ascent that E-TEC needed an administrator to handle the tasks that were stealing his time. At first BJ was reluctant. “I can’t afford to add an administrator.” But through a series of exercises, Ascent showed him that he couldn’t grow without adding more resources, and it made sound financial sense.

Ascent helped BJ recruit, interview and hire the right administrator, and also recommended new operational software which further increased capacity and allowed BJ to delegate.

STEP 2: Learn to Delegate

For a hands-on manager like BJ, letting go of tasks was tough, but Ascent guided him through. They examined and determined which tasks BJ should handle and which to delegate. It wasn’t easy for BJ: “I kept thinking, ‘Can I trust anybody else with that job or task?’” Ascent’s philosophy was simple – if you train your people properly and they’re competent, leave them to it and monitor their performance.

STEP 3: Management Turnaround

With Ascent’s coaching, BJ’s management style did a 180. Previously he looked at his people simply as workers and didn’t enjoy ‘dealing’ with them and their personal problems. “Ascent taught me how to communicate with them as a leader, and showed me that we were on the same team,” he recalled.

I was absolutely overwhelmed, and the business wasn’t growing… I thought this must not be for me. I was definitely thinking of getting out.

STEP 4: Listening to His Team

Armed with a new attitude and tools for communication, BJ began listening to his team members. He quickly realized they also wanted the company to expand, but he had been the bottleneck to growth. His employees told him, “You want to do everything yourself! Let us help you.”

STEP 5: Taking Ownership

This new leadership style and operational method have produced stunning results. Both sales and profits have increased, employees are happier, morale is soaring and everybody is taking ownership. It’s a new day at E-TEC, and people who don’t buy in, don’t last long.

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I was going to scale back or quit the business. Now I’m intent on doubling it.

Ascent’s Executive Coaching Program helped deliver results across the board at E-TEC:

  • Increased sales: Sales in 2016 jumped to $1.2 million after averaging between $600,000- $800,000 for several years.
  • Greater profitability: Net profits at E-TEC increased ~10% for 2016.
  • Expanded client base: BJ reported that E-TEC’s existing customer base grew by over 25%. In addition, the company is targeting major projects that BJ previously did not feel comfortable handling. For example, he recently took on a quarter million dollar Walmart remodel that he would not have considered before Ascent’s program. “I would have found all kinds of reasons and excuses to avoid this project – but no more.”
  • Improved employee morale: “Internal communications are very strong today,” said BJ. “We have open lines of communications, and there are no longer any assumptions. Everything is transparent between me and my staff.”
  • Enhanced family time: “I used to work every weekend,” BJ explained. “But that’s a rarity now.”

Closing Thoughts

Looking back on the experience, BJ Thomas says, “If anyone feels stuck in their business and doesn’t know how to move forward, Ascent’s program will help you get there, if you’re willing to do the work and take the coaching. It worked for me.”

Zachary Hickman

Project Coordinator

Zachary brings 10+ years of project management experience as an owners representative for clients and from the developer side of the business.

He began his career as an assistant project manager with a masonry subcontractor in Florida, before moving to Atlanta.

Daphene Koch


Daphene’s construction experience began working in her family’s mechanical construction company.

Next, she worked for a large EPC firm on projects in Texas and Malaysia. With over 15 years of construction industry experience on commercial and industrial projects. Her roles have included project manager, safety manager, construction services leader, and pipefitters helper.

While a professor at Purdue University in the School of Construction Management, she worked as a consultant to help construction companies improve processes, project management, workforce development to name a few. She has a BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University and resides in Indiana.

Hakeem Slaughter

Marketing Coordinator

Hakeem is a brand designer with over 10 years of experience. He has been a freelancer for about 9 years working with many different clients and industries under the following subjects: brand design, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.


During that time freelancing, he also worked at many companies as a graphic and web designer. As well as taught disciplines of Art and Design to students varying from middle school age to college. As mentioned, he has a “jack of all trades” range but is quite proficient at WordPress and uses that knowledge to design cutting edge websites!


Hakeem specializes in branding, design, and creativity and is bringing his talents, skills, and passion to take Ascent Consulting to a new level!

Aimee Collier

Project Coordinator

Aimee joins Ascent as a Project Coordinator supporting our Senior and Procore Consultants. With construction industry experience both in-field and back-of-house (ranging from project site coordination to contract management to software administration), she brings a holistic perspective of the day-to-day challenges faced by our clients. Her varied professional roles include software implementation and training, technical content creation and design, and coordinating across teams to bring projects to successful completion. She is excited to direct her passion for people and processes toward our customers.