By JESSICA WETZLER
Daily News-Record 2/5/21
BROADWAY — From the outside looking in, Trumbo Electric looks the same as it did a few months ago. However, to the people who know the company inside and out, one aspect is missing — a Trumbo.
In October, President and CEO Brent Trumbo retired from the business his father, Novell Trumbo, founded in 1948. Brent Trumbo had been with the company for 46 years and witnessed firsthand his father’s vision grow immensely.
With Trumbo’s retirement, a change of leadership came from within, but Novell’s values are there to stay.
“Trumbo [Electric] has been a staple since 1948,” President Shanna Billhimer said. “Our workforce is what sets us apart.”
Within 13 years of its founding, Novell Trumbo decided to fully integrate electrical contracting and electrical engineering into one company and became the first Virginia contractor to employ engineers. Trumbo Electric began to hire professional engineers and remains one of the only contractors in the western part of the state to employ licensed professional engineers.
The stories of Novell’s impact bounce off the walls inside Trumbo Electric, despite current leadership never being able to meet the founder personally.
To Billhimer, Trumbo Electric has continued to be a “pillar” in the community through its community service work and charitable giving.
“We want to do our part,” she said. “We want everyone to see us as part of their community.”
Billhimer joined Trumbo Electric 13 years ago and makes up one part of the company’s leadership team. She is joined by Tim Kimberlain, vice president of operations, and Jeremy Sonifrank, vice president of business development.
Sonifrank said that since he joined the team 17 years ago, he has seen every aspect of Trumbo Electric, from working in the field to working in the office.
“Everybody knows there are opportunities here when you start,” he said. “It helps to keep people here.”
Kimberlain said that when he was hired 11 years ago, he was made known of the opportunities to progress in the company.
“We want to see people grow and get better,” he said.
For Billhimer, Sonifrank and Kimberlain, the people they work with aren’t just individuals who work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — they are more than that.
“Our company is like a family,” Billhimer said.