The Mark of Excellence

Mark One Electric
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Mark One Electric is a highly-reputable specialty contractor known for bidding and performing the most challenging, complex, and sophisticated projects safety, on time, and within budget. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, this is one of the largest electrical contractors in the Midwest.
Since its founding in Kansas City, Missouri in 1974, Mark One Electric has remained a Women-owned-and-operated family business, though it has grown significantly over the years. In no time, the company was serving demanding clients and undertaking industrial projects nationwide for international brands.

That has since changed, as Mark One now only serves projects within a two-hundred-mile radius. The change was ushered in by the second generation of Privitera when they assumed control of the family business.

“When I first became the president and my brother became the vice president, we decided to focus on local jobs in the community, where in the past, we did a lot of jobs for Ford, General Motors, all over the country, we worked for them,” explained President Rosana Privitera Biondo.

“Our success is based on, number one, getting the job to begin with and, number two, having good buying capabilities with our supply houses. We depend on them to supply us with all our materials and our parts in order for us to have a successful project, and without their support, we can’t be successful,” she said.

Bids are made on projects where a positive outcome is plausible, and when bids are successful, clients benefit from attentive service and support before, during, and after the project.

“One thing we do consistently is we go through a checklist to see if a job suits us. We’ve always been interested in jobs that maybe no one else has done,” said Privitera Biondo. “What we’re looking at: is the work available, what the workforce looks like – asking ‘is it something we can be successful at.” And what it is successful at is an incredible range of services from estimating, pre-construction, and engineering to design-build construction, project management, and service and support that it provides for projects in many sectors.

Mark One understands construction and the role that relationship building with its employees, its suppliers, and its customers can have on its success as a contractor and highly values its over two hundred employees. Its in-house designers are trained to work in the latest technologies like building information modeling (BIM) software packages and make themselves available throughout project construction to assist with field testing, start-up, and vendor-commissioning programs.

Whether it is the new Amazon fulfillment center, the Kansas City International (KCI) Airport, the Argosy Casino, or the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Mark One’s portfolio is impressive. “We did the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, and there’s only a handful of buildings like this. There isn’t a straight line in the place,” Privitera Biondo said. “Every single facet of this building is unique. We seem to be attracted to jobs like that. Our team seems to thrive at that, doing these specialty projects.”

While quality is a given on projects, safety is another critical priority that has gained Mark One some fame. “We are in a very dangerous business. It’s something that really preys on your mind. You want your people to be safe at all times,” noted Privitera Biondo. This is why Mark One is committed to safe practices and safe worksites.

Projects are overseen by an in-house safety officer who is OSHA-trained and can conduct OSHA training with all field and office staff. Site safety is monitored, reviewed, and any violations are addressed quickly. As a result of its emphasis on safety, not only has Mark One Electric managed to keep its workers’ compensation experience modification rate (EMR) low, which is good for business, but it has also received a number of awards and recognitions validating its efforts and procedures.

Mark One recently accepted praise from the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)’s for its excellent safety practices, as well as top subcontractor nods from the American Subcontractors Association (ASA). Mark One is a member of both of these organizations, as well as many other national professional and industry associations. Likewise, it is an affiliate member of local community organizations such as the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and local chambers of commerce.

“Even though we have what I call paper success – a lot of glamour and glitz – our company gets highlighted and gets a lot of awards, and we’re on a lot of award-winning projects, we still work very hard every day to do the right thing: treat our clients with respect, be safe,” said Privitera Biondo. While it may not be easy, it is a daily grind worth enduring.

For over forty years, Mark One Electric has repeatedly proven that is the choice for clients looking for a specialty contractor to undertake challenging and complex projects. However, what is often overlooked, are the efforts it takes to make its community a better place for all to live.

Mark One supports the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and countless other civic initiatives. “The more we are out in the community, the more we learn what’s going on with others and how we can be successful in helping others do well,” she noted.

These efforts are time-consuming but certainly bolster Mark One’s positive image in the community. “When you have your children notice your company label in the community, and then little kids talk about these projects that their parents work on, you know you’re making an impact in the community, and it’s something to be proud of,” she said.

“We love the people who work for us. One of the most important things to me personally is, we are very proud of the fact that we hire hundreds of people beyond ourselves, and we are able to pay them a decent wage, where they are able to support themselves, buy new cars, a house, put their kids through college and live the American Dream.” And this is the true sign of success for Mark One.

“How do we stay relevant? How do we stay fresh? How do we continue to attract the right people to our company? How do we keep the people that have been here for a long time happy?” These are all questions Privitera Biondo and the management team at Mark One ask themselves.

After forty-three years in the same building, Mark One Electric is relocating. “We are going to move into a new building that is bigger than we have now, in order to change that dynamic that goes with the future new generation. For companies as old as we are, making that switch is pretty relevant, pretty significant,” she explained.

The long-term vision for the company’s future is coming to life. “We want to keep the Women-owned family dynamic of our name going along with this Mark One name. I told myself I was going to give myself three to ten years to do that. I’m in my second year working on that plan. Maybe I can shorten it down to five years, but I’m working on it,” Privitera Biondo said.

A leader in the construction industry and a community steward in the markets it serves, Mark One Electric is taking strides to deliver quality projects, safe workplaces, strong local communities, and a viable construction industry in which its family-owned-and-operated business can successfully run for generations to come.



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