Chuck Goodrich is a prominent figure in both business and politics, currently serving as the President and CEO of Gaylor Electric, the Midwest’s largest merit-shop electrical contractor. With over 1,800 skilled employees, the company has garnered numerous accolades, including being recognized as one of the “Top 30 Greatest Places to Work” by CIO Bulletin. Starting as an intern in 1991, Chuck rose through the ranks, demonstrating exceptional leadership before assuming his current role. Under his stewardship, Gaylor Electric has created over 1,500 jobs and achieved recognition for exemplary workplace safety standards. Beyond his corporate achievements, Chuck is deeply committed to workforce development, notably pioneering the Hamilton County Workforce Innovation Network (HCWIN) through the Skill-Up Indiana grant.
His advocacy extends to national platforms, as evidenced by his past chairmanship of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). In the political arena, Chuck has been serving as the State Representative of House District 29 since 2018. He’s authored and co-authored several bills, including ones focused on increasing compensation for fallen public safety officers and removing financial barriers for student programs. Notably, seven of his bills have been signed into law. Chuck’s community involvement is equally commendable. He established a satellite campus of “The Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship” at Gaylor Electric, providing at-risk teenagers with education and hands-on experience in the electrical trade.
Additionally, his philanthropic efforts extend to organizations like Prevail, supporting victims of abuse, and the David’s Well (USA) organization, which transforms impoverished villages in Panama. Chuck Goodrich’s multifaceted contributions to business, politics, education, and philanthropy reflect a profound dedication to the well-being and prosperity of his community and beyond.
Given the current state of political polarization, how do you navigate the challenges of working with the State legislator to advance your company’s interests while also addressing broader societal issues?
As the PRES/CEO of Gaylor Electric, one of my main responsibilities is to engage with state legislators to ensure that the policies that are being passed align with our values and goals. I do this by fostering open dialogues that seek out common ground, and advocating for data-driven information that support our position. In addition, I participate in industry coalitions that are relevant to our business, and leverage my relationships with key decision makers to influence positive change. By doing all of this, we have been able to build better business policies within the state, while also advancing the rights of workers. This is something that I am proud to be a part of, and look forward to continuing in the future.
What strategies or initiatives have you implemented to address generational poverty, both within the company and through broader community engagement?
As someone who is passionate about fighting against generational poverty, I have led various initiatives that prioritize education, skills training, and economic empowerment. With the help of local communities and non-governmental organizations, we have developed sustainable programs that aim to provide mentorship and resources to those who are in need. By taking a collaborative and holistic approach, we believe that we can ultimately break the cycle of poverty for future generations. Through our unwavering commitment and dedication, we hope to establish a world where economic stability and opportunity are more accessible to all.
In your opinion, do regulations hinder business growth and innovation? How do you approach advocating for regulatory reforms without compromising ethical standards?
Regulations can be a double-edged sword. While they protect individuals and ensure ethical standards, needless regulations build barriers for innovation. That’s why I believe in a comprehensive review process to identify and address these obstacles. I champion a culture of compliance that balances ethical practices with critical assessment of existing policies. Collaboration is key to achieve this, and as such, our industry peers, advocacy groups, and policymakers must work together to advocate for sensible reforms. With this approach, we can develop a regulatory framework that fosters innovation while upholding ethical standards.
With immigration being a key factor in economic growth and innovation, how do you envision influencing policies resulting in a more efficient and equitable immigration system, benefiting both your company and the wider community?
I have always been passionately involved in immigration policy discussions. It is no secret that this is a major issue within our country, especially on the southern border. I believe that by unifying our voices and working together, we can have a more efficient and humane immigration process. This requires contributing to policy discussions, engaging with legislators, and supporting initiatives that streamline processes and attract global talent. It is important that we prioritize both efficiency and humanitarian values, recognizing the importance of diversity and the value that legal immigrants bring to our communities. Through collaboration with like-minded organizations, we can make a real difference in the lives of people and drive positive change in immigration policies.
How would you describe your tenure as a State legislator putting into context your success as a successful business leader?
Throughout my time as a state legislator, working collaboratively with other legislators has been essential to achieving our goals. The key to success has been prioritizing transparency and finding common ground. These principles go hand in hand, as transparency allows for open communication and can help to identify areas where we can find common ground. By focusing on mutual benefits, we were able to secure bipartisan support for key initiatives. This collaboration ultimately ensures alignment between the needs of the broader public and goals of our company. It has been a privilege to work alongside state and federal legislators who share this commitment to transparency and collaboration, and together, we can continue to make meaningful progress on critical issues.
How would you ensure that the company’s initiatives aimed at ending generational poverty are sustainable and have a lasting impact on the communities they serve?
Ending generational poverty requires a truly multi-faceted approach, and as a company, we are dedicated to making a lasting difference in the communities we serve. That’s why we’ve established long-term partnerships with local communities, with a focus on investing in education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship programs. We believe that by empowering individuals, we can help break the chains of generational poverty and have a self-sustaining economic upliftment cycle. Our initiatives are designed to be sustainable and have a lasting impact, reflecting our commitment to fostering positive change in the world. We’re proud to be part of this transformative movement, and we believe that together, we will have a future where every person has the opportunity to thrive.
What strategies have you used in the past to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations in your various leadership positions?
As a State legislator, I understood the importance of efficient and effective government operations. That’s why I made it my mission to streamline our existing regulations by conducting thorough assessments and collaborating with cross-functional teams and external partnerships. Through our efforts, we identified redundant or obsolete policies and advocated for reforms that fostered a culture of compliance and ethical business practices. Not only did this approach improve our operations, but it resulted in an environment where innovation flourished. As a leader, I was proud to have played a role in the positive changes that benefited our community and state.
Given the complexity of immigration policies, how would you build a coalition within the business community to advocate for changes that align with both economic interests and humanitarian values?
The business community has immense power to influence immigration reform, and collaborative advocacy is key to ensuring policies that balance economic interests with humanitarian values. As PRES/CEO, I am committed to rallying industry leaders and leveraging our collective influence to drive positive change. By engaging with policymakers and thought leaders, we can shape immigration practices that benefit both our businesses and society at large. By working together, we can achieve a more just immigration system that reflects our shared values and priorities.