When mentoring employees, Jon U. doesn’t ask where they want to be in five years because it’s completely up to them. “At Graybar, you have so many different career options to pursue,” he said. “It’s all about having an open mind and a positive attitude.”

After 35 years with Graybar, Jon’s a prime example of the company’s promote-from-within culture. Like many employees, Jon started his Graybar career working in the warehouse learning the electrical distribution business. He then progressed through various positions including counter sales, customer service, field sales and management. 16 years ago, he moved into his current (and favorite) role, as Manager, Comm/Data Business.

Jon has had several mentors that played a key role in his development, including former District Vice President and Graybar Board Member, Ken Sparks. “Ken believed in Graybar’s employee ownership culture,” Jon said. “He gave me my first shot at management and always took the time to guide me in my career. He embodied what Graybar was all about.”

When Ken passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2014, Jon became actively involved in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to honor his mentor and friend. This past June, Jon and his Graybar teammates from across eight states participated in the PurpleStride Walk in San Francisco. Together, the group raised more than $15,000 in Ken’s memory, and overall Jon and Graybar have raised more than $150,000 for the organization.

Graybar employees have a passion for taking care of each other and the communities where they do business. It’s just one of the many reasons why the company is consistently named a top workplace. Click here to start your career at Graybar.