20 Under 40: Ray Thurston’s father taught him well
Ray Thurston is a master electrician and co-owner of R&R Ink, a local electrical services company that’s been a family run business for 34 years and counting.
Thurston grew up in Grand County, learning his trade at 7 years old while working alongside his dad. According to his nomination, not only are Thurston’s work ethic and 24 years of experience invaluable assets, he’s also volunteered with the Grand Fire District for 19 years.
Additionally, he has retired from being an active member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association after competing as a bull rider, and he is the father of two young girls.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself here in Grand County, raising my family and getting my kids through school while keeping our business running at full steam.
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What kind of future do you see for your industry in the high country?
For the industry, it’s growing 100%. I’m always looking for licensed employees to come and help me out. The demand for electricians is rising in this county because most people, let’s be honest, want to move away from heavily populated areas. It’s only going to populate this county more so demand is going to grow.
How has COVID-19 changed the way your industry does business?
The work is the same. We still have to go to the job. We still have to pull the wire. We still have to do the work the same way. There’s no computer or robot that can do our work right now so that part hasn’t changed.
Now, working with clients, of course that’s totally different. You got your social distancing. There’s no more handshakes. I grew up shaking people’s hands — that’s part of agreeing to a contract half the time. Shaking the hand is probably the biggest thing for me.
If there were one thing you could change, what would it be and why?
I would like to see more affordable housing. That is part of our problem getting employees here.
Who is your hero and why?
My father, 100%, Ron Thurston. He taught me a trade. I’m able to raise my family off this trade. His work ethic inspired me and just the way he’s always treated other people; I’ve always looked up to my father that way.
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