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Why BSE? Opportunity lives here

Jim McNellisFind your skills here


It’s a word that can easily be used to describe Jim McNellis. The Topeka, KS-based Customer Service Representative appreciates the simple things – fishing with his two young girls, being able to celebrate his wedding anniversary on the same day as the birthday of one of his daughters, and helping his Border States customers at the City Desk.

McNellis has spent the last 34 years working in Topeka, having jumped into the electrical distribution world straight out of high school in 1984. Prior to his current role, he worked the warehouse, counter, inside sales, purchasing and quotations for industrial and switchgear business. He’s spent his entire career building a wealth of knowledge and experience.

“I’ve kind of seen a lot and done a lot,” McNellis says with a chuckle. “It’s been an interesting and fun ride.”

Access countless training opportunities

One interesting thing about McNellis is he’s always looking to further his understanding of Border States’ three core markets – construction, industrial and utility.

He’s taken advantage of multiple training opportunities throughout his career in Topeka. He most recently developed an interest in LED technology, which many of his customers are looking to utilize for their lighting contracts.

“I appreciate the fact that my supervisors have always given me the opportunity to attend these types of trainings,” McNellis says. “If you want to grow your career, Border States will give you that chance.”

Your work is valued, and you make a difference

McNellis truly takes pride in taking care of his customers. Whether it’s large buildings, manufacturing facilities, smart homes or the electric grid, the projects they’re working on are shaping the world.

“It’s nice to know that what I’m doing helps our customers, and they appreciate our expertise,” McNellis says. “I hold myself accountable to provide great customer service. It’s just the way I was brought up.”

McNellis also appreciates that fact that, if a customer ever has a question he can’t answer, there’s always a colleague there to bounce ideas off of. That’s the wonderful thing about working at Border States – you’re part of a great work family that spans more than 100 branches in 22 states.

Enjoy incredible benefits

When McNellis wants to take time to go fishing with his daughters, Border States is supportive with its generous paid leave plan. And if you do take time off, you don’t have to worry about work not getting done.

“You’re covered,” he says.

Additionally, Border States is one of the largest 100 percent employee-owned companies in the U.S. The financial opportunities of our employee stock-ownership plan (ESOP) are substantial.

“That ESOP…you just can’t beat it,” McNellis says. “And the benefits…you just can’t beat them.”

McNellis describes Border States as a place of opportunity.

“If you want to learn something, the opportunity is there,” he says. “You just have to ask for it and take it.”

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