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‘Big Project Experience with a Small-Town Touch’ - Panhandle Electric


panhandle electric


By Jillian Chandler


“My parents (Bryan and Debbie Lewis) and I share similar and humble beginnings of growing up in a rural blue-collar farming community in Ohio and graduating from the same high school,” Evan Lewis reflects. “From there, our paths could not be more different before ultimately joining forces after we gained years of experience that serves us well in starting and running a successful business.”


The Lewis family has called North Idaho home for many years, drawn to the area for the opportunity to plant roots near family in a postcard-worthy small mountain community with endless access to outdoor activities.


Upon moving to Sandpoint, Bryan joined Schweitzer as the senior electrician responsible for leading large electrical projects. His electrical training began before graduating high school, which evolved into a 30-plus-year journey as a master electrician. Over that time, Bryan gained a breadth of experience from wiring custom houses to leading multi-million-dollar electrical projects at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and high-rise development projects in downtown Seattle.


While Schweitzer was growing, North Idaho was as well, resulting in skyrocketing demand for skilled tradespeople. Recognizing the opportunity, Bryan and Debbie realized their lifelong dream and founded Panhandle Electric in 2020.As the Lewis family looks back, the combination of Bryan’s expertise and Debbie’s decades of experience in corporate leadership roles led to early success for the business. “Before they knew it, my parents were burning the candle at both ends to keep up with demand for expert electrical services in North Idaho.”


While in town for the holidays, Evan offered to provide some “grunt” labor on an electrical project the company had undertaken, which quickly turned into a major life change. “After experiencing the fulfillment from creating something tangible with my own hands and seeing the business opportunity, I left a decade-long career as a business executive and investment banker to become a co-owner, electrician and operations leader for Panhandle Electric,” he shares.Today, Panhandle Electric is owned by two generations of the Lewis family, specifically Bryan and Debbie, along with Evan and his wife Avery. Founded with humble ambitions that quickly evolved, Panhandle Electric now serves Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties in North Idaho, and Sanders and Lincoln counties in Western Montana.“


We jumped at the opportunity to work alongside family, provide essential services in a growing community and take our skills and experience to create the company we always wanted to work for but never found,” Evan affirms.As a full-service electrical services contractor that can lead commercial, residential and industrial electrical projects, Panhandle Electric offers everything from pre-construction design-build services to electrical services for facility additions or remodels, tenant improvements, custom homes, large home renovations, electrical service upgrades, EV chargers, roof de-icing solutions and more!“


We bring big project experience with a small-town touch,” Evan smiles. “As a local team, we are heavily invested in all our projects since we live and raise families in the very community we serve. As a family operated business, we lead with integrity and honesty above all else.”


Panhandle Electric’s electricians stand out as not only experts in their field but also as stewards of the business’ core values of professionalism, follow-through and quality of work. “More than 80 percent of our business is with repeat clients due to our track record of delivering superior results and consistent, white-glove experiences,” Bryan mentions.


When it comes to what the family finds most rewarding from running a local business, it is providing essential services that help the community to thrive. “We genuinely enjoy experiencing the impact of our work directly, whether that is seeing new lights illuminating the office of the Bonner County Daily Bee or riding on the new chairlift at Schweitzer that our team helped to install,” Bryan explains. “The people and local businesses are what makes a community special, and it is an honor to be a part of that fabric for North Idaho while creating long-standing friendships with clients, vendors, partners and other business owners.”


It is important to the Lewis family and Panhandle Electric team to give back to their community. Their team and their families are involved with a variety of nonprofit organizations such as the Mayfly Project, Community Cancer Services, and the Bonner Community Food Bank. “These organizations support causes that are near and dear to our hearts given our personal experiences and their impact in our community.,” Evan notes.


Those in need of an experienced, local company for all of your electrical needs, the Panhandle Electric team is ready and willing to provide premier service with a local touch.


Panhandle Electric208.216.1251


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