Case Studies

Ken Kortman – Kortman Electric  

Keeping his company wired for success 

Nestled within Arizona’s vibrant construction industry is a story of commitment, integrity and family legacy embodied by Ken Kortman, the president and CEO of Kortman, Inc. Stepping into his role with a vision deeply rooted in the company’s founding principles, Kortman embodies a unique blend of tradition and innovation, shaping Kortman, Inc into a model of leadership and excellence. 

Ken Kortman - Kortman Electric

Ken Kortman | President and CEO

Kortman embarked on his journey toward success with a degree in business from Arizona State University. His story began in March 1983 when he joined the family business, a decision influenced by his father’s initiation of the company shortly after Kortman graduated from high school. Initially, working alongside his father was a practical choice, especially as he hadn’t immediately pursued college.  

While attending ASU over the next four years, Kortman continued to dedicate himself to the family business. By the time he earned his degree, he had amassed almost five years of hands-on experience, even running his crew. During this period, his older brother Karl joined as the CFO. Kortman’s gratitude for the initial dozen years in the field, learning the intricacies of the trade, became the foundation for his smooth transition to a leadership role in the office. This move showcased his commitment and revealed an emerging opportunity to continue the family legacy. 

Shortly after Karl joined as the CFO, his brother Kerwin joined, followed by his brother-in-law Fran Martin, setting the stage for a second-generation transition. “We have been blessed to work beside each other all these years and always find common ground and a unified vision.” 

Having foresight  

Kortman’s vision extends beyond individual projects, encompassing the broader evolution of the industry. With the company’s initial focus on growing its client base by providing electrical services to commercial and industrial projects, the second generation began looking to the future.  

This foresight led to significant milestones, including the launch of the Service Division in 2013, which expanded the company’s offerings to include ongoing maintenance and support for clients. Additionally, introducing the Intelligent Building Systems team in 2017 positioned Kortman, Inc. as a pioneer in integrating cutting-edge technology into construction projects. These strategic initiatives have solidified the company’s reputation as an innovative leader poised to meet the market’s evolving needs. 

One key project in Kortman Inc.’s portfolio is its involvement in the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley Hotel, showcasing its expanded services in delivering comprehensive electrical and low-voltage solutions for high-profile hotels, private villas, and casitas. Approaching 80 percent completion, this project showcases cutting-edge technology utilizing a fiber-based Passive Optical Lan backbone throughout the campus, providing top-level connectivity and performance for residents and guests.  

“This is a milestone project for us and enhances our expertise in delivering leading solutions to high-profile projects like this,” Kortman says.   

Other current projects include: Sky Harbor Int’l Airport, involving major electrical upgrades to Terminals 3 & 4, Fire Alarm upgrades to Terminal 4, and several renovations for airlines and retail spaces; Sunlit Chemical, a processing plant for the future TSMC; Advantest Corporation, a manufacturer of microchip equipment; Friendship Village, a senior living facility where fiber connectivity is being extended throughout the campus; Cleveland Indians Training Facility, involving electrical and low-voltage upgrades; Northwest Christian School, involving a new classroom building; City of Mesa, supporting their infrastructure projects; Northrop Grumman, supporting their improvements and growth; as well as hundreds of service clients throughout Arizona. 

The future is bright 

Kortman, Inc. is poised to undertake diverse opportunities that underscore its commitment to advancing new technologies and energy-efficient solutions, highlighting its multifaceted capabilities and setting it apart in the competitive market. 

As Kortman, Inc. solidifies its position as a second-generation legacy, there’s preparation for the transition into the third generation. Kortman’s stewardship has laid a strong foundation built upon the values instilled by his father, ensuring continuity and stability within the company. There’s now a concerted effort to preserve and evolve the core values that have defined Kortman, Inc. for decades and to continue building key leadership that will cross over with the transition.  

“The third generation has been involved in all key decision-making for several years and is part of the overall plan to build upon the culture at Kortman, Inc. while embracing innovation and maintaining the commitment to the family legacy.”  

Together, the two generations navigate this pivotal phase with much planning and open communication, driven by a shared vision of growth and excellence. 

Central to Kortman, Inc. ‘s journey is its Christian faith, the cornerstone of its values and guiding principles. Roger Kortman started the company in 1983 with Christ as his foundation to let the company be a pathway to serving others, both employees and clients alike.  

“As stewards of the resources the Lord has entrusted to us, our employees and their families are at the heart of our commitment to sharing God’s love. Our faith in Christ guides the company’s direction, reminding us to serve the communities we live and work in.” 

Beyond his professional achievements, Kortman’s life is rich with diverse experiences. For 14 years, he dedicated his time to coaching high school football and wrestling, then coaching his four children in youth sports. He now finds fulfillment in watching his children embark on their successful careers.  

Kortman’s life is a testament to the importance of family and their shared experiences. His wife, his high school sweetheart of 42 years, is his unwavering support. Together, they navigate a busy life by volunteering at church, being up north at the cabin, spending time with their adult children, and attending the grandkids’ various events. 

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