The Electrical Blog


Posted by James Rockhill on Thu, Aug 27, 2015



YMCA_5069-1Background:    James D. Berwick (Jim) dedicated himself to his family, business and his community.  He loved the challenge of operating his second generation business, Berwick Electric Co., in an ethical manner that was above reproach.  He served on numerous boards including the Colorado Springs Planning Commission, Electrical Board of El Paso County, Colorado Springs Symphony and School District #11 Board. 

His concern for the youth in our community led him to start CODE (Committee on Drug Education), which was the first organization in Colorado Springs to educate youth and fight drug abuse. This resulted in him being recognized with the Service to Mankind Award.   His moral convictions were evident in his comment, “When you need to make a difficult business decision, make sure your choice is one that you would be proud to have your family read if it were on the front page of the newspaper.” 

Jim’s beliefs were founded in his family’s upbringing, his involvement in his church and the YMCA.  Jim’s father actually led the YMCA’s orchestra back in 1904, and Jim grew up enjoying YMCA camping and swimming. 

Upon Jim’s passing in 1998, his family chose to create a scholarship through the YMCA, which recognizes our community’s youth that display a passion similar to his. 

Purpose:  The James D. Berwick Memorial YMCA Scholarship will be presented to a minimum of one graduating high school senior each year. This scholarship will recognize outstanding youth that have demonstrated exceptional character and ethics through volunteer involvement in YMCA programs or related programs serving our community-especially youth. This scholarship is given annually in memory of Mr. James D. Berwick, who’s years of dedication to his family and community reflected the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. 

Scholarship Criteria:  The scholarship will be given for one year only and cannot be renewed. It may be used at any accredited college or university at the discretion of the receiving youth.  A scholarship for $1,000 (amount is up to the discretion of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region and the Berwick Family) will be awarded each year. This scholarship may be used for tuition or related expenses. The application must include a completed on-line application form with an essay about the importance of ethics, character development and volunteerism, a detailed outline of the applicant’s YMCA involvement, and up to three letters of recommendation. 

Application Process:   Applications must be submitted on-line by visiting and selecting the “Berwick Scholarship” located under the “Support” tab. Applications will not be accepted after the scholarship closed date (please see Application Timeline). 

Qualifying Requirements:    All applicants must live in the Pikes Peak Region, El Paso or Teller Counties. Applicants must demonstrate, in writing, their commitment to outstanding ethics, character, volunteerism and YMCA involvement. YMCA involvement may include employment, high school YMCA Board Members, YMCA Making a Difference, participation in YMCA Teen Programs, Youth Sports participation and/or coaching, mentorship, etc.  All applicants must be in their senior year of High School. 

Application Questions:         

  1. Describe your YMCA Experiences and explain the benefits of your YMCA Experiences.
  2. Describe your view on the importance of ethics in the work place and character development.
  3. Explain how you have incorporated the YMCA’s four core values, caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, into your life. Please provide specific examples. 

Selection Committee:  The James D. Berwick Scholarship is a two part selection process. The first phase is the James D. Berwick Scholarship Selection Committee, comprised of (2) YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region Metro Board Members, (2) YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region Foundation Board Members and (1) designated YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region Staff Member, coming together and selecting the top applicants to move onto the next phase. The second phase is the Berwick Family choosing the recipient(s). 

2016 Application Timeline

Scholarship Opened On-line:             October 12, 2015
Scholarship Closed On-line:   December 30, 2015 at 11:59pm MST
Berwick Scholarship Committee    
    Selection Meeting:   January 12, 2016;  11:30am-1:30pm
Finalists delivered to the    
    Berwick Family:   January 14, 2016
Recipient(s) chosen:   January 28, 2016
Recipient(s) notified:   January 29, 2016
2016 Annual Meeting:   February 18, 2016

Scholarship Presentation:     The James D. Berwick Memorial Scholarship will be presented each year at the YMCA Annual Meeting in February. 

Funding:  The James D. Berwick Memorial Scholarship will be funded by the proceeds from the endowment fund established to honor the life of Mr. Berwick. The initial amount of $4,638 will be placed in an endowment account. The earning from this endowment will be used to fund the scholarship. If the fund does not earn enough to cover the entire cost of the scholarship, Berwick Electric Co. will contribute the remaining amount, up to $1,000. Berwick Electric Co. will contribute additional amounts to the principal of the endowment each year until the endowment is sufficient to fully fund one scholarship annually.



James D. Berwick



John D. Berwick (seated second from Right)

Topics: Community, Berwick Electric, YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, YMCA Scholarship Program, James D. Berwick Memorial

Taking a Bite Out of Hunger: The Ace Lemon Challenge

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Dec 24, 2014

One in seven children in El Paso County doesn’t get enough to eat, and Colorado Springs area Ace Hardware stores aim to make a dent in that number.

You may remember the ALS Ice Bucket challenge from this past summer to raise money and awareness for The ALS Association. In the same vein, Ace Hardware - Unitah Gardens is putting on the Ace Lemon Challenge. For every video posted to the store’s Facebook page of a person taking a bite out of a lemon, and their resulting sour “pucker” face, the store will donate one dollar, up to $500, to Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado.  All videos must be labeled with the hashtag #AceLemonChallenge.

To help this cause, Berwick Electric Co. employees were pleased to take a bite out of a lemon! Check out our video below.

To learn more about the cause, visit Ace Hardware - Unitah Gardens fundraiser page

You can also check out an article on the fundraiser in The Gazette by clicking here.

Topics: Community

Winner: "Give Yourself the Gift of Light" Contest

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Dec 17, 2014


In the spirit of the season, Berwick Electric Co. recently hosted a "Give Yourself the Gift of Light" contest with KKTV. Participants entered the contest via KKTV's Facebook page for a chance to win a $400 credit toward any home lighting upgrade.

Berwick Electric Co.'s service department is pleased to congratulate Dianne Schumacher, the winner of the "Give Yourself the Gift of Light" contest! With the New Year just around the corner, Dianne is looking forward to the upgrade. "I'm so excited to have won! This is great," Diane exclaimed. We look forward to working with Dianne!

To learn more about Berwick Electric's service department, click here.

You can also request electrical service by clicking the button below.

Request Electrical Service


Topics: Community

4 Inspiring Holiday Giving Ideas

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Dec 10, 2014

For Berwick Electric Co., wiring homes and businesses for light is part of our job. So, during the season of lights, we enjoy encouraging you to spread the light of good will to those who need it most. Whether you’re giving of your time or other resources, the opportunity to give to others truly is a gift in itself. Below you will find some inspiration for giving back to those who need it most.

1. The energy-generating "soccer" ball. As described in this article, the sOccket mixes play and physics in a most unique way. Created by Uncharted Play, playing with this “soccer ball” actually generates enough energy to power devices like an LED lamp or a water purifier - one hour of play equals a six-hour charge. The sOccket balls have been distributed to those in need in Mexico and South Africa. You can learn more about the sOccket and give here.

This holiday season, give back
by providing gifts to those in need.

2. The Adopt-A-Family program. If you would like to donate gifts to less fortunate families in the Colorado Springs community, the Community Partnership for Childhood Development’s Adopt-A-Family Program facilitates just this. By “adopting” a family, you purchase gifts that are donated to families throughout the community. To learn more or donate, click here.

3. The Give! Campaign. The Colorado Springs Independent’s Give! Campaign benefits a variety of nonprofits in the Pikes Peak Region. This campaign is a great way to incorporate holiday giving. To view the nonprofits in this year’s campaign or to donate, click here.

4. The power of community. The holidays are often a difficult time for those who live far away from family, those who don’t have family or friends to celebrate with or those who live in nursing homes. Make someone’s season brighter by inviting them to a holiday party or bringing them a gift or yummy holiday treat. Even small gestures can spread holiday cheer, easing loneliness and brightening spirits.

So this season, take a moment to give of yourself to another in need. You will be glad you did! Do you have any other ideas for giving back this holiday season? If so, we would love to hear about them! Share in the comments box below.

Topics: Community

Scenic Work: The Broadmoor Fishing Camp

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Oct 22, 2014

The scenery of the Lost Creek Wilderness is well known for its red peaks, bright skies and the snow-fed Tarryall River. Home to what will become the new Broadmoor Fishing Camp, Berwick Electric Co.’s (BEC) electricians are currently enjoying this beautiful setting as they work on the camp’s electrical installation.

“This unique project involves the renovation of an old, rustic cabin and lodge complex that was most recently known as the Ute Trail River Ranch and featured in some Park County history books,” Project Manager Mark Norman explained. “It is located about 20 miles north of Lake George, Colo., on Park County Road 77, near the Lost Creek Wilderness Area.

The Broadmoor Hotel recently purchased the property with plans to offer guided fishing trips and rustic stays for those seeking a memorable and adventurous outdoor experience. “We are working under Beckrich Construction on this interesting renovation project,” Mark said. “Beckrich is doing a great job maintaining the historic, rustic look of the complex, while performing some additions, upgrades and modernizations to the property.”

As the electrical contractor, BEC is upgrading the electrical service and distribution to 11 buildings, including a main lodge with dining and cooking facilities, seven basic cabins, a bath house, fish house and maintenance building. “We will be installing new lighting to match the décor of existing lighting and upgrading the branch circuit wiring as needed,” Mark explained. “One of the original electrical panels in the Lodge building was sold by Sears Roebuck & Company!”

Working alongside Project Manager Mark Norman is Foreman Tobi Collins, with installation assistance from BEC Electricians Eric Norman and Tom Meeker.

“It is a privilege to be part of this unique and challenging historical preservation project,” Mark said. “We are anticipating completion sometime in November, weather permitting.”

We invite you to take in the beautiful surroundings of this project by scrolling through the photos below. Photography was provided by the talented Emily Brumley of M Photography. Emily's work has been featured in publications like Destination Weddings, Honeymoons Magazine and Runner’s World Magazine. You can contact Emily at or (719) 660-7496.

Fishing Camp 1 Fishing Camp 2
Fishing Camp 3  Broadmoor Fishing Camp 4



Topics: Project Updates, Service Department, Community

A Peek Inside BEC’s DataComm Department

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Oct 15, 2014

Berwick Electric Co. has a wide variety of electrical service capabilities, and that means that our customers come to us for their many electrical needs. Today, we have the pleasure of spotlighting our Data Communications (DataComm) department, led by Shane Gebbink, Paul Brumley and Dave Beck. Keep reading to learn more about datacomm, and click play on the video below to view photos from some of BEC’s recent datacomm projects.

What is DataComm?

Short for data communications, datacomm refers to the systems that transmit data to and from computers and components of computer systems. This type of communication is transmitted through wires, coaxial cables, fiber optics or radiated electromagnetic waves such as broadcast radio, infrared light, microwaves and satellites. Datacomm is an integral foundation of the way we communicate in today’s world.


Unique Challenges and Innovations

BEC’s datacomm department enjoys meeting the demands of their work with creative solutions. “We are constantly challenged with finding solutions that meet our customers’ needs,” BEC DataComm Manager Shane Gebbink explained. “There are always a lot of parts to juggle with any project, and we aim to please everybody who is involved.”

In addition to juggling various aspects of a project, BEC’s datacomm technicians also enjoy keeping up with the latest technology. “I enjoy the constant enhancement in technology - we have come so far in such a short time,” Shane said. “This makes us think about the future more. The field is always evolving,” he added. “One recent trend is ‘cloud computing’, and it is not going away. We are also seeing DAS, or distributed antenna systems, becoming part of our scope of work. These enhance cellular and emergency broadband in buildings.”

A Reputation of Excellence

When it comes to providing excellent service, BEC’s datacomm department is known for going above and beyond. “One thing that sets us apart is our experience. Our technicians are Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI) certified. BICSI publishes standards, guidelines and reference manuals for use in the design, installation and integration of information technology systems,” Shane explained. “Additionally, our technicians are long-term employees; we are committed to the trades.”

“Berwick Electric CO. is a reputation electrical contractor,” Shane emphasized. “Our reputation and relationships will be here after each project, and we strive to keep both in excellent condition.”

Need excellent electrical service? Click here.

Topics: Data Communications, Service Department, Community

Working Outside the Box: Devil’s Head Fire Lookout

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Sep 24, 2014

Unless you’re a pilot, chances are that you don’t regularly use a helicopter in your day job. Recently, BEC electricians got to work “outside the box” on an electrical upgrade project at Devil’s Head Fire Lookout, the last remaining manned U.S. Forest Service fire lookout tower in Colorado, located at the summit of Devil’s Head in Douglas County. 

BEC Electricians enjoyed a variety of unique challenges with this project. Because the job site is only accessible by foot or rotor wing aircraft, the team used a helicopter to fly tools, equipment and materials in and out of the job site. In addition, communication through normal channels was limited, and preconstruction coordination was essential. Further, the team often worked in the rain to complete the project on schedule.

“A big thank you to Lucas, Brian Riggs and Josh Maul, whose efforts on the coordination were absolutely integral to the success of this project. We would also like to thank Rampart Helicopter Services and RGC Group, Inc. Due to the logistics associated with remobiliztion, Brian Riggs and Lucas actually spent three nights camped at the job site." Project Manager Andrew Maestas said. ”There were many late nights and early mornings for these guys, and without their willingness to go above-and-beyond, this project and projects like it would not be possible while maintaining the exceptional quality of service for which Berwick Electric Co. is known."

You can catch some of the highlights by clicking play on the video below.  

To learn more about the work BEC does, click here.


Topics: Project Updates, Service Department, Community

Berwick Electric Co. Honors Public Safety Employees

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Sep 17, 2014

Berwick Electric Co. has a long history of serving the community, and we strive to recognize others who do the same.

When a woman and two small children were stuck on the third floor of a burning building, brave firefighters from the Colorado Springs Fire Department hurried to pull the woman and children to safety. Colorado Springs Fire Department firefighters involved in the rescue include Driver Engineer Neil Raedel, Firefighter Luke Magistrelli, Lieutenant Mark Romero, Driver Engineer T.J. Bopp, Firefighter Nick Cruz and Firefighter Derek Smith.

We are pleased to honor these public safety employees, and we encourage you to join us in honoring them by watching the video below.

Topics: Service Department, Community

A Peek Inside BEC's Service Vans: Bringing You Excellent Service

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Wed, Sep 10, 2014

Have you ever spotted a Berwick Electric Co. service van driving around town? If you live in the Colorado Springs area, chances are that you have. BEC’s service drivers respond to a wide variety of electrical needs, including large and small residential and commercial jobs.

Today we invite you to take a peek into one of our service vans, driven by BEC Electrician Buddy Lowther. Buddy has been in the electrical industry for 15 years, and he genuinely enjoys what he does! Buddy takes pride in his work, and likes getting to know the wide variety of customers with whom he interacts on a daily basis. As you will see in Buddy’s van, BEC’s service vans are fully stocked to meet a wide variety of electrical needs. Click on the photos below to take a tour of Buddy's service van.

When it comes to delivering great service to our customers, quality, safety and integrity are Berwick Electric Co.’s top priorities. To request service, click here.

Topics: Service Department, Community

Why You Should Reconsider DIY Electrical Projects

Posted by Tonia Nifong on Fri, Aug 29, 2014

It’s easy to see why DIY, or do-it-yourself, home projects are so appealing; we all want to save time and money. And while saving time and money are certainly important, safety should be the ultimate priority. Today, Berwick Electric Co.’s  safety manager Bill Tuten shares top safety pitfalls for DIY projects, and why you should consult an expert. Stay safe and read on!

image of electrical wiring
Safety should be the first priority of any electrical project.

1. Lack of knowledge. It seems that there are “how-to” resources for just about everything these days. But just because you can “Google” something or look up a quick how-to video on YouTube, that doesn’t mean you are equipped to carry out the project alone. “DIY projects are very popular right now,” BEC Safety Manager Bill Tuten explained. “However, even the DIY television channel stresses the importance of consulting a professional. Although you may think you are fixing the problem, you may in fact be solving the wrong problem,” he added. “You want to approach any DIY project with a professional knowledge base.”

2. Working on an energized circuit. The first step in any DIY electrical project is to de-energize the circuit you are working on. Again, this is where professional knowledge comes in. “Before working on an outlet or any kind of wiring, it’s important to test and make sure that it is, in fact, not live,” Bill explained. “It is possible to accidentally turn off the wrong breaker, so you want to double check before working. A voltage tester can be used to check whether or not an outlet is still energized. Also, the breaker box needs to be secured. Communicate to family that the breaker box should be left alone throughout the duration of the project. Lock it out if you can.”

3. Working on an unsecured ladder. Many homes have vaulted ceilings or elevated outdoor light fixtures, requiring a ladder to reach and repair them. Although it seems obvious, ladder safety bears repeating. “Never stand directly on top of an A-frame ladder. Only step up to the second ladder step from the top. Warning labels are on the top and one rung below the top that says, ‘NOT A STEP,’” Bill said. “You should also always make sure that a ladder is secure before using it, as well as ensure that you are using the right ladder for the task at hand. Never use an all-aluminum ladder when working with electricity. Wood or fiberglass ladders are the safest to use when working with electricity.”

4. Ignoring electrical code. Although some jobs, such as finishing a basement, may seem simple, it’s important to make sure the electrical work is done to code. “If you don’t know the codes, or the work isn’t done to code, you could end up dealing with overloaded circuits,” Bill explained. “And this could lead to a fire hazard situation. Always consult with an electrician about how many amps your home has and what you can and can’t do. You may need a power upgrade in order to continue the project safely.”

5. Not grounding properly. If your project involves underground cabling, call a professional. “It’s imperative that projects with underground cable are properly grounded. Often times, people want to run an underground cable from the source to a barn or workshop outside of their house,” Bill said. “First, call a professional to do the locating. A professional should also be consulted about the proper type of cable and grounding. Most DIY-ers don’t know about grounding. If grounded properly and something does go wrong, the grounding directs the electricity into the earth, so that you don’t get electrocuted. Grounding is important.”

We hope that these DIY safety concerns have convinced you to consult a professional before starting any home project. To consult with a qualified Colorado Springs electrician or request service, call 719-632-7683. You can also request service online here.
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Topics: Service Department, Community