Valentin Sechelaru is the founder of AmpCity Electric LLC ,and a former military serviceman with the United States Army and the National Guard. Born in Romania, Sechelaru and his family immigrated to the United States in 1991 and built a life in Manchester, New Hampshire. Following graduation from Central High School, Valentin enrolled in technical college for a year before deciding it wasn’t the right path for him.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, Valentin Sechelaru decided to enlist in the military in 2005, and was sworn into the United States Army in 2006. While a career in the Army was developing, Valentin dedicated himself to schoolwork in his spare time with hopes of someday becoming an electrician. In 2009, Sechelaru was deployed to Afghanistan and served a tour of duty as a Weapon squad Team leader When he returned home, he was heavily involved in unit training with the National Guard, while securing all of the necessary certification to become an electrician.
Sechelaru started AmpCity Electric LLC a full-service electrician company, in the spring of 2014, and services residential, commercial and industrial clients in Manchester, and surrounding areas.
In recent years, Valentin Sechelaru has devoted his spare time to learning the ins and outs of real estate, and has built up a portfolio of nearly 10 properties in New Hampshire.
Why did you decide to start your own business, AmpCity Electric LLC ?
My stepdad was an electrician so he kind of got me into it. I felt like I could follow in his footsteps to become an electrician myself. After working as an electrician for a few different companies following my discharge from the military, I figured it was time to branch off and start my own business. That’s how AmpCity Electric LLC was born, in 2014. With my new real estate endeavors, I’ve also opened up AmpCity Properties LLC as a property management company.
I also own a few properties – I’m doing a real estate course and plan on taking the exam in the near future. One of my hobbies is either looking for and buying buildings, or working on renovations in those buildings. As of right now I have 18 apartments.
When did you first join the military and what made you want to enlist?
I joined the United States Army in 2006. I grew up in what I would call the 9/11 era – I watched the twin towers at the World Trade Center collapse on TV when it all happened and I felt that with what was going on in the world, that I could do something to benefit my country, the world and ultimately myself in some way.
When I was working for the National Guard, I was tasked with training any National Guard unit that was deploying to Afghanistan or other war zones.
Tell me about your career history after school, what did you do?
When I graduated from basic training, I also started going to school to be an electrician. I did a few years in trade school before I ended up deploying to Afghanistan in 2009. When I came back in 2010, I started working for the National Guard full-time, while still pursuing my electrical career – making sure I kept up with my schooling. I got my journeyman in 2011 to become a certified electrician. In 2013 I got my master electrician. I worked for a couple of companies then decided it was time to open my own business, and that’s when AmpCity Electric LLC came about in 2014.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
Usually I’ll get up in the morning, eat breakfast, and prepare a lunch. I’ll already have jobs set up for the day well in advance, so I’ll go out to a jobsite; whether that’s a customer that needs work done at their house, new residential builds, or commercial properties, I’ll take care of any jobs that they need done. Every so often, I’ll have a service call that needs immediate attention so there are times where I get pulled away from a job.
Outside of work, riding my motorcycle,and taking the boat out on Lake Winniepesaukee are things I enjoy. I like to go to the gym for a couple of hours each day before coming back home and calling it a night.
Right now, I’m also going to school at night for real estate, so that’s something I’ve been working on a lot lately, a couple nights a week and weekends as well. I’m always trying to learn new things, whether that’s about real estate or my trade, I think it’s a good idea to always be looking to grow professionally and personally.
How do you motivate others?
For 12 years with the National Guard, I was with the infantry. I was quickly promoted to team leader – and when I was in Afghanistan I was leading a gun team. Our job was to carry the biggest guns that you could physically carry and we would walk around and patrol. My job was to position the gun teams in that area efficiently and effectively, to keep our guys safe.
When I got home, I became an instructor for the National Guard with any units that were slated to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq. I tried to pass along my knowledge and most importantly my experiences from over there, to the ones who had never been to try and best prepare them for what to expect and how to best handle situations they may find themselves in. At the same time that I was training others, I was still working as a Captain’s RTO (Radiotelephone Operator) – meaning I was his voice for disseminating information down to the unit and also talking to higher up and getting us information. I was also a squad leader for about 3 years.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I think it’s all about time management. If I’m communicating well with my clients and giving them specific timelines for all of the jobs that I’m working on, then it makes it easier for me to enjoy my time off and helps to keep me accountable. If I tell somebody that I will be somewhere at a certain time, I will be there at that time.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Be on time.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for a job, a date, just meeting up with friends… The military instilled in me that if you’re 10 minutes early, you’re on time – but if you’re on time, then you’re late. Most importantly, if you’re late – don’t even show up!
That’s one thing that’s always stuck with me, especially given my time in the military.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Spending 12 years in the military. Deploying to Afghanistan is easily the biggest thing that I never thought I could do. Doing a tour and eventually combat missions is a big deal. The biggest thing that every infantryman wants is to get a ‘CIB’, which means Combat Infantry Badge. It’s a big deal.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
Continuing to grow. I love where I’m at right now, but I want to continue to grow my clientele, to improve all of my properties, and to grow my knowledge on a variety of topics. Growth is key in development.
What advice would you give a 16-year old Valentin Sechelaru?
Find out what you’re good at and perfect your craft. It’s nice to know a lot of things, but in my opinion it’s better to be a master at something.