Married Couples Who Work Together: Maria and Salvatore Giordano
Photo by Stefan Radtke
After master electrician Salvatore Giordano drops his six- and nine-year-old daughters off at the bus stop, he heads off to Premier Energy Solutions's job sites in Westchester, Putnam, and Fairfield Counties, where he provides electrical work to clients, while his wife, Maria, works on the company’s finances out of their Armonk home. “We’re not around each other that much,” Maria says. “He’s doing his thing: I’m doing my thing.”
Salvatore’s thing is leading a team of five in designing, repairing, and upgrading electrical systems and doing related construction work—they average at least 10 projects per week. Maria does all the financial work and seeks out prospective clients.
Since founding Premier Energy Solutions in 2007, the couple insists there has been very little friction. Salvatore, 39, however, has had to adapt to his wife’s financial edicts. “I have a particular way I’ve been accustomed to doing things, and my wife has a particular way.” Maria, 38, says. “He’ll never win an argument with me about finance.” Maria’s parents also run a business, and the Giordanos have used their way of working together as a model. “We try to take the concept they have provided: You stay out of my business—I stay out of yours,” Salvatore says.
And, after hours, Maria and Salvatore, who married in 2001, try to keep work out of their minds. “It’s really important to keep the two separate,” Maria says. Still… “When the kids are at school or fast asleep, we get paperwork done. Sometimes, I work until twelve or one o’clock.”
While the Giordanos have built their business on Salvatore’s talents as an electrician, ironically, it’s the electrical fixtures at home that don’t get the same attention as the ones on the job. “Sometimes, it will take months before he fixes something,” Maria says. “It’s ‘the shoemaker’s kids go barefoot.’ But it’s the same with me. Here I am doing accounting stuff for the business, but balance my personal checkbook? I’m lucky if I write my checks down.”