Tell us about Klein Tools and the Electrician of the Year Contest?

Klein Tools is currently accepting applications for this year’s Electrician of the Year contest. It’s an annual contest that awards men and women in the electrical industry who are focused on perfecting their craft, prioritizing safety and committing to giving back. The nominees include safety experts, trade school educators, business owners, and many others who are carrying on the family business. Nominees are electricians who are new to the industry and those who are ready to retire, they are union and non-union, and are from all over the country. We’re pleased with the wide range of applications we’ve received so far.

Six regional winners will be chosen by Klein Tools on September 15th from the hundreds of applications. Those winners will be flown to San Francisco and the grand prize winner will receive a 2015 Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab customized by off-road specialists Addictive Desert Designs in Mesa, Arizona during a presentation on October 5th.


What are the requirements to enter the contest and when is the deadline?

All U.S.-based electricians are eligible, and judging is based on three criteria: professional achievement, safety excellence and community dedication. We want to honor people who are on the top of their game and are taking those skills to the rest of the industry and their community. The deadline to apply is August 31st.


How does this year’s contest differ from previous year’s?

We really upped the ante this year with the Ford F-150 truck as the grand prize. We wanted to inspire our hardworking electricians to take the time to apply so we can reward them for everything they do. We are excited to partner with Addictive Desert Designs and worked hard to ensure that this truck isn’t only great looking, but it also functional and practical to help electricians in the field. We even asked many of them for feedback before designing the truck.


What made you choose a Ford F-150 truck as the grand-prize?

We considered many options when brainstorming this year’s grand-prize and ultimately wanted to award the grand prize winner with something both useful and noteworthy. The Ford F-150 was the truck that could be rugged enough for the jobsite, but stylish enough that the electricians would want to use it in everyday life too. The team at Addictive Desert Designs created a truck that has lots of bells and whistles, but only ones that help support an electrician’s lifestyle. The truck features a custom-built Klein tool storage system, HoneyBadger front and rear bumpers, fender flairs, auxiliary lighting, and a six inch lift. Here’s a link to take a look!


What are some of the runner up prizes?

Each of the six regional winners will receive Klein Tools’ Ultimate Garage Package including a 41-piece Klein Journeyman™ Tool Set and other Klein gear.


Who has won the contest in the past and what kind of participation did you have?

Klein Tools hosts both the Electrician of the Year and the Head of the Class contests. Both are focused on identifying and rewarding electricians who go above and beyond in terms of safety and community involvement, which are key Klein values. To date, our Electrician of the Year applicants are up more than 100% this year, doubling the amount of applications from previous years. We are happy that more electricians are hearing about and applying for the contest so we can select from the best of the best.


What is Klein Tools’ reasoning for hosting this contest?

Klein Tools has been a family company since 1857 and a huge part of that is our reputation. We are thankful that electricians trust our brand to get the job done and also to keep them safe. Hosting the Electrician of the Year contest allows us to say thanks and reward them for a job well done.


How and where can you nominate an electrician?

Entries, including self-nominations, will be accepted online at through August 31st.


Mark P. Klein,  President, Klein Tools

Mark was elected as co-president of Klein Tools in January 2015 after playing a significant role in Klein’s double-digit growth over the past four years. In his leadership, Mark is responsible for world-wide sales, marketing, customer service, and the company’s affiliates, Klein Cutlery and Klein Tools de Mexico. 

He has been with Klein Tools for over 10 years serving in a number of progressive roles. Previously, as vice president, domestic sales, he was responsible for the direction, coordination and development of strategic sales plans and product promotions in the U.S. and Canada. His oversaw the company’s U.S. and Canada sales force and representative organizations, and was also accountable for the company’s affiliates, including Klein Cutlery. Klein Cutlery is the largest U.S. manufacturer of hot-forged scissors and shears.

Prior to this, Mark served as director, North American sales, which included the direction and development of sales growth in the electrical, telecom, hardware, HVAC, industrial, construction, mining and utilities channels.  Prior to that role, he served as manager, strategic channel development, which included Canada, HVAC, telecom, utilities and MRO. Mark’s earlier positions at Klein Tools included channel manager, HVAC, in which he led the initial launch of Klein’s first HVAC program, growing that business and gaining market share in that previously untapped channel. 

Before his employment at Klein Tools, Mark was an inventory management buyer at Anixter International, a distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire, cable and fasteners.

Mark serves on the company’s board of directors, holds a BA from the University of Iowa, an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and has attended executive education programs at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Mark has been selected in tED magazine’s “30 Under 35” and featured in publications such as, the Chicago Tribune, The Wholesaler, Energy & Mining, and Professional Distributor. Mark is a member of the senior advisory board for Cystic Fibrosis.