A master of marketing and business operations and customer service, Elaine Damschen realized her professional potential after her electrician husband, Todd, required assistance on the business side of his electrical company, Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing. Initially starting out as a schoolteacher, she found her involvement to be an organic process and the couple ultimately decided to diversify their business to accommodate heating & cooling and plumbing. Serving as the company’s president and co-owner since 2000, as well as a member on its board of directors, Ms. Damschen attributes her success to small, everyday incremental actions and decisions and her unwavering perseverance, even when she did not have the full energy to complete tasks.
Prior to dedicating herself to her current post, Ms. Damschen pursued a formal education at Boise State University (BSU), where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and teaching in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration in 2011. Ranked one of the “Top 20 Public Schools in the West” by U.S. News & World Report, BSU allowed her to learn creative processes and project management that transformed her business, explore group dynamics and leadership techniques, and get comfortable with many facets of business such as accounting, finance, marketing and legal issues. Utilizing the skills she learned in business school, Ms. Damschen has helped her company earn an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau annually since 2003, also serving the bureau as a board member.
Ms. Damschen’s company was ranked at No. 3,937 on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies in 2018. Moreover, she was named among the Women in Business Leadership in Spokane Coeur D’Alene Magazine in 2018. She and her company were also featured in an article published by the Spokane Journal in October of 2018, in which she explains how expanding their services in just a three-year period has accounted for a large portion of its revenue growth. Her decision to add new service divisions was partly due to best practices from Nexstar Network, of which her company has been a member since 2012, as well as business advice she’d learned from Jay Abraham, the founder and CEO of the Abraham Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based marketing consultant firm focused on providing growth strategies to businesses. The factors that Ms. Damschen feels have played a role in her success is innovation. Her belief is that a business can only be as successful as its owner’s mental limitations, and she continues to study other business gurus.
In order to succeed in a similar field, Ms. Damschen advises to hire for cultural and core value fit first, and then years of expertise. She has seen herself get to where she currently is through strong connections with her staff. Her personal motto that she lives by is “Successful people do what unsuccessful people refuse to do.” When you don’t feel like doing something, you do it anyways. She has never looked at working in a “man’s world” as a differentiation; she has just worked hard to be successful. Ms. Damschen would like to be remembered by her peers not by what she did, but how she made people feel. She hopes that her peers know that she saw them as human beings and treated them with a lot of love and respect.
Today, Ms. Damschen and her husband are the proud parents of twin boys and one daughter. Her hobbies and special interests include family time in the mountains of North Idaho, travel, reading business and self-improvement books, and participating in philanthropic causes such as ProjectAthena.org, fundraising for TroopstoTrades.org, and numerous local charitable giving in terms of time, talents or financial contributions.
Looking to the future, she sees herself having multiple locations throughout the American northwest. In addition, she also sees herself as a published author, as she is currently working on a book about her parents who met during the Vietnam War, during which time she was conceived. The miracle of her mother getting out of Vietnam and giving birth to her in the United States so that Ms. Damschen could be a U.S. citizen is a truly inspiring tale.