About Cal-Tex Companies
Established in 2005, Cal-Tex Companies has grown to become the leading merit-based service company in the Twin Cities. Our three divisions – Electric, Technologies, and Construction – provide a wide array of services for commercial, industrial and residential clients.
We have built a reputation for excellence by providing our clients with a combination of superior service, collaborative designs, and high-quality construction.
Take a look at some of the projects we have completed for clients and you’ll to understand the depth and range of projects we can complete.
Our mission at Cal-Tex is centered on our core value of providing our customers superior electrical, technology and construction services through our skilled and specialized team members.
Executive Leadership Team
“Everyone at Cal-Tex is ‘all in’ on projects. Each of us takes Cal-Tex’s reputation personally and clients know that we will do whatever is needed to take care of our clients.”
In April of 2005, Ronnie Bassett turned a dream into reality, and named it Cal-Tex Electric. Although he had zero employees and not a single customer when he started, he had a belief in the knowledge that he acquired from observations in the field that a client and team focused merit-based electrical company could thrive in the Twin Cities market. Thirteen years later, Cal-Tex Electric has expanded to include additional divisions in technologies and construction (the overall name is Cal-Tex Companies), 100 employees, hundreds of clients and a reputation as a leading electrical company in the Twin Cities.
Ronnie was joined by Matt Arends as a co-owner in 2006. The two had worked together previously and shared the same desire to build a merit-based company focused on excellence in service and customer satisfaction. “Early on, our growth was due to who we were and our connections in the design and build industry,” says Ronnie, who notes that Cal-Tex has increased its revenue every year except one since 2005.
“But our company really started gaining traction when the word got out that we were a very professional company that could outwork our competition and always strive to make our clients happy. It was kind of like a snowball rolling downhill – once it got going there’s was no stopping it. That was and is Cal-Tex.”
Cal-Tex’s growth is linked in large part to three core strengths, according to Ronnie. “One, our guys in the field. Two, everyone in the company embraces Cal-Tex’s mission. And three, our never-ending focus on training. Our guys in the field are better trained than any of our competition. And that translates into better outcomes for our clients.”
Like Cal-Tex’s other owner, Matt Arends, Ronnie got his start in the industry from the ground floor. He was an electrician for almost a decade in Minnesota, California and Texas before starting Cal-Tex and still can understand the challenges facing the electricians in the field. “We wouldn’t get the jobs we do if we didn’t have such talented guys in the field and their pursuit of excellence.
Ronnie and his wife Cara (who is the daughter of Mike Toepfer, Cal-Tex’s Chief Operating Officer) live in Prior Lake with their four daughters. They love to travel – Europe is one of his favorite destinations – and Ronnie is a passionate reader.
Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President
“As our company has grown to more than 100 employees, it has been especially gratifying to see our people succeed in their jobs and make a visible impact on the success of our company and the customers we support.”
When Matt Arends left his previous employer for an ownership stake in Cal-Tex back in 2006, he brought with him an internationally-known client whom he had fostered a relationship with over the past two decades. Rather than just wishing him luck on his new endeavor, the company told him that they would be following him to Cal-Tex because they trusted him to continue providing excellence in service and delivering superior results.
This customer/client relationship is indicative of what Cal-Tex stands for – building strong partnerships that allow all parties involved to grow and succeed. “Our clients truly appreciate the level of service and professionalism we bring to our relationship with them and how we stay ahead of their needs,” notes Matt, who is a licensed journeyman electrician. “They know that we will always bring our ‘A game’ to our work and our expertise is such that we will often improve many of their operations and processes – which saves them operational costs down the road.”
As Cal-Tex’s Vice President, Matt wears many different hats. His main focus is on helping run day-to-day operations, forecasting business projections, and creating and implementing policies and procedures. But he also maintains a project management role and has extensive experience designing electrical systems.
Matt credits much of Cal-Tex’s strategic success to the strengths that two co-owners bring to the company. “Ronnie (Bassett) and I are a good combination. We often are like bookends that may be far apart on an idea or a strategic initiative. But we tend to meet in the middle and the resulting decision is better for both Cal-Tex and our clients.”
Matt also notes that the strength of Cal-Tex is much more than the owners. “We’ve had the ability to get quality people in place and make sure that everyone pulls in the same direction. The concept of team resonates deep in the culture at Cal-Tex and is exemplified daily.”
Matt lives in Prior Lake and spends as much time as possible with his son Hayden Matthew, who is four years old. While Matt has recently taken up golfing, he also enjoys anything that involves a racquet – tennis and pickleball especially – and enjoys spending time on the lake.
“I can’t say enough good things about this company. It seems everyone always strives to be better not just from last year but from last week. I love the sense of dedication I see.”
Matt Trevis has known Cal-Tex co-owners Ronnie Bassett and Matt Arends for almost two decades. He first worked with them beginning in 2001 at a south metro electrical construction company. He re-joined them at Cal-Tex Electric in March 2007, working as a journeyman electrician and a job site foreman. Eventually, in 2011, Matt moved into an office job as a project manager/estimator. In late 2018, Matt was promoted to Vice President of Cal-Tex Companies and became a shareholder in the company in January 2019.
Matt and Josh Humphrey oversee most of Cal-Tex Electric’s operations – estimating, managing projects, and searching for new projects for Cal-Tex through their network of happy, current, and past clients. “I always wanted a challenge like this, and it still challenges me every day.”
Matt grew up in Farmington and eventually earned an AAS degree in electrical construction at Dunwoody Institute. He now lives in South Minneapolis with his wife Kobi, and their daughter Haddie, who is closing in on her third birthday. Matt’s wife is from British Columbia and played four years of college hockey at St. Cloud State University. Matt and Kobi are expecting their second baby girl in November 2018.
Matt loves to fish year around – especially at the family cabin in Brainerd – and spend quality time with his family.
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
“We have such a great team of people here at Cal-Tex who motivate each other to be the best at their jobs. That kind of teamwork is what produces the level of customer service that we are noted for in our industry.”
The lure of working with a company bursting at the seams with growth opportunities plus being closer to his daughter was enough of an incentive for Mike Toepfer to move from warm California to the frozen tundra called Minnesota in 2017. Toepfer is the Chief Operating Officer for Cal-Tex Company, a new position that is a result of the company’s expansion to three divisions and explosive growth in its client project list.
The move to Minnesota was made a bit easier by the fact that Mike’s daughter Cara is the wife of Ronnie Bassett, the founder and majority owner of Cal-Tex Company. Plus Mike had owned a trucking company with Ronnie (and Matt Arends, the other Cal-Tex co-owner) more than a decade ago. “I had been involved off and on with Cal-Tex since their inception, mainly with strategic insights and operational organization. In 2016 Ronnie told me he would be honored if I would come to work for him in Minnesota. My wife had just retired, so it figured ‘why not’ and we moved to Minnesota and I started in the middle of winter – January 16, 2017. I’ve enjoyed every moment since I moved here.”
Mike’s job is a little bit of everything, from developing and implementing policies and procedures designed to strengthen the company’s client-centered approach to keeping an eye on finances and making sure the company thinks strategically as they expand. “I bring decades of experience working in large companies at the management level to Cal-Tex, and there isn’t much I haven’t experienced first-hand in business.”
Mike earned an undergraduate degree in economics “many, many years ago” he notes, and it gave him the foundation to thrive in the construction industry. He has managed more than one billion dollars (yes, $1,000,000,000) in construction projects in his career, but also has lots of hands-on experience in construction. “I started working construction when I was 17, and worked as a pipefitter before moving into the office and getting a college degree. I loved working in the construction industry for 44 years, and what we do at Cal-Tex feels very comfortable. I still jump out of bed every morning because I love working, mentoring young talent, and sharing my experiences.”
Mike and his wife Michelle have three children from their marriage plus two they adopted when Michelle’s sister passed away many years ago. All of their children are now grown, and they have 17 grandchildren. In his spare time, Mike loves to golf and do “anything outdoors.”
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer
“Client service is king here. We beat our competitors because of the superior service we provide. It places a lot of pressure on our field guys, but they always finish on time and do it professionally.”
Brandon Block joined Cal-Tex Company in October 2016 after working in a public accounting firm as a senior tax accountant. He wasn’t looking for a new job, but a family friend told him about the Controller job at Cal-Tex and Brandon decided to apply for the position. He interviewed with co-owners Ronnie Bassett and Matt Arends and liked their vision for Cal-Tex.
“I liked both of them and the other people I met during the interview process,” recalls Brandon. “It was a very attractive opportunity for me to be a part of the vision they had for growth and excellence.”
Brandon, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and earned his CPA license in 2013, says that is has been “really rewarding seeing the direction the company is growing and heading and being a part of that progress. A couple of months after I started they added a tech company and they had just added a construction company. It surprised me how fast they were able to take on these new challenges. Ronnie and Matt are calculated risk takers, which I really appreciate, and they are always looking at new business opportunities. We really know where our ‘compass’ is pointed now.”
“The people here are #1”, notes Brandon, who in his role as Controller is responsible for
financial statements, managing relationships with bankers and external auditors, and Cal-Tex’s
cash flow. “I really enjoy working with our management team and being challenged by them
and challenging them. Our management team values are excellent and that’s a big reason why
this is such a dynamic organization.”
Brandon points to Matt and Ronnie’s background as electricians as being a central reason for the company’s explosive growth. “They both understand every facet of the company, from the bottom up, and they purposefully put people in positions where they can help them take the company to the next level. They understand they have to add people with expertise they don’t
Brandon lives in Lakeville with his wife Janelle and their dog Dobby. In his spare time, he likes to
run, do jiu-jitsu, and watch the Minnesota Vikings.
“Cal-Tex clients truly appreciate the level of professionalism they encounter at every level of our company. They know they can count on everyone here to be accessible, work hard and do their job as well as possible.”
Cathy Theis looks forward to each day at Cal-Tex Companies in her role as the Office Manager. “I love the people here,” she says with a smile. “Matt and Ronnie (Cal-Tex co-owners) run an amazing company. Their core philosophy is centered on treating employees fairly while meeting customer needs. We have a positive energy and culture shared by employees at all levels. As a result, Cal-Tex is doing very well and growing quickly.”
Cathy’s responsibilities include on-boarding of new employees, management of the reception area, planning company events, and corporate administrative activities. Additionally, Cathy assists with payroll, insurance, and assists Brandon Block, Cal-Tex’s Controller.
Cathy joined Cal-Tex in January 2017, bringing with her significant experience. She worked for more than 10 years as an office manager for an electrical contractor and more than 5 years managing a team of 100 operators working remotely on third-party verifications.
Cathy’s job at Cal-Tex has been her favorite. “I feel like I’m making a difference and helping the company grow. In my role there is constant change and I really love that. It’s not a stagnant environment and it’s a position that rewards and challenges me daily.”
According to Cathy, Ronnie and Matt have “very different personalities, but they work very well together.” Both have an open door policy with employees, notes Cathy. “They’ve created a positive work environment and you feel like you are heard here.”
Cathy has two daughters and six grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and loves traveling in her free time. “I love to go to new places. I’ve been to Spain, Costa Rica, Morocco, New Zealand, France, England and Ireland, but there are still lots of places I want to visit.”
“The people on the Cal-Tex team have a passion for their work. They really hold true to our mission statement and take pride in the service they provide to our clients.”
When Stephanie Thom joined Cal-Tex in February of 2018 as the Executive Assistant to the senior leadership team, she wasn’t quite sure what her job would include or how busy she would be.
But within a couple of weeks she had no problem filling her days with “anything and everything” that owners Ronnie Bassett and Matt Arends and Chief Operating Officer Mike Toepfer needed done.
“They had me pulling permits, helping Ronnie with our safety program, working with Matt on one of our largest accounts, and helping Mike with general office work,” recalls Stephanie.
The pace and the variety haven’t changed. “I love every moment of my job because of the variety. I’m not bored or doing the same thing all day long. I have lots of curveballs thrown at me but I like it – my days seem to fly by.”
Stephanie appreciates the opportunity to grow in her job and be challenged. “Matt and Ronnie take pride in the people that work for Cal-Tex, and it’s amazing how they take care of their employees. Although it is a fairly large company (nearly 100 employees) it feels more like a family run business.”
So, what does Stephanie like to do in her spare time? “Believe it or not, my ‘hobby’ is working a couple shifts a week at a local Prior Lake Restaurant.” When she’s not at Cal-Tex or waitressing, you’ll find Stephanie spending time with her family – she has three kids that keep her busy. She also enjoys bow hunting, fishing, camping, riding motorcycles or dirt bikes, and watching her kids play sports.