With the help of Waypoint Bank – Cozad, Joel Pflaster built a business in his hometown

Joel Pflaster’s journey from growing up in Cozad to starting his own electric company in his hometown came with a few twists and turns.

But growing up with the nickname “Flash,” deciding on a name for his business was pretty straightforward.

The youngest of Larry and Linda Pflaster’s three children, Joel followed in his father’s and his uncles’ footsteps and excelled in wrestling. He was a four-time state qualifier and two-time medalist for Cozad High School.

After Cozad High, he attended Hastings Community College (Nebraska) before his passion for wrestling led him to Colby Community College (Kansas), where he joined the school’s wrestling program and started pursuing a degree in criminal justice. 

But Joel decided Colby wasn’t the right fit. As he was contemplating his next move, his older sister Sheri told him she’d heard that “electricians made pretty good money.”  Joel did some research that showed she was right, then completed the Electrical Technology program in North Platte from the North Campus of Mid-Plains Community College.

Pflaster ventures to Colorado to gain electrical experience

One of Joel’s fellow electrical students at North Platte took a job at Interstates, an electric company with a location in Fort Collins, Colo., and persuaded Joel to join him.  Joel stayed with Interstates for five years, building experience in the company’s service division; notably, one of Interstates’ customers was the iconic craft brewer, New Belgium Brewing Company.  

During his time in Colorado, Joel obtained his journeyman electrician status and eventually passed his master’s test, making it possible to start his own business.

Flash Electric is founded in Nebraska

While Joel was able to cut his teeth as an electrician in Colorado, he never doubted he wanted to return home to Cozad to be close to his family. It was a natural step for him to begin what else but Flash Electric in 2013. All people in business need a banker, so he chose to become a customer of Waypoint Bank, which he knew had a long history of serving Cozad. 

Flash Electric covers all aspects of electrical services, including residential and commercial projects, and has many industrial and agricultural clients.

A family business in every respectgirl on machine

Today, Flash employs around 10 people. And it’s become a family business in every sense of the word. Joel’s cousin Hank Pflaster is a journeyman for the company, and his dad Larry even joined last year to help manage the office operations. Joel’s daughter Rilyn also helps by “trying out” the new equipment.

In addition to being an employer in Cozad and a Cozad Chamber of Commerce member, Flash Electric also works with local schools to provide training opportunities for students interested in the electrician field.

“As a local business, there are so many ways to make an impact on your community,” Joel said. “We’re proud that we can provide good incomes for our employees and their families, and also help the next generation get started.”

Investing in the community

Flash Electric recently earned the praise of its customers and the Cozad community when it was named winner of the Best Electrician category for the Dawson & Gosper Best of 2023 Awards by the Lexington Clipper-Herald.

Joel and his business also made an impact with their recent remodel of the former home to Tri City Tribune and Nancy’s Gifts. The building near downtown Cozad was vacant for many years before the upgrade. Now Flash uses part of the building as offices, a showroom, and a retail store for electrical supplies and leases out part of the space to DBN Outdoors. 

“Fortunately, my career path brought me back to Cozad,” Joel said. “Hopefully, I can help make Cozad a place where others can stay and build their careers and businesses.”

“Waypoint Bank is always glad to assist small businesses with their banking needs,” said Eric Zimbelman, Waypoint Bank – Cozad Assistant Vice President and Joel’s banker. “It’s especially gratifying when we can help a company expand, continue to grow, and bring a valuable service to our rural community.”

  • daddy daughter dance
    Joel and Rilyn Pflaster getting ready for a father-daughter dance.

Cover photo: The crew of Flash Electric takes a break from remodeling the former Tri-City Tribune building Joel Pflaster purchased in 2022.  Photo courtesy Cozad Local.

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