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 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 much larger projects. 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 a task.
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 Education 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.
A member of the Next Star Network since 2012, Ms. Damschen’s company was ranked at No. 3,937 on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Mainstream Companies. 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 portion of its revenue growth. Her decision to add new service divisions was partly due to business advice she’d heard while listening to 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 studied other business gurus.
In order to succeed in a similar field, Ms. Damschen advises others to ask their job applicants if they are licensed, bonded and insured, if they are drug-free and have had their criminal background checked, and how many years they have been in their 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 do what unsuccessful people refuse to do.” Sometimes 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. Looking to the future, she sees herself having multiple locations throughout the American northwest. A published author, she is working on one book and has another in the back of her mind. Her prospective book is 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.