Amherst, NH Bob Longchamps, retired executive and founder of Longchamps Electric, Inc., Manchester, has been named as the recipient of the 23rd annual New Hampshire Construction Industry Ethics Award. The award honors the “individual, business or organization that, through its words and deeds, best demonstrates a commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in construction.” Longchamps will be presented with the award at the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. N.H. and Vermont chapter’s Safety Awards and Graduation Night on June 13, at Labelle Winery.
In addition to a plaque, the award carries with it a $1,000 donation to the recipient’s charity of choice. Longchamps has requested that the donation be given to “Veterans Count,” a program of Easterseals with a mission rooted in “Supporting Our Military and Their Families.” This is a program that Longchamps has been active with for years, raising money in support of their tremendous work for the state.
The New Hampshire Construction Industry Ethics Award program was established by David Wood, a nationally recognized writer, publisher and marketing consultant specializing in the construction industry, who continues to underwrite the program. In 2018, Plan NH took over the leadership and heralding of this prestigious award.
Born and raised in the Manchester/Bedford area, Longchamps has spent much of his life dedicated to the Granite State. Upon graduation from Manchester West HS in 1957, he started work at JJ Reilly Co. (a then large electrical contractor based in Manchester) as shop/warehouse help. He eventually began working in the field as an apprentice electrician, then as a journeyman/foreman, and finally in the office as an estimator. He spent 17 years at Reilly before leaving in 1974 to start Longchamps Electric. Over time Longchamps Electric grew to be one of the largest commercial/industrial electrical contractors in N.H. After many dedicated years to the business and industry, Longchamps retired in 2015. Today, he still resides in Manchester, NH, with his wife Mary Ann. He has three adult children, Sheryl, Stephanie, and Robert, and has 5 grandchildren. He was active for years with many organizations including Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Bedford Lions Club and in coaching youth sports.
Bob receives praise and recognition from all over the industry.
“Bob’s word has always been his bond,” said Karl Klardie, president of BK Systems, Inc., a supplier of fire alarm systems out of Pembroke, N.H. “His integrity and trustworthiness are part of his character. You could depend on Bob to do the right thing in dealing with people and responsibility. Over the years, I have found Bob to be very truthful and honest as the day is long. Bob Longchamps is a perfect fit for the Ethics in Construction Award, as you might say that description defines him.”
“Bob and I started our respective businesses in 1975, Bob as an electrical contractor and myself as a consulting electrical engineer,” said Russell Downing, a P.E. providing Electrical Engineering Services in the state. He has had a longstanding business and personal relationship with Bob, and shared similar sentiments as Karl. “Our first project together was in that first year and we have enjoyed a continuous business relationship and personal friendship ever since. In my opinion, Bob’s attention to detail and fairness in dealing with customers and his employees directly led to the continuing success of LEI (Longchamps Electric, Inc.). Bob was also very dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations and was very generous in contributing to these causes.”
Bradford Cook, an attorney of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green has worked with Longchamps Electric, Inc. for 35-plus years. “I have known Bob for decades, having the privilege to represent him personally, his family, and business. Throughout that time, he has had the highest standards of ethics, as an employer, parent, co-worker, and client. Indeed, he often asked, in addition to what he ‘could do,’ what he ‘should’ do, a distinction too few clients recognize.” An often-shared sentiment of Bob is the exceptional level of which he devoted time to business, family, friends, and associations with equal attention and generosity. “He has gone above and beyond the call of duty in giving his clients, for-profit and not-for-profit, good service, and has been generous to the community in providing free or below-cost services for organizations such as the Bishops Charitable Assistance Fund in its annual reception.” That’s a tradition that has since been upheld by Longchamps Electrics and speaks highly of the legacy he left behind.
In a small state, the Construction industry is even smaller. Larry Thibodeau, founder and president of Hampshire Fire Protection Co., LLC, is a fellow subcontractor and friend of Longchamps. Their offices are located 2.2 miles from each other. “We attended many meetings together with the same clients in the early days. We forged a strong friendship from the get-go. We shared a lot of notes through good and bad times. Bob has always presented himself as a professional upstanding contractor who definitely deserves this recognition.”
Paul Harrington of Sullivan Construction offered a very similar testament about Bob’s perseverance. “His leadership and willingness to work through difficult times in the late ’80s and early ’90s led Longchamps Electric to become one of the largest and most successful electrical contracting companies in the state of New Hampshire.” A true test of one’s ethics is often when times are toughest, and the cyclical nature of the construction industry has presented it’s share of tough times.