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Kingham Construction named Large Business of the Year
Posted 09 - 07 - 2010

Kingham Construction named Large Business of the Year

Chamber annual meeting and banquet set for September 28

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce has named J.E. Kingham Construction Co. as the 2010 Large Business of the Year.

The company will be recognized at the Chamber’s 89th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m. at the Hotel Fredonia.

“J.E. Kingham Construction Co. has literally helped build Nacogdoches from the ground up,” said Paul Smith III, Chamber chairman. “They’ve also carried the Nacogdoches name far across Texas as they’ve built dozens of major structures in other communities.”

The company was founded in 1895 by E. A. Kingham’s uncle H.C. Hatchl, and operated under his name for 25 years. From 1920-35 it was known as Hatchl & Kingham Construction Co. From 1935-48 it was E.A. Kingham Building Contractor and from 1948-55 as E.A. Kingham & Son Building Contractors. The company has operated under its current name since 1955.

In 1997 J. E. Kingham’s four sons – Jim, Tom, John and Bob - purchased the business from their father. Each son began working for the company at age 13 and has had no other employment other than J. E. Kingham Construction Co. J. E. Kingham, 87, although retired from the business, still comes to the office every day.

Over the years, the company has evolved from building small farm and ranch buildings to homes to major commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. In East Texas, the company provides general contracting, construction management and design/build services for a variety of divisions in the commercial, industrial and institutional markets, such as education, healthcare, detention, retail, financial, manufacturing, and office buildings. Approximately 65 percent of the East Texas market is for the public sector and 35 percent is in the private sector.

Since 1985 the company has completed over 200 separate educational projects for 46 Texas school districts encompassing over 6 million square feet, with a total value of $750 million.

The company’s Houston operation is primarily focused on design/build development projects, all in the private sector and concentrated mainly in heavy manufacturing, distribution, warehouse, office and research facilities. The company recently designed, engineered and constructed the 375,000 square foot manufacturing and research facility for the world headquarters for Reed-Hycalog in Conroe, an oilfield service company that specializes in the research and manufacturing of drill bits for the oil and gas industry.

The company has had various numbers of employees over the years depending on the economy and the opportunities available. Currently there are 140 employees working for the company.

In 2009 the company was ranked as the 42nd largest construction company in Texas (Texas Construction April 2010) and the 306th largest in the nation (Engineering News Record May 17th 2010)

In 2010 the company’s total volume will approach $238 million. “We are currently working on our largest single job,” said Jim Kingham, “the new $58 million high school in Livingston, Texas.”

The location of Nacogdoches, being almost half way in between Houston and Dallas offers a logistical advantage for the company to serve the surrounding East Texas towns and cities.

“Every week, more and more highly qualified construction professionals are losing their jobs due to the sinking economy,” Kingham said. “Finding jobs and putting these people back to work is the biggest challenge facing our industry.”

“Our company’s greatest challenge mirrors the industry’s, which is how to handle the problems associated with a construction economy that is contracting rather than expanding,” he said. “Even though historically, the construction industry is cyclical, having to lay off loyal, qualified, long term employees due to lack of work is something that our company has rarely experienced to date, and we do not want this to change.

“We come from a ‘hard work culture,’” Kingham said. “We believe that there is no substitute and we will continue to do what we’ve done in the past that has allowed us to survive for over 100 years in a very tough business. That is to leverage all of our experience, capabilities and resources to ensure the success of our client’s projects when judged from only the highest standards.”

The Chamber’s 2010 Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards recipients are:

Ø Large Business of the Year: J.E. Kingham Construction Co.

Ø Medium Business of the Year: First Bank & Trust East Texas

Ø Small Business of the Year: Laine’s Hallmark Shop.

Dr. Archie P. McDonald has been named 2010 Citizen of the Year.

The Chamber’s Annual Meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a raffle and social hour. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. Contact the Chamber office for tickets and event sponsorships. Check the Chamber web site, for the event registration form. Contact Barbara Holl, 560-5533, to donate items for the raffle.


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