LAFAYETTE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kenneth “Kenny” Bernhard, CEO of Bernhard Mechanical for 21 years announced today that he will retire at the end of the year. Bernhard will continue to serve as a board member and shareholder of Bernhard, LLC and as a consultant to Bernhard Mechanical through 2019 when the company will celebrate its 100 year anniversary.
Bernhard represents the third generation of leadership of the company which was founded in 1919. Under his direction, Bernhard Mechanical grew from a small HVAC and plumbing contractor to one of the largest mechanical contractors with energy engineering capabilities in Louisiana. The company employs up to 300 persons annually.
Among the many highlights of the company’s list of accomplishments was the 2005 prime contract award to design, construct, operate and maintain the cogeneration power plant on the main campus of Louisiana State University. The plant provides redundant power and continues to help reduce LSU’s energy expenses by millions of dollars annually.
The successful completion and ongoing operation and maintenance of the LSU cogeneration project led Bernhard to recognize the potential for other opportunities in the energy sector.
To better position Bernhard Mechanical for its fourth generation, and to pursue more energy sector projects, Bernhard Mechanical became the foundation company of a holding company, Bernhard, LLC. Under the banner of Bernhard, LLC, a unique energy-investment model was developed that would provide investment capital for commercial, governmental and industrial facilities in exchange for engineering design, construction and maintenance services.
A new asset of the holding company, Bernhard Energy, was formed with a focus on district energy systems, Central Heating and Cooling Plants and other energy infrastructure assets.
In 2014, Bernhard, LLC brought TME, LLC into the holding company. TME provides innovative engineering design and energy conservation services through its locations nationwide. That same year, EP Breaux Electrical, a respected electrical contractor specializing in commercial, utility, industrial and communications projects across the Gulf Region also became a Bernhard, LLC Company.
With Kenny Bernhard's involvement, Bernhard, LLC is now comprised of six synergistic companies: Bernhard Mechanical, LLC; Bernhard Brother’s Mechanical Contractors, LLC; Bernhard Energy, LLC; EP Breaux Electrical, LLC; TME, LLC; and, most recently, MCC, LLC.
Commenting on his accomplishments, Bernhard was appreciative of all of the people with whom he’s had the privilege to work.
“While I’m honored to have led one of the oldest family-owned and operated companies in the country, it wouldn’t have been possible without the people who were at my side in the office or in the field,” Bernhard said. “Every project outcome is the sum total of the effort of every single person involved. They’re the folks on whose shoulders our reputation was built and stands on today.”
Bernhard’s recognition of the value of his employees is demonstrated by employee retention.
Bernhard offered one of the best health insurance and benefits programs in the country and distributed annual bonuses to each employee for the past 21 years. Bernhard also cited his pride in the contributions Bernhard Mechanical made to area organizations and institutions over the years.
“We secured ample work over the years so it became a privilege to provide HVAC and plumbing systems to various non-profit agencies. We made a difference,” Bernhard said.