This year marks the 50th anniversary of Jack B. Henderson Construction Company. Jack was the modest son of a carpenter who returned to Clovis, New Mexico after serving his tour of duty in the service. In Clovis he met his bride Joan Stroud and that’s where the JBH story begins. Jack B. Henderson started his company on May 5, 1959. Jack led JBH through prosperous times and tough times when it seemed that he would never get another project. Those first years taught my parents a lot about life and making your own way in this world. Through Jack’s perseverance and drive he began to develop relationships with the Atomic Energy Commission (now Sandia National Labs), Kirtland Air Force Base and PNM. JBH began doing architectural work for these customers, subcontracting all mechanical scopes. Back then JBH was a much smaller operation with Jack and Bob Poline running the show. Bob worked with Jack on many projects over the years and was instrumental in the early days of JBH. Bob was the field ace and Jack the estimator and all around business man. As their relationship with the Atomic Energy Commission strengthened, JBH began to secure additional work to build up their resume.
In 1967 JBH general contracting bids were being affected by a local mechanical strike. Jack asked the local mechanical contractors for pricing on projects and they refused saying they couldn’t price any work until the strike was settled. Failing to submit bids was not an option for JBH. Jack took the matter into his own hands and added mechanical contracting to the list of services JBH self-performed. Jack hired his brother in-law Leland Stroud on the Piping side and Paul Sims for HVAC. Leland’s son John Stroud Sr. also joined JBH at this time. With Leland and Paul’s guidance, Jack hired a few plumbers and tinners and the mechanical division was rolling. The sheet metal shop was added the same year.
Soon the modest carpenter’s son from Clovis was managing work at Sandia National Laboratories helping to develop the very first clean room. JBH provided support in manufacturing computer chips capable of surviving nuclear exposure (a task that had never been done before) and helped develop the first semiconductor fab in Building 870 to get the job done. JBH continues to work at Building 870 today.
With the clean room experience gained at SNL, JBH looked toward another opportunity for high tech work. JBH knocked on the door of a Rio Rancho microelectronics manufacturer in the mid 80’s and finally got the opportunity to show our capabilities during a Fourth of July acid line removal project. We were the only contractor willing to risk the exposure to the acid. You may be familiar with the saying “it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.” We were and continue to be that someone.
As the years have passed one thing has remained constant with JBH, we know for certain that we are only as good as our people and they are the reason for our long history in the construction industry and the community. We find ourselves being challenged during the tough economy with staying the course, holding to our values, and honoring our people who in turn honor each other and the customers we are fortunate to work for. The hard work of each geographic area of JBH results in our ability to maintain our revenue and continue to grow and prosper. Jack would be proud to see the progress the company has made since those early days.
The Colorado Team is working hard developing new customers in the region and continues to support current customers who demand nothing but the best. The Northern New Mexico Team is in the early stages of a large design build project that will keep folks working for years to come. The Arizona Team is in its infancy and working hard to gain a solid market share of the next generation computer components. The Rio Rancho Team is working on the next generation microchip and we will be challenged like never before to meet the demands of the production schedule while working safe and making sure we do the job right the first time. The Albuquerque Team continues the work with SNL, UNM, APS and KAFB proving the value of our company with each completed project.
We can only wonder what mom and dad would think of their company as it is today. We know they would be proud of each and every person on our team. We know that they would be proud to serve the customers we serve today and of the honesty, integrity, quality and safety values we hold dear. Looking into the future we are so excited and anxious to continue the journey of building for the absolute best customers in the world and employing the very best people around. Please join us in celebrating our 50th year in business and taking pride in our work and giving back to the community we live in. We look forward to another 50 years of building futures while supporting our valued customers. God bless you all!
Mark & Linda Henderson