In 1914 Henry F. Laub was on assignment from Gillman, Illinois constructing a power line through Cache Valley. He enjoyed the area so much he decided to stay and started his own company. Cache Valley Electric and Auto Supply was born in 1915 and now, 100 years later, has grown to one of the largest and most diverse electrical contractors in the country.
“One of my guys told me we are working in 40 states right now,” says Jim Laub, the grandson of Henry and current CEO of Cache Valley Electric. “It’s been a fun, exciting business and it’s been around for 100 years.”
Laub says the company is very different today than when it first started (it doesn’t do anything with auto supply anymore) and part of its success and longevity is due to its ability to adapt. In fact, Laub says his father Jack, Sr. and grandfather before him wouldn’t recognize their own business today.
“The business we are in today is worlds different from what my grandfather started 100 years ago. My father has been passed away for over 10 years. I don’t think he would recognize what we’re doing today compared to what he grew up with.”
Laub says that is mostly due to changing technologies and changing building codes, but Cache Valley Electric has also adapted and spread into other business sectors, including cloud computing and security systems.
“I really think we are, kind of a bold statement to make, we are the most diversified electrical contractor in the country, between the traditional electrical that we do to the new technologies that we’re doing. We’ve adapted and changed with the times but our bread and butter is still the heavy industrial work.
“We do a whole bunch of things now. We purchased a security systems company and have branched out throughout the country. Very few electric contractors we run into are involved in the technology to the degree that we are. That has become a big part of what we do.”
The company has been holding special events throughout the month of April to celebrate the milestone, including handing out special gifts and special newsletters. Laub says much of it has been to recognize the hundreds of employees who have contributed to the success of Cache Valley Electric over the years. On April 11 the company held their annual banquet.
“We had a lot of very special guests come in from across the country that we have worked for and with over the years. We had a great get together. We had 400 people. It was a great event, it was fun to do and a little emotional for me, to be quite honest.”
A public open house was held in Logan and on Thursday a similar open house will be held at their Salt Lake City offices at 1414 South Gustin Road.
Laub says it is fun to recognize the company’s longevity, but spoken like a true business owner he is concerned about the 101st year and the 102nd year.
“I’m not the kind of guy that tries to project where we are going to be a year from now or five years from now. I have the philosophy that if we take care of business today, tomorrow will take care of itself. That’s really my focus.
“If we take care of our customers and do things the right way like we’ve been doing for the last 100 years, tomorrow will be there to take care of itself.”
Laub’s 28 year old son Mark is working out of the Salt Lake office and he has another son who is 17 and still in high school. Laub says both are excited about coming into the business and continuing the tradition forward.
“It’s such an evolving and constantly changing industry now with technology and exciting new businesses popping up, every day I come down here it’s exciting for me.”