HISTORY OF ATLANTIC ELECTRIC
Atlantic Electric Company was founded in 1969 by Legrand and Nell Richardson as a family owned business. Atlantic Electric was the one of first major open (merit) shop electrical contractors in the Charleston Area. The business continued to grow rapidly in the 70’s and by 1980 Atlantic Electric was one of the largest electric contractors in the state.
As a family owned business, the children (Nancy, Lee, Lodema, and Mike) were expected to be part of the business. Lee and Mike were required to work in the field during summer months as electrician helpers from the age of 15. Lee graduated from for the University of South Carolina with a BS in Electric Engineering. Lee immediately joined the office staff of Atlantic as a project manager and estimator in 1976. Mike started working full time in 1980 as a job site superintendent and in 1982 became head superintendent for all field employees. Lodema graduated from Bauder Fashion College in 1981 with an interior decoration degree but moved into Atlantic accounting department in 1984. Nancy (having graduated University of South Carolina in Mechanical Engineering near the top of her class in 1974) was headed outside the company. She completed her masters in aeronautical engineering in 1976 from Purdue University and began a career at Aerojet Corporation. Today, Nancy is a senior design engineer at Aerojet designing and building the next generation rocket engines for NASA.
Legrand and Nell sold Atlantic Electric to their three youngest children (Lee, Lodema, and Mike) in 1986. Lee became President, Mike Vice President, and Lodema Treasurer. Atlantic Electric continued to grow and prosper under this new leadership until 1999.
Atlantic Electric was sold to Building One Services Corporation in 1999 but the Richardson Family management team stayed place. Building One Service Corporation merged with Group Maintenance Corporation to form Encompass Services Corporation in 2000. Unhappy with Encompass’s direction, Lee and Lodema decided to leave the business in 2001. Mike remained on to help manage the company.
Atlantic Electric was purchased back from the now bankrupt Encompass Services Corporation in March of 2003 by Lee and Mike Richardson. Immediately, Atlantic Electric began to rebuild and return to its successful roots. Atlantic Electric is at the top of the electrical construction industry once again in South Carolina.