LB Water CEO Invited to Testify Before Small Business Committee of U.S. House

Hearing honors nation's "heroes of small business"

May 08, 2019


WASHINGTON – The CEO of LB Water Service Inc., an industry leader in supplying waterworks infrastructure solutions to cities, counties, municipalities and businesses throughout the mid-Atlantic region, was one of a dozen small business executives invited to testify today before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business in a hearing honoring America's entrepreneurs.

According to information published by the committee, the hearing was a salute to "heroes of small business," leaders who exemplify the determination, hard work and creativity that showcase the American entrepreneurial spirit. In hearing small-business success stories from across the country, the committee said it would examine the important role the firms play in creating jobs, growing the nation's economy and investing in local communities. The hearing was held in connection with the U.S. Small Business Administration's designation of May 5-11 as National Small Business Week.

LB Water CEO Shawn Pulford testified about the growth of LB Water, which was formed in 1970 when the company's founder, Lehman B. Mengel, capitalized on a market need for readily available waterworks infrastructure materials in the south-central region of Pennsylvania.

"In the timespan of nearly 50 years, we have grown from three employees in one location to 225 employees and eight locations," Pulford said. "LB Water is now the leading provider of innovative solutions for water, wastewater and stormwater throughout the mid-Atlantic region." The company has offices in Selinsgrove, Chambersburg, Ephrata, Ebensburg, Stoneboro, and Oakdale, Pennsylvania; Frederick, Maryland; and Richmond, Virginia.

Pulford told members of the committee that LB Water now also operates two affiliated companies, Stormwater Solution Source and 540 Technologies. Stormwater Solution Source offers solutions for managing stormwater and erosion and sediment control to help its customers meet increasing environmental regulations, and 540 Technologies provides intelligent solutions for water-loss management, street lighting, electric metering and data acquisition and management in 21 states.

He also testified that the company's status since 2002 as a 100% employee-owned business has been foundational to its success.

"It is because of the provision for ESOPs in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 that LB Water has been able to attract and retain its high-caliber workforce, invest in top-notch training and equipment, and provide exceptional benefits to our employee-owners," Pulford said.

Pulford's testimony also included reference to benefits LB Water has experienced as a result of federal tax cuts, economic development activity company officials have witnessed over the last five years in south-central Pennsylvania and concerns company leaders have regarding America's infrastructure needs.

"Most of our solutions are designed to address our nation's aging subsurface water infrastructure, much of which is well over 100 years old and in dire need of replacement," Pulford said. "This critical infrastructure remains out of sight and out of mind until a major failure occurs." He noted that, although companies such as 540 Technologies and LB Water provide solutions that can detect and pinpoint underground water leaks and fix them, repairs are not enough to solve the state of America's deteriorating water infrastructure.

"For more than two years, Congress has discussed the need for comprehensive infrastructure legislation to address the country's transportation and subsurface water infrastructures, both of which are essential for economic development as well as quality of life," Pulford said. "We strongly urge Congress to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill that funds needed improvements to our nation's crumbling water distribution systems along with our nation's highways, bridges and airports."

Pulford concluded his testimony by thanking the committee and noting that he believes LB Water is an American success story.

A complete transcript of the hearing testimony should be available on the committee's website at https://smallbusiness.house.gov 24 hours after the hearing's occurrence.

 

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