Tomco Electric at 40 Years



Since 1973, Tomco Electric Inc. in Bend has been plugged into the specific power needs of Central Oregon, ranking them as one of Oregon’s most respected electrical specialty contractors. Their dedication to safety, reliability and sterling customer service extends to every aspect of their varied resume of projects, from simple home wiring to major commercial and industrial clients.

“We’re celebrating 40 years in 2013 and we’re excited to still be here serving,” said general manager Colby Thompson. “The company started way back in ’73 and at that time the business operated out of the pantry of the family kitchen right here in Bend. The first company vehicle was a VW bus that my dad, Dennis Thompson, had. Dad constructed a small shop and office on the property on Denzer Road, which at the time was just a two-lane rural road that eventually became 27th Street.”

Over the years, the company grew with the frequent booms and busts of the High Desert and eventually moved downtown in the early ‘90s to its present location on NE First Street.

“Right now we run anywhere from 60-90 employees and consequently, have 40 service vehicles on the road today,” said Thompson. “One of the things we do a significant amount of work in is for St. Charles Medical System. They are expanding greatly to serve our communities in Bend, Redmond, Madras and most recently Prineville, and so we’re elated to be part of all that.”

Thompson and his team of specialists can confidently tackle any job or situation, with a team of experts in their field ready to deploy into any tricky electrical challenge. Each project requires careful planning and protocol, something Tomco has improved upon and perfected for the past five decades.

“We’re going to be involved in a several million dollar job in this hospital work but we pride ourselves in doing a little $150 home service call as well,” he noted. “We serve all facets of our industry, from new construction to basic service. We’re a family owned company and we’re here to serve our community.”

Some of Tomco’s higher profile involvements have been the Lime Wind Energy Project, St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond, Les Schwab’s headquarters in Bend, the Redmond Airport control tower, Sisters High School and the Deschutes Brewery.

“When I was a boy it was always a dream to run dad’s company and I’m living that dream now and seeing the company celebrate 40 years and beyond. Dad comes by once a week and asks if there’s anything he needs to know about. He’s very proud of his company he started and still engaged in it.”

Tomco evolved by sticking to their old-fashioned values and fundamentals while being willing to change with the times.

Except for the core business that existed back in the ‘70s and ‘80s with the lumber industry and lumber mills in town, they’re now integral to hospitals, renewable energy and hi-tech data centers.

“The most rewarding part of it for me is being able to provide for the families that work for us and being vital to the community,” he said. “My dad used to say he loved the business because every day was a roll of the dice, every day it’s something different.”

Their blossoming roster of professional services includes expertise in a multitude of electrical areas such as post-construction, education, healthcare, traffic signal and street lighting, design build services and retail outlets.

Longevity in business in a complicated formula of hard work, customer loyalty and consistent quality, elements Tomco has honed and polished from day one.

“I think what it takes to make it through forty years is commitment to the community, providing superior service for a reasonable price, and in our case, the desire to carry on the legacy of your father and what he built,” Thompson explained. “We have cultivated an exceptional workforce and without this skilled team we wouldn’t have made it this far.”

Tomco Electric, 850 NE First Street, Bend., 541-389-5424.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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