SEELEY'S BAY - The story of Thompson Electric Ltd. is one of post-war opportunity strengthened over the decades by a family's strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Company founder and war veteran Russell Thompson, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, started it all after returning home from the conflict in the late 1940s. Today the thriving business, which employs 45 technicians, 3 project managers and 3 office staff, is one of Eastern Ontario's leading electrical contractors.

"You had to create something because there were no jobs," says Russell of why he started the business. He trained to be an electrician before the war and put the skill to use during his years of service. Russell grew the company quickly to soon open a Seeley's Bay shop.

By the 1970s, son Earle took the reins and created a strong foundation to keep it moving upward. Today, Earle's son Jason and his wife Michelle own the company and continue the tradition of good customer service.

Earle was a trailblazer in supporting provincial regulations and licencing of electricians and apprenticeship guidelines. Both Earle and Jason have been recognized by the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship program and area school boards. They also received the Minister's Award for Excellence in Apprenticeship Training.

"We've always been involved in a merit shop, where people can work their way up," says Earle, who at one time sat on the Provincial Advisory Board for electrical contractors.

"We carry on that philosophy and promote ourselves as a training institution," adds Jason, noting 100s have completed apprenticeships through the years.

"When Dad (Earle) took over, he built a strong, level foundation. Since Michelle and I bought it in 2009, we've been able to grow the infrastructure and take it even higher," says Jason.

Adam Roantree is one of the project managers and second generation Thompson Electric employee after his father, Peter Roantree. "It is a good company to work for. They certainly value their employees and let you grow," says Adam. He started as a summer student, then apprenticed as an electrician and now he oversees new construction projects throughout the area.

Thompson Electric serves the Brockville, Gananoque and Kingston corridor. They specialize in design-build, project management and turn-key operations for electrical systems in mass residential, commercial and industrial applications.

Learn more about Thompson Electric by visiting their website, send them an email or call 613-387-3200. Stop by their office at 127 Main Street, Seeley's Bay.