Stronghold’s 30th anniversary approaches in October 2021. Three decades of stellar company culture, countless completed projects, and exceptional leadership have left the Stronghold family with unforgettable memories.

Three current long-time employees reflected on their time with Stronghold, inspired by an archived record of other employees and some of their favorite memories at the company, as written below.

Curtis Barkle

Curtis Barkle started working with Stronghold in April 1997 and worked his way from electrical apprentice to General Superintendent.

What is your favorite team memory?

“One of my favorite memories with the company is when we were doing a job in Hawaii. Scott came out for a few days and took me golfing out on the island. We went to a very fancy, expensive golf course, and it was just a great day. We had a lot of fun together.” 

When did you know you wanted to stay with the company long-term?

“I knew that I wanted to stick around with Stronghold when I tried to branch off and start my own business. I realized how hard it was, especially when you’re on your own. It was near impossible to make ends meet, much less make money doing it. I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to be successful with my own company at that time, and I came back to Stronghold who welcomed me with open arms. I’ve never looked back and don’t think I ever will.”

What about modern-day Stronghold would you not have believed when you started?

“Something about today’s Stronghold that I never would have believed when I started: we started out as an electrical company. We were electricians. That’s what we did. The company started moving into general contracting and I thought, ‘Wow, this is going to be a mistake.’ But, they’ve done a really good job at separating the two and excelling at both.

My first major project with Stronghold was a $3 million project for Patton State Hospital, which I thought was huge at the time. Here we are 22 years later, and I’m the lead superintendent on a $130 million project. I never thought that the company would amount to what it has. With Scott and Bev and Kamel at the helm, this company has done truly amazing things.”

Robert Stuart

Robert Stuart joined the team in June 1997 as a shop assistant and currently works as the Director of Electrical Operations.

When did you first meet Scott or Beverly?

“I got hired by a neighbor of Scott’s to do some work in Scott’s backyard. He saw me, this kid in high school working in the backyard with potential and introduced me to what it would look like to come and work for him and get started in the industry.”

He laid out for me what I needed to do during the day, and I would keep track of my hours in a little notebook and go to his house on Fridays to settle up and get paid. One Friday he brought me into the house and introduced me to Beverly saying, ‘This is Robert Stuart, future Stronghold employee.”

When did you know you wanted to stay with the company long-term?

“The reason why I knew I wanted to stick around was the family atmosphere. There’s a really big emphasis on community and family. We’re all a group of individuals that not only get along at work but also outside of work. Stronghold is always wanting to know and is concerned about how your family’s doing. I can look back at how they saw me all the way through from a sophomore in high school to now—my kids are graduating high school and Stronghold has stuck by my side through all of that.

When I started, I didn’t realize that it was going to lead to a career let alone a lifetime position. Stronghold has been such a big part of not only my work life but my home life, too. My kids were born and grew up knowing Stronghold. A lot of our family photos are from Stronghold functions.

Kamel Khalil

Kamel Khalil was one of the first Stronghold employees in 1993, coming on as an electrical estimator and later earning his current title of VP of Estimating.

What was the first project you worked on?

“I bid a lot of jobs, but the first job I won was for Nellie Coffman Middle School in the Palm Springs area. It was about a $200,000 job, which was a big deal back then. We thought, ‘Wow,  we have a big job.’ Everybody was happy.” 

When did you know you wanted to stay with the company long-term?

“I wanted to stick around at Stronghold because I’ve worked with Scott and Beverly from day one. They are very, very good people. They care for the company and the people who work for them. They are hard working people. Beverly used to come to the office at five o’clock, six o’clock in the morning and at the end of the day she was the last one in the office. 

They treat everybody with respect, even the suppliers and the subcontractors we work with. We have no problems with any one of them, and we get a lot of repeated work from past customers, because we do our job right and we don’t play any games and we don’t cut corners or anything like that. I’m proud to work with them and I’m very happy that I’m part of something like this.”

Teamwork at Stronghold

One of Stronghold’s greatest strengths is its tight-knit team, thanks to the company’s focus on its core values. The family-like environment fosters the core value of teamwork, encouraging collaboration, communication, and genuine relationships.