WAYNE COUNTY- Eric and Gary Linde along with Tom Quinnan of Leeward Construction has been recognized as the 2012 Business of the Year by The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. The Honesdale-based utility, heavy and highway contractor, founded in 1993, is led by father and son team Eric and Gary Linde and Tom Quinnan. The company is best known for their large-scale infrastructure projects such as the construction of the church and Fourth Street Bridges in downtown Honesdale as well as being a regional force in the utility contracting industry. Leeward Construction recently completed the Route 402 bypass project in Marshalls Creek. The company has done the roadway and utility installation at the Valley View Business Park along with site work for the Mount Airy Casino. President, Eric Linde said, when the business was started, it was decided to ‘center’ the business in Wayne County. Residents of the town, Linda added, “We’re not some company that just comes into town and digs up your streets - we live here too.” The company completes more than $40 million in project work every year and hires more than 250 employees. Because most of the employees live in Wayne County, Linde said the company believes in hiring and buying locally. Through the years, as the cost of materials has changed with the times, the business owners realized they had to be in the quarry business. Leeward acquired its first stone quarry in Lackawaxen in 2001. Since then, the company has added six quarry locations and an asphalt plant. Because materials are closer to job sites, the need for long-distance trucking has decreased. Plus, Leeward now supplies stone products to other contractors and to the public. Rather than managing subcontractors, the company has invested in its own heavy equipment so projects can be done internally. John Kiesendahl, President and CEO of Woodloch Pines, Inc. said working with Leeward Construction means the project will be done property and that ‘dealing with companies that are locally owned and managed helps us to reach our goals and keeps Woodloch moving forward.” The Executive Vice-President, Gary Linde is also a third generation contractor. Growing up in the business, Linde recalls riding to job sites with his dad from the time he could walk. Starting as an equipment operator, Gary also served as a paving foreman and job superintendent prior to taking on a leadership role. Noting the company’s hands-on approach, Gary said the company manages from job sites where either Gary or Eric is always available in case the team needs one of them. “Whatever It Takes” is Leeward’s motto and promise. Leeward Construction aims to be a partner with their clients and the communities they serve. Vice President of engineering, Tom Quinnan said the company is up-front with people if they have questions and the business always tries to keep the lines of communication open. A past president of the Pennsylvania Utility Contractor’s Association, Eric Linde also has more than 45 years of experience in the construction industry. Eric and his wife, Mary Anne, live in Honesdale Borough where they raised their five children. Gary Linde brings more than 25 years of experience to Leeward and currently resides in Honesdale Borough with his wife, Valerie, and their six children. Tom Quinnan has more than 30 years of experience in construction and engineering. He resides in Covington Township with his wife, Ann. Eric & Gary Linde will be honored at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Community Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 at Lukan’s Farm Resort in Hawley. For tickets, congratulatory ads and additional information please call the Chamber at (570) 253-1960.