Preston Bond, a Contracting Business Hall of Fame inductee for 2008, is credited with being the founder of The Linc Corporation, one of the most successful single source providers of high value facilities management and building systems services in the U.S.
Bond was president of the Linc Corporation from October 1979 to February 1993. He then served as a director of The Linc Corporation from 1997 until March 1996, and vice chairman from 1993 to March 1996.
“Preston was the president of Linc when I first met him in Pittsburgh in 1998,” says Jon Pierce, another industry stalwart who started and ran Pierce Mechanical Air Conditioning as a Linc franchisee, and Pierce Contractors, both of which were based in Dallas, TX.
“He gave me a presentation on what Linc was all about, and after about five minutes, I signed up. He was a good salesman. I still believe Linc is the superior full maintenance agreement company,” Pierce says. “There have been others, but none of them come close to Linc. Most of all, Preston Bond was a man of his word.”
Today, the Linc Network LLC, Pittsburgh, PA, continues the tradition of excellence Bond championed. As a leader in the HVAC industry, the Linc Network provides comprehensive preventive maintenance and service programs through its worldwide network of contractors.
Preston Bond was originally a sales director for Honeywell, and played a significant role in growing Honeywell’s service agreement business. After departing from Honeywell, Bond went to Limbach Bros., Pittsburgh, PA, where he first presented the idea of offering full service maintenance agreements for commercial and industrial contractors.
Limbach (pronounced “Limbaugh”) became the first sponsor/owner of the Linc franchise system. Limbach owned it until 1990, at which time Limbach, the Linc franchise system, company owned stores, and mechanical contracting operations all were purchased by a French company, Compagnie Generale des Eaux.
Bond was an avid pilot who made many of his business trips in a single engine Cessna.
“When the French company bought Limbach, they told him he had to get life insurance coverage equal to the value of the company. So he stopped flying,” Pierce recalls.
Bond also liked to move fast when earthbound. “He’s one of the fastest drivers I’ve ever met,” says Larry Kelly, past president of Piedmont Air Conditioning, Raleigh, NC. “I once rode with him from Pittsburgh to Kentucky, and I swore I’d never ride with him the rest of my life. He knows one speed — wide open.”
Kelly and his brother Buddy were just two of the many contractor business owners who came to appreciate the Linc system.
“Preston called on my brother and me in 1984, and sold us on the Linc system,” Kelly recalls. “He’s one of the best salesmen I’ve ever met. He’s a real closer, a real go getter.
“It was a great run for a long time. We had five offices in North Carolina, and the Linc system helped us greatly. Employees all have the same job descriptions, very similar pay scales, and more. It’s a system that works,” Kelly says. Stan Halbert, CPA, Philadelphia, PA, was an accountant for many Linc franchisees in the early years of the organization.
“Preston was a wonderful guy, honest, and full of integrity. He was very responsive when we told him what we needed. A lot of people became multi-millionaires by following his policies,” Halbert says.
Ken Piercy served as president of Linc from 1993 until mid 1999. Today he works as an independent consultant to the HVAC service industry in Pittsburgh, PA. He most remembers Bond’s tenacity.
“When Preston sets his mind to get something done, he’s never going to give up,” Piercy says. “Preston’s a pretty remarkable man. He took an idea that seemed quite improbable to me and made it work.”
Today, Preston Bond serves as chairman of Tegg Service, Pittsburgh, PA, which spun off from the Limbach company in 1992. Tegg’s core business is the protection of commercial and industrial facilities from electrical systems failures and electrical fires.
Welcome to the Contracting Business Hall of Fame, Preston Bond, HVAC service expert and salesman extraordinaire.