This award was established in 1959 in honor of L.K. Comstock, who was instrumental in facilitating harmonious labor-management relations in the post-World War I electrical industry.
Tim Gauthier has been managing the Oregon-Columbia Chapter for more than 30 years. During the challenging recession of the mid-1980s, he led the effort to establish a market recovery program and sold NECA-member contractors and the IBEW on achieving superior labor relations through partnering. The market recovery program has captured more than a billion dollars in work for the local participants since its inception.
Gauthier took the lead in establishing a drug-testing and intervention program which now covers more than 12,000 workers throughout a multitude of jurisdictions. For such outstanding work and numerous other contributions, he was recognized in 1990 as the first recipient of the NECA Association Distinguished Service Award.
Since then, Gauthier has chaired the NECA Association Executives Institute, worked on the National Task Force for the Drug-Free Workplace program, served on Oregon’s Prevailing Wage Task Force, served on the NECA/IBEW NJATC Core Curriculum Committee and the Advancing Apprenticeship into the 21st Centure Committee. He also serves on the Jury of Fellows for the Academy of Electrical Contracting. In addition, he co-chairs numerous pension and education trusts.
When the economy floundered again and IBEW Local Union 970 was struggling to survive due to a drastic reduction in industrial projects, Gauthier worked out a plan to merge the troubled local with IBEW Local Union 48. He effectively handled the cross-over of health and welfare funds, trusts plans, and workforce training. As a result, the IBEW in southwest Washington was strengthened significantly, enabling NECA contractors to be competitive with a viable workforce.
Gauthier is also a community leader. Among other activities, he has been president of the Business & Union Labor Leaders (BULL) charity since 2000. This group has generated more than $4 million donated to multiple children’s organizations.