Company History and Contractor Qualification
The origin of Kemper Construction, a New Orleans commercial general contracting company, goes back to its founder Otis W. Sharp in 1896. Since its early beginnings, the company engaged in building construction with a concentration in union construction contracts, however, the company was not incorporated until 1939, dba as Otis Sharp and Son, Inc. His son Roger P. Sharp was president at that time. John W. Sharp, a U.S. Naval Academy engineer and Otis’ grandson, became president in 1950. By 1970, the company incorporated a new company division (Kemper Construction Co., Inc.) to take advantage of the increasing number of competent merit shop (open shop) craftsmen and sub‑contractors capable of performing quality work with increased efficiency. Clyde Leblanc, a Tulane University Civil Engineering graduate who joined the company in 1952 was named president and owner of Kemper. His objective for the new division was to specialize in the construction of new office buildings, retail outlets and churches, and the renovation of schools, hospitals and historic preservation projects.
As the construction landscape in New Orleans grew more competitive, Clyde started implementing most of the work while Otis W. Sharp & Son became more dormant as Kemper was now responsible for the largest projects undertaken by both companies. In 1987 Otis W. Sharp and Son liquidated and all of their assets were transferred to Kemper. Three years later in 1990, Tom S. LeBlanc, a University of New Orleans Finance graduate, and youngest son of Clyde, became president after joining the fold in 1981. Tom has remained steadfast to the goals set by his father years earlier.
Officers and Key Personnel
After 50 plus years of building buildings, Clyde H. LeBlanc resides as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Company Secretary. He was a member of the Economic Development Board of the City of New Orleans, having been appointed by then Mayor Dutch Morial and confirmed by the City Council. He served as both a Trustee of Mt. Carmel Academy and a member of its Advisory Board. He was a member of the board of directors of Dominican High School, as well. Clyde also sat on the board of the Spirituality Center of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is a member of Louisiana Engineering Society and The Serra Club. Among the various social organizations with which Clyde is still involved is the Southern Yacht Club and the Society of the War of 1812.
Tom LeBlanc has been a commercial general contractor for 26 years with over 36 years of experience in the construction industry. He is still president and construction manager for the company. On the construction side of the business, he has been Estimator and Project manager for many large commercial projects, both new buildings and renovations. However, today his focus is more towards operations oversight. His wide range of construction and finance experience makes finishing projects within time and budget a safe bet.
Eddie Brasset has 45 years of accounting experience and is responsible for payables, receivables, and company financial records.
Stephen Scalise has been employed by Kemper for the past 10 years and has managed many large commercial projects as field supervisor. His most recent projects were Engine 22/39 Fire Station, Cavan Restaurant and FCBA Office Building. He also heads the company maintenance program that receives steady work order requests from Nationwide Security and Building Systems. NSBS is a specialty retail solutions company representing T Mobile, DDS Discount and other retailers in the New Orleans area. He has a degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University.
Sam King joined the company in June 2015 and was Project Coordinator on FCBA. He has 15 years of commercial construction experience that includes many years of multi-family construction implementing commercial site building packages, and 10 years of architectural production design experience. He has a MS in Construction Management and Technology, and BS in Architectural Engineering Technology; both degrees are from The University of Southern Mississippi. His construction industry experience began in 1977 as a draftsman for N-Y Associates Consulting Engineers. His competencies are estimating, job site supervision, safety management and quality control.
Kemper employs two multi-skilled craftsmen (Clozell McDonald and Larry West) who have been with the company for 53 years and 25 years, respectively. These men keep projects running smoothly by completing daily site activities that need fast attention. Their rolls are executing tasks that must be done in preparation of a major task such as running site work equipment to prepare grades for the concrete sub or paving contractor. There’s not a lot of time between the completion of one sub-contractor task and the start of another, and their proven success at managing these operations keep the project on schedule. They have a broad range of skills to handle any job required by the contract’s general conditions and CSI Division 1 general requirements, which include mobilization and demobilization of the job site. These activities entail a tremendous amount of energy and ability to perform and complete tasks before work can even start and finish. Occasionally, they are called to correct work done by highly trained industry technicians and they also make specialty installations specified in CSI Divisions 10 and 12 that are common to every building project.
Company Facilities and Systems
Estimating, bid preparation, scheduling, expediting and most purchasing activities are carried out at Kemper’s main office located at 3609 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. There, the company occupies the second floor of a two‑story building with general and private office space including estimating, computing and drafting facilities. Kemper maintains a warehouse in the industrial area of New Orleans.
Kemper owns and operates the vehicles and equipment needed to complete daily workload requirements of site excavations, grading and hauling materials. Scaffolding, power tools, and other construction equipment and tools are held in inventory and stored at the company warehouse located in the warehouse district. Boom trucks and heavy equipment are rented as needed.
The company also owns and implements advanced cutting edge computing equipment and systems used by the largest firms in the industry to manage construction and job costing of their projects efficiently and effectively. These systems, MC Squared ICE 3.8 Estimating Software with PlanSwift 10, SureTrak 3.0b Scheduling and Constructive Computing are used for timely and accurate execution of estimating, scheduling, accounting and job costing.
Our Financial Partners are as follows:
– Whitney National Bank of New Orleans
– Merrill Lynch
– Steve Bellaire, CPA
Policies: Kemper Construction Company is an equal opportunity employer.