The Lander Group LLC: Building and Supporting America’s Infrastructure
- Written by: The Lander Group LLC: Building and Supporting America's Infrastructure
- Produced by: The Lander Group LLC: Building and Supporting America's Infrastructure
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
The Lander Group LLC (Lander) is a small, veteran-owned construction business headquartered in Bangor, Maine. Philip Lander founded Lander in 2005, a year after retiring from a long military career as a pilot.
“We were formerly known as Atlantic Defense Company,” says Josh Lander, Philip’s son and COO of Lander. “Our niche is in Veterans Affairs construction and related trade services.” The team at Lander has established a reputation for quality work and community service, stemming from Philip’s military experience.
“My father is the owner and a disabled veteran,” Josh details. “He was a pilot in the military for 30 years and when he retired he opened Atlantic Defense Construction with some funding from the government. The business has been growing ever since.”
Like father like son, Philip enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970 while enrolled at the University of Maine. He returned safely after two years of service to complete a degree in agricultural engineering.
A Legacy of Service
During his college years, Philip signed on to the Air National Guard and was later called back to active duty for several notable conflicts, including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as the Bosnian War during the 1990s. He was called yet again in the U.S. response to the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Heroism runs through the Lander family’s blood, as Philip was awarded the Small Business Administration’s Veterans Small Business Champion of the year for Maine and the New England Region in 2010. Philip’s notable service during his military career and work as a civilian business owner has been highlighted several times, including a tribute by Sen. Olympia Snowe in an address to the president of the United States.
Of course, Philip has also been involved in several efforts to help promote the well being and success of the nation’s veterans. Lander assisted in rehabilitating the country’s VA medical system, performing projects across New England, including work at Togus Hospital in Maine and Westhaven in Connecticut.
Philip is also involved in the Helmets to Hardhats program, an initiative that supports the transition of veterans into the workforce by pushing for training and jobs for the construction industry. Lander also provides transportation for veterans in remote locations in northwestern Maine to the Togus VA medical center, ensuring the country’s retired service people can access medical care.
Going to Work
Outside of work for the VA hospital system, Lander has completed several major projects for government agencies. The company performed a full renovation of Acadia National Park’s Jordan Pond House, a well-known landmark famous for its restaurant (with incredible popovers), and scenic views of Jordan Pond the surrounding mountains. The team also tackled a contract for the New Jersey Air National Guard, rebuilding ground support equipment.
Recent projects for the Lander team include major maintenance work at the Togus, Maine, VA cemetery. “This is my personal favorite job,” expresses Josh. “It really allowed us to show the respect we have for veterans in this country.”
Scope of work for the project includes excavation, cleaning and realigning headstones, mowing, general grounds cleanup, and snow and ice removal in the harsher winter months. The team also refurbished the Togus hospital’s parking lot and constructed a helicopter pad on the premises. “This brought Maine the ability to fly persons out of state for emergency medical treatments for the first time,” says Josh.
In all efforts, Philip and Josh continue to support veterans, regardless of a project’s connection with the Veterans Affairs agency. The family is committed to supporting veterans in business, and employs several on staff. In addition, Lander utilizes subcontractors who support a similar vision, often subcontracting other veteran-owned companies on projects around New England. Putting veterans back in the workforce is a priority for both Philip and Josh, and the father and son team continue to strive to offer meaningful employment to all who have served.
With a year-round staff of 15 and 25 employees during the peak season, Lander is a small business making a big impact. Philip and Josh encourage the team to work with integrity, calling upon many of the values Lander shares with the military.
“Commitment to the mission is what it’s all about,” explains Josh. “We work to reinforce a commitment to excellence, professionalism and class.” Up and down the East Coast, Lander has built a strong portfolio in several sectors, working for the military, government agencies, energy and transportation. The Lander team ensures that each project is completed with a focus on safety and integrity.
Monetary growth has never been the focus at Lander, although the business is thriving despite the recent recession. Philip and Josh operate with a unique business philosophy, one that prioritizes giving back to communities over profit margins. In association with several organizations, including the National Veteran-Owned Business Association, the family business will continue Philip’s legacy of service well into the future. The Lander Group LLC strives to offer opportunity and meaning to employees, customers and business partners from Maine to Florida.
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