After serving in World War II as a B-17 bomber pilot and being held as a prisoner of war for nearly a year and a half, Ed returned to Cleveland, Ohio in 1946. He began his career working for his father, Adolph Paul Goulder, the APG of our name, at the Doan Electric Company, where he learned the electrical trade and how to run the business. After his father’s retirement, Ed took the reins of the company and continued Doan’s growth as a very well-respected electrical contractor in the region. Their many successful projects included local hospitals, sports venues, schools, and more. More importantly, Ed had built a culture at Doan where employees were treated well with high regard for the field, and because of this, people did not leave Doan. In fact, Doan had many second and third generation employees whose fathers and grandfathers had worked their entire lives there.
It was in 1971 that Ed hired John Kavula, then an electrical engineering student across the street at Cleveland State University, as a co-op intern. In 1972, John became a full-time employee and over the next 7 years he made such an impression at Doan that in 1979, when John announced he would be moving to Florida, Edmund took him to lunch and gave him $1,000, telling him, “Use this to buy Bermuda shorts and straw hats. If you are ever interested in starting a business and want a financial partner, call me.”
In November 1983, John gave Edmund a call and while catching up, Ed made his offer again. John had wanted to create a company in Clearwater that had the same value for respect and integrity that he experienced at Doan. Ed told John to go ahead and prepare a business plan and send it to him for review. After a review of the business plan and a meeting with both John and Jerry, Ed called John and told him to get started.
Over the years, Ed would often visit APG and always spoke of what a great operation we had here. He visited job sites whenever he came down, including a particular visit during which a quick-thinking electrician fashioned a cane out of EMT to help him get around. Ed often came to family picnics where he marveled at the growth of the company year after year and the wonderful people he was able to meet. He served on our board of directors as chairman before retiring.
At the APG 25th Anniversary Party held on May 16, 2009, Ed was surprised with a refurbished 1984 Chevy pickup truck with the original APG logo emblazoned on the sides and named in his honor. It was at this event that Edmund addressed our employees with his memory of the beginning of APG, his phone calls with John, and telling us “the end result was a great success, a great success. My contribution was basically that I picked a winner.”
After then, Ed stayed in touch with us by phone and occasional visits. He loved reading the Pipeline and often said “it is my favorite newspaper.”
We extend our deepest condolences to the Goulder family. Edmund will truly be missed by all those whose lives he impacted. We are very grateful for his belief in our dreams for APG, and for bringing his values of business integrity and respect for employees and partners to us from the beginning.