Edison Foard

Edison Foard, Inc. is an experienced and quality-driven company that strives to be a leader in our industry while serving the Carolinas with a goal of total customer satisfaction. We believe in innovation, professional construction techniques and strategic partnerships that provide value added services to our customers, which will separate us from our competitors. This commitment exemplifies our desire to deliver quality, efficient construction services to our customers.

Our Values

Edison Foard, Inc. is an experienced and quality-driven company that strives to be a leader in our industry while serving the Carolinas with a goal of total customer satisfaction.
We believe in innovation, professional construction techniques and strategic partnerships that provide value added services to our customers.
Edison Foard founder-1In the early part of the 20th century Mr. J.D. Foard started Foard Construction Company. Among some of the projects he constructed in Charlotte around 1920 were the original Dilworth Elementary School and Elizabeth Elementary School as well as the YMCA on South Tryon Street where the Charlotte Chamber is now located. Following the earlier retirement of Mr. J.D. Foard, his eldest son, Ernest Foard, resumed the operations of Foard Construction Company in 1927. At this time Edison Foard was attending The University of North Carolina where he studied Business and excelled at football. Edison scored the first two touchdowns at Kenan Stadium at Chapel Hill in November 1927. Following graduation in 1929 Edison pursued several careers from driving taxis in Miami to trying his hand playing baseball with the old Washington Senators. However, construction was in his blood and he returned to Charlotte and went to work for Foard Construction Company. Around 1937 Edison met Bessie Herndon from Virginia and they were married in 1938 in Florida. The next year, 1939, Edison with Bessie’s help, started Edison Foard, General Contractor. He operated mostly from their kitchen table, estimating at night and building by day. That same year Edison and Bessie had a daughter, Beverly.

During the World War II years, without much work in any construction area except that related to the war effort, Edison survived by selling his nail allotment to large firms like J.A. Jones and doing repairs and renovations. Following World War II and in particular during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s Edison built dozens of warehouse developments by men like Ed L. Vinson, Sr., John W. Roseboro, Vernon Scarborough and Henry L. Harkey. The company also built many office buildings and some schools and churches.

In 1972 the company was incorporated and Penn Cassels, Edison’s son-in-law and Beverly’s husband, joined the firm. Penn graduated in 1960 from North Carolina State University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, Construction Option. During the period from 1960 to 1972 he served in the United States Coast Guard and pursued sales and management positions with machinery manufacturers.

Throughout the 1970’s business continued to be primarily in warehouse and office construction with some public projects and school work in the mid 1970’s when the country was experiencing the energy shortage and recession.

As the 1980’s began, Charlotte was fortunate to secure a major commitment and investment by IBM. Edison Foard, Inc. benefited from the rapid expansion of IBM’s needs. The firm constructed and up-fitted multiple buildings in 77 Trade Park off Clanton Road, which were occupied by IBM for several years. Also, in the late 1980’s the company developed a strong relationship with NCNB Bank and did many large and small up-fit projects at Oak Hill Business Park and Huntersville Business Park. The warehouse and office construction business continued to be a major part of the company’s activities through the 1990’s.

In 1994 Edison Cassels, son of Beverly and Penn, joined the company following graduation from the University of Georgia in 1991 and Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law in 1994. Edison served as a Vice President and Project Manager from October 1994 until October 1, 2008 when Penn handed the torch to Edison to become President and Chief Executive Officer. Penn remains active in the company serving as Chairman of Edison Foard, Inc.

In the mid to late 1990’s as the company grew and expanded, public, educational and institutional projects became a large part of the firm’s total construction volume. And to this day this continues to be our primary type of business.

The company is fortunate to have a talented and capable staff of fine people from field personnel, superintendents, project managers, estimators, accounting and administrative personnel.

As we enjoy our seventy-eighth year in business we are ready to serve the construction needs of Charlotte and the Carolinas for many more years!