SoileauJohn Eddie Soileau, a 1963 graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, joined the United States Army in 1963 and received his Honorable Discharge in 1965. He then began his pipelining career with Louisiana Intrastate Gas Corporation in Alexandria, La., as a Pipeline Engineer, transferred to Design Engineer and was eventually promoted to Senior Design Engineer. He was later employed by Ashy Construction as an Engineering Superintendent. 

In May 1974, Eddie founded Sunland Construction Inc. & Affiliates, a small regional contractor doing oil well hookups. At the time, a gallon of gas cost $0.55 and a barrel of oil was just sort of $15. Under his leadership, Sunland has and continues to grow into a healthy, profitable, and widely respected family of companies. 

Eddie's tenure is highlighted by significant contributions to the industry, including:

1) Implementing safety initiatives that have become industry standards

2) Maintaining Sunland's merit shop status through numerous challenges, including pickets and union pressures, with the invaluable assistance of Greg Guidry

3) Expanding Sunland with regional offices in Louisiana, Houston, Texas, Alabama, and New Mexico

4) Pioneering and refining directional drilling techniques in pipeline construction

5) Being among the first contractors to successfully diversify into station construction

6) Strategically positioning Sunland as a diversified construction company capable of navigating the industry's fluctuations through a broad range of services including Pipeline, Facility, Integrity, I&E, and renewable work

In a letter from to Eddie from Ed Kull, former APCA Executive Director, Kull said, “Knowing and working with you has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life. You are truly a fine person, and in my view you are right up there with Bill Coors in the run for Mr. Free Enterprise. I guess the highest compliment I can pay is: When I grow up I want to be just like you."

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