News

2021 Leadership Training Program

Summer 2021 – Champion Celebrates LTP Graduates

We celebrated our recent graduates of our Leadership Training Program at Taps Fish House and Brewery this past May. Students were selected based on their performance in the field, demonstration of trade knowledge and leadership potential. The Leadership Training Program is 32 hours of hands-on learning covering things like Employee Relations, Safety, Planning, Scheduling, Production, and Quality Control. Congratulations Bryce Ederer, Nick Comfort, D'Andre Roberts, Michael Vetter, Jeremy Horvath, Bryan Fast, Zackary Winkle, Marcus Judie, Erick Wilson, and Ivan Valdez, job well done!

Thank you Michael Glancy, Anthony Centanni, Roger Hernandez, Kendra Stutz, and Steve Marquez for you contribution to our course.


2021 ABC So-Cal Craft Championships

May 1, 2021 – Champion Places 2nd Year Running!

Anaheim, California, our apprentices competed in the Craft Championships where they demonstrated their superior skills, training and work practices. Elijah Stricker placed 3rd in the Residential/Commercial category and Bryan Fast placed 2nd, and Vincent Carlucci placed 3rd in the Commercial/Industrial category. It was a great day for our Champions!

"We could not be more proud of our three competitors representing Champion at this year’s ABC SoCal Craft Champions. Bryan, Vinny and Elijah all placed in their competitions and showed their commitment to excellence in their trade. Congratulations on your accomplishments!"
- Tom Rowden


Mike Made It! - Long-Time Foreman, Michael Howarth, Retires

Summer 2021 – Mike Howarth Celebrated at Private Dinner

We are so proud to announce the retirement of one of our best Foremen electricians, Mike Howarth. He has been an integral part of Champion's field force from the very beginning and will be greatly missed.  Mike was celebrated at a small retirement dinner.  Watch the video to hear Glenn Rowden say what Mike has meant to him and to Champion.

"Mike Howarth has been such a huge part of Champion Electric Inc. for almost our entire existence. Starting at Ayala High School, Mike worked at many projects in Chino, Fontana, Rialto, and all over Southern California and wherever we worked Mike was always a reliable electrician and most often Foreman on some of our most important jobs. When I would visit Mike on the job, I needed to have my running shoes on because Mike never stopped moving. As I would ask him questions about the job and he knew everything that was going on and what he planned to do to get the work done. I always had tremendous confidence in Mike’s work, his ability to understand what was needed to complete his job in a very professional manner, and make it a winning job for our company. Through the years Mike has become a very special friend and I am going to always remember him that way. Words can’t fully express how much I admire Mike and appreciate his contribution to our success. Cyndi and I both love Mike very much! May God bless Mike in his retirement!"⠀-Glenn Rowden


Cruising into Retirement - Account Manager, Gene Barnhurst Retires

Friday, June 19, 2020 – Champion Electric celebrated Gene's retirement

Gene Barnhurst started at Champion after the acquisition of Suburban Electric in 2006. He worked in the Service Department and Estimating Department as an Account Manager. He specialized in generators, residential, commercial & industrial power and controls. He also headed up Champion's work with Habitat for Humanity. One of his favorite projects the design/build motor control for Phoenix Services.

Take a look at Phoenix Services testimonial and Champion's retirement send off.

His work for Champion over the past 14 years has been incredible. His knowledge and skill of his trade is an inspiration to us all. Thank you Gene for the years of dedication, commitment and everything you poured into your job and the people around you. Your legacy and stamp at Champion will live on in the customers you cared for, electricians you trained and the lives you touched during your time here. You are a blessing to Champion and we hope you enjoy your retirement! Congratulations Gene!


2019 Champion Expands into Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 – Champion Electric begins work in Phoenix, Arizona starting the Expansion

Expanding into Arizona has been a plan our leadership team has had for many years – but timing, opportunities and personnel never felt right. Until now. The market in Arizona, specifically in Maricopa County, is booming. Arizona’s business-friendly atmosphere and the multiple relationships we have with California customers that crossed over into Arizona, makes the expansion into Arizona all that more appealing.

The final piece of the puzzle was the people…the “who”. We needed to have boots on the ground that would represent the Champion way. And we got that when our very own Carlos Bencomo made the decision to move to Arizona with his family. As always, in business and in life, it revolves around relational connections and providing opportunities for both our customers and our team. The stars aligned and we attacked the opportunity presented with the vigor of a Champion.

Arizona Projects & Services
This venture allows Champion to provide the quality products and services we are known for in California across the Arizona border and into Maricopa County. We have built our base with the backing and support structure from our California Office and have a team of Journeymen electricians working with Carlos. Our customers can expect the same structure and procedures our Service Department currently provides on a daily basis.

Our Arizona projects consist mostly of Office Tenant Improvements (TI), Job Order Contracts (JOC) projects in the school market, standard services for residential, commercial and industrial, and ground-up/new construction projects. With our proven model, support from our home office in CA and the amazing relationships with our current and new customers; Champion Electric is operationally and structurally positioned to serve Arizona with versatile responsiveness to our customer’s needs.


2019 Leadership Training Program

Saturday, March 23, 2019 – Champion Celebrates LTP Graduates

We were excited to go out and celebrate at Taps Fish House and Brewery with our recent graduates of our Leadership Training. Students were selected based on their performance in the field, demonstration of trade knowledge and leadership potential. The Leadership Training Program was 32 hours of hands-on learning covering things like Employee Relations, Safety, Planning, Scheduling, Production, and Quality Control. Congratulations to a job well done by all!

Congratulations to Carlos Bencomo, Andrew Cruz, Quinn Jones, Warren Mendez, Jason VonMoos, Kevin O'Brien, and Erich Phelps!


2019 ABC National Craft Championships

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 – Champion Apprentices Compete at National Level

Our Apprentices - Andrew and Carlos - competed at the National level at the ABC National Craft Championships in March of 2019 in Long Beach, CA. Andrew Cruz competed in the Electrical: Residential-Commercial division and Carlos Bencomo competed in the Electrical: Commercial-Industrial division.  We are so proud of their hard work!

Learn more about 2019 ABC National Craft Championships here.


2019 ABC So-Cal Craft Championships

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – All Champion Apprentices Place in Competition

On the last Saturday in January each year, the top electrical and plumbing apprentices in the region participate in a daylong practical competition highlighting the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their classroom and on-the-job training at Southern California Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) in Anaheim, CA. The electrical competition is divided into two groups, Residential/Commercial and Commercial/Industrial, with ten competitors in each. To be selected to compete regionally, apprentices must outscore their classmates on a written test offered in November the previous year. Regional winners move on to compete at the national level with winners from other regions across the nation.

Champion Electric had 4 electrical apprentices competing at this year’s event. Carlos Bencomo (Commercial/Industrial), Ryan Jordan (Commercial/Industrial), Andrew Cruz (Residential/Commercial) and Quinn Jones (Residential/Commercial). Carlos and Andrew placed 1st in their respective groups. Quinn placed 2nd and Ryan placed 3rd.

"I am ecstatic and beyond proud of all four of Champion Electric's apprentices that competed and placed in our local Craft Championship Competition at ABC SoCal. Absolutely unbelievable!!  This is an amazing accomplishment and a testament to these apprentices taking pride in their craft and living out the values of Champion Electric. A HUGE congratulations to all 4 of our apprentices!"  -Tom Rowden, President

Carlos and Andrew will be representing Champion Electric and ABC Southern California at the ABC National Craft Championship Competition on March 27th in Long Beach, CA. It will be the first time in twenty years that Champion Electric will be represented at the national competition. Nathan Montgomery competed at the national level and placed 2nd in 1999.

Congratulations to all the regional competitors and best of luck to Carlos and Andrew in the national competition.  You represent Champion Electric and ABC Southern California well!

Learn more about ABC So-Cal Apprenticeship Program here.


2018 ABC So-Cal Graduates

Saturday, September 22, 2018 - Champion's Celebrates 12 Graduates

We had the honor of celebrating 5 ABC So-Cal graduates at the 25th Annual Graduation Ceremony on September 22. ABC So-Cal is a fully accredited, state and federally approved apprenticeship training program. Our graduates completed the Electrical Unilateral Apprenticeship program which includes:

* Aptitude Test, Interview and Orientation
* Meet Electrician Skills eligibility requirements
* Four and a half years - 8,000 on-the-job training hours
* 8 hours a day for two consecutive weeks every four to six months, for a total of 80 hours per semester, 160 hours per year

Congratulations Erich Phelps, Jim Wilson, Bryce Ederer, Brandon Salgado and Jason VonMoos as well as graduates that weren't able to attend: Anthony Centanni, David Centanni, Jacob Enos, Garrett French, Eric Henry, Anthony Pagdilao, and Steve Parr.

Learn more about ABC So-Cal Apprenticeship Program here.


2018 ABC So-Cal Craft Championships

Saturday, January 20, 2018 - Champion's Apprentice Places 2nd!

Craft trainees and apprentices compete for top honors in their chosen craft. For the competitors, the Craft Championships allow them to demonstrate their superior skills, training and work practices. For the training sponsors, member companies and ABC SoCal, the Craft Championships demonstrates a staunch commitment to the career path the construction industry offers.  Our Champion Apprentice won 2nd place in the residential/industrial electrical competition.  Congrats David Centanni!  Craft Champ Link


2017 ABC So-Cal Craft Championships

Saturday, January 21, 2017 - Champion's Apprentice Places 3rd!

One of ABC's most exciting events of the year is the annual local Craft Championships. Students from ABC So-Cal training programs competed in an all-day event, building projects based on schematics from start to finish. Competition was fierce with the first-place winners in each category earning a trip to the National Craft Championships in Florida. The event also includes vendor exhibits, demonstrations and lots of complimentary food and beverages.  Our very own Evan Grance placed 3rd in the electrical competition!


Champion Electric Inc. Earns AQC Credential

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 4:16 PM -   Francis Lowe -   ABC News, Events/Products/Programs -  

Champion Electric Inc. of Riverside, Calif., member of ABC’s Southern California Chapter, has been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC. 

The AQC program recognizes and honors construction firms that document their commitment to excellence in five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality, safety, employee benefits, training and community relations.  A company that meets the criteria set forth in the program and has earned Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Gold, Platinum or Diamond status, is formally designated an “Accredited Quality Contractor.”

Companies selected as an Accredited Quality Contractor receive:

  • Wide recognition within the industry and business community and with the public
  • Authorization to use AQC language in bid documents
  • Permission to use the AQC logo on letterhead, business cards and jobsite signs
  • Access to AQC marketing materials such as hard hat stickers, membership plaques, etc.
  • Points on ABC National Excellence in Construction® award submissions
  • Mention in the December issue of ABC’s magazine Construction Executive, as well as eligibility to purchase specially priced packages for half-page, full-page and two-page designs. 

For more information, visit abc.org/aqc or contact aqc@abc.org.


Press Release

Champion Electric Transition: Tom Rowden Named President 

Riverside, California, December 10, 2016- After 25 years, founders, Glenn and Cynthia Rowden, proudly announced that their son, Thomas G. Rowden, has been named President of Champion Electric Inc. This exciting announcement was made in front of the entire company at the company’s 25th Anniversary and Christmas Celebration held December 10th, 2016 at the Riverside Art Museum. Glenn Rowden spoke to the crowd with his wife, Cynthia, at his side. 

“Tom is uniquely qualified to lead this company because it’s in his blood. He has watched me build this company all his life and he’s seen, firsthand, the ups and downs of this business. Tom has been in almost every position, from working in the shop, to finance, to human resources, and so on. He’s been leading this company for years, so I think the 25th anniversary celebration is the appropriate time to official name him President.” – Glenn Rowden, Founder of Champion Electric Inc.

The newly announced President, Tom Rowden, with his wife, Jill Rowden, standing next to him in support, took the mic next and proudly accepted the title. 

“It is a great honor and blessing to have the opportunity to take over your legacy. It is a very proud moment for me and my family. I look at the road here and I see God’s hand leading me and positioning others around me to this point. Starting with my parents, to my wife, then to my executive team, Patrick Howard [Director of Estimating], Kevin Shearer [Director of Project Management] and Tim Shafer [Director of Field Operations]. I look at everyone that works for Champion and they truly are Champions. This company could not have been setup any better. I’m truly honored and blessed to lead this company. Thank you for what you’ve done for the past 25 years, now sit tight, we’ve got it for the next 25.” – Thomas G. Rowden, President of Champion Electric Inc.

Employees, friends, and family members were cheerfully surprised by the unexpected announcement.   Champion Electric Inc. will always be the same professional electrical contractor known for providing quality electrical for commercial, industrial and residential projects as well as solar projects. Under Tom’s leadership, this company will only continue to grow and improve the Champion experience for employees and customers.  Watch video here.


Press Release

Champion Electric Milestone: 25 Years of Electrical Service 

Riverside, California, November 16, 2016- This year Champion Electric proudly celebrates 25 years of providing electrical service. The founders, Glenn and Cyndi Rowden, could not be more pleased with the legacy they have built and have passed on to their son and Executive Vice President, Tom Rowden. Tom Rowden and his Executive Team carry out the vision and mission of Champion Electric Inc. that was established so long ago as the Rowden’s reduce their role in the company to pursue their community service and missionary callings.

“It has been a wonderful blessing to see God’s hand on Champion Electric for the first 25 years! There are many things I have enjoyed but the relationships with employees, vendors, clients and associates have been the most rewarding. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success!”

– Glenn Rowden, Founder 

A humble beginning for the company, starting in the garage of the family home has matured into a well-established electrical contractor. Champion Electric Inc. has completed hundreds of schools and has taken on additional electrical services including commercial and residential electrical and solar, general contracting, and Federal and Public Works projects. The once aspiration to create a company that would provide Southern California with excellent electrical service and, at the same time, provide employees with unimagined possibilities of success is now a reality.

With the next 25 years, Champion will continue to provide the same fundamentals and ethical service we are known for and stay committed to providing the highest quality product and service to all we serve. Thank you for all the support and business. It is because of our customers we are celebrating this milestone.


Contact: Jayme Shafer -Marketing Manager -jshafer@championelec.com