The Lockard family businesses’ roots can be traced back to 1948, the year in which Wayne S. Lockard became a consigned delivery agent for the Atlantic Refining Company (later ARCO). At that time, he purchased a fuel delivery vehicle and was paid a commission based on gallons of heating oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline delivered to Atlantic customers.
Within a few years, he signed an agency agreement with Gulf Oil, which built a bulk plant on Route 422 in Indiana. His sons, Bernard and Larry, joined the business in the late 1950s, and the three ran the company until Wayne Lockard’s death in 1961.
After their father’s death, Bernard and Larry continued to grow the business.
Photo, from left: Ellen Ruddock, director of the IUP Center for Family Business; Doug Lockard, Larry Lockard, Bernie Lockard Sr.; Bernie Lockard Jr.; Robert Camp, dean, IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology
Bernard concentrated on the petroleum end of the business, taking the company from an agent to a jobber by the late 1960s. Larry developed a heating and air conditioning business for the company, at first to service heating oil customers of the company, but later expanding into commercial sales as well. The brothers purchased their first gas station in the late 1960s, branched into non-petroleum-related real estate development, and, in 1971, teamed with Alan Lee from Dallas, Texas, to become a Pizza Hut franchisee in western Pennsylvania. By the mid 1970s, the brothers joined with the Edwards family of Indiana to become a Mister Donut franchisee.
The Pizza Hut and Mister Donut businesses thrived through the 1970s, with the company further expanding by developing an in-house all-trades construction crew to complement the HVAC business. The Pizza Hut Company ultimately grew to 24 units, and the Mister Donut business grew to 12 units. By 1985, the various companies employed nearly 2,500 people.
In 1980, Bernard’s son, Bernard Jr., joined the business, followed by Larry’s son, Douglas, in 1984. At that time, the oil company became an Exxon branded wholesaler, and the focus of the company became the development of the Exxon brand in western Pennsylvania.
By 1987, the development of the Pizza Hut and Mister Donut businesses had come to an end, and, over the next few years, those businesses were sold and Larry and Bernard made a decision to separate their business interests. This resulted in Larry and Doug starting two new companies: LMC Enterprises, Inc., to pursue real estate investments and developments, and LGL Pizza Hut, Inc., a Pizza Hut restaurant franchise formed with business partner Eric Jones. Bernard and Bernard Jr. continued the development of the wholesale petroleum business as the Lockard Company.
The late 1980s through the 1990s was a time of growth in the convenience store business for the Lockard Company. Capitalizing on the Exxon brand, a chain of 12 Northern Express convenience stores was developed. As underground storage tank regulations increased, the oil company further diversified by developing a chain of Pacific Pride unmanned commercial fueling stations. Through an agreement with Union Oil of California, the company developed the expertise in the commercial lubricants business and became a major supplier of underground mining fluids in Western Pennsylvania.
In 1998, the company sold its original bulk plant, lubricant and heating oil business in order to concentrate on convenience stores and Pacific Pride. In 2001, the company sold the Northern Express chain, and has since concentrated on the Pacific Pride card lock business and management of company real estate. Today, the company is the 12th largest franchisee of Pacific Pride in the U.S. and Canada.
During the late 1980s and 1990s, LMC Enterprises successfully developed Fairfax Estates, Goose Creek Estates, and Heritage Oaks, all single-family residential subdivisions, as well as SouthTowne Plaza and Summit Ridge Plaza, both Wal-Mart anchored shopping centers. Since the late 1990s, Larry and Doug continue to manage, expand, and diversify their business and real estate holdings. LGL Pizza Hut added a second location in White Township, then, in the early 2000s, built new Pizza Hut/KFC combination stores in Blairsville and downtown Indiana.
In 1998, Larry and Doug joined with Chuck Leyh (an IUP graduate) to create, raise capital, and charter Enterprise Bank, a niche bank specializing in the lending and financial services needs of small businesses. Since that time, Enterprise Bank has grown into Enterprise Financial Services Group, a $200-million dollar financial services company, with four subsidiaries focused on serving small business, including Enterprise Bank, Enterprise Insurance Services, Enterprise Business Consultants, and Kuzneski & Lockard, Inc., a full-service real estate brokerage company.