Langston Tabor (1942-1998) TABOR 100 Name Sake, President of Tabor Electric Inc
The Formation of the TABOR 100 Non-Profit Organization

In Memory of Langston Tabor 1942-1998

Langston Tabor for more than 20 years was a beacon to fellow minority contractors, and also to young people following diverse paths, including his own electrical trade. 

“As an African American, I grew up with a sense of social responsibility,” he once told a Seattle  Times reporter. “I realized that what was needed was employers.” He launched Tabor Electric with a loan secured by a $400 unemployment check and collateral consisting of bills for his finished projects. Through force of will, knowledge and a desire to teach the trade, he expanded Tabor Electric from one employee to dozens. His Fremont firm has wired airports in several states and many commercial buildings, including skyscrapers. Last year alone it posted more than $5 million in sales. He also championed young people and single parents and campaigned vigorously for minority contractors. 

Mr. Tabor died Thursday (Nov. 12) of a stroke. He was 56. He died a few days after Washington state voters passed Initiative 200, a measure that he openly opposed. The ballot measure ends affirmative-action practices in public contracting,  education, and employment. In a recent Seattle Times story, he was quoted as saying he doubted his business would survive the end of affirmative action. Tabor Electric was winning government contracts exceeding $1  million annually – the bulk of its revenue. He said builders might not want to work with even a well-known minority businessman without the encouragement of government agencies. 

In 1978, he had trouble being accepted in the electrical trade. That’s when he opened his business, hired electricians, and apprenticed himself to them. Later he made it a point to help young people; if they were motivated, he taught them. “He is a wonderful man who has accomplished much in business and in his community,” said  Maude Scott, a friend. “He has been the single parent for a terrific boy and coached dozens of kids in baseball and basketball. He took everything he did, even coaching, very seriously.” 

A favorite volunteer project was training low-income women in the Central Area how to rewire their own condominiums. Mr. Tabor donated the electrical systems. Working with the Central Area Youth Association (CAYA), he taught six youngsters to wire a  20,000-square-foot building.

“He was very much into empowering people,” said his friend Eric Swenson. “That included power in the electrical sense. He was so patient, and one of the most admirable people I’ve  known.” In 1991, Mr. Tabor earned 14 percent of the vote for a position on the Port of Seattle  Commission. In 1993, he attended ceremonies at the White House after the U.S. Commerce Department named his company National Minority Construction Firm of the Year. 

Born in San Antonio, Mr. Tabor grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He attended Harvard University and the University of Ghana in Africa and earned a bachelor’s degree in law and society from  Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he also taught. Before becoming a journeyman electrician and a state-licensed electrical administrator, he was a prison guard and Vista volunteer. After coming to Seattle in 1968, he helped the state Office of  Community Corrections find alternative corrections methods for nonviolent offenders. Mr. Tabor was inspired to become an electrical contractor while studying in Africa. He saw black engineers and technicians building a major dam and wanted to attempt such projects in the  United States. He lived in Seattle for 30 years, owned a houseboat, and enjoyed sailing, competitive chess, and coaching youth sports. Mr. Tabor was a former member of the Washington State Technical Advisory Committee on  Crime and Delinquency, the Federal Contractors Association, and the Ethnic Heritage  Association. 

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L. David Tyner III TABOR 100 Founder & Past President

On November 12, 1998, L. David Tyner III, Founder, Past President of TABOR 100 lost a very close friend, fellow community activist and entrepreneur, Langston Tabor. His loss was a significant one to the African-American community of Washington State as well. 

Langston’s legacy of leadership and passion for the enhancement of economic, educational and  political advancement of the African-American community was a common tenet of the deep friendship  he and David Tyner shared. Reflecting on Langston’s aggressive lobbying for training programs for  young black males and fairness in public contracting, Dave made a solemn decision to further this  shared vision by the founding of the TABOR 100 non-profit organization. 

Dave gathered friends and business organizations to begin the development of an organization that  would reflect strong platforms that would sustain the articulation and cohesion of community  involvement and participation in achieving this shared vision. With the assistance of good friend Dr.  William Bradford, Dean of the University of Washington’s Business School, Reverend Laverne Hall,  Mount Zion Baptist Church, the foundational steps of building a strong and dedicated organization  began. 

Many individuals, including business owners, Craig Dawson, Donald King, Daryl Thomas, Art Grant,  William Dudley, Fred Maxie, Calvin Saunders, Carl Smith, Terry Johnson, Glenn Gregory, Daniel Seydel,  Cos Roberts, Hoover Chambliss, Leonard Simpson, Lewis Rudd, Kevin Washington, and Tony Gable,  

played essential roles in the formation of TABOR’s foundational governing systems. Those committees  and systems included: communications and technology, education, The TABOR 100 Annual Gala,  political outreach and fund raising, and public entity dialogue for equity and fairness in public  contracting. 

Long serving and current President and CEO of the TABOR 100, Ollie Garrett, has skillfully built upon the organizational and institutional framework she inherited. She deserves great credit and  acknowledgement for her service over the years to the TABOR 100 Organization and the African American community of Washington State in this connection. Tabor is now the premier organization  in Washington state advocating for African American and other minority businesses. 

The history of TABOR 100’s founding and continued development over its first quarter century is a mosaic of great individual and collective efforts. Changes in policy formation and leadership styles have  occurred as is normal and predictable with the growth of grassroots organizations. TABOR 100 has  undergone many such changes and continues to evolve, survive and prosper. 

Dave Tyner

25 Years of Service to the Community

Tabor 100 is an association of entrepreneurs and business advocates who are committed to economic power, educational excellence and social equity for African Americans and the community at large.

High speed internet

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Fully equipped kitchen

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Huge parking space

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Conference rooms

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Each partner has committed a minimum of $100,000 over the next three years.

Founding Partners

Founding Partners

Each partner has committed a minimum of $100,000 over the next three years.

Our Commitment

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    Become a connecting link between existing organizations to enhance communication and coordination of existing programs and capacities.
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    Vigorously advocate minority business interests, ventures and initiatives to the benefit of our members and community.
  • 03


    Identify youth interested in professional careers for the purpose of providing mentoring, scholarship or motivational assistance, leadership and development.
  • 04


    Develop international trade opportunities through strong alliances.
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    Have a dedicated and disciplined membership that extends to each other the highest levels of trust and integrity, and who treat each other with the utmost mutual respect.
Take Action

We are Leaders in Change.

We continue our mission to bring about economic change in underserved communities. Tabor 100 has a rich history and tradition of serving minority groups. For the past 20 years, Tabor 100 has worked to ensure that the brush of economic opportunity & prosperity reaches all members of society and to provide that opportunity with fairness and with justice.

Shared access to premium amenities

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Fully equipped meeting rooms for rent

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