If you’ve lived or worked in the Bay Area in the last 100 years, you probably have heard of the success story of James Ghilotti, the Italian immigrant, who coming to San Rafael in 1910, started a small construction company after his arrival.
Welcome to Ghilotti Bros. Inc! Our company, and its deep roots, date back to our founder and my grandfather, James Ghilotti. My father, Mario, always used to say how fortunate we were that James came from a small town in Italy straight to San Rafael, California. What a blessing! There’s really no other place on earth like Marin County. We are also blessed that James was a skilled stone mason and used his trade to start his own company. This was at a time that was extremely challenging for immigrants. What he ended up creating was a legacy of Ghilotti’s that love to build.
The fact that he started this company has allowed future generations to enjoy the same passion for building great things. Of course, none of this would be possible if we didn’t have great employees at Ghilotti Bros. We work hard to maintain a unique company culture that fosters personal and professional growth for all our employees in a family setting. I’m proud that GBI was recently recognized as one of the North Bay’s Best Places to Work, for the ninth time. We love our employees and their hard work and dedication is the backbone of the company. No one personifies that better than Frank Palagi who started with the Bros. in 1956 and still comes in to work today, 62 years later, with a song in his heart, a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
There’s something to be said for being in an industry where you have to go out and earn it every day. You determine the outcome and control your own destiny. Because the majority of the work we do is in the public works arena, we have to be low bidder to get the work and even then, it’s just an opportunity. The real test is orchestrating crews, equipment, resources and a multitude of variables to build quality work under budget.
We are blessed to have skilled craftsmen and craftswomen out building legacy projects throughout the Bay Area. Whether it’s making roads safer, reducing commute times, installing ADA accessibility or creating vibrant multi-use paths, we are so proud that our projects truly do improve the quality of life.
And finally, all these good fortunes allow Ghilotti Bros. to support and maintain our founder’s philosophy of giving back to the communities in which we live and work. In 2018, GBI will donate in excess of $125,000 in response to over 200 donation requests. But it’s not just putting money where our mouth is, GBI can be seen actively giving back to our communities in such regular efforts as supplying flatbeds for San Rafael High School homecoming, traffic control for the Bay Area Human Race event or moving the last surviving Mt. Tam gravity locomotive from Humboldt County back to Marin. So, know that when you’re supporting GBI by having us do your driveway or sidewalk, you’re also supporting your community.
GBI is extremely proud to be a part of this incredible community of Marin County for 106 years and with the beginning of the fourth generation now working full-time, we are even more excited for the next 100!