Visit the DeSalvo Construction Company website, and you’ll notice their tagline prominently displayed; “The Experience To Face Any Project Head-On.” No statement could be more true when describing the company’s extensive construction background and stellar reputation.
In 1984, Joseph A. DeSalvo—who had been employed as general manager at Ben Rudick and Sons, Inc.—realized it was time to step out on his own. So he, along with his late wife, Joy, started a construction company in the sunroom of their Liberty Township home.
Fast forward nearly 40 years and ask his son (and current president of the company), Joseph K. DeSalvo, what sort of changes the business has undergone during its tremendous growth, and the answer is remarkably straightforward.
“We have steadily grown over the years due to our fundamental core values and culture of the company,” says DeSalvo. “When we were smaller, it was just a different scale. Those core values continue to propel us forward today, and that culture comes from Dad and Mom.”
Those guiding principles are the reason DeSalvo cites referrals and repeat business as the main sources of new projects. The building of those trusted relationships is at the heart of how the company operates.
Joseph K. DeSalvo, president of DeSalvo Construction Company
But, it’s not just long-lasting client relationships that have aided in the company’s success. DeSalvo is quick to credit the people that make up the company as a key component of steady growth. An extensive stable of tenured and dedicated employees have embraced and cultivated the core values instilled by the founders.
A few examples of long-tenured DeSalvo employees include:
Sandra Algoe – Treasurer/Office Manager – 1987
Joseph K DeSalvo – President – 1996
TC Dankovich – Field Operations – 1996
Rob Wilt – Project Superintendent – 1997
Rob Russell – Carpenter Foreman – 1998
Mike Reid – Bricklayer Foreman – 2006
Jim Bayer – Vice President / Preconstruction Services – 2006
Laura Merrifield – Estimator / Project Manager – 2006
Melissa Moore – Accounting Assistant / Administrative Assistant – 2006
Joe Morris – Project Superintendent – 2007
John Fitzsimmons – Project Superintendent – 2007
Zach Dankovich – Project Superintendent – 2010
Mark Dodd – Vice President / Senior Project Manager – 2012
Robert Hinton – Project Superintendent – 2013
Another consistent theme at DeSalvo Construction is adaptability. The company has always been open to embracing new technologies and advancements to help improve communication and productivity. In addition to staying on the cutting edge, the company operates with a mindset of flexibility. In the early days, DeSalvo Construction was exclusively a traditional general contractor. However, today they’re willing to embrace a variety of roles and delivery methods within the industry, including design-build, construction management, and pre-construction services. DeSalvo also has the ability to self-perform concrete, masonry, and all facets of rough and finish carpentry work.
While the philosophy that drives DeSalvo Construction has remained consistent, there’s no doubt that there have been changes along the way. The company moved from its 3-desk home office to the current headquarters at 1491 West Liberty Street in Hubbard in February of 1990. A 6000 sq. ft. warehouse was constructed on the property in 2001, and an office building expansion-renovation was completed in 2008.
The size and scope of the company’s projects have certainly grown, as well. The massive, recently completed Shepherd of the Valley-Liberty Campus on Tibbetts Wick Road was one of the largest contracts and undertakings in the company’s history. It was also a prime example of DaSalvo Construction’s ability to deliver results on-time, despite challenges along the way. Flexibility, transparency, and collaboration were on full display as the company instituted creative solutions for cost savings and to overcome weather-related difficulties.
Other notable projects in the area include a diverse portfolio, from corporate offices to auto dealerships and restaurants. The company has also completed projects for several local school districts and educational institutions, such as Youngstown City Schools, Warren City Schools, Lisbon, Western Reserve, Niles, Champion, Steubenville City Schools, Youngstown State University, and Kent State University, among many others.
Additionally, DeSalvo Construction has done a great deal of work on healthcare facilities in the region, including projects for Mercy Health, Steward Health Care, Salem Community Hospital, and Akron Children’s Hospital.
In 2018, DeSalvo Construction was selected as general contractor for the new headquarters of The Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. DeSalvo Construction has been an active member of The Builders Association since the company’s inception in 1984, and Joseph K. DeSalvo commends the organization’s ability to facilitate networking, learning, and relationships among contractors spanning the full spectrum of trades.
Pictured at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Builders Association’s new headquarters in Vienna, Ohio (left to right): Sarah Boyarko, Dan Polivka, Breen Bannon, John Orsini, Jerry Zreliak, Frank Fuda, Sam Boak, Kevin Reilly, Tony DiTommasso, Joseph K. DeSalvo
In addition to developing a strong presence in the local market, DeSalvo Construction has also covered a much larger geographic area. Over the years, the company has operated as far west as St. Louis, east to Johnstown, PA, and south to Virginia and Tennessee. After establishing a working relationship with retailer O’Reilly Auto Parts, DeSalvo built 20 of their stores in the Chicago market, and over 50 locations in total.
Like most businesses, DeSalvo Construction has faced its share of obstacles in 2020 related to COVID-19. Fortunately, the business’s ability to quickly adapt helped to navigate the challenging landscape. In addition to implementing required safe practices, such as sanitization and social distancing, the company made a significant investment in tools and equipment to minimize the amount of sharing among workers.
Looking forward, Joseph K. DeSalvo says their focus is squarely on “maintaining our core values and culture, continuing to serve and support our clients and employees, and building and sustaining relationships. It takes a lot to build a reputation, and it’s just as much work, if not more, to maintain it.”