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.
Today, the fruits of his labor, Ghilotti Bros., Inc. employs over 275 individuals working in 11 Bay Area Counties and generating annual revenues in excess of $100 Million per year.Along the along the way, GBI has contributed not only monetarily but with our time and resources to several hundred organizations in our community. To further enhance this effort, GBI employees established the GBI Giving Back Program in 2009. These efforts follow in the footsteps of our founder James Ghilotti’s philosophy, “Earn respect by doing a job well, treat employees with courtesy and respect, and do good work for the community in which you live and work.”
Today the GBI Renaissance is in full swing. What ended up as a failed attempt at project partnering on the Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory project in 2004, began a new era of project partnering at GBI. Those efforts lead to facilitated bi-annual Internal Strategic Partnering and planning sessions. “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”, “Raising the Bar”, “Open and Honest Communication”, and “World Class Teamwork” all became mainstream at GBI. Soon thereafter, GBI’s Leadership culture began to define the core of our organization. We established new values our employees could stand behind. Eventually, accountability on all levels became the essence of GBI employees. This dramatic and sudden turnaround in Leadership Culture empowered employees to achieve new levels of success in revenue and profitability largely unrealized up to that point. The timing couldn’t have been better. In 2006, Prop 1B was passed by voters, realizing the dire need of California’s aging infrastructure, they approved an unheard of $19 Billion bond measure to fund improvements in State and Local Transportation projects. To clear the pipeline of stalled projects and unresolved claims, Caltrans implemented a new era of project partnering soon thereafter. Once a less than desirable owner to work for, Caltrans soon became the agency of choice! Even the oft-maligned City of San Francisco embraced partnering and was having town hall meetings to explore improvements to the Department of Public Works.
While currently experiencing one of the most difficult economic downturns in decades, GBI continues to outperform its competition, but more importantly we are extremely well positioned to successfully venture into our 100th birthday and beyond.
It is with great honor and respect that we lead GBI towards its Centennial. As third generation and fourth generation working summers as family members, we are blessed by the hard work and dedication James Ghilotti, Mario, Willie, Dino and Babe Ghilotti gave so tirelessly to this company!
Without their extraordinary efforts and tremendous sacrifices, we would not be here today. Equally deserving gratitude are the many loyal employees that have become family over the years through their exemplary effort and lengthy service.