Case Studies

LEO Construction Company

A family venture of utility contracting in Virginia

Founded by the Rose brothers (Tom, Don and J.M.), LEO Construction has been providing turnkey construction services to the utility industry as well as municipalities, developers and builders since 1980. Headquartered in Loudoun County, Virginia, LEO Construction also maintains locations in Prince William County and specializes in underground utility contracting in the commercial and residential sectors.

After nearly 25 years of involvement in the construction industry, the Rose brothers decided to consolidate their efforts and form a company based on advanced innovation combined with uncompromising integrity. As a local company with prominent community involvement, LEO Construction has grown into one of the most respected and sought-after construction firms in Northern Virginia.

A local company

Michael Rose, chief operating officer of LEO Construction, feels that the “homegrown” aspect of the company is what helps it to stand out in such a competitive industry. “We’re very involved in the community due to our strong roots present within the area,” says Rose, who is also the son of co-founder and CEO Thomas W. Rose. “Additionally, the practice of promoting from within and placing a strong emphasis on camaraderie has produced a work force with a level of knowledge, loyalty, and commitment from top to bottom that is rarely seen in companies within not just our own, but any industry.”

When LEO Construction first started, the company operated with roughly 40 employees for the first few years and then began receiving contracts from major utilities and communications companies. For the past two and a half decades the company has maintained around 100 employees and sustains continued long-term contracts with several local utility companies, school districts and developers. “We’re pretty much a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to dry utilities,” says Rose.

LEO Construction Company

LEO Construction does not exclusively work on new construction projects. The company will often work on upgrades and rebuilds. “Time and again the utility companies find that their infrastructure is in need of repair in some areas so we’ll go in and replace the sections as designed,” Rose explains. “We’re really a one-stop shop for the utility companies and developers because we work seamlessly between the two entities to overcome the various logistical problems that could arise within a typical large-scale project.”

In the communications department, LEO Construction is heavily involved in the data sector due to the location of the company in relation to the amount of data centers in Loudoun County. “I recently read that 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic travels through Loudoun County every day,” says Rose. “On the telecommunications side these data centers require multi-circuit power grids due to the center’s need for diversified power backups, which include generator feeds in the case that a circuit goes down.” LEO Construction is often hired by companies to perform trenching and conduit placing to achieve this type of work. “That’s really our niche right now in today’s market.”

Building relationships

After being in business for over 30 years, LEO Construction has been fortunate to establish strong business partnerships with contractors and suppliers. Rose believes that the reputation of the company paired with its diverse array of services has been crucial to surviving tough economic times such as the most recent economic downturn. “We’ve been able to partner with various companies and establish meaningful relationships that allow us to shift our focus between different areas of work as the economy demands,” says Rose. “For example, if commercial work is slow, residential work typically spikes and vice versa.”

A slight change in the market has highlighted the quality of work that LEO Construction performs. “The mentality of the ’80s and ’90s where everyone was just interested in the lowest price has changed,” says Rose. “In the 2000s people began to realize that you get what you pay for.” That being said, LEO Construction is welcoming to competition, as Rose feels it keeps the company at its best and creates an opportunity for the market itself to compare the quality of products and services.

Working for a successful company started by his father and uncles is one of the most rewarding aspects of Rose’s job. “My father has always been my mentor,” says Rose. “He always taught the value of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage.” Rose has been with LEO Construction for 28 years.

The mere fact that the family business existed was helpful but not the only reason Rose chose it as a career. “I’ve always been intrigued by construction,” says Rose. “We also have an amazing group of people here. We care about each other and our work, and that goes a long way in my eyes. I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t love it.”

As business moves forward, Rose expects the company to continue to grow sustainably. “We’re always keeping our minds open to continue to diversify and adapt, that’s what will carry us into the future,” he says.

While the business continues to grow, LEO Construction Company will continue to maintain the highest standards of quality and service. 

Published on: November 3, 2015

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