Leonard S. Fiore Inc.
- Written by: Tony Ware
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Leonard S. Fiore Inc. is a general contractor headquartered in Altoona, Penn., that believes what a company stands for is as important as what it produces. Founded in 1954 by its namesake, who began by performing small masonry, pipe-fitting, construction and repair jobs in Central Pennsylvania, Leonard S. Fiore Inc. entered the commercial sector in 1957, immediately starting to construct landmark pieces with the Altoona Skating Center and St. Rose of Lima Church before incorporated in 1966. The company quickly expanded beyond the confines of its Blair County origins, and has build its business on a solid foundation of heritage and heart, self-performing much of its work in order to satisfy a demand for projects delivered with attention to detail and efficiency.
“My father started this business on small projects sealed with a handshake. Today, the projects are larger and there’s more paperwork, but we continue his principles of fairness,” declares Leonard S. Fiore Jr., Chairman of the Board since December 2003. Fiore Jr.’s brothers Richard Sr. and Michael A. Fiore operate as president and executive vice president and secretary, respectively, while brothers Patrick and Joseph Irwin, vice presidents, round out the executive officers.
“We have a very big family, and I would say working together every day helps not only bring the family even closer but also it helps keep things going very smoothly throughout the company,” says Maurio Fiore, a member of the third generation of the family (including cousins) in the field operations and management of the business.
Where Bonding Means More than Financing
That family can be extended to the 220 to 250 employees that help maintain the Leonard S. Fiore legacy, as well as help assure timely, cost-efficient completion throughout the company’s$75 million to $100 million in annual volume. Self-performing surveying/excavating, concrete/steel erection, masonry, plus rough/finish carpentry and dry wall, and working with trusted subcontractors for such trades as electrical, mechanical and HVAC, the Leonard S. Fiore Inc. team has established its presence throughout Pennsylvania, as well as in New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and New York.
Over the past half-century Leonard S. Fiore Inc. has performed over $1 billion in construction. But what the company values having build most is relationships within not only itself but also across the community. This has resulted in Leonard S. Fiore Inc. being a preferred contractor for clients such as Penn State University for over 20 years, resulting in work completed on such milestone structures as the renowned Pattee-Paterno Library addition and renovation. More recently, the company finished the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park, the first luxury stay facility within the state’s park system and an example of environmentally friendly architecture, artisan craftsmanship and green technology. But Leonard S. Fiore Inc. doesn’t hold to any one signature sector.
If every challenge was the same then Leonard S. Fiore Inc.’s multi-talented core would have come upon the universal solution. But as it is the company has very few issues. Leonard S. Fiore Inc.’s supervisors have extensive hands-on experience and its management has become increasingly adept at matching employees and subcontractors to the skill set required of each project, whether it’s retail centers or religious institutions, student or senior housing, correctional facilities or higher education.
“We’re pretty much a jack-of-all-trades, literally a general contractor,” says Maurio. “We have a very wide field of expertise and can build anything that’s on the prints.”
The Leonard S. Fiore Inc. staff begins with project estimators and AutoCAD/Building Information Modeling technicians, which provide field forces and project managers quick results for their requirements of managing materials/subcontractor procurement and daily operations. This integration can even extend to the design-build delivery method, which assures the architects, engineers and project owner(s) are coordinating on concepts, and a budget is established from preliminary plans. Open communication partnerships such as these allow for value engineering with minimized change orders. With all permits and schedules in place and the most efficient approach to constructability established, the Leonard S. Fiore Inc. workforce implements the project plan, monitored by trained supervisors and safety coordinators and supported by a network of resources coordinators, mobile technology and the ability to dial in to a company intranet to log progress/receive instructions on-site. All this efficiency has attracted precision-minded clients such as Walmart, for whom Leonard S. Fiore Inc. has completed 19 locations (as well as four Sam’s Clubs).
Also helping augment the company’s capabilities is Fiore Brothers Inc. Leasing Company, a specialized equipment rental subsidiary for contractors and the public launched in 2000 that Leonard S. Fiore Inc. also utilizes when loaders, dozers, hydraulic excavators, backhoes, concrete pumps, forklifts, trucks and skid steers are needed. Again a family operation first and foremost, Fiore Brothers Inc. is run by Michael A. Fiore, president, and Sara Fiore-Gunnett, vice president and secretary.
Keeping Families Intact
With such an extensive fleet and work force, Leonard S. Fiore Inc. reinforces how imperative safety is daily. Safety directors and field supervisors adapt and implement the latest regulations of the National Safety Committee of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) and OSHA, and this has resulted in the company receiving multiple Platinum Safety Training & Evaluation Process (STEP) Awards from the ABC. The ABC has been a consistent source of legislative and judicial representation and employee resources for Leonard S. Fiore Inc. and its merit shop philosophy, and Leonard S. Fiore Sr. even acted as a charter member of the Central Pennsylvania ABC chapter. The association has furthered Leonard S. Fiore Inc.’s knowledge of new technologies, best business practices and safety programs, as well as distributed the company’s own experience to other members.
Another association helping Leonard S. Fiore maintain its position on the forefront of the industry is the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program from the U.S. Green Building Council. Leonard S. Fiore Inc. employees several LEED Accredited Professionals, and has completed some significant environmentally conscious projects, such as the 2009 renovation and expansion of historic Founders Hall at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Penn. Working diligently, Leonard S. Fiore Inc. performed extensive, structurally respectful modifications to the 1878 building and achieved a LEED Gold certification.
Leonard S. Fiore Inc. has truly helmed a diverse portfolio of projects, and is prepared for any manner of new opportunities. “It’s true retail has been weak, but government buildings, schools, universities, the Altoona Regional Hospital, a lot of those type of large institutional-style buildings have been going, keeping us busy. We’re in enough sectors with funding to stay active. We’re probably going to stick to what we’re good at, and go with the market as it recovers,” explains Maurio. “We’ve secure in our extensive capabilities and we’ll be ready to expand our core proficiency when the economy comes back.”
Indeed, Leonard S. Fiore Inc. is approaching its sixth decade of supporting the communities where people work, live and play, and with its people and principles deeply entrenched the company will continue to develop and enrich its area with competitive prices and outstanding customer service for generations to come.
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