Case Studies

M.L. McDonald Sales Company LLC

Nearly 100 years of trusted finishing contracting in Boston

As a finishing contracting company, M.L. McDonald Sales Company LLC (MLM) has been performing painting, drywall, insulation and fireproofing services for landmark projects in and around Boston as well as throughout the Northeast for nearly a century. Located in Watertown, Massachusetts, MLM is driven by three philosophies: every project is unique; an open and collaborative spirit helps clients and contractors alike; and delivering the highest level of service isn’t a goal — it’s the standard.

While remaining one of Massachusetts’ largest and most diverse painting and finishing contractors, MLM has maintained steady growth over the decades. “Boston has been experiencing a definite boom in recent years,” says Pete Townsend, president of MLM. “There has been an increase in multiunit residential construction and commercial work. There has also been an expansion in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries in Cambridge.”

The people make the company

Along with experience and the quality of work that MLM provides, the company is able to stand out in the industry due to its ability to educate clients on methods that may be implemented to offer financial benefits. “We go into each project and show our customers how and where they can save money,” says Tony Gallonio, vice president of MLM. “That’s one of the many things we are capable of doing for our customers. We have a very talented team and yet we’re always learning.”

The talent and experience at MLM is largely due to high employee retention. The company encourages growth and development — both personally and professionally — in all of its employees. “We have people that worked here while they were still in high school and college and 20 years later, they’re still here,” says Gallonio. “For many, it’s the only job that they have ever had.”

The team at MLM takes pride in the fact that it refuses to cut corners in concerns of efficiency. When time is money, the temptation is always existent to perform things quickly rather than correctly. “We want to do it the right way the first time,” says Gallonio. “Our prices might be a little higher, but our results are better.”

Gallonio began with MLM as a superintendent in the fireproofing division. When a vacancy opened up for an estimator position in the department, he had gained enough experience to step into the role. “I stepped in and hired a few more people to round out the division,” he recalls. “Now 16 years later, here we are as a very successful division for the company. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of this business.”

MLM incorporates three types of fireproofing materials: cementitious, fiber and intumescent. The company has become a household name throughout the Northeast for its fireproofing capabilities. MLM has worked with numerous power stations, including the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, as well as others throughout New York and Pennsylvania. “We have established a very solid reputation due to our experience and track record,” says Gallonio. “It has kept us very busy.”

Furthermore, at the famous Harvard Art Museum, MLM has delivered spray fire proofing and intumescent coatings, painting and wood refinishing for the challenging and complicated project that includes a new addition and complete renovation of the existing 100-year-old original museum. The art museum is just one example of the MLM advantage: a range of expertly crafted finishes all under one roof.

Diverse expertise

Diversity and versatility are only a few of MLM’s strong points. In addition to working in the power and energy markets, MLM performs a fair amount of fireproofing in the commercial sector as well. The company has placed its stamp on numerous high-rises. “We do everything from commercial to industrial,” says Gallonio. “We’ve also done a lot of work for the subway tunnels.”

The company also employs a skilled team of wood refinishing craftsmen who restore and refinish a variety of wood, including moldings, trim, millwork and even furnishings. “We work with environmentally friendly, water-based stains and finishes and we can complete projects on- or off-site,” says Townsend. “Recent projects include the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Boston Medical Center, One Charles, Merck Pharmaceutical and the Boston Harbor Hotel.”

MLM is constantly searching for methods of growing the business, whether organically or through acquisitions. While remaining open to opportunities for expansion, M.L. McDonald Sales Company LLC remains dedicated to serving its current clients with top-notch quality and service.

Published on: February 1, 2016


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