Case Studies

Reno Contracting Inc.

Building an Award-winning Reputation

Matthew Reno founded Reno Contracting Inc. (RCI) in 1993. “I started with nothing,” says Reno, founder and CEO of RCI. Reno, however, did have one essential attribute: drive. Reno’s passion ensured that RCI quickly expanded, and the company has since become one of the largest general contractors in San Diego, Calif.

RCI now specializes in commercial projects, offering build-to-suit services to its many clients in the Southwest. “Our geographic footprint includes six states,” says Reno. “We’ve done work in California, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona and Indiana.”

The RCI team offers preconstruction services, including deep analysis of budgets, site selection and project scheduling. RCI employs 40 people, many boasting decades of experience in varying construction sectors, ensuring each project is done right. When construction begins, RCI maintains and oversees timeframes, materials and labor, always keeping projects on time, under budget and in accordance with safety requirements.

“We’re extremely diverse,” says Reno. “We have a solar division, a multifamily division, a hospitality division and a tenant improvement division among others.” The team has built more office buildings and parking garages than any other contractor in the region and RCI has received several awards for quality service, as well. The company was awarded merit recognition at the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Build San Diego Awards multiple times and has also been recognized by the California Council Society of American Architects and the American Concrete Institute for the team’s notable work.

RCI has been busy lately, with several standard construction and green building projects. “We were awarded a $5 million contract to do energy audits with the city of San Diego,” says Reno, who adds that RCI has two green divisions; one specializing in solar construction and the other for sustainable and LEED construction.

The RCI team recently completed a new headquarters valued at $85 million for ResMed, a manufacturer of sleep apnea diagnostic equipment. The team is also managing construction on the Truax Building in Temecula, a four-story, multiuse structure designed to embrace the live, work, play local trend in construction.

While all of the company’s projects have been engaging and challenging, Reno says one in particular stands out as the most interesting. “We worked on the Diamond View Tower at Petco Stadium,” he says. As another multiuse building, most of the structure’s floors are intended for use as office space. The building looms over the baseball park, offering views of the game from the upper floors. The Ultimate Skybox, an event venue, is perched on the top floor, offering a unique space for parties, ceremonies and meetings alike.

Rolling with the Changes

The economic downturn hit many contractors, and RCI was no exception. “We had a tough few years,” says Reno. However, the RCI team made the best of a sticky situation and took time to reorganize his business structure. “We had some layoffs,” Reno explains. “We discovered that we needed to totally retool the company, so we did. We’ve completely diversified and we’re better off for it.” The business ran lean for a while, but has since resumed healthy growth, and Reno is now looking forward to future expansion.

RCI is currently taking it easy, working toward controlled growth rather than explosive expansion. The company has several large projects in the pipeline for 2013, ensuring the green division gains momentum as more organizations require LEED-certified buildings and smaller carbon footprints.

Reno’s flexibility has kept the business afloat, but he adds that his greatest asset is RCI’s people. The team works hard to keep projects together, hitting financial and scheduling targets while avoiding accidents and providing quality structures. A low rate of incident on the jobsite keeps both subcontractors and clients happy by reducing damages, injuries and downtime on site. RCI employs a network of subcontractors who share the same dedication to quality and take safety seriously to ensure all contributors to the project are on the same page.

Something to Remember

RCI will celebrate 20 years in business in May 2013. Reno has no specific plans for a company party, but the anniversary will not go unnoticed. Reno chalks up his company’s longevity to hard work and integrity. The RCI team communicates well with clients, consistently working off of input from clients and end-users, an asset from which all benefit.

“I’ve been in this business my entire adult life,” says Reno. He started as a laborer in high school, working during the summer, and his experience has helped shape his leadership style. Several happy customers, testimonials and referrals back up his success, and Reno emphasizes the importance of maintaining relationships with RCI customers.

Reno foresees accelerated growth over the next five years as the economy turns around and clients start spending money again. “I’d like to see us grow to a $95 million-per-year company,” he says of his revenue goals. The figure is realistic as the work pours in, and the team is starting to see larger and larger projects on the horizon. Beyond that, Reno says it’s hard to tell. No matter who is the next generation of leadership, however, if they follow the example set by Reno then the future possibilities for Reno Contracting Inc. are endless.

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