Case Studies

The Zelinsky Company

Transitioning Ownership to the Third Generation
  • Written by: Emma Bouthillette
  • Produced by: The Zelinsky Company
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

David Zelinsky founded D. Zelinsky & Sons Inc. in 1884 in Oakland, Calif. The business quickly became one of the largest painting contractors in the country with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington D.C.


David’s nephew Ken joined the company in 1957 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. By 1971, Zelinsky Co. opened a Branch office in Honolulu with Ken as vice president and general manager of Hawaii operations. Within four years, he grew the Hawaii operations to include 60 employees and increase work volume by 10 times.


In 1976, Ken bought out the Hawaii branch, continuing the legacy his uncle started. Twenty-six years later, his daughter Lari Bloom and her husband John Bloom returned to Hawaii and joined the business.


Now known as The Zelinsky Company (TZC), the company has evolved to use computer technology and smart devises to communicate in the field. Ken has retired and Lari Bloom, now president of TZC, explains technology is helping the company create office environments within the field and expedite business.


“The company was created and sustained by my dad through a hard work ethic and a dedicated team of employees,” she says. “Today we continue the hard work ethic and continue to have hard working dedicated employees that are willing to go the extra mile for the success of the company.”


TZC now focuses heavily on commercial and industrial painting with a team of 30 to 100 employees depending on workflow. Bloom puts emphasis on training staff to take personal responsibility in their work and empowering TZC employees to be the best they can be.


“We encourage suggestions and input from all of our associates on how we can improve our process and business efficiency,” says Bloom. “Our mission statement is ‘to be the contractor of choice’ and we take pride in our work, the quality and doing business with utmost respect and integrity.”


Establishing High-end Clientele


TZC has a well-trained workforce that sets the company apart from its competitors. “We are always looking for the diamond in the rough to train and develop men to be leaders,” says Bloom, which transfers to the company’s approach to find work. “We are versatile with our commercial and industrial division, which adds diversification in the market.”


The company has been hired by some major entities in Hawaii. In 2012, TZC was contracted to restore Pearl Harbor’s control tower. The project included cleaning and restoring the steel, sand blasting the exterior and finishing the project with an industrial coating outside.


The company has also been applauded for its work. Robert Hixon, construction engineer for General Services Administration, was pleased with the work TZC did while painting and installing wall covering at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building. “The attention to detail was exceptional of the painting firms I have encountered both here in Hawaii and on the mainland,” he writes.


Such praise is what continues strong business within the company. TZC also recently completed work on Disney Aulani, a timeshare hotel and resort on Oahu, Trump Tower and Honolulu’s Pacifica.


All in the Family


In addition to Bloom and her husband’s involvement, Ken’s sons Steve and Matt are also working for TZC in various capacities. Bloom is acting as the majority stockholder and is working toward her Women’s Business Enterprise certification to make business more competitive.


The economy slowed construction on the islands, but Bloom sees business rebounding and expects a couple more years before work is back up to speed. Companies, including TZC, have been making very conservative decisions. Bloom sees a lot of reinvesting back into the company happening to make growth possible.


“The next step for the company is to diversify further into other services on a gradual basis,” says Bloom. “We don’t want to grow too fast, so we are planning on a steady, gradual and maintainable growth.”


With this growth, she’s also hoping to train the next generation. Currently her nephew Brandon and her son Chad have both joined the family business. “We have been doing business in Hawaii for over 40 years,” says Bloom. “Our goal is to develop the next millennium generation to step in and take over operations to continue the Zelinsky legacy.”


The family-owned and -operated business helps TZC pursue work in Hawaii. The culture is very focused on family and building relationships between different entities. That’s how Bloom’s father ran the business and she hopes to continue that model. She expects The Zelinsky Company will remain a competitive entity in the area.


For more information about The Zelinsky Company please visit:


Published on: September 26, 2013

Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


Spring 2018



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.