Today, Franjo Construction Corporation celebrates its 25th anniversary! While our incorporation date was February 4, 1997, our story starts much earlier. For those who don’t know, “Franjo” is the combination of two brothers’ names – Frank (our CEO), and Joe (our President). Their father, Joe Leonello, Sr. knew construction. Just after coming to America from Italy with his new bride, Joe Sr. made a career out of building homes. Frank and Joe forged their own successful paths in different industries. When they both became fathers, they wanted more freedom, and their inner entrepreneurs came to life. Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. got the company started, and Frank joined a few years after. Today, Franjo refers to a whole group of affiliated companies with over 160 employees combined and dozens of active projects at any given time. Here’s what they have to say about their first 25 years:
The Franjo Story
We spent our first few years finding our groove. Our first office was a few streets away from our current headquarters in Homestead, PA and was what one might expect for a brand-new venture. We moved a couple of years later as we grew. By 2008, we grew again. We purchased a long-vacant building that used to be a tour bus garage and completed a major overhaul. In 2011, we purchased what now houses our shop for millwork, casework, and steel fabrication. In 2015, our restoration services group branched off as its own company (Franjo Restoration Services). We bought another building in 2018 that serves as an additional warehouse and laydown space in addition to Franjo Restoration’s offices. In 2019, we acquired a Fort Lauderdale-based commercial contracting company (GSD Contracting), and in 2020, we formed our specialty group (“FSG” or Franjo Specialty Group). 2019 was also the first of what is now three consecutive years of our own employees voting us a Top Workplace.
Our Team is Everything
That brings us to how we did it. Everything we’ve done has been made possible by our people. We always knew we wanted growth, but we never could have imagined being where we are today. There is no way we could have done it without our team, and we do everything in our power to remind them how important they are to us. From morale-boosting events like a company retreat and monthly luncheons to the way we operate every day. Our team knows we have confidence in them not because we say we do but because we prove it every day. We may have grown to be what some may view as this larger corporation, but we still have that family feel. Our staff knows that we are approachable – they can walk into our office or text us at any time, whether it is about a work issue or just to chat about their child’s softball game. Many of them have been with us either since day one or for at least 10 years.
The culture we have built together is one of a growth mindset. Our team knows we’d rather they fail versus not try at all. Because like all innovators, it may take failing nine times to succeed on the tenth try.
We are persistent. We are confident. We are ambitious.
It makes us happy to provide work to members of our community and to be able to support the dreams of other business owners, who may be new ones like us, through our construction services. We feel that by uniting our customers and our team, we will build the future.
… And the future of Franjo is a bright one.