History of Colombo Construction


Joe Colombo, Senior
A native of Italy, Joe Colombo Senior and his brothers, Natale and Fortunato came to the United States where they found work on the farms around Shafter, California.  Although the others moved to the Bay Area, Joe Sr. made his home in Bakersfield.  He worked for a prominent contractor, Guy Hall, before eventually opening his own contracting company in 1948.  What began as Tobisch & Colombo General Contractors, Joe Colombo Sr. and John Tobisch constructed houses, remodels and small commercial projects, mainly small schools and banks throughout Bakersfield.  After the earthquake in 1952, the firm assisted in rebuilding many of the damaged building in Bakersfield.
In 1954, the company simply became Colombo Construction.  That same year, Joe Sr. hired John Lencioni in a temporary capacity.  What intended to be temporary work lasted over 50 years.  Toward the end of the 1950’s, Colombo and Lencioni began winning bids on school projects. Colombo Construction progressed in size of projects, number of projects under construction at one time, and difficulty of the project of its present size. 
Upon learning of his ill health in 1960 the company was incorporated and John Lencioni, the head superintendent for Colombo Construction Company, became president of the corporation.
John Lencioni
A native of Italy, John Lencioni came to the United States in 1946. In 1954, John came to work for Joe Sr.  has carried on the business philosophy of our founder.  Starting with Colombo Co. in 1954, John Lencioni worked in all phases of the firm’s operations, as a carpenter then climbed the ladder to foreman and superintendent in the short period of two years. 
Elected president in 1960, he has carried on the firm’s goals of honest and fair dealings within the industry.  His dedication to providing the best job possible is an attitude that customers find throughout the company.  Every employee is motivated by the creed “Don’t build it if you wouldn’t buy it.”

One of John’s greatest accomplishments was establishing Colombo Construction Co., Inc. as the best-known commercial and industrial construction firms in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  Its prominence has been achieved under the leadership of a man who joined the firm as a carpenter over 50 years ago. In addition to his many achievements, he was named Contractor of the Year in 1989, Business Man of the Year by the Republican Committee in 2005, received the Balanced Power Award and Try Kern County First, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce in 1971. He has been a member of the Kern County Builders Exchange, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Carpenters Local #743 and Associated General Contractors.  He is active in the Italian Catholic Federation, Italian Heritage, Sierra Club, Elks Lodge, CORE Program, Kern County Fair; and in 2007, John received the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Benedict XVI, the highest honor one can receive for his services to the Catholic Church.
John Lencioni passed away on October 19, 2009. 
Today, Colombo Construction has progressed in size of projects and has an impressive number and variety of projects the company has completed over the years. The pictures on the walls of Colombo, are of schools & universities, public facilities, office towers, malls, warehouses, medical facilities and other unique building constructed by the company. 
Colombo Construction Co., Inc. is truly a family business. John’s son-in-law, Ken Altergott is President, Joe Colombo (son of founder Joe Colombo, Sr.) is Vice President of Sales. In addition, John’s son, Joe, grandsons Brandon Lencioni and Ryan Altergott are very active in the business and will continue for many generations.
 Today, Colombo Construction Co., Inc. stands for excellence, commitment and innovation.
Tom Eichman
Tom Eichman retired from his post as Senior Vice President in April 2010 after serving 35 years with Colombo Construction.  Tom, a graduate from Fresno State with a degree in Civil Engineering, met John Lencioni while working with the Kern County Building Department as the Head Plan Checker in 1974.  John's foresight in wanting to grow our business in metal buildings was interviewing potential candidates to lead Colombo's Metal Building Division.  In 1974, John Lencioni made an offer that Tom could not refuse.  On October 14,1974 Tom began his career with Colombo Construction Company.
Tom has been an integral part of our management team.  His projects ranged from the smallest remodel to manufacturing, and cold storage units of hundreds of thousands of square feet.  Under his leadership, Colombo Construction has been one of the leading builders for Varco-Pruden building systems nationwide.  His engineering background helped Colombo to excel at those projects which were most complex.  His expertise, along with his integrity was significant to our success in the metal building industry.
A great testimonial of Tom's expertise and his integrity is the history of projects he oversaw with Grimmway Farms and Bolthouse Farms from 1994 to 2004.  Over this period, Tom was responsible for securing 203 projects for Grimmway Farms and 389 projects for Bolthouse Farms.  This represents a total of 592 projects over a 10-year period for the 2 largest carrot operations in the world.


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