History of Colombo Construction

Our Company History and Philosophy

It was 1948.  Harry S. Truman was president.  Americans were settling back into peace-time life following World War II.  The Cleveland Indians won the World Series and Joe Colombo founded Colombo Construction Company in Bakersfield, California. Seven years later, John Lencioni, a skilled carpenter and independent builder, was hired by Colombo for a couple of weeks while he waited for the plaster to cure on one of his own projects. Lencioni’s two-week employment turned into over 49 years; later transforming this once small company into one of the best-known commercial and industrial construction firms in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Lencioni had a genius for the construction business.  He soon became a foreman, superintendent and estimator. Toward the end of the 1950’s, Colombo and Lencioni began winning bids on school facility projects and the company quickly progressed in the number, size and difficultly of projects under construction at one time. Colombo’s excellent reputation soared bringing in business from Simi Valley, San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast. In 1960, upon the death of Joe Colombo, John Lencioni became Colombo’s President, Chairman of the Board and majority owner. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, Colombo continued to thrive, diversify and expanded services to include pre-engineered metal building systems.  Colombo became the Kern County distributor for Varco Pruden, winning contracts with Grimmway Farming Company, Bolthouse/Campbell’s Juice Processing Plant, Paramount Farms Nut Processing Plant, State Compensation Insurance Building and the new Amtrak Station in Bakersfield. 

Eventually, Ken Altergott (John’s son-in-law) took the reins of the company.  He led them through years of success.  Ken was instrumental and the driving force behind leading multi prime construction management services for the construction of school facilities.  As the country struggled economically, Ken handled keeping the company afloat maintaining economical strength within the company.

When Ken retired in 2015, Tom Reid stepped in as President. Tom had started with Colombo as an apprentice carpenter back in 1979.  He moved through the ranks becoming a journeyman and eventually working as a superintendent for Colombo. Tom attended law school at night while maintaining his full-time employment with Colombo.  At the end of 1998 he received his Juris Doctorate Degree, becoming a licensed attorney and counselor in the state of California in early 1999. Tom brought to the company a strong knowledge of legal matters and understanding of contracts along with a good background in construction.  While President,  he continued to expand the high standards of construction management within the company.  Under his leadership construction management services flourished. Eventually Tom took on the role of CEO of the company with Ryan Altergott stepping in as President.  Since 2018, Ryan has proven to be a calm, intelligent leader of Colombo. Colombo’s story of success is an old-fashioned one, emphasizing integrity and the value of an honest day’s work.  Today, Colombo Construction is a fine example of a business that continues to thrive in today’s changing world, advancing in updated and cutting edge technology, while still maintaining traditional values of the past.