Someone once asked the question, “How big can we get before we get bad?” Although Fontaine Bros. has grown significantly in our 85+ years in business, we’ll always stay small enough that our most senior people are involved with each of the company’s projects. In other words, we’ll never get too big for our britches.
Our firm is large enough that we can undertake projects over $250 million, yet small enough that you’re always dealing with our leadership team. We don’t have a B-team, much less a C-team. All our senior executives and most talented staff are directly involved with each project. We’ll never take on more projects than our core team can handle.
We’ve constructed some of the biggest projects in the Commonwealth, but our heritage is that of being true builders - tradesmen who know everything about building a structure and do the work themselves. In some ways, that hasn’t changed. We still self-perform many trades, in addition to utilizing our relationships with the best subcontractors around the state. We’ll always be hands-on. Some of our competitors might say that self-performing trades is old school. They’re right. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We believe that consistency breeds quality. It’s a big reason that many of the people in our office and on our job sites have been with Fontaine Bros. for 25 years or more. We also have long-standing relationships with many of the subcontractors, architects, suppliers, and field personnel who are involved with our projects. Even if their last name isn’t Fontaine, they’re still part of the family.
Dave Fontaine, Sr., learned the business from his dad, who learned it from his dad. Before taking over as president, Dave Sr. was the project manager on more than 100 projects, so his emphasis on construction operations and field operations is second nature. In fact, if he’s not in the office, he’s probably on a job site right now.
Dave Fontaine, Jr., is the latest Fontaine family member to help lead the business. And just like those who came before him, he learned to be a tradesman before he made his way into the office, spending time as a carpenter, laborer, and mason. Dave Jr. is pushing the company forward in the areas of green building techniques, construction technology, and diversity while working with our clients on both general contracting and construction management projects. When he’s not busy serving as a project executive for our clients, Dave Jr. focuses on the company’s long-term strategy and vision.
Mark Abdella serves as Vice President of Construction Management services, leveraging his more than 20 years of construction experience combined with his background in education and communications to deliver a seamless CM experience to our clients. Mark has led the procurement and successful completion of more than $700m in CM assignments, including projects spanning public and private education, historic renovation, multifamily housing / mixed use development, and manufacturing / industrial. Fontaine’s roots and deep continued experience as a skilled builder and at risk general contractor lay the foundation for our growth in the Construction Management, Design Build, Integrated Project Management, and LEAN Construction markets. Most importantly, the company maintains its commitment to intentional growth by pursuing and taking on only the projects that we can service to the Fontaine standards of quality and client satisfaction that have made us successful since 1933.
Elizabeth Wambui brings a passion for change and an eye on the future to everything that we do as a firm. As Fontaine’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Community Impact, Liz’s charge is to ensure that we are creating business and employment opportunities for historically underrepresented groups. Liz is actively connecting with industry and community organizations to create pathways for greater economic opportunities. Her role is an extension of our family culture of caring and support for one another. Liz also serves as the Executive Director of the Fontaine Community Foundation which is an innovative, employee directed philanthropic arm of the company committed to investing in the communities where we live and build.
Technology continues to change the way we build. As our Director of Virtual Design & Construction, Ben Hedges is driving innovation and exploring the value emerging technology offers our clients. And Ben’s getting this technology into the hands of experienced professionals who have been building with us for decades. He’s empowering our staff to explore the possibilities that come with emerging technologies and deliver value to our clients in pre-construction, during construction and into post-occupancy. As much as construction has evolved, we’re still an industry which requires people to work with their hands to put work in place. This is how we are maximizing the impact of technology; by putting it in the hands of our staff and leveraging their knowledge and experience.