The following content is featured in the Southern & Central New Jersey Spring 2016 edition of The Who’s Who in Building & Construction.
A Solid Foundation
V.J. Scozzari & Sons Builds on a Legacy…One Generation at a Time
V.J. Scozzari & Sons’ history dates back three generations to 1921, when Nicola Scozzari first came to the U.S. from the small Casteltermini community of Sicily, Italy. His is a story of dreams and hard work. He entered the country through Ellis Island, and quickly got a job as a craftworker working with stone in Trenton, N.J., to support himself.
By 1940, the senior Scozzari had become a master stonemason and established the Scozzari Masonry Company. His son, Vincent, eventually joined him, continuing to grow the company’s services to include general contracting.
Today, V.J. Scozzari & Sons Inc. is based in Pennington, N.J., and is run by Nicola’s grandchildren. Gregory “Greg” Scozzari is the current president of the company and Vince Scozzari, Jr., is the Vice President. They joined their father in the company in the early 1980s and have helped expand the firm’s services beyond general contracting to construction management and alternative project delivery methods such as design-build. Through the years, the firm has been recognized as one of the best places to work in New Jersey—and is recognized as one of the best general contractors in the state by its peers.
Greg says, “We’ve committed ourselves to upholding the same core values and traditions that have guided our company from the beginning—while also embracing new technologies and practices to increase value to our clients.”
EVERY STONE COUNTS
V.J. Scozzari & Sons provides construction management and general contracting services to a range of markets including corporate, financial, higher and independent education, affordable housing, business and industry, to name a few. The firm has constructed and managed a wide variety of commercial, retail, financial, industrial, institutional and healthcare projects of both public and private ownership throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“To us, our projects are not just structures—they are physical extensions of our clients themselves, the foundations so to speak,” adds Vince. “In fact, for many of our clients, their buildings are literally core elements of who they are and how their customers and employees interact with them.”
“To us, our projects are not just structures—they are physical extensions of our clients themselves, the foundations so to speak.” – Vincent Scozzari, Jr., Vice President, V.J. Scozzari & Sons Inc.
These projects have ranged from new facilities to the retrofit of buildings to tenant fit-out work. The firm also works on complete renovations, historical restorations, warehouses, distribution centers, recreational facilities, sports complexes, office buildings, financial institutions, municipal complexes and site development.
The company has worked on high-profile structures such as the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts at the renowned Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J.; the Waterfront Park Baseball Stadium/Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, N.J.; and many of the buildings on the campuses of The Lawrenceville School and Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. In addition, the company lists many local, regional, national and multinational projects on its roll of satisfied and repeat clients.
Greg says, “Over the years, clients came to V.J. Scozzari & Sons Inc. with increasingly ambitious plans, and our projects became larger and more complex. As the company grew, our team grew by hiring the best people in the business. In the process, we continued the tradition of family and stability among our staff that has become almost legendary.”
To deliver on its customer demands, the firm emphasizes continuing education and training and the application of technology. For example, the firm is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is fully staffed with LEED- and Green Advantage-accredited professionals. To further the company’s use of sustainable building practices and technologies, the firm’s staff has also been fully accredited by the Urban Green Building Council. In addition to an emphasis on best practices, sustainability and the latest technologies in construction, the group also focuses on safety and training for field personnel.
“As a member of the third generation of my family entrusted to maintain our company’s legacy, it’s an honor to continue the traditions that were handed down to me by my father, Vincent Scozzari, and from his father before him.” – Gregory Scozzari, President, V.J. Scozzari & Sons Inc.
Case in point, in 2015, V.J. Scozzari & Sons was recognized by the New Jersey Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. (ABC-NJ) for its involvement in the association’s campaign, Limitless Futures: Investing in the Children of Chapin. This multi-year, multi-phase, $13 million campus expansion program will provide Chapin students with new and renovated facilities; it was honored with ABC-NJ’s Excellence in Construction Merit Award. All construction and improvements were undertaken with strict adherence to the USGBC requirements for LEED Silver certification.
Also last year the firm received an Excellence in Construction Eagle Award from ABC-NJ, the organization’s highest such award for the design and construction of a new facility. Project efforts involved building new corporate offices, warehousing and a packaging facility that stores liquid petroleum and industrial solvents and chemicals for one of the Mid-Atlantic’s master distributors of bulk and packaged lubricants. The firm has continued to improve construction processes by adopting building information modeling (BIM) and point layout technologies. V.J. Scozzari & Sons also invests in educating, training and certifying staff as Autodesk Certified Professionals. Earners of this designation have demonstrated advanced knowledge in modeling and documentation, elements and more using Revit Architecture. This software technology has tools capable of planning and tracking the various stages of a project’s life-cycle, from concept to construction, to operations and facility management.
“The dedication of our staff is something that our existing clients know—our experience and commitment to their projects is unparalleled in the markets we serve,” explains Vince. “We pride ourselves on providing cost-effective construction solutions while understanding the importance of personal attention. We adopt the latest technology and advancements in construction to maximize the value. Furthermore, our management team stays personally involved in our projects, providing insight and responding to clients directly. These are some of the reasons that more than 90 percent of our business is with repeat clients.”
INTEGRAL TO THE COMMUNITY
V.J. Scozzari & Sons owners and employees are extensively involved in many community and civic organizations, including youth groups, volunteer activities and sports. The firm has also provided its construction expertise to support organizations that provide services to individuals in need of assistance—from children at risk, to those with developmental or physical disabilities and others.Greg says, “We support organizations that we believe have a significant impact on our neighbors and the communities within which we live, work and play. We help those who, for various reasons, are either less fortunate or in need of assistance.”
“…It is obvious to me that you have a committed team of professionals who truly care about their customers and the quality of work that is delivered to every project.” – Tim Doherty, Executive Director, Project Freedom Inc.
Examples include the Eden Autism Services, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with autism; Project Freedom, a group that develops and operates barrier-free housing to facilitate independent living for individuals with disabilities; the Miracle League of Mercer County, which developed a 100 percent, barrier-free baseball field that allows individuals with disabilities to move freely around the field regardless of physical or cognitive limitations; and Catholic Charities USA, a national network that provides services to more than 100,000 people.
Honesty, quality, service and a commitment to excellence are core values to the owners and employees of the brothers’ company. Vince says, “These words are the foundation of our business philosophy, established over 75 years ago. It is this philosophy and commitment that has allowed us to build a solid reputation by providing our clients’ projects the attention and detail required to ensure their successful completion.”
Greg agrees, adding, “As a member of the third generation of my family entrusted to maintain our company’s legacy, I have been fortunate to lead the company during a time of change and growth. It’s an honor to continue the traditions that were handed down to me by my father, Vincent Scozzari, and from his father before him.”