• Delphi Construction, Inc. Celebrates 25 Years of Success

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    November 14, 2017

    Harvard Business School Professors Lynda Applegate, Janet Kraus and Timothy Butler spent 20 years studying leadership approaches and behaviors of effective entrepreneurs. What they discovered is that when most people attempt to link justifications for success they typically focus on the entrepreneurial personality rather than the specific skills and actions of those who launch and grow their own firms. Their research argues it is those specific skills the person brings to the table that creates the logarithm for success.

    It is through no coincidence that Delphi Construction, Inc. has seen 25 years of solid growth. Lead by Delphi CEO, Jake Simmons, a genuinely nice guy who is quick to laugh with you and offers a warm and sincere hand-shake. His specific skills and actions towards success have encompassed a thoughtful and deliberate process that HBS’s research outlined to include: the identification of an opportunity, the ability to execute a business vision and strategy through influencing key stakeholders, the fortitude to move forward with a business agenda in the face of an uncertain market, understanding the critical need in building and maintaining relationships and selecting the right team and motivating them to realization through collaboration.

    Jake joined Delphi when it was still the newly-formed construction arm of an established Owners Rep firm working in the healthcare sector. At that time (the mid 1990’s) the typical relationship between client and General Contractor could often be described as adversarial, with GC’s carrying a certain stigma. Delphi sought to take a different approach by integrating the best from the owner’s rep side into the construction side. The idea was to offer transparent, client-focused construction management that put the clients' interests first. This progressive idea was met with clear approval from clients and Delphi began to experience increasing success. Jake purchased the company in 2001 with a vision to take the Delphi approach to a larger market.

    Joe Mastromatteo, now Vice President, met Jake in 1997 as a self-employed framer and says Jake “drew him in with a hand-shake and the best chicken salad sandwich he has ever had” and the rest, he says, was history. But in- reality, it was a little more gradual than that. Joe worked initially as a consultant then slowly transitioned into a full-time management position picking up more responsibility and experience over the years. Jake’s persistency of drawing Joe into the fold eventually won him over and “although it was unchartered territory for me” Joe says, “it was a chance for me to learn.” Twenty years later Joe is currently a thought-leader for Delphi acting as a strong advocate for sustainable alternatives as well as technological innovations.

    Jakes keen eye for talent is proof positive with his COO Keith Shaw. Keith calls himself “old school” with 30 years of experience starting as an apprentice carpenter and ultimately launching his own business. He was recruited in 1999 and said he was drawn in by Jakes ability to see more talent in others than they might see in themselves.  His capacity for attracting and retaining team members that share the same core values has created an environment that “changes the way you think about who’s handling the client.”

    CFO of 21 years Mark Paronich says he is proud to part of such an amazing team effort. The Delphi culture is one of rewarding responsibility that requires everyone to work hand in hand.  He says their reputation and quality of work attracts good people and they treat them right. Part of that treatment is offering relevant training opportunities, advancement, flexibility and consistency. He is excited about what is happening in the industry right now. More women and a greater diverse work force than ever before brings a level of high- energy to the work place --he says, “no other industry keeps you as actively engaged as the construction industry.”

    With 80 plus employees, offices in Waltham and Mashpee their portfolio of work incudes markets in healthcare, assisted living, affordable housing, multi-family residential, banking, religious, corporate, education and modular specialty. Joe says he never imagined the scale of work he would be doing and says 90% of it is attributed to a strong work ethic, adding that the skills were learned along the way.

    When asked if there is a secret to their success Keith offers that their willingness and ability to stay flexible helps to keep them fluid and their work well balanced. It’s all part of a long-term plan of healthy steady growth that anticipates changes and embraces the community. It’s what Jake calls Building Responsibly to all parties.

    HBS may argue that personality has little to do with entrepreneurial success, but Jake Simmons certainly seems to defy that logic. The respect of his colleagues and staff is quite evident through their words and actions. As only Joe can summarize, “Delphi is a part of who I am, even at home, in a big way.”

    Congratulations to the entire team at Delphi Construction, Inc. for 25 years of Building Excellence!

    Ed Smith

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