Pacific Paving Limited: The Meaning of Family in a Family Business

Fausto Finelli, founder and former president of Pacific Paving Limited (Pacific), emigrated from Italy to Canada in 1954 with his whole life packed up in one suitcase. Fausto had refined a skill set in construction, however, and started his own company in just four years.

Over the last 50 years, that small company has grown to serve both commercial and public endeavors. Pacific, based in Mississauga, Ontario, is continuing to grow and the team has now extended its services past just paving. The well-respected business now offers additional services in asphalt maintenance, grinding and pulverizing, concrete curbing, gutters and walkways, excavation and grading, sewers and electrical.

Today, Pacific remains in the family; Tony Finelli, Fausto’s son, is the owner and president of Pacific, and is proud to carry on his father’s legacy. Pacific continues to operate proudly as a family business and employs several of Tony’s family members. However, Finelli or not, Pacific’s employees are considered part of the family.

“I’ve been here for a year and a half and have been very happy,” says Ray Gear, office manager at Pacific. “It’s a great family to work for.” Gear then adds that Pacific sponsors several youth sports teams, including his son’s.

Quality and Diversity

Pacific is dedicated to the community, as well as expanding its services to better serve it. The company subcontracts periodically, but the business is steadily diversifying its experience and qualifications to offer more services.

“We brought in a few guys specializing in sewer and water about three years ago,” Gear says. “If you’re doing water and sewer, you’re going to have to do the roadwork anyway.” By digging deeper, Pacific is able to pursue more regional contracts in a variety of sectors, and the company holds several ongoing maintenance contracts. “When a fire hydrant blows up, we’re the ones that get called,” chuckles Gear.

The company is also certified to perform electrical work, which comes in handy on projects like public parks and commercial parking lots. Pacific recently completed a repave of McLennan Park in Kitchener, Ontario. The 39-hectare park was built on the site of a former landfill and now features walking, biking and cross-country ski trails, volleyball and basketball courts, a dog park, a splash pad and a skate park with a concrete bowl. Gear reports that the skate bowl was subcontracted, but Pacific performed the electric and sewer for park lights and comfort stations.

Another big project for Pacific has been upgrading the campus at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga. “We’re doing everything from planting flowers to paving asphalt,” Gear says of the project. Pacific is performing paving, curbing and repair services for the hospital’s asphalt surfaces. “We do hard-core and soft-core landscaping,” Gear adds. Additionally, Pacific has several wintertime snow removal contracts.

Lasting Impressions

“What makes us stand out most from our competitors is our longevity,” Gear explains. The company has been in business for over five decades. When Tony took over for his father as president, the family name sustained its good rapport with customers.

“And our sales people are excellent,” adds Gear. “They can give our customers answers instantaneously and they’ll let you know what to expect and the potential obstacles of a project right off the bat.”

Many of Pacific’s specialists and laborers have been with the company for over 10 years and have as much as 35 to 40 years of experience in construction. “Our experience and knowledge is one of the best in the business,” Gear says. Pacific’s key personnel and executives have been around a long time and are well versed in how the business is running, what to expect and what to look for. The company employs roughly 25 people year round and has additional staff during the busy summer months.

With a volatile world economy, Gear has a few concerns about the future of the construction industry. “All that infrastructure money came in a few years ago,” he says. “That had everyone going and happy. Now that money is gone. Projects aren’t nearly as abundant and the market is getting more aggressive.”

Pacific’s biggest concern for 2012 is the price of asphalt, which has been fluctuating with the oil market. However, the next year looks steady for Pacific. Gear reports an increase in work with commercial venues. “We won’t see huge growth,” he says, adding, however, that Pacific’s flexibility and diversity will help the company land more contracts. “It’s all about who can do the majority of the work without subcontracting,” Gear explains. “That’s what kills you in the pricing. The more self-sufficient you are, the better it’s going to be for you.”

Pacific puts clients first and offers full-site services to meet customers’ expectations and needs. Delivery is key, and the company takes pride in the reputation its employees have established. Pacific’s team of dedicated Mississauga paving contractors has addressed the paving needs of industrial, commercial and residential clients throughout Toronto and surrounding areas for over 50 years. Building on this tradition, Pacific Paving Limited is committed to completing projects on time and on budget.