News + Events

Article, Press Release - January 8, 2016

Looking back at 50 years with Larry Nibbi


No, it’s not a typo: Nibbi’s CEO, Larry Nibbi, has been working here for 50 years!

Over the past 5 decades, Larry has been a great leader, mentor and role model for all of us at Nibbi.  Working with him is both a delight and an honor.

When Larry started his career at the age of 20, the world was a much different place.  Lyndon Johnson was President, the Beatles were heading to the top of the charts with their early hits, and Martin Luther King Jr. was leading the civil rights movement.  NASA was locked in a space race against Russia, and Willie Mays had just broken the National League record for home runs.

So when we got a chance to sit down with Larry and chat about Nibbi’s development over the past 50 years, we knew he’d have a lot to talk about.

Larry has never been prouder of what we have accomplished collectively. He graciously shares credit for Nibbi’s success with all whom he’s had the pleasure to work with over the years. It’s a mutual appreciation – anyone who has worked with Larry knows how approachable and considerate he is.  His outgoing personality and willingness to listen are reflected in his open door policy.

This all started early on. Larry’s father, Marino, asked him to work in the office answering phones, opening mail, checking orders, etc. Meanwhile Marino was getting more involved with various charitable organizations. As Marino’s time demands expanded, Larry stepped in for his father and started going to various functions, thereby building the trusted relationships that have served Nibbi so well over the years.

Larry feels another key factor in the Nibbi success story has been finding great people to work here.  As Nibbi expanded, Larry and his brother, Sergio, did a lot of the employee interviewing. Marino continued to select key field people, as he had a special knack for this aspect of the business.

Maintaining long term success is far from easy, and our business is very sensitive to economic cycles.  Larry says, “Either you have too much work or not enough.”  He’s fond of a popular saying: “Take a vacation when you have a lot of work.”  He explained, “When things are lean and you’re the rainmaker, you’ve got to work doubly hard. You have to try all of your resources to find work. Calling architects and engineers and asking about what’s going to bid. I’ve made so many cold calls in my life, you have no idea!”

One of the great relationships nurtured by Larry has been with the SF Giants.  (Baseball has always been one of his greatest passions.)  He’s also built a great reputation in our industry.  He’s on the Board of Directors for Contractors Association, Trust Funds, for example.  And his non-profit leadership includes significant efforts for the SF Boys & Girls Clubs, St Anthony’s, and other charitable organizations.

Nowadays, his greatest joy comes from his family.  He especially enjoys time with his grandchildren, who share his love of sports.  Whether it’s Flag Football, Baseball, Basketball or Soccer, Larry goes to all their games.

Overall, Larry maintains, “You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. You’ve got to be out there”.  Larry has embodied this belief for the past 50 years. Congratulations, and thank you, Larry!