Bellecci & Associates, Inc. (Bellecci) is pleased to announce the firm’s 40th Anniversary. Founded in Concord, CA in 1983 by Frank C. Bellecci, there is no way Mr. Bellecci could have predicted the incredible journey, fantastic employees, and loyal customers that made the firm what it is today. We wish to thank all of our employees, colleagues, and customers who have played a part in the firm’s success and longevity.
The origin of many successful companies often starts with an idea, a true passion, led by someone with the vision and leadership skills to guide a company. Bellecci’s story also follows this familiar theme. Frank C. Bellecci graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and earned licenses, in the State of California, as a Professional Land Surveyor and Professional Engineer. Frank did well in school and worked for a small engineering firm in Benicia before making a bold decision to start a brand-new engineering company. When Bellecci first started, the firm ventured into a very competitive marketplace, with well-known and larger firms to compete against. Considering that 20% of all new businesses fail in the first year, 45% in the first 5 years, and 65% fail within their first ten years, his decision to start a new company was a courageous call by any measure.
The firm got its start in part from business contacts from Frank’s father, Frank P. Bellecci, a well-known and respected Land Surveyor in Contra Costa County. The contacts from Frank’s father helped Bellecci obtain an assortment of engineering and land survey projects, mainly in Eastern Contra Costa County. Over the first decade, the firm expanded its portfolio and capabilities which led to some significant projects from land developers. This growth created a need to hire additional licensed professionals, technical and administrative support staff. The business grew steadily until the early 1990’s, when a housing downturn created some layoffs. Luckily, in the late 1990’s, the market started to pick up again which led to Frank’s decision to diversify the company so it would be better positioned to withstand economic downturns, recessions, and other unplanned events.
“I decided it was in our best interest to diversify our client and geographic base, so we wouldn’t be as tied to the home building industry,” Frank said. His first step was to bring on Daniel Leary as a partner. “Dan had worked for me as a young engineer in the early 1990s. When the economy slowed down, he elected to return to school for an MBA. After he graduated, he went to work for a company in San Jose for four to five years. Then, as business started to pick up again, and we were adding people, I invited him to join me. It is a good match,” Frank said.
Diversification also meant starting to pursue work in the public works arena. “Many people don’t realize it takes a different skill set from home-building. The multitude of regulatory agencies makes the public arena a special challenge to engineering ingenuity. The ability to understand the real goal of the project is a vital key to success,” Frank said. And in Bellecci’s view, it is also one of the firm’s special strengths.
The firm is active in most of the Bay Area’s nine counties and has worked on projects as far south as Southern California and north to Healdsburg. Some of the firm’s current clients include – Alameda County Public Works, UC Berkeley, and the Cities of: Albany, Berkeley, Concord, Hercules, Los Altos, Mill Valley, Millbrae, Mountain View, Novato, Petaluma, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Suisun City. “We do a lot of different types of projects, more than other firms of our size. I enjoy the diversity,” Frank said.
With the appropriate staff in place, and valuable lessons learned, Bellecci has been able to navigate its way through recessions, natural disasters, and a world-wide pandemic over the past four decades. Frank also has been actively involved with identifying and promoting new leaders in the company to set a steady course for the long-term future success of Bellecci.