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Richard “Dick” Ghilotti has a family lineage in construction dating back to his grandfather, James Ghilotti who started a stone masonry business in Marin County, CA shortly after emigrating from Italy in 1914.  He initially transported stones by horse and cart from the hills of Marin County to the job sites to build walls. His company evolved from stone walls into grading, paving and excavating with the help of his four sons after returning from WWII. 

Eventually James Ghilotti Contractors expanded into total site preparation for public and private works and began operating under the name Ghilotti Brothers Incorporated, led by Richard’s father Dino and his three brothers.

As with most family businesses, and certainly with one of the region’s longest operating construction families, Richard became involved very early, tasked with washing trucks at the age of 13.  After graduating from Marin Catholic High School in 1964, he entered a journeyman trainee program to become a heavy equipment operator. During the late 1960’s, Richard earned a degree in finance from Santa Clara University and served as a Marine reservist before joining Ghilotti Brothers Construction full time in 1969. He began as a superintendent developing sites for mobile home parks in Sonoma County. In the mid 1970’s Richard and his father purchased property in Santa Rosa to establish a branch office and pursue work in the North Bay area.

In the midst of the early 1990’s, economic recession followed by the death of Richard’s father Dino’s in 1990, Ghilotti Brothers began succession planning. In 1992, Richard, his cousin Jim Ghilotti, and nephew Brian Ongaro split off and founded Ghilotti Construction Company (GCC) in Santa Rosa. From its launch, GCC has grown exponentially, opening five additional offices in San Rafael, Livermore, Sunnyvale, American Canyon, and Ukiah. Today, Richard is CEO and his nephew Brian Ongaro is President of one of the largest commercial general contractors in the North Bay, #379 of the top 400 contractors in the nation ranked by the Engineering News Record. During the peak of the construction season, GCC employs approximately 450 people, runs 149 pieces of off-highway equipment, and 125 highway support vehicles.

Just as impressive as his success in construction is Richard’s commitment to philanthropy and community.  Ghilotti Construction has been recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as a Community Philanthropy leader four times in the last five years, both for its in-kind donation of sitework and financial support of countless non-profit organizations in the North Bay.

Richard has been a major supporter of Marin Catholic throughout his entire career. He’s supported the following projects both financially and through in-kind donations of site work; Dino J. Ghilotti Basketball Court in honor of his father in partnership with the Dino J. Ghilotti Foundation and his sisters Diane and Linda Ghilotti, Richard Ghilotti Family Football Field, Saint John Paul II Student Center Campaign, Saint Francis Chapel and Bell Tower Campaign, Saint John Paul II Student Center Campaign, Administrative Wing, Library and Classroom Renovation Campaign

Tragically, in 2013, Richard lost his son Dino, a Marin Catholic Alumni, to a car accident just days after graduating from University of Miami, followed by the passing of his wife Nancy in 2015. In response, Richard and his family established The dg Foundation in honor of his son and his wife. The non-profit is dedicated to providing scholarships to students who share a passion for academics, athletics, and the arts. The dg Foundation also works to  improve art and athletic facilities in the North Bay. Since inception, Ghilotti Construction, The dg Foundation, along with many generous donors, have partnered to complete numerous athletic and art facilities in the Bay Area. The dg Foundation has donated over $2,000,000 through scholarships and facility enhancements allowing students to follow their dreams and unlock their full potential. The dg Foundation has contributed $367,587 to the Dino Ghilotti Motta Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Marin Catholic, which has distributed $70,000 to students through 2023. 

Since Dino’s passing, Richard, Ghilotti Construction Company and The dg Foundation have contributed to the following projects; Dino Ghilotti Motta Stadium and Field House Complex, Dino Ghilotti High Jump Pit, and the Bishop Thomas A. Daly Baseball Field Campaign.

In addition, Richard has been an active supporter of Marin Catholic events and fundraisers including the Grand Sponsor program, Evening of Elegance Sponsor, MC Gala Sponsor, Marin Catholic Athletic Hall of Fame Sponsor, Marin Catholic Golf Tournament Sponsor, and an annual Marin Catholic Athletic Booster.

Congratulations to our 2023 Honorees!

    • 1999 Water Polo Team