Ugo Melchiori, Santa Barbara businessman and founder of Melchiori Construction Co., died Dec. 12. He was 69.
Melchiori founded his company in 1988 after entering the construction industry in Santa Barbara in 1959. Now run by other members of the Melchiori family, Melchiori Construction is the largest general contractor in the Tri-Counties with $78.5 million in revenue 2008 and 105 employees.
Melchiori had been battling cancer, and friends said he fought ferociously.
“I loved him like a brother,” said close friend Mario Borgatello. “He was a standup guy who put honesty and integrity at the forefront of everything he did.”
Melchiori got his start in South Coast construction in 1959 working with Santa Barbara builder D’Alfonso & Sons. In 1972, he teamed with another D’Alfonso & Sons employee to form G&M Builders. When his partner retired in 1988, Melchiori began his own firm, Melchiori Construction.
Borgatello said he met Melchiori 47 years ago and formed a bond after discovering they shared a faith and a love of cars, among other things. Borgatello’s waste management company, MarBorg Industries, has done a great deal of business with Melchiori Construction through the years.
“When he came to this country [from Italy], he was wearing tennis shoes with no laces,” Borgatello said. “But he had a tremendous amount of energy and a work ethic that I deeply respect.”
A funeral service is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 21.