It began in 1984 as a leap of faith for two friends from Ohio and has grown into one of Central Florida’s largest general contractor and construction management firms. George Smith and Bill Wharton met in 1966 during their tenure at a construction company in Ohio. The company opened a Florida office in 1975, bringing George and Bill to Central Florida. When the company announced they were moving back to Ohio, George and Bill made an offer to take over the firm’s unfinished Florida work. And so, with just a handful of employees, Wharton-Smith was incorporated on April 2, 1984.
While both Bill and George have retired from the company, George is still active in his role as Chairman of the Board. George will tell you that Wharton-Smith owes its success to “the employees that we had then and have now…Neither Bill or I ever dreamed that the company would be what it is today.”
More than 30 years since its incorporation, and under the leadership of Ron Davoli since 2005, Wharton-Smith strives to maintain the culture fashioned by its founders. A culture that believes core values like trust and integrity are just as important as business acumen and operations skills. A culture that rewards accountability and hard work. A culture built on meticulous planning, continuous training, standards, protocols and research.
Environmental coordination on this project was extremely important. Wharton-Smith managed issues associated with water quality, cultural resources, soil contamination, wetlands, and flood plains. They worked closely with the site contractor and representatives from local government, the Water Management District, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that environmental impacts were minimized.Alice Rankeillor, P.E., Project Manager, Gainesville Regional Utilities
Wharton-Smith has been a valued partner of the Central Florida Zoo for more than 20 years. I cannot possibly say enough about the trust, ethics and reliability of Wharton-Smith. Most importantly, Wharton-Smith understands the unique challenges of building and operating in a zoological park and act like a partner when engaged in a project, not just a contractor. They have “been there” for the Zoo repeatedly over the years and are an absolute pleasure to work with.Joe Montisano, CEO, Central Florida Zoological Park