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Harkins

history

1966
Building Columbia
With a main office staff of three people, Harkins starts Bryant Gardens, The Rouse Company’s first multifamily housing in Columbia, MD. Harkins built all of Columbia’s multifamily communities for many years and had at least one project in Columbia every year through 1990.
1973
Shuey, Nelson and Cooke
This photo of John Shuey, Ted Nelson, and Blase Cooke was taken at Sumner Village, a 16-building luxury condominium community with 400 units and community center in Bethesda, MD.
1976
The Harkins Group
The various divisions of Thomas P. Harkins, Inc. reorganize themselves into separate corporations within The Harkins Group, including Harkins Concrete, Inc., Harkins Development, Inc. (later Harkins Associates, Inc.), and Harkins Commercial, Inc.
1984
Blase Cooke Promoted to President
Blase started at Harkins in 1968 as a laborer earning $3.50 an hour.
1990
25th Anniversary
In addition to our 25th Anniversary celebration at Harrison's Pier 5, employees enjoyed an extra special holiday party at the Bethesda Hyatt.
1993
Thomas P. Harkins
On April 6, 1993, our beloved chairman, Thomas P. Harkins, died of leukemia in his Bethesda, Maryland home. He was 63.
1998
First Dragon Boat Race
Harkins participates in the first bi-annual Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Races, as competitor and major corporate sponsor, which the company has done every two years since then. Harkins took third place that year, and was the first place gold medal champion in 2000 and 2002.
2000
Move to Marriottsville
Harkins moves from Silver Spring to its new headquarters in Marriottsville, MD.
2004
Dick Lombardo Promoted to Chief Operating Officer
Dick will later succeed Blase Cooke as president and CEO.
May 21, 2006
My Brother's Keeper
The J.P. Blase Cooke Center of My Brother's Keeper in Baltimore, MD is officially dedicated. Among the services provided to the community it serves are daily meals, social work, after-school programs, parenting classes, and 12-step programs.
2012
Smart CEOs
Baltimore's SmartCEO magazine features Harkins in the cover story of their October 2012 edition, The House that Harkins Built: How a $210 million construction company turned employees into owners.
2015
50th Anniversary
Having successfully navigated through an extraordinarily challenging economic time, our volume is close to its highest in our history. As we look back over our first 50 years with pride and some nostalgia for past successes and people we have had the honor to know, we are also looking ahead, laying the foundation for the next 50 years. We are re-organizing our construction divisions, expanding our product types and geographic footprint, re-designing our main office, and preparing our emerging leaders for the future.
December 2016
New Headquarters
We move to our new company headquarters in Columbia, MD with an inspiring modern design that reflects our new organization and encourages collaboration.
January 2018
Changing...
Dick Lombardo retires after 41 years of distinguished service to Harkins Builders, including 10 years as CEO. Dick was our steward through the very challenging Great Recession, and he laid the foundation for the next 50 years by training our emerging leaders and encouraging a culture of growth and change.
June 2018
Northeast Office Relocates
After almost 20 years of successful projects in Southeast Pennsylvania and beyond, the Northeast Division relocates to a larger space in King of Prussia, with a design that reflects our company’s new look and dynamic.
1965
Beginnings
Thomas P. Harkins leaves his position as president of the Carl M. Freeman construction company and starts his general contracting company. Harkins' first project was the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore for The Rouse Company.
1972
Harkins is Growing
Harkins is taking shape, with preconstruction experts, construction managers, administrative staff, and executive leadership occupying the the 3rd floor at 8720 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.
1974
Commercial Construction
Harkins expands its operations into commercial construction, including retail and office buildings. Pictured here is the Prince George’s County Headquarters Building, completed in 1976. Harkins has built over $500 million in commercial construction, comprising over 10 million gsf.
1982
12301 Old Columbia Pike
The Harkins Group moves into its new office building at 12301 Old Columbia Pike in Silver Spring, MD, our headquarters for the next 18 years.
1988
Executive Leadership
This photo was taken for the cover story of the March 1988 edition of Builder-Architect magazine. All four company leaders had been with the company for at least 20 years. L-R: J.P. Blase Cooke (President), Thomas P. Harkins (Chairman), Joel Garrett (Controller), Ted Nelson (Vice President of Estimating and Marketing). Our current executives have been with the company an average of over 27 years.
1991
Responding to the Market
In response to a slow-down in the private sector market, Harkins moves into the government-related competitive bid market, including design-build military housing. The company is rebounding from a tough 1990 with $110 million in contracts.
July 1993
Government Takes Off
In one extraordinary week in the summer of 1993, Harkins wins four major contract awards for military projects, representing approximately $85 million: Bellevue Navy Housing, Emmitsburg NETC Renovations, Ft. Meade Family Housing, and Ben Moreell Family Housing in Norfolk, VA. The new construction included 838 units of family housing for our men and women in uniform.
1999
Pennsylvania Office
With several projects completed and more being contracted in the region, Bob Widmer established a permanent office in Media, PA for Harkins' operations in southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. By 2018, Harkins has built more than 70 projects throughout the region.
2002
An Employee-Owned Company
Harkins Builders, Inc. becomes an employee-owned company through the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), which purchased 61% of the company's outstanding stock from Blase Cooke.
2005
40th Anniversary
Harkins is thriving and growing, with 240 employees and an annual volume of $250 million. Approximately 40 projects are currently under construction. Harkins has built over 600 projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region since its founding in 1965.
October 2, 2007
J.P. Blase Cooke
On October 2nd, 2007, our beloved president, Blase Cooke, died of cancer in his Glenwood, Maryland home. He was 60.
2014
100% Employee Ownership
The Harkins ESOP purchases the remaining shares owned by individuals, making the company 100% employee-owned.
2016
New President
Gary Garofalo promoted to President.
January 2017
Our New Southeast Office
After much research and planning, Harkins opens an office in Charlotte, NC as part of our plan to bring our Building Exceptional approach to a wider area of the country.
January 2018
...of the Guard
Gary Garofalo becomes President and CEO. Larry Kraemer promoted to COO. Our new leaders are setting the course for growth, opportunity, and expansion for the next 50 years.

Harkins

history

1965
Beginnings
Thomas P. Harkins leaves his position as president of the Carl M. Freeman construction company and starts his general contracting company. Harkins' first project was the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore for The Rouse Company.
1966
Building Columbia
With a main office staff of three people, Harkins starts Bryant Gardens, The Rouse Company’s first multifamily housing in Columbia, MD. Harkins built all of Columbia’s multifamily communities for many years and had at least one project in Columbia every year through 1990.
1972
Harkins is Growing
Harkins is taking shape, with preconstruction experts, construction managers, administrative staff, and executive leadership occupying the the 3rd floor at 8720 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.
1973
Shuey, Nelson and Cooke
This photo of John Shuey, Ted Nelson, and Blase Cooke was taken at Sumner Village, a 16-building luxury condominium community with 400 units and community center in Bethesda, MD.
1974
Commercial Construction
Harkins expands its operations into commercial construction, including retail and office buildings. Pictured here is the Prince George’s County Headquarters Building, completed in 1976. Harkins has built over $500 million in commercial construction, comprising over 10 million gsf.
1976
The Harkins Group
The various divisions of Thomas P. Harkins, Inc. reorganize themselves into separate corporations within The Harkins Group, including Harkins Concrete, Inc., Harkins Development, Inc. (later Harkins Associates, Inc.), and Harkins Commercial, Inc.
1982
12301 Old Columbia Pike
The Harkins Group moves into its new office building at 12301 Old Columbia Pike in Silver Spring, MD, our headquarters for the next 18 years.
1984
Blase Cooke Promoted to President
Blase started at Harkins in 1968 as a laborer earning $3.50 an hour.
1988
Executive Leadership
This photo was taken for the cover story of the March 1988 edition of Builder-Architect magazine. All four company leaders had been with the company for at least 20 years. L-R: J.P. Blase Cooke (President), Thomas P. Harkins (Chairman), Joel Garrett (Controller), Ted Nelson (Vice President of Estimating and Marketing). Our current executives have been with the company an average of over 27 years.
1990
25th Anniversary
In addition to our 25th Anniversary celebration at Harrison's Pier 5, employees enjoyed an extra special holiday party at the Bethesda Hyatt.
1991
Responding to the Market
In response to a slow-down in the private sector market, Harkins moves into the government-related competitive bid market, including design-build military housing. The company is rebounding from a tough 1990 with $110 million in contracts.
1993
Thomas P. Harkins
On April 6, 1993, our beloved chairman, Thomas P. Harkins, died of leukemia in his Bethesda, Maryland home. He was 63.
July 1993
Government Takes Off
In one extraordinary week in the summer of 1993, Harkins wins four major contract awards for military projects, representing approximately $85 million: Bellevue Navy Housing, Emmitsburg NETC Renovations, Ft. Meade Family Housing, and Ben Moreell Family Housing in Norfolk, VA. The new construction included 838 units of family housing for our men and women in uniform.
1998
First Dragon Boat Race
Harkins participates in the first bi-annual Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Races, as competitor and major corporate sponsor, which the company has done every two years since then. Harkins took third place that year, and was the first place gold medal champion in 2000 and 2002.
1999
Pennsylvania Office
With several projects completed and more being contracted in the region, Bob Widmer established a permanent office in Media, PA for Harkins' operations in southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. By 2018, Harkins has built more than 70 projects throughout the region.
2000
Move to Marriottsville
Harkins moves from Silver Spring to its new headquarters in Marriottsville, MD.
2002
An Employee-Owned Company
Harkins Builders, Inc. becomes an employee-owned company through the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), which purchased 61% of the company's outstanding stock from Blase Cooke.
2004
Dick Lombardo Promoted to Chief Operating Officer
Dick will later succeed Blase Cooke as president and CEO.
2005
40th Anniversary
Harkins is thriving and growing, with 240 employees and an annual volume of $250 million. Approximately 40 projects are currently under construction. Harkins has built over 600 projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region since its founding in 1965.
May 21, 2006
My Brother's Keeper
The J.P. Blase Cooke Center of My Brother's Keeper in Baltimore, MD is officially dedicated. Among the services provided to the community it serves are daily meals, social work, after-school programs, parenting classes, and 12-step programs.
October 2, 2007
J.P. Blase Cooke
On October 2nd, 2007, our beloved president, Blase Cooke, died of cancer in his Glenwood, Maryland home. He was 60.
2012
Smart CEOs
Baltimore's SmartCEO magazine features Harkins in the cover story of their October 2012 edition, The House that Harkins Built: How a $210 million construction company turned employees into owners.
2014
100% Employee Ownership
The Harkins ESOP purchases the remaining shares owned by individuals, making the company 100% employee-owned.
2015
50th Anniversary
Having successfully navigated through an extraordinarily challenging economic time, our volume is close to its highest in our history. As we look back over our first 50 years with pride and some nostalgia for past successes and people we have had the honor to know, we are also looking ahead, laying the foundation for the next 50 years. We are re-organizing our construction divisions, expanding our product types and geographic footprint, re-designing our main office, and preparing our emerging leaders for the future.
2016
New President
Gary Garofalo promoted to President.
December 2016
New Headquarters
We move to our new company headquarters in Columbia, MD with an inspiring modern design that reflects our new organization and encourages collaboration.
January 2017
Our New Southeast Office
After much research and planning, Harkins opens an office in Charlotte, NC as part of our plan to bring our Building Exceptional approach to a wider area of the country.
January 2018
Changing...
Dick Lombardo retires after 41 years of distinguished service to Harkins Builders, including 10 years as CEO. Dick was our steward through the very challenging Great Recession, and he laid the foundation for the next 50 years by training our emerging leaders and encouraging a culture of growth and change.
January 2018
...of the Guard
Gary Garofalo becomes President and CEO. Larry Kraemer promoted to COO. Our new leaders are setting the course for growth, opportunity, and expansion for the next 50 years.
June 2018
Northeast Office Relocates
After almost 20 years of successful projects in Southeast Pennsylvania and beyond, the Northeast Division relocates to a larger space in King of Prussia, with a design that reflects our company’s new look and dynamic.