More about Galli Heritage from Garry Losk.
By Garry Losk - November 23 , 2003
I grew up in and around the building industry; working out in the
open air, and the craftsmanship involved in creating a product
with my hands were always important to me.
I started at a young age. My first job was in a
lumber yard while in high school in 1967. We cut and assembled framing
loads to local contractors. I learned to operate heavy equipment,
fork lifts, front loaders, and semi trucks. To build, package and
deliver a large framing load instilled a sense of pride and accomplishment
that only those in the Trades could understand; and that team spirit
during development projects has stayed with me to this day.
I worked my way through San Jose State University
working in lumber yards. I also started my own custom furniture and
cabinet shop, never suspecting how valuable this craftsmanship and
experience would become later in my career.
While studying business economics in graduate school
in Santa Barbara I continued to work in the trades as a carpenter,
helping build two custom homes there.
My roots were always in the Bay Area and when my
stepfather became ill I moved back to help my mother with the family
Later I went to work with Arthur A. Pozzi, a well
respected lumber broker and former head trader at McMillan and Bloedel,
the largest lumber firm in Canada.
Mr. Pozzi was then the owner of one of the largest
lumber mills on the West coast; it was fifteen acres under roof and
a very impressive operation. Mr. Pozzi started manufacturing and
marketing a line of wood windows targeting the California market
to start. I helped Mr. Pozzi and Mr. Gary Fenati to develop new field
offices there and in Nevada.
Innovative designs, quality and price brought our
windows and patio doors to market very successfully all over the
greater Northwest. This was followed by a line of doors and mill
work. We opened a large distribution center and were successful once
again in bringing a high quality product to the West Coast market.
During my career with Mr. Pozzi I met the love of
my life Linda Galli in 1978. Soon after, I met her father Mr. Ray
F. Galli Jr. Linda and I planned to marry and, "Mr. Galli",
as I called him then was anxious to show me his construction operations
since we had mutual interests in the building business.
Of course, his reputation preceded him; I was struck
by the quality and pride in the workmanship he demonstrated as a
custom residential builder. But most of all I was impressed by his
integrity and sense of history. He had a great respect and admiration,
almost a reverence for his father.
Ray F. Galli Sr. was well known in the industry
and by his many clients as a fair man and a hard working and innovative
Ray Jr. had inherited many of those same characteristics.
He had successfully continued his father's great reputation and rich
family history in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He instilled that history and sense of pride in
workmanship throughout his company but especially to the carpenters.
Old world Craftsmanship was brought though from Eastern European
carpenters immigrating through Ellis Island and hired by the Galli
family before they could even speak English.
Apprenticeship through the generations has continued
that pride in craftsmanship as well as maintained that sense of history.
To this day our finish carpenters still wear the
traditional white overalls that signify their brotherhood and attachment
to the Galli history of old world craftsmanship.
My wife and I were married in 1982 and soon Mr.
Galli expressed an interest in my coming to work with him. His wish
was for me to preserve the family heritage and extend the legacy
of decades of quality building into the New Millennium.
I joined the Galli family business in 1985, and
was mentored by one of the most respected builders in the Bay Area.
I learned all aspects of the business including estimating, scheduling,
contract and subcontract work, and job site supervision from the
best in the business, eventually becoming vice president of operations.
The pace was fast and furious: We were involved
in as many as a dozen new construction projects, extensive addition
and major remodeling projects at any one time. The Galli family had
constructed many custom homes and hundreds of remodeling projects
during my participation.
During this time my focus was to modernize. We installed
our first computer network, software program, and along with a dozen
of our subcontractors, a fax machine!
My larger interest was to further enhance the reputation
of quality construction we already possessed. I wanted to bring our
Galli family business to a new level: the highest quality “super
custom” construction projects. It was not long before that
first opportunity presented itself.
The culmination of my lifetime of experience in
the Trades was soon to follow when we were offered the Herb
Goodfellow project in Woodside, California; this was a 14,000 square foot custom-built
The owners had heard of our reputation, especially
in finish carpentry. We set out together with the owners, to design,
fabricate and install the fine custom details and finishes that were
This was a defining moment; the shear magnitude
and intricacies of this work and the success we celebrated when the
project was completed brought us to the highest level of sophistication
From then on our interests were to seek only projects
of architectural interest; projects that would become new landmarks
of the Galli legacy and extend the meaning “…Galli built
means better built!” in perpetuity.
That next major project was the restoration of the
Clark Estate; an historic 36,000 square foot Tudor mansion
built in the 1930s in Hillsborough, California.
The owner wanted to update and restore the entire
building; a new slate roof, the Carmel Stone facade and Tudor corbeling
on the outside and the grounds themselves well an restore the interior
in total, tastefully in keeping with the original residence.
We worked with three different architects and the
owner's representatives and landscape architect in the restoration
project, plus our complement of craftsmen and Trade professionals.
In addition to basic restoration and remodeling
we built a six car garage with clock tower, restored the pool house,
constructed a new custom 1,400 square foot kitchen and remodeled
the his and hers master suites as well as eleven other baths inside
the residence. We also built a 4,000 square foot French Beaumaniere
Versailles pattern limestone patio.
The tremendous success from this most challenging
of construction assignments defined Galli as the premier custom builder
on the San Francisco Peninsula.
This achievement signaled an opportunity to slow
down for my father-in-law, and after more than 40 years in business
Ray Galli Jr. handed the reins of the company to me.
Since then we have been involved in a wide range
of high quality building projects. We have worked with some of the
most innovative architects such as Farro Essalat and Aaron Green,
the contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the finest artisans and
craftsmen in the building industry.
Galli remains a custom builder of the highest level
of estate homes and commercial buildings ready for the next interesting
construction project... maybe yours!!!