Wesley J Palmisano

Wesley J Palmisano

President and CEO

Wesley J. Palmisano grew up in a construction family. His grandfather founded W.J. Palmisano Contractors, a residential construction company, in 1950 after returning from World War II. Working alongside his grandfather and father instilled a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit in Wesley at a very young age. After graduating from Archbishop Rummel High School, he was ready to launch full time into the construction industry, but his father insisted he go to college. Wesley attended LSU to study Construction Management, but not wanting to waste any time, he not only completed the four-year degree in only three years but also graduated first in his class and Summa Cum Laude. For the next decade, Wesley worked for a large commercial contractor building and managing large scale construction projects with a total value around one billion dollars. He focused on the values learned from his father and grandfather – honesty, integrity, and a commitment to do whatever it takes to get the job done. In 2013, Wesley followed his dream of taking the business to another level and in only three years, transformed the 63-year-old small residential construction company into a large commercial and civil firm with annual revenues of $100 million. Since 2013, the company has completed over 60 projects containing approximately 3 million square feet and hired 100 new employees. The mission for the new company: to build a better world. To do that, he has cultivated a work culture that fosters forward thinking, a commitment to excellence and a can-do attitude. The team consists of a highly engaged group of like-minded professionals who have the same goal in mind: do good work for others. The company builds lasting landmarks, strives to leave the community better than it was found, and gives back to those less fortunate.

Wesley learned at a young age the importance of giving back. In conjunction with the Young Leadership Council, he helped re-establish the project RECreate in 2011 and was recognized by YLC for the best project of 25 years. The project is still going strong, continuing to serve the youth of our community through recreational activities on weekend mornings.  Palmisano recently built an outdoor classroom and play space as a donation for PlayBuild, an educational non-profit in Central City focused on teaching young children about architecture and construction, and a playground for the New Orleans Women and Children’s Shelter.

In addition to numerous project awards, Palmisano’s accolades include City Business’ Fastest Growing Company in the GNO region (2017), Best Places to Work, and Best General Contractor. Personally, Wesley was honored to have been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year, JA Rising Star, and Gambit’s 40 under 40 in 2016. He stays engaged in the community by serving on the board of Junior Achievement and as an active member of Young Presidents’ Organization, Urban Land Institute, Greater New Orleans Inc, and ForeKids Foundation. Wesley and his wife Annie have two children, Wrex and Reed.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, exercising, and outdoor activities.

Areas of Expertise:

Leading cross-functional teams, solving complex issues, facilitating growth.

What was your favorite project and why?

The Ace Hotel New Orleans – using our core values and company culture as a compass, we lived up to all brand promises and ultimately delivered a project that was better, faster, and less expensive than the competition. This project serves as a prime example for how Palmisano builds a better world.

How would your co-workers describe you?

Tenacious.

What do you love to do outside of work?

Reading, exercising, and spending time in the outdoors.

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