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Family Owned Business Awards

EDiS Company

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Founded: 1908

Generations: Five

Employees: 88

(L-R) Adam, Jacqueline, Andrew and Brian DiSabatino | Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli

WILMINGTON – Near the Adriatic Sea in an Italian town called Sant’Omero, a group of men and boys led by EDiS Company founder, Ernesto DiSabatino, gathered. They packed bags on a horse-pulled cart to cross the Italian mountains, en route to shipping lines on the opposite coast. Months later, after establishing a small home, first on Bleeker Street in New York City and then in Wilmington, the entire DiSabatino clan, complete with Ernesto’s wife Angela Dea, had been united.

EDiS was founded in Wilmington in 1908 as the masonry contractor, Ernest DiSabatino and Sons Inc. From that time until the middle of the 1940s the masons developed a reputation for quality construction. From 1945 to the early 1970s the organization provided general contracting services while striving to maintain their reputation for providing clients with quality construction projects.

In the early 1970s, a new form of construction project delivery, construction management, was developed and the company quickly adopted it. EDiS Company was created to provide construction management services and capabilities to provide agent, at-risk, and design-build services to this day.

Today, four members of the DiSabatino family work at EDiS, including Brian as CEO, his cousin Andrew as vice president and project manager, cousin Adam as project manager and daughter Jacqueline as project engineer. The firm is among the most-sought-after in the state, and this year worked on the University of Delaware’s football stadium and the new fitness center at the DuPont Country Club.

CEO Brian DiSabatino said that they’ve been able to weather the pandemic-spurred impacts on workforce and supply chains this year due to years of proper planning, great staff and seeking out industry-leading standards.

“We like to say that we were only good on March 11, because we were good on March 10,” he said. “We find ourselves in a really good position at the end of 2020, and surprisingly, we are very bullish on a robust economy for 2021.”

Being a longtime family-owned business tells DiSabatino that the long-term view is what’s most important, even if it means some short-term pain.

“When you’ve been around for 100 years, you make business decisions as if you were going to have to be around for another hundred years,” he said, noting that EDiS owes its success to decades of relationships with other family-owned businesses, including the du Ponts of yore. “Today, we examine every business decision we make through the lens of how it will affect the families that we come to work with every day.”

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