Celebrating 50 years of excellence Saccoccio & Associates

Q & A with founder, Salvatore Saccoccio

February 1, 2023

Q. Tell me about how you started your business in 1973. What was your life like then.

A. I was married and the father of 4 young children. My wife Dorothy supported and encouraged me to start my own business.

One of the first things I did was to make a business plan. Then I rented an office space and began my career as an architect. Also, from the very beginning I became active in the community and with civic organizations. I found this to be a good way to network and meet other business people. I also worked on building my clientele every week by cold calling on local municipalities and businesses. These efforts helped me to grow the business.

My first project when I started the firm was the Budlong Pool renovation for the City of Cranston. I’m proud to say the City of Cranston is still one of our clients today.  

Q. What drew you to become an architect ?
A. I took a drafting class in the 8th grade. The teacher saw something in my work and encouraged me to pursue a career in architecture. I was lucky to have a few teachers that encouraged me and that I consider mentors. Also, I love the creative process of designing a building and seeing it being built. That is what fueled my work.

Q. What has been some of the challenges and rewarding aspects of the firm?
A. Embracing new technology as the industry changed from hand drawing to CAD drawings was one of the challenges we faced. Luckily my son Mark, really pushed me early on to embrace this and we learn all the new computer technologies as the industry advanced. I think we were one of the first firms to switch to CAD dwgs. As far as rewards, there have been many throughout my career, but seeing the company flourish over the past 50 years and having my son continue its growth has been the best reward . Also, having key employees work along with me. Some have been with me since the beginning and are still working in the firm.

Q. What is something you have learned over the past 50 years?
A. That if your wife and family doesn’t support you, you have nothing. Family is everything.  I was very lucky that my wife supported me from the very beginning.  We had four small children at home when I started the company.  There were many nights I worked late, attending Town meetings and she never complained. I always appreciated her love and support. The firm would not have grown without that.

Q. What do you feel is your legacy?
A. The work I have done in schools, churches, universities and many other sectors has been very rewarding. I have a great sense of pride for the work we have done over the last 50 years.  When I drive throughout Rhode Island and see all the towns and cities we have worked in it gives me a great sense of joy and pride. That is my greatest legacy. 

P.S. At the age of 92, Sal still comes into the office every week, red lining dwgs and imparting his wisdom to all of us. Also, he brings in the best homemade soups!