Bob Marini Jr. is the CEO of Robert Marini Builders, a home building company started by his grandfather, Al Marini, in 1947. Robert Marini Sr. joined his father as a laborer in 1966 and took over in the 1970s, incorporating the company under the name it is known today. Bob Marini Jr., and his two brothers, Mike and Steve, who are vice presidents of construction, run one of the top home building companies in the Capital District. Bob Marini Jr. and his wife Monica live in Colonie.. Together they have five children.
Q: Home builders tend to come and go but you guys have been in business for 73 years. What is the secret to your longevity?
A: “Treat people right and they will sell for you.” When my grandfather (Al Marini) was on in his years and I would have lunch with him, this is what he would tell me often. Before I learned this wisdom from my grandfather, my father (Bob Sr.) would tell me often “Never forget where you came from.” These are two values instilled in not only me but also my brother’s Mike and Steve. We hold onto those core beliefs in everything that we do. We were fortunate to have inherited a strong foundation and business built on these beliefs and values. Combine that with product innovation, quality construction, paranoia of failure and a passion for taking care of your employees and the community you work in and I’d say we are blessed to be successful for 73 years.
Q: How has the business changed over the years? How has it stayed the same?
A: Over the years, there have been many changes socially and economically. My grandfather lived through the Great Depression, World War II, The Korean War and the Vietnam War. My Father took over in 1977 which was just in time for the hostage crisis, the oil embargo years and 21 percent interest rates. I was entrenched during the savings and loan crisis of 1989, a severe recession in 1994, the financial crisis and now the Coronavirus pandemic. Over a span of seven decades, external forces change all around you, however, if you stick to your knitting and focus on what is important in what you do day in and day out and deliver a product that delights the needs of your customers, the external forces become background noise and the essence of what you do and how you do it takes center stage and becomes the mission. The bottom line is that you have to constantly reinvent yourself and your product to meet the needs of the ever changing homebuyer and their needs. Here is one thing that has never changed in all of the years I have been around this business — the smell of a newly framed home. To me, it’s better than the best new car smell I have ever experienced. It’s in my blood, so to speak.
Q: Development in Colonie is often a controversial topic. What do you think? Too much, not enough? Just the right amount? Why?
A: There is never enough development. The nay sayers will always complain about traffic, storm water and overcrowding schools. The heart of the issue is responsible development. If developers ask themselves up front, “How can I leave this property better than I found it and will it stand for generations beyond me to enjoy.” If that becomes the underlying thesis, then most development will be good. Development needs to move forward (not backward) in a public/private partnership that addresses most of the needs of the project at hand and the public at large. I believe the Town of Colonie does an exemplary job of advocating for the right balance of responsible development. I can name many projects around the town that have occurred over the past decade that have been done right and will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Q: You make no secrets of your political convictions. What do you think of today’s political climate, who do you think will win in November and why?
A: In three words…I’m a conservative. Today, I think that the inmates are running the asylum and it is a shame. I’ve discussed politics with folks from many generations and one theme that I have come away with is the noise never changes. I call it noise because since I can remember, our county has been debating the same issues and nothing ever seems to change. The establishment loves to debate, legislate and change nothing. Just kick the can down the road. President Ronald Reagan was the last great politician that was able to unite the country. Since 1980 there has been an all-out movement to take the country to the left, but if you look back through history, whether Republican or Democrat, we debate the same thing over and over. I made a stand in 2016 for Donald Trump for President. Why, because Donald Trump was a billionaire outsider who said he would change the political landscape. Nobody in Washington and the rest of the world thought he had a chance. America voted, Trump won and went on to do what he promised to do. Eliminate red tape and regulations, bring back American jobs, make America energy independent and expose fake news for what it is. He did what he said he would do and now there is an all-out assault to eliminate him and return the presidency back to the establishment politicians.
Q: Name one person, alive or dead, who you would like to have lunch with and why?
A: Tough question but two people come to mind. Thomas Edison and Ronald Reagan, in no particular order. Edison was responsible for the telegraph, light bulb, phonograph and movie camera and in nearly all of his inventions, he was usurped by a different technology that turned out to be better. What was that struggle like? And what was that feeling when you learned there was going to be a challenge to your existence. The battle between he and George Westinghouse was one of the great American stories. Reagan, I’m intrigued with Hollywood folklore, which Reagan was part of, and then this Hollywood actor rises to become the governor and then the president. One of the greatest presidents in all of American history and I’d want to just ask him how he had the courage and charisma to lead a country that was in despair into one of the most prosperous times in American history.
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