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Pellicano: Lessons learned on paper route invaluable

Tony Pellicano

Tony Pellicano

ALBANY -- Before building a successful construction company from the ground up, Tony Pellicano's early job as a paper boy taught him important lessons that laid a strong foundation for a promising career.

Pellicano has a difficult time remembering life before working, as he was always helping out his father, Pat Pellicano, as a youngster with his dad's bicycle business, Pat's Cycle Shop, located just across the street from The Albany Herald.

"My father wanted me to understand the importance of hard work." Pellicano said. "He knew that if I was working then it would keep me out of trouble and give me the opportunity to earn some spending money."

When he turned 15 and was old enough to work for an outside business, Pellicano applied for a paper route and was hired by A.J. Nobles at The Albany Herald.

"My route was the 100 block to the 600 block on Pine Avenue," Pellicano said. "I rode my bicycle after school every afternoon, delivering papers."

On that same block is where Pellicano Construction's 35-year-old company headquarters is located today. He credits his job as a paper boy with giving him the tools to run a thriving business.

"Being a paper boy taught me some key values that have stayed with me throughout my life," Pellicano said. "I learned the importance of responsibility and time management; and it also helped develop maturity at a young age."

Pellicano said he would deliver papers down Pine Avenue after school in the afternoons. Saturday mornings were dedicated to collecting money from his customers and paying off his bills to The Herald for the week.

"Sunday was the exception -- The Herald put out an early paper for Sunday mornings," Pellicano said. "It seems strange now to think about teenagers waking up in the wee hours riding their bicycles downtown to deliver papers, but it wasn't uncommon. Those were just the times."

Those times created quite a businessman. After graduating from Southern Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Architectural Engineering Technology, Pellicano moved back to Albany and went into business with his wife Lucy at the encouragement of his father.

Today, Pellicano Construction is a 30-employee operation, licensed in 12 states with $500 million worth of construction in place in the commercial, healthcare, industrial, retail, religious and hospitality markets, and an additional office in Atlanta.

Pellicano is proud to have all of his immediate family in Albany, including his two daughters and their husbands, and five grandchildren. He sees one son-in-law daily. Stephen Dew, the executive vice president, runs the day-to-day operations at Pellicano Construction, giving his father-in-law some time to give back to the community he loves.

Pellicano is a member of First United Methodist Church, having served two terms on the Board of Trustees, and currently serves as the president of the Georgia Branch of Association of General Contractors, of which he has been a member since 1979.

With a lifetime of proud achievements, Pellicano credits his days working at The Herald with giving him the right foundation.

"The lessons I learned as a young paper boy have proven invaluable to me throughout my life. Most importantly, it taught me the value of working hard," Pellicano said.