Just because William Pitts is the president and CEO of one the fastest growing privately held companies in Florida doesn’t mean he’s afraid to get his hands dirty.
After graduating from high school in Jacksonville, one of the first jobs Pitts took was working for a tile company. When the company remodeled the Orange Park Mall, it was Pitts who carried out the tile. “It was very tough, labor intensive work but it was also rewarding seeing how the project came out when we were finished,” he said.
He ran his own company while attending UNF where he enrolled in the Building Construction Management Program. “Initially, it was a very small company. I’d go out in the morning with my partner, do the work and come home in the evening and prepare proposals and presentations,” he recalled “It made for some long days but we were able to get a few good contracts, performed them with excellence and as a result we received more referrals.”
Today, WG Pitts Co. is one of the premier residential and commercial construction companies in Northeast Florida. Since its founding in 1996, Pitts has guided the company to specialize in the construction of amenity centers in master–planned communities throughout the state. Additionally, the company’s commercial group is now constructing very high–design office parks, retail centers and lending institutions.
As a business executive, Pitts is interested in more than just bricks–and–mortar projects. He based his company on a series of promises, one of which is investing in the community, including UNF. The company has sponsored one of the labs in the new Science and Engineering Building. Pitts also comes to campus to talk with classes. In addition, the company has a track record of hiring UNF interns and graduates.
UNF is not the only non–profit to benefit from the company’s commitment to community. The company joined in donating funds for the construction of a children’s facility at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless in Jacksonville. Pitts and his wife, Susan, who is controller and chief financial officer for the company, have been know to join other employees at the City Rescue Mission preparing and serving meals. The couple is actively involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and in civic projects of the Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida, where Pitts serves as senior vice president.
When not “building things,” Pitts and his wife are kept busy by their four children ranging in age from 3 to 19. With soccer, softball or volleyball games, the couple is constantly on the go. Pitts is also planning a college education for his children. His oldest son plans to attend UNF because, as Pitts says, “I see great things in the future of the University.”
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