It's a long road from ASC's building trades program to being a major land developer and award-winning Nevada home builder, but that's the journey that Michael "Mick" Galatio has taken.
Alfred State provided "a good basis to get me started in the building trades" field, said Galatio, who earned an associate's degree in building construction in 1975. Galatio has taken that degree and constructed an incredible career, culminating in the creation of his own innovative home building company and its remarkable growth.
Galatio spent about 11 years in the construction industry in supervisory roles prior to founding Desert Wind Homes in Las Vegas in December 1994. Desert Wind's first project was a 31-home subdivision called Breckenridge which sold out in February 1996. Breckenridge created a niche for Galatio's company as a customer-service-oriented building firm focusing on accommodating the buyer's special requests prior to closing.
Ten years and many subdivisions later, Desert Wind, which has won awards for its designs, employs 32 people, constructs and closes on 250 to 300 new homes a year, and takes in about $85 million in revenue annually.
Galatio was named Builder Member of the Year by the Southern Nevada Homebuilder's Association in 2005.
Galatio said the training he received at Alfred State sets him apart from many of his competitors. When Galatio visits a job site, he knows if the flooring has been installed correctly, or whether the closets meet specifications. That's an advantage that his CEO competitors at other companies, who generally come from the business side of the industry, do not have, he said.
The glitz of Las Vegas is a long way from the foothills of Alfred, but Mick Galatio remains appreciative of the training he received at Alfred State and the expertise be absorbed from instructors like Bud Kimbeck and others.
"They were all good teachers," he said of his instructors at the college. "I think it is a great program at Alfred State."