KINGSTON, N.Y. — Saugerties-based construction company Jay Mullen & Sons is the winner of the 2022 Ulster County Business of the Year Award.
It is among eight businesses, business leaders and organizations that will be honored during the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Business Recognition Awards Celebration dinner at Wiltwyck Golf Club, at 404 Steward Lane, Kingston, on Thursday, Oct. 27, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Other honorees include Peekamoose Restaurant and Tap Room as Small Business of the Year; Charles Blaichman of CB Developers and Hotel Kinsley as Business Person of the Year; Rail Explorers as Tourism Business of the Year; Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties for the Commitment to the Community Award. The Heritage Award goes to Scanlon’s Dry Cleaners; Ulster County Archivist Taylor Bruck was named Emerging Young Leader and The Len Cane Heart of Ulster County Award will be bestowed on Tom Struzzieri of HITS.
“It’s very humbling and I feel very blessed,” owner John Mullen said.
Mullen recalled that when he started his business back in 1982, he started with small things like chimneys, cutting firewood and working on the side as a union bricklayer when business was slow.
Now the business has grown to employ about 110 people, including between 20-30 union carpenters and laborers and five to six mechanics who keep their fleet of 140-150 trucks on the road, he said.
He said he’s worked on building projects with Vassar College, BOCES, The Culinary Institute of America, and Marist College, where his firm has done projects for the past 25 to 30 years, again starting small with doing things like pavers and patch jobs and later taking on major projects.
Mullen said the company is working with Central Hudson on a five-year project to replace the company’s gas mains in communities across the Hudson Valley while also doing an ever-growing amount of site work for the utility’s electric division. He added that the company is now doing similar replacement work with utility National Grid as far west as Syracuse.
Still, 90% of the company’s employees live in Ulster County, with many staying with the firm for 20 to 30 years, he said.
He said other projects include building Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in the region, and masonry restoration projects at historic homes, including Mills Mansion and Glasco Ponds in Saugerties.
Mullen’s wife, Peggy Mullen, is a third-grade teacher at Riccardi Elementary School in Saugerties. The couple has six children. Two of Mullen’s sons Johhny Jr. and Shawn work at the firm as foremen.
His grandson Jack Mullen, 14, is also learning the trades under close supervision, he said.
Mullen said he’s not afraid of failure. “I failed so many times and failed up realizing I don’t want to mistake that mistake again,” he said. “You just got to keep going.”
A press release said, “The awards recognize Ulster County businesses that are leaders in their sectors, have achieved outstanding results, or have shown dedication and commitment to furthering business and the quality of life in Ulster County.”
For more information or tickets visit https://www.ulsterchamber.org/business-recognition-awards-dinner/.