About Ernest J. Del Monte
Ernest J. Del Monte was raised in Rochester. Our community has been his lifelong home and the beneficiary of both his extraordinary success and generosity.
At the end of 1942, he entered the Air Force Aviation Cadet program and fulfilled his dreams of becoming a fighter pilot flying the P47 Thunderbolt. His training provided him with an education that would change his life and love of airplanes forever.
In 1949 he started a company in the basement of his home that manufactured aircraft and missile generators for military aircraft and guided missiles. After three years of operating in his basement, he built a factory on Linden Avenue in Pittsford that grew to 140,000 sq ft and employed 200 people. In 1958 he sold the business and leased the factory. This sparked a new interest in construction and real estate.
After leasing the factory he began acquiring over 250 acres of adjacent industrial property. He built and leased several factories for companies such as Bausch & Lomb, Pratt Whitney and the Xerox Corporation. With developments in Webster, Henrietta and Fairport, he also built and leased the 450,000 sq ft B.O.C.E.S. campus. He transformed the Rochester landscape by creating spaces for thriving enterprises.
He next was going to build and lease a hotel near the old depot train station in Pittsford, however he learned that constructing a hotel that met his high standards was prohibitively expensive. Undaunted, Mr. Del Monte invented huge casting machines that would cast concrete rooms that could be fixtured and furnished in the factory, thus reducing the cost considerably as well as creating structures of high standards.
He developed a relationship with the Marriott Hotel Corporation that led to successfully building hotels as far away as Minneapolis, Minn., by rail, and a 640 room, 10-story Hyatt Regency Hotel shipped by sea to Macau, China. During the 70’s a manufacturing facility was created in Mobile, Alabama that shipped several hotels to the Middle East as well as a 350 room Club Med in the Bahamas and a 600 Room Radisson at the gates of Disney World in Orlando, and many others, including 38 jails and prisons built from Texas to Florida. The last few years have been spent developing a portfolio of 18 Marriott Hotels, owned and operated by the Del Monte family.
A life trustee of the University of Rochester and a national business leader who takes great pride in the community where he was born and rose to prominence, Mr. Del Monte generously shares his time, wisdom, and resources to improve the quality of life for all who live and work in the Rochester area. He and his wife, Thelma, live in Pittsford and have four grown children, three daughters: Andrea Scott, Vickie Durfee, and Karen Del Monte Geary, and their son, John Del Monte. John is president and chief operating officer at the E. J. Del Monte Corporation. Ernest and Thelma Del Monte also greatly enjoy spending time with their 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
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About Ernest J. Del Monte