Contact Us Today!

Company History

S H A R I N G  T H E  H E R I T A G E


Joe Campanelli taught Special-Education wood shop to pay for his fine arts degree from UCSB, and worked as a trade carpenter before earning his Contractor’s License and founding Campanelli Construction in 1974.  After ten years, Campanelli was joined by his sister, Antoinette, who began as an office assistant and moved on to office manager and controller to Joe for nineteen years. 

Campanelli carved out a unique market niche with negotiated contract work for commercial and residential clients with ongoing needs for in-house design-build consulting and expertise in green buildings. Joe’s honesty and skill at problem solving has paid off for more than thirty years as he has helped clients navigate and make sound decisions through the construction process.

The mentorship Joe received by working with prominent Santa Barbara organizations and individuals allowed Campanelli Construction to stand out in a competitive industry by offering exceptional professional services and quality work. Joe went from a hands-on carpenter and contractor to corporate president as the company grew and developed the kind of staff that could continue the company’s vision and standards.

Joe’s connections and community involvement early on brought him such prestigious projects as the Santa Barbara Zoo entry buildings and exhibits, the historical Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns’ Wharf, a collaboration with Jordano’s, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust offices and branch renovations and the Natural History Museum. 

In the mid-1970s, Campanelli joined the Santa Barbara Contractor’s Association (SBCA) where he served on the Board for many years and was elected president  for two terms.  The SBCA grew from only thirty-five members when Campanelli first joined to more than 500 members in 2008. He is also a founder and acting director of American Riviera Bank, a Santa Barbara Community Bank. 

Campanelli Construction not only grew with the association but Joe made life-long friends among his peers and the old timers who guided him along the way. He was instrumental in establishing the “SB Built Green” program and nonprofit education foundation. He also helped SBCA earn a respected position as an industry leader and political voice at the state, county, and city level. His involvement in promoting career technical education (CTE) as a way for young people to find successful careers in the construction industry led him to represent Santa Barbara on the board of the California Coalition for Construction in the Class Room at the state capital.

Joe believes a community is as good as what you put into it and gave generously, sitting on many Boards such as the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra for thirty years, Santa Barbara Museum Collectors Council, the historic County Bowl Facility, Unico, and the UCSB Economic Forecast.

Campanelli Construction’s growth and success is based on ‘word of mouth’ advertising. This allowed the company to stay away from a generic retail model of service and evolve based on a track record of personal, quality service and commitment to client’s current and ongoing needs and is reflected in the many custom homes and remodels over the years.

The company has worked on the renovation of a number of prominent buildings and homes in Santa Barbara, including the Emmons Estate in Montecito, the Suskie Building in historic El Paseo, the Santa Barbara Child’s Estate Zoo, the Granada Building, the Dreier Estate and museum, and the American Riviera Bank.

Campanelli Construction received numerous industry, civic, and environmental awards over the years and its all-green prototype home was a featured documentary in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film is used to teach green building at Santa Barbara City College. The Mediterranean-design corporate office built in 2001 received the Governors California Environmental Council’s “Flex Your Power” award and the Green Building of the Year Award, reflecting the firm’s commitment to environmentally friendly construction.

Campanelli Construction
Comercial Construction | Green Building | Residential Contractor
PO Box 4146. Santa Barbara, CA 93140