West Bay Builders, a general contractor specializing in building and retrofitting projects for the public and private sectors, has established a new board of directors. Richard (Dick) Farnsworth, a surety business veteran and former senior vice president of surety operations at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, and Gary LaBonte, formerly Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) executive manager for development, join West Bay Builders’ management team of Paul Thompson, president, Joseph Haas, vice president, and Vicki Fowler, controller. Farnsworth and LaBonte’s additions that round out the five-member board dovetail with West Bay Builders’ strategic business direction of expanding its government construction and heavy civil work.
“We have steadily grown and expanded our capabilities in public works and heavy civil. In addition to several BART contracts, the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, City of Millbrae Waste Water Treatment Expansion and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s San Joaquin Pipeline Crossovers projects, we are prequalified to bid on the first phase of the SMART train,” said Thompson. “Gary will help guide our pursuit of more transportation – rail, road, bridges and the like – and other heavy civil projects. Dick will provide unprecedented expertise in surety bonding, which is the linchpin to securing and carrying out government contracts.”
Farnsworth brings more than 40 years of surety bonding experience, including managing all aspects of nationwide surety underwriting and marketing for Fireman’s Fund. He is a sought-out consultant on underwriting customs and practices in the surety industry, served on the Board of Directors for the Surety Association of America, and was chairman of the National Association of Independent Sureties. He also sits on the boards of Bay Area infrastructure builder CC Myers, Inc. and leading California marine contractor The Dutra Group.
LaBonte, a civil engineer for 30 years, headed BART’s development efforts, managing its multi-million dollar construction programs consisting of new and renovated stations and rail lines. Previously, he was director of engineering for American President Lines, LTD, a $2 billion integrated transportation and distribution company.