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March 9, 2023

UGOC Spotlight: Tom Uccellini Sr. Celebrates 20 Years

Please join us in celebrating our Executive Vice President Tom Uccellini Sr.’s 25th UGOC work anniversary! Tom joined the United Group of Companies on Monday March 9th, 1998, alongside his brother Walter, and in the past two and a half decades has been an impactful, irreplaceable, and incredibly knowledgeable member of our organization.

In his capacity as Executive Vice President, Tom has played an integral role in just about every phase of our residential and commercial projects, from site selection to construction management and everything in between. And in his tenure with UGOC, has been involved with an impressive $236 million of student housing and over $346 million in senior developments.

For Tom, no ladder is too tall or space too small for him to finagle his way into to ensure everything is looking (exactly) the way he intended. His ability to recognize and solve complex situations with just a quick glance is admired by many and we continue to acknowledge how lucky we are to have his help and guidance through the many eras of UGOC. So please join us in celebrating Tom and this monumental career milestone!


Scroll down to read more about Tom’s experience and messages of congratulations from some of his closest colleagues who have had the pleasure of working with Tom over the past twenty-five years.

Take us back to day one! What was it like? What do you remember about your first day?

Day one was back in the summer of 1972 banging nails with my father and brother Walter on Streamview Lane building the first house. Seven years of hands-on construction led me to start my own company and Walter jumped to Development and Rental. In 1998, I came back as Walter was going back to Construction Management and thought I would be a good fit. Because space was limited, Peter Cornell opened his tight office for me to share at 80 State Street.  We learned so much from each other.

Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on during your time with UGOC? 

Empire Commons, U-Albany:  We did what no one felt was possible. We built 25 buildings which housed 304 units (1,296 beds), and a Clubhouse, totaling 444,539 square feet of student housing on 25 acres of land full of trees that require moving over 300,000 yards of earth in order to keep the site balanced.  

We started the finance and design process in March 2001 and moved students in August 2002.  This project was a great team effort between the college, architect/engineers, Civil, Contractor, UAlbany resident-life and facility director, and United as a whole.

Side note: Note:  We had to work with people that wanted us to save as many trees as possible…we saved three trees.


Is the development/housing industry different now than when you started 25 years ago? How so?

The biggest challenge has been code changes, technology expectations, pricing vs inflations vs rents.  They all have a very delicate balance.

How have you seen UGOC change in the time that you’ve worked here? 

The immense growth that has taken place over the last 25 years

What advice would you give yourself reflecting on the last 25 years?

Take more time to relax and enjoy life, work will always be there in the morning.


“Tom, a lot of time has passed since we shared an office at 80 State Street. We worked on some great jobs together, probably the most notable was Empire Commons...everyone wanted your site time lapse photo. There was always some excitement, everything from "Tommy Two Fingers" to young Tom's pencil in the eye. After 50 years in the business my most enjoyable and memorable days were with you and the United family. I wish you all the best.”-Peter Cornell

“I met “THU” when he was just turning 50 and I was still a 'kid' - now in my 50's, I am so thankful to have been a part of this celebration and to say thank you to a great friend and mentor. Over the years Tom has shared whatever he could about the intricate details of construction teaching me everything I know along with how to run a power saw and when to successfully divide by 9!  There aren't many people with that much patience or who can tackle construction with that much enthusiasm and knowledge.  I often tell people that I wouldn't be where I am today in my career in construction without Tom Uccellini.  Wishing you the best” - Micheline Moncur  

“Tom and I have worked together for the last 20 of those 25 years. He is the reason I originally stayed with United and the primary continuing reason for my tenure here.  From our first few weeks together, we understood each other and have formed a deep friendship and synergetic working relationship.  We fill each other’s knowledge and experience gaps, share the same interests, beliefs, and values.  He is my teacher, mentor, and most of all one of my closest friends. Tom, I look forward to working with you for many more years and continuing our friendship for the rest of our lives, Congratulations.” -Tim Haskins

“I, at times, refer to Tom as Tom Sawyer! Simply because on numerous occasions (far too many to recall), he has successfully convinced me that I should do the many projects that he has cleverly maneuvered out of. I keep telling him that Tom Sawyer got fences painted that way! The end result is that I get whatever he successfully sidestepped, but I do love him like a brother and whatever he wants me to do has been and will continue to be a pleasure. Simply put, he is “THE MAN “! Love Him, -Graham Thompson

“Tom, congratulations on 25 years here at United Group! I was fortunate enough to be a part of some of these years long before I joined you at United. Thank you for helping me build upon my experience and knowledge of construction and taking the time to show me the ins and outs of what you do here at UGOC. The time I spent shadowing you played a big part in helping me decide what I wanted to do in college and beyond. Working alongside you these past 4 months has been a great experience and has far exceeded my expectations. Congratulations again on 25 years!” -Ken Nitz

“Tom has been a pleasure to work with since my very first days at the Company. His sense of humor and storytelling are one of my favorite things about United Group, and it simply wouldn’t be the same without him! Congratulations on an amazing 25 years.”-Michaela DiGiacomo

“Tom is one of the most talented, sincere, and kind individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with.  He has always taken time to help me understand the more “technical aspects” of construction management and has always been happy to do so.  The challenge of the project engages his soul, and the solution brings him great joy and jubilation!  He was born to do what he does, both as an industry professional and as a family man.” -Joan Cavanaugh  

“Tom, congrats on your 25th anniversary! I know we joke that you've been doing this longer than I've been alive, but your dedication and hard work are so inspiring to me and the company as a whole. Keep it up, because lord knows where we'd be without you!” - Your favorite assistant, Kaitlyn Robinson

“It wasn’t long after I joined United Group when I discovered that Tom Sr. is amazing. In just a few conversations I learned more about building and the construction process than I had ever even considered. Tom has an incredible ability to immediately see what needs to be done and how to do it, and to translate it to layman’s terms. The best part is that Tom is also a great person – always friendly, willing to help, and on top of all things. Congratulations on 25 years, Tom! We’re lucky to have you with us at United Group, and we look forward to many years to come working with you!”-Pete Angus

Tag(s): Lifestyle , Corporate , News

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