Gulf Engineering has been successfully engaged in business since 1924. Founded by S. V. Massimini, Sr., an Italian immigrant who came through Ellis Island as a 12-year-old boy, the company has been family-owned and operated ever since. Mr. Massimini was a Westinghouse employee, repairing steam turbines, gears, condensers and pumps after special training to do so. He established Gulf Engineering Services & Specialty Company, Inc. Mr. Massimini recalled his first job on his own, a 75- to 100-lb maneuvering valve from a ship that he had to carry on his shoulder to his shop, repair and carry back so that the ship could sail on time.
Naturally, the company's early work was largely on the boilers, evaporators, condensers and turbines of ocean-going steamships coming into port in New Orleans. There was only a limited amount of time scheduled in port so the repairs had to be completed on time. The company's motto described how the company did business: Service, Not Promises. As the company thrived and grew the founder's sons, William and S.V. Massimini Jr., became involved in the business as well. As more shipping was sailing under foreign flags, the maritime repair business available to the New Orleans area dropped off in the years after World War II, so the sons had to make a strategic decision to go after other kinds of business. They decided to service the multitude of petrochemical and power plants arising along the Mississippi River. The plan succeeded wildly and led to unprecedented growth in the company. The Water Management Division started about this time as a natural extension of the boiler work the company had always done. Sugar mills around Louisiana were a good fit for this new extension of business and mills in Central America became customers as well. The water treatment products were sold under the name trade name GESSCO™, derived from the original name of the company. This is the basis for the decades of experience and long-term customers the company enjoys in the water treatment business.
The 1984 World's Fair displaced the company from its St. Peters Street shop and offices to a location in Jefferson, LA that has 36,000 square feet of shop floor space and has housed the Machinery Repair Division ever since. A third generation of Massiminis has assumed control of the company, grandsons of the founder. The sales of Offshore equipment, Marine equipment and Industrial equipment from our OMI Division is also a natural extension of the company's work in the marine industry. Gulf Engineering's latest divisional addition in 1994 has been one of the most successful. Technical Personnel Services provides non-destructive testing to the petrochemical, refinery and industrial customers in the region. Gulf Engineering is routinely listed among the Top 100 private companies by New Orleans CityBusiness