What’s Our Story?
A Minority & Woman-Owned Specialty Construction Firm

What’s Our Story?

A modest two-room office at the corner of Greenmount Avenue and 28th Street in Northeast Baltimore – that’s where our story began. It was 1984, and two entrepreneurs set out to form what would become one of the most successful minority-owned specialty construction firms in the area.  One had a background in economics and business management while the other was a licensed carpenter and member of the local union. Both officers in the U.S. Army Reserves,  the duo was resourceful, hard-working, and determined to carve their niche in the commercial construction industry. They incorporated their new business in February, relocated to Charles Village in June, and secured several lucrative contracts in the Baltimore area before the dawn of the new year.

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Visionary & Co-founder, W. William Nicholsonne (left) | Co-founder, Charles R. Thomas (right) | c.1985

Since 1984, Chesapeake has completed numerous projects from the East Coast to the Midwest. We started this journey as a general services contractor, added cast-in-place concrete shortly thereafter, and later expanded to include glass and glazing.  Through a joint venture with Harmon, the #2 glazing contractor in the nation, Chesapeake began evolving as a specialty contractor. We revamped our scope and shifted our focus to installation of curtainwall systems, glass, and glazing as well as precast and steel erection. In 2001, we added robotic demolition to our specialty services and are seeking to include telecommunications construction in the near future.

Although our co-founders are no longer involved in day-to-day operations, members of the Nicholsonne and Thomas families have taken the reigns to ensure that Chesapeake continues to provide superior construction services while maintaining its competitive edge.  This generation, which has been groomed since the company’s inception, brings a fresh, innovative perspective to both the business and the industry. As a result of Chesapeake’s reorganization, the firm is not only a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), but it has obtained its Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) status as well. After 33 years, the legacy continues.

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