Decades Upon Decades

Jun 21, 2020

An Ode to the Fathers of the Design District

As we celebrate all things Dad this Sunday, we wanted to take some time to spotlight the amazing dads who have worked hard to run their businesses and families simultaneously. 

To do just that we want to highlight the multi-generational, member businesses here in the Design District. Bartlett Brainard Products, Coastal Tool, Cianci Engineering, Dalene Flooring Carpet One, and Daley Moving and Storage all owe their decades on decades of knowledge to their fathers and in some cases, their grandfathers.

For many, their fathers have had a significant impact on their outlook and perspective of life. They taught them the difference between right and wrong, how to treat others, and the values they choose to live by. And for these folks, their dads played an even bigger role -they inspired, supported, or handed down their lifetime of hard work.


Bartlett Brainard Products 

Bartlett Brainard Products was the only job Cathy Davis, owner of Bartlett Brainard Products’, father ever had. He started there as a truck driver at 17 years old, became a carpenter, and then a salesman. In 1982, he purchased the business from his boss of 45 years and Cathy left her paralegal job to help run the shop and in 2000 she purchased the business. 

As a woman in a male-dominated field, Cathy was resilient and kept her father’s values at the forefront. He stood fast on the premise that the customer is trusting you with one of their biggest and most personal investments – their home. Cathy’s father passed away in 2012. She continues to take pride in the trust that Bartlett Brainard Products stands as she honors the memory of her funny, tough-loving, big-hearted mentor, friend, and father.

Coastal Tool

This year is the 40th anniversary of Coastal Tool & Supply, the discount tool store. Rob Ludgin started the business in 1980 with the help of his father, Lou. Lou lived by the “Golden Rule,” that you should treat people the way you want to be treated. Rob has been following the same moral compass as his father and instills these same values in his son Andy, who is also involved in running Coastal Tool. Sticking to their strong belief system of integrity and respect, Rob and Andy continue to work hard with their father and grandfather’s ideas in mind. 

Cianci Engineering 

Cianci Engineering is a star example of a multi-generational firm. They have been in business since 1973 when Paul S. Cianci was at the helm of the ship. In 1995, he retired as the firm’s Senior Partner and left the firm under the direction of his son, Carl S. Cianci. In 2006, they welcomed their third generation partner to the firm, Carl’s son, Paul A. Cianci.

A large part of Cianci Engineering’s culture today started with the first generation several decades ago. Paul S. Cianci always preached, “to work on every project as if you were going to pay for it, and your children were going to live in it.”  He passed this culture on to Carl, who continues to instill these values into his son, Paul, as they continue to work and run their firm by his motto.

Dalene Flooring Carpet One 

Dalene Flooring was a dream of Arne H. Dalene. In 1949, he enlisted his father Herman Dalene, to help make his dream endeavor a reality. They had a very humble beginning full of family and friends working together to create a unique flooring experience for their customers. At the forefront was always high-quality service and a family-friendly environment. 

Today, under the leadership of Arne’s son, Steven Dalene, they have been able to expand their offerings to include all types of flooring and full-service installation, across six showrooms in Connecticut. Dalene Flooring Carpet One still consists of many family members of Steven Dalene; his wife, sisters, two of his children, nephews, and cousins work throughout the business honoring Arne’s dream. 

Daley Moving and Storage

Gina Mariano-Bunch’s father, an Italian immigrant with no more than a third-grade education, worked tirelessly until in 1970 he had finally earned the opportunity to purchase Daley Moving and Storage. Since her junior year of high school, Gina was her father’s “right-hand” working by his side in the family business. Her husband Jeffrey also started working at Daley, as his father, Estel, had for some time before, creating a unique team that was a force to be reckoned with. 

Finishing every job and keeping every commitment was always valued by Gina’s father. He was a man of integrity with hard work as his middle name. Today, more than 39 years later, Gina and her husband Jeffrey continue to run Daley Moving and Storage with the same foundations laid by their fathers. 

Happy Father’s Day from the Design District! 

Learn more about all the members of the Design District of West Hartford and their rich histories at