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Lindsay Awards: Precious Mettle

Lindsay Awards: Precious Mettle

What started as a backyard business has become one of the most successful shops in Lindsay by building a strong bond between his community and clients.

Doug De Leo Welding was established by Doug and Pam De Leo in 1990. Despite increased requirements and the challenges of a down economy, the couple and the business have preserved and continued to support local charities.

“I love this town and I am very comfortable here,” Doug said.

The true testament to Doug’s passion for the town is the fact he isn’t a Lindsay native. Born in Point Pleasant, NJ and schooled in Long Beach, Calif., Doug didn’t come to Lindsay until 1986, where he met his wife and had two children. He started his business working part time and weekends out of his backyard, but his hard work and perseverance allowed him to open up his current shop at 249 N. Ashland Avenue in 2000. He now employs 17 people who fabricate and repair ag equipment and state-of-the-art, stainless steel piping for sanitary food processing plants up and down the state. De Leo and his fabricaters and welders also installed all of the metal railing in Building C at the McDermont Field House and built the steel frame and support beams for the Lindsay Library.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, so this career seemed to fit,” Doug said. “I love the satisfaction of completing a job and seeing the finished product.”

The success of the business has allowed the De Leos to give back to the community. Whether it’s creating and building the Queen’s float for the Orange Blossom Festival parade, participating in the Chili Cook Off, or putting in countless hours organizing the Rib Cook Off, Doug De Leo’s fingerprint can be seen all over town. Doug was named Lindsay’s Man of the Year for 2009, is a member of the Lindsay Kiwanis Club and has sponsored countless youth sports teams through the years.

“We try to do what we can to support the community,” Doug said.

It’s no coincidence that an event over an open flame would be near and dear to a welder’s heart. Doug said he has enjoyed his time on the Rib Cook Off more than any other event in Lindsay because he and Pam helped found and foster the event. Doug said before the inaugural event in 2010, people said they couldn’t get more than a dozen cooks to enter an event like that in a small town. They finished the first year with 21 cooks and doubled it in year two.

“They said we couldn’t do it so we proved them wrong,” Doug said.

And the real winners were the kids. What originally started as a fund-raiser to help the Lindsay Department of Public Safety buy toys for its annual Santa Night has grown into a fund-raiser for many great charities in town. In 2011, Que’N For Kids donated $3,500 to Santa Night but also $1,500 to Lindsay Youth Football, $500 for Christmas food boxes, $500 toward the Public Safety Department’s purchase of new K9s and $250 for a traveling youth basketball team.

“Being part of the community is very important to me,” Doug said.

To ensure he can make enough money to support local charities, Doug said he has added a new piece of equipment to help expand his business. Five months ago he installed a WARDJet water jet cutting system by Boeing. The computer-assisted pressure cutter can cut any shape on any material up to 10 inches thick and 8-by-2-feet wide. He said the machine can cut steel or wood, glass or granite, leather or limestone.

“It’s a very precise machine that will really help our business,” Doug said.

For more information on Doug De Leo Welding, call 559-562-3700.

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