Wesley J. Palmisano
Founder, CEO, and Floor Sweeper
True innovation arrives through those bold enough to move the needle. Because when the path isn’t clear, they build a new one.
For over ten years, Wesley J. Palmisano has pursued a new vision of the construction industry through WJ Palmisano (WJP) and its collective of brands and initiatives. With a foundation of family legacy and industry expertise, Wesley leverages his entrepreneurial drive with the company’s mission to “build a better world.”
Wesley has led WJP since its inception in 2013, launching Palmisano Construction with 11 team members and their first commercial project: Fulton Alley. That first step of his ambitious thought-leading plan marked the beginning of the company’s signature renegade style and cultivation of a culture where everyone could make and break the mold.
With the company’s success and multiple award-winning projects, he naturally looked to push the envelope further. Over the following decade, WJP’s strategy continued to evolve through new ventures in construction, investment, innovation, leadership cultivation, and real estate development—pursuing a vertical integration of service offerings that allow WJP to influence the construction lifecycle and continue applying its renegade approach.
New company offerings expanded to include an infrastructure division and self-perform capabilities in 2015—solidifying the company’s role as a True Builder. The evolution of the True Builder philosophy saw the company again expand its capabilities by adding highly customized architectural millwork and metalworks, steel fabrication and erection, and standard prefabricated elements for projects of all scale. In 2022, Emergent Properties launched as another platform to test WJP’s hypothesis of a truly collaborative approach. Emergent Properties partners with RNGD on proprietary prefabricated component construction to develop best-in-class mixed-use projects across the southeastern United States.
But changing the industry means nothing without sustaining it, and Wesley knows the impact of investing in the next generation of thinkers and doers. In 2016, he launched Palmisano Foundation, a nonprofit (501c3) that focuses on education programs, initiatives, and driving tangible change in communities. He also launched Renegade Academy—a series of leadership development workshops that help develop the next generation of construction professionals.
After years of raising industry standards, and growing a small team to over 260 people, Palmisano Construction looked to align its name with its visionary ethos—rebranding as RNGD and expanding its presence to new markets: Nashville, TN and Huntsville, AL.
As a New Orleans native, Wesley grew up in a construction family. Inspired by their commitment to service—beginning with his grandfather, WWII veteran and founder of W.J. Palmisano Contractors, Warren Palmisano Sr.—Wesley looked to follow in their footsteps with his own vision. He earned a four-year Construction Management degree in three years at Louisiana State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Before launching WJP, he directly applied his background, education, expertise, and unique insight to over a decade of work, building and managing large-scale construction projects.