Military service during World War II brought the founding principals of Morley Building Company to Southern California. Morley Benjamin returned in 1947 to build a few single-family homes in Pacoima, then larger tracts in Lakewood and Whittier. A year later, he was joined by Sherman “Tex” Given and they remained partners for 33 years.
During the 1950s, the re-named Morley Construction Company moved into competitively bid public work, completing schools and civic buildings throughout the region. In the ’60s and ’70s, construction for private clients predominated with negotiated contracts and often repeat customers. The company built commercial buildings, recording and television studios, and thousands of apartment units.
Bert Lewitt joined the organization as a project manager in 1970 and Morley’s son, Mark Benjamin, started as an apprentice carpenter shortly thereafter. The salaried staff grew as did the number of trade workers in the field. Tex Given retired in 1980, which began the transition to a new generation of leadership.
The 1980s was a decade of growth and change. The salaried staff continued to expand as middle managers and college graduates joined the company. An employee ownership plan was created to give staff a stake in the company’s progress. In 1984, Benchmark Contractors, Inc. was formed as an open-shop contractor to meet the needs of a growing residential market. At the same time, a holding company now known as Morley Builders was formed to help market services.
With the turn of the century, Morley continued its managed growth in both human and financial resources. The early 2000s saw Morley’s reputation for quality take on new prominence as the builder of choice for new landmarks. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Getty Villa Museum, and the California Science Center were just the beginning of great projects in the new century.
Morley Builders prides itself on a diverse project mix, which was instrumental in weathering the economic downturn of the first decade of the 21st century. In 2013, the Morley family faced another greater challenge, the tragic loss of Mark Benjamin, President and CEO.
The integrity of the Morley Builders family provided the solid foundation for continued success. A buy-sell agreement and succession plan allowed for a structured transition to 100% employee ownership. Morley banking and surety relationships remain solid, and the company maintains a bonding capacity in excess of $850 million.
Today, Charles Muttillo, a nearly 40-year veteran of the firm, guides Morley’s Leadership Team. The management team’s experience, capabilities, and wisdom lead our innovative and entrepreneurial staff to build the quality projects for which we are known.
The ideals of collaboration, innovation, and trust remain firm, and the uncompromising integrity of Morley employee-owners provides the foundation for future growth and success.