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Haralambos at the ground breaking of the Berry Lane Skatepark in Jersey City, NJ. The project was a collaboration between the Tony Hawk Foundation and the City of Jersey City. Haralambos’ company was awarded the contract for the construction, and it was completed in August of 2020.
Most entrepreneurs begin their journey when they realize that they want to pursue their passion later in life. Occasionally, some entrepreneurs reveal they have been passionate about business from a young age. Haralambos Tsivicos began molding his vision for his future as a boy, and today he says he still has not lost sight of it. He believes his trials and tribulations as a young child, in conjunction with his vision, set him on the pathway to where he is today.
Born in Long Branch, New Jersey, Haralambos Tsivicos started incubating at a very young age. In the midst of the Beanie Baby craze of the ’90s, he set up an eBay account when he was only 9 years old. The account would prove to be the start of his entrepreneurial journey as Haralambos began to reap the benefits of the Beanie Baby Craze. He would sell his collection online and to local retailers. The success would see Haralambos venture into other fads like Pokemon cards and other limited releases. Eventually, he would find his way into the stock market.
In 2005, Haralambos would delve into Alibaba and develop a supply chain for a variety of products. His import-export business would rapidly grow, even as he entered college. Haralambos took up Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He would eventually transfer to Rutgers University School of Engineering to be closer to home. Haralambos would subsequently graduate with a degree in Applied Science, retaining his focus on Nuclear Engineering and expanding it to Civil & Mechanical engineering.
Haralambos says he was always a dreamer. He remembers taking long rides in the car with his father and spending the time thinking of real-world problems and inventions to solve them. Some of them were outlandish, he says, but others were years ahead of their time. He recalls trying to pitch his father on online movie rentals in 1997 when modems were still at 56 kbps speeds. He doesn’t feel like he lost any opportunity; he says it just validates his vision more.
He would eventually follow through on his dreams to solve problems that matter to people. When he was in college in Madison, WI, he recalls watching the classes change and the thousands of students moving through the doors of a building. He had a eureka moment and envisioned a system that could harvest the mechanical energy of people opening doors in high traffic buildings and convert it into 100% green, emissions-free electricity. Years later, he would be granted two patents for his invention, a system that can be applied to skyscrapers, corporate campuses, and mass transit facilities around the world.
Years after graduating, Haralambos Tsivicos would resurrect Tsivicos Enterprises, a government-specialized contracting company based in Neptune, New Jersey. The company began actively bidding in 2014 and focused on specialty engineering-oriented work, giving them a decisive advantage over competitors in highly competitive markets. Tsivicos Enterprises proliferated. Haralambos began focusing on building things that he found exciting, things that were dear to him. A lifelong BMXer, he studied the construction of skateparks and began pursuing such projects; he also took an interest in all forms of recreation, as well as animal life in zoos and aquariums. He reflects, ”Recreational facilities are really the lifeblood of a community; they make families smile and bring communities together. That’s why I gravitated towards these types of projects, and it’s really gratifying.”
The same year it was founded, Tsivicos Enterprises was awarded a government contract for $123,000 to renovate a swimming pool in Hazlet, NJ. From very humble beginnings, the company would later grow to complete millions of dollars of high-profile projects in the New York and New Jersey area. In 2017 Haralambos was awarded a design-build contract for the Madison Avenue Skatepark in Plainfield, NJ. As part of his contract he was charged with designing signed and sealed engineering and construction drawings in addition to the construction of the entire park. The park was completed ahead of schedule and opened to much excitement in the community on August 1, 2017.
In the midst of the pandemic, Haralambos and his team were working on three projects, and he says it was one of the most challenging times of his life. One of them, started in late 2019, was the Berry Lane Skatepark, one of the largest skateparks ever built in New Jersey. For the project, he collaborated with Jersey City and the Tony Hawk Foundation, which provided a critical grant. Despite the insurmountable challenges that the pandemic brought, the park would open to much fanfare on August 6, 2020. Another project underway during the pandemic was the complete design and construction of a water park in Bridgewater, NJ. When he reflects on the challenges he and his team faced, struggling with deadlines in the heart of the pandemic, he breathes a sigh of relief and says, ”I knew we would succeed, I knew we would finish all of the projects, but it was probably the most challenging thing I have ever done in my entire life.”
Apart from the skatepark projects, Haralambos also designed and built other noteworthy projects throughout the state, completing a great deal of work for the County of Essex, New Jersey. He completed the Weequahic Park renovation in Newark, New Jersey, a contract of over $1.4 million, and the renovation of the famous train station at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. He also completed a vital project on the animal health ward at the NY Aquarium in Coney Island. A project that stands out to Haralambos as one of the most technically challenging projects his company ever completed is the installation of a new Life Support System for the Sea Lion Exhibit at the Turtle Back Zoo. With a final contract amount of $1,389,000, the project was completed in only four months. The existing life support system at the Sea Lion Exhibit was undersized and outdated, and it was producing very poor water quality and required replacement. Tsivicos Enterprises was hired to replace the entire system with a new, high-tech system that would ensure adequate water quality for the sea lions and the animals in the stingray touch tank exhibit.
Haralambos Tsivicos has also delved into other ventures, but he is focused on growing Tsivicos Enterprises to become a force to be reckoned with in the government contracting sector. Tsivicos Enterprises has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the most capable and versatile contractors operating in the tri-state area, having completed some of the most challenging and high-profile projects in the state of New Jersey. He continues to focus on exciting projects that breathe life into local communities. He remarks to us in closing, ”What better way to leave a legacy than to literally cast it in stone, to create a monument to something great that will stay with a community for a generation.”
To learn more about Haralambos Tvicos and Tsivicos Enterprises, you may visit his website.