Ralph Compagno was born and raised in New Orleans, LA.
He joined the Naval Reserve in 1943, and was activated and sent to Tulane University as a part of the V-12 Program. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering; thence to Midshipman School whereby he was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy.
After a short tour of duty, he was released and began working for various construction firms in the Louisiana and Mississippi area.
Ralph was recalled to active duty in 1952-54 and assigned to CBC Gulfport, Mississippi as Assistant Public Works Officer and Assistant Resident Officer in charge of Construction. Prior to, and during this time, the Navy sent him to CBC Port Hueneme, California for additional education in “Contract Administration and Labor Relations”.
After completing twenty years of service, he retired as LCDR CEC USNR.
During the foregoing period, he met M.C. Farmer and upon his release from active duty was employed by Farmer Construction Co., Inc.
With the beginning of the Interstate Highway Program in Mobile, M.C. Farmer, J.W. Laidlaw and Ralph formed FLACO Corporation. Flaco completed work on I-65, I-10, I-65/10 Interchange, Dauphin Island Parkway/Michigan Ave. I-10 Interchange and other heavy construction projects in the area. The corporation was terminated after 20 years of activity.
Ralph was not willing to retire at this time; he accepted a position with Radcliff Materials, Inc., which later became a part of Dravo.
During this time Ralph served in various leadership roles as follows:
Mobile County Road Builders Association (President 1963-1965) (Founder)
Alabama Road Builders Association President 1972
Society of American Military Engineers (President Mobile Post 1966)
Rotary Club of Mobile (1970)
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Elected to the Vestry (1967-70 and 1974-77)
Junior Warden (1968), Senior Warden (1969-70)
Chairman of the Building Committee (1976-80)
Protestant of Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast First Treasurer,
Incorporator and Finance Committee Chairman (1971-75) Diocese Finance
American Road and Transportation Builders Association (Director Contractor’s
American Society of Civil Engineers (Fellow Member 1977)
Alabama Section Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Chairman Road and Streets Committee (1977-79, 1983-85)
Chairman of Cochrane Bridge Special Task Force Committee (1978-85) International Trade Club.
State Licensing Board for General Contractors, Montgomery, AL, Secretary-
Treasurer (1983-93) by George C. Wallace
Governor’s Advisory Committee on I-210, Mobile, AL Design Competition
(1984-85) by George C. Wallace, Governor Committee Member Representing Industry on Governor Guy Hunt’s Alabama Management Improvement Program of the Alabama Highway Dept. (1987)