M. David Giardino, 81, died Nov. 27, 2013, in Naples Fla. His wife and daughter were by his side.
Mr. Giardino was born Dec. 3, 1931, in Jersey City N.J., and raised in Williston Park and Manhasset, N.Y. He attended the New Hampton School in New Hampshire where he graduated salutatorian in 1949. He went on to matriculate at Princeton University, receiving his BSCE degree in civil engineering in 1953.
Following graduation from Princeton, Mr. Giardino reported for training at the U.S. Naval Base in Newport, R.I., where he received a commission as ensign in the Civil Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy. He served five years active duty in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Stockton, Calif., during the Korean Conflict years he held one of the highest security clearances given during that time.
Upon his return to the east coast in 1958, Mr. Giardino began a varied career as a business entrepreneur. He joined HJ Zoubek Company, which he eventually purchased in 1962 and renamed Equipco Sales and Rental Corp. The firm grew from a light equipment distributor to become one of the most significant heavy equipment/crane distributors in New Jersey/New York metro market. His future son-in-law, James Mackinson joined Equipco in 1981 followed by his daughter soon thereafter. Mr. Giardino became chairman in the late 1980s.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Giardino started and eventually sold a company that manufactured concrete pumping equipment. He shared several patents for equipment used to pump concrete and grout. During the early 1970s, he entered into the machinery export business with dealings in England, Belgium, South America, the Mid-East and Africa as well as the Pacific rim.
Mr. Giardino and his wife traveled the world extensively in connection with this enterprise during that period. His love of travel eventually led him to introduce his grandchildren to the world, bringing each in turn on the trip of their choice across the globe.
Mr. Giardino served his industry in numerous capacities, including as president of the New Jersey Equipment Distributors Association and eventually as board member and in 1988 president of the National Association of Equipment Distributors (AED). He was chair of the N.J. Product Liability Task Force, testifying before Congress on product liability matters.
For several years, Mr. Giardino served as a board member of the N.J. Alliance for Action. During the mid-1960s he became interested in real-estate development and first managed and later developed a series of projects including apartments, office buildings, industrial buildings and small commercial structures. Along with his son, he developed several well know properties in Princeton N.J. — Brooks Bend and Governors Lane.
Mr. Giardino and his wife, Lorraine, were founding members of Parents Against Drug Abuse (PADA) in Summit, N.J., where the couple lived for nearly 30 years before returning to Princeton, N.J. He was a life member of the New York Athletic Club and held memberships in a number of other clubs over the years including Springdale Golf Club, The Nassau Club and Fairmont Country Club.
Mr. Giardino enjoyed playing golf and tennis, as well as performance driving. He was an avid collector of wine, establishing an extensive cellar, and was a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs. In later years, he served on various advisory boards in the construction equipment distribution industry, as a member of the policy board of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and on the board of The New Hampton School.
Mr. Giardino is survived by Lorraine Bell, his wife of 64 years. Also surviving are his two children and their spouses: Michael and Laura; Leslie and Jim; a daughter-in-law, Sandy; and six grandchildren: Margaux, James, Alexandra, Daniel, Dave and Margaret; and his sister Stephanie.
A memorial service was held Dec. 14 at the Niles Chapel, Nassau Central Presbyterian, Princeton N.J.