About Us

Sessler History

Quality, Integrity, Honesty

We are celebrating our 58th anniversary – A 58 year tradition of delivering quality work set forth by our founders, Vern and Barb Sessler. It all began with a pink backhoe and a dream. L. M. Sessler Excavating was formed in 1958 by Vern and Barb Sessler, both 19 years old, built on the principles of quality, fairness and honesty. A used 1952 Ford 8-N tractor with a loader and backhoe was the only equipment owned by Vern and Barb. To draw attention to the new business, the unit was painted pink with black lettering. To help subsidize the newly formed business, Vern and Barb both held full time outside jobs.

Today, Sessler Wrecking continues to “make good things happen.” L. M. Sessler Excavating & Wrecking Inc. is one of the top demolition companies in the northeast. In 2012 the company became a Woman Owned Business with Jane Shaffer becoming the family businesses second President, succeeding her father LaVerne Sessler Sr. “Our parents’ business principles have served us well,” said Vern Jr. “They taught us about quality and service – Do the job right. Never cut corners and always do your best.”

The main function of the business through the mid-60’s was installing septic tanks, leach fields, sewers, waterlines, and digging cellars, swimming pools, etc. By the end of the 60’s, the company employed about five men and had started to focus on building demolition. It started small, demolishing garages and houses, then commercial and industrial buildings. Federally funded urban renewal projects (demolishing old downtowns) kept the company busy in Newark, Geneva, Penn Yan, Rochester, Syracuse and other communities.

In 1970, Sessler relocated from Virginia Street to Sessler Industrial Park, which included the company offices and shop on the Waterloo-Geneva Road, now Seneca-Cayuga ARC. In 1972 a flood caused by Hurricane Agnes devastated the Southern Tier, and Sessler was one of the first demolition companies to start clean up in Corning, NY. Another large project during that period was demolishing the Franklin Motor Car Factory in Syracuse. This building was imploded by C. D. I. In 1975, the company was incorporated as L. M. Sessler Excavating & Wrecking, Inc. Sessler Trucking (1975) and Sessler Metal Fabricators (1976) were also formed and became part of the Sessler Companies.

The late 1970s and early 80’s saw a change in the structure of the company as all of Barb and Vern’s children, Jane, Craig, Vern, Jr. and Jane’s husband, Chris Shaffer, joined the company. The demolition and environmental services business continued to expand and diversify. The company was proud to have corporations such as Corning Glass, Kodak, Bristol Myers, NYSEG, Goulds Pumps, P&C, Wegman’s and others as its regular clients. The American LaFrance Fire Engine Factory demolition (1981) was one of the largest projects during that period.

The 80’s saw Sessler Wrecking and their environmental services continue to grow. Always willing to take on unique and challenging projects that some other companies shyed away from, Sessler Wrecking stayed on the leading edge of technology. With the purchase of one of the largest excavator mounted shears in Upstate New York at that time, it focused primarily on bridge and large industrial demolition projects. In 1986, Sessler Wrecking built a new headquarters complex on Route 96, Waterloo NY which included their offices and maintenance facilities.

Through the 90’s the company became the largest volume bridge demolition contractor in New York State. “The core of our business continues to be the wrecking business,” said Craig Sessler. “Being in a specialty business, we looked for opportunities and went where they were, expanding our business throughout the Northeast.”

In the 1990s, the company worked with the NYS DOT to pilot test methods to address lead issues in demolition. Their efforts led to changes in state regulations for lead. Accepting new challenges sometimes called for innovative solutions. In 1999, Craig and Vern Jr invented and patented wing trailers and overhang brackets, allowing traffic to flow smoothly and safely underneath while overhead bridges are demolished.

In 1997, with the untimely passing of Barbara Sessler, the ownership structure of the family business changed. Jane Shaffer, Craig Sessler and LaVerne Sessler Jr. became owners and Directors of the family business.

One of the company’s more unusual projects began in the late 1990s when the bridge demolition company was asked to help save an historic bridge. On a frigid January day, the firm pulled the collapsed Aldrich Change Bridge from icy creek waters in Macedon, Wayne County, starting what was called “the most significant bridge restoration project in the country” at the time.

The millennium welcomed the third generation. Craig’s sons Daniel, Brian, Jeff and Kevin Sessler joined the family business.

Founder LaVerne Sessler Sr. passed away in 2005 and the ownership once again changed with Jane Shaffer, Craig Sessler and LaVerne Sessler Jr. becoming the sole owners of the family business.

In 2006, the Sessler Company built its new corporate office on Route 96 and in 2008, its new nine-bay maintenance facility.

In 2009 the firm was involved in its largest project to date, the emergency demolition and removal of the Lake Champlain Bridge. In 2010 Hurricane Irene hit the Northeast and brought another emergency cleanup project to the firm. Other top projects were the implosion of the St. Anne’s structure in Rochester, NY and work at the Genesee Brewing Company. New Jersey provided additional bridge demolition projects that further expanded the area in which Sessler Wrecking works. The Q Bridge in CT was another highlight in the many projects Sessler Wrecking performed throughout the northeast.

In 2012, L. M. Sessler Excavating & Wrecking became a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with Jane Shaffer appointed President of L. M. Sessler Excavating & Wrecking Inc. “This is an important and exciting change for our firm and I am committed to continuing the same values and traditions as they have been passed down to me by my parents, Vern and Barb Sessler.” said Jane Shaffer, the company’s newly appointed President. She succeeds her father, the first president of their family firm.

Employees gather regularly in the company’s training room for instruction that allows them to keep on the leading edge of industry developments. They are haz-woper, asbestos, lead and OSHA trained. The company’s safety record is one of the best in the industry. “Much of our success is due in a large measure to our highly skilled and trained employees,” Jane Shaffer said. Many employees have been with the company for more than 20 years.

The company, known for its blue and yellow colors, is continuing to “go green.” Careful stewards of the environment; the company recycles 90 percent of the debris from its demolition projects, diverting thousands of tons from area landfills. Concrete is crushed for sub base material for new construction and metals are recovered and reprocessed. Equipment is up to date and state of the art, reducing fuel costs and emissions. “We provide a turn-key solution, from engineering, environmental cleanup, demolition, grading and seeding, to final cleanup, leaving the site in pristine condition,” Vern Jr explained.

Sessler Wrecking has received many industry awards for safety and quality from major corporations and customers for the company’s attention to detail and safety. Sessler Wrecking has been recognized as one of the Top 20 demolition firms in the United States by “Engineering News Record”; Honored as Business of the Year by the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, continually recognized as one of the Top 3 Specialty Contractors in the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT) in addition to being one of the Nation’s Top 600 Demolition Contractors.

L. M. Sessler Excavating & Wrecking, Inc., (Sessler Wrecking) is a NY, NJ, PA, and VT WBE certified firm with additional WBE certification through the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) a third party certifier for municipal and private industry. Sessler Wrecking is a SBE (Small Business Enterprise) firm performing work under NAICS Code 238910. “As we look forward, we will continually strive to be the best that we can be and to be the demolition firm of choice.” Said Jane Shaffer, Company President.