The Story of a Man’s Career

Photography by Wes Battoclette

There are few areas in Greater Cincinnati that John Sansalone and his team of surveyors and civil engineers haven’t worked on. A surveyor since the mid 1950s, John started the company with his partner, a World War I veteran from Cincinnati, and it was called Bonfield & Sansalone. The company’s name was later changed to Sansalone & Associates, and today John still works at the company from one of his many Cincinnati-based offices.

Tony Sansalone, John’s son and the president of the company today, originally contacted Innerwood about designing, building and installing a custom cabinet piece that would display John’s extensive collection of antique surveying equipment. From there, the project grew into a full-scale renovation project to freshen up the whole office and provide better amenities, including new cabinets in the break room, extra storage and display shelves for John’s office. “The project was much more than a design project,” says Sylvia Rombis, president of the Malton Art Gallery and family friend of the Sansalones. “It was more about creating a space that visually pulled together, honored and symbolized John’s entire career.” 

Innerwood & Company’s Dan Becker headed the project, working with Rombis and Tony to ensure the space was both functional and visually appealing, while still blending well with the rest of the office.

“The whole project was a kind of freshening up of the space,” says Becker. “We cleaned up the break room and added new floors and cabinetry, and extra storage in the bathroom. This office is where John’s worked for years, and his son really wanted to make it nicer for him.” 

But the showpiece of the project is certainly the floor-to ceiling cabinet custom built to hold John’s massive collection of historic surveying pieces – many from the earliest days of America. Rombis and Becker worked together to ensure this display case was both functional and visually appealing while successfully displaying the history that John so treasures.

“It was our concept to gather the instruments in one place and give them more of a museum-like setting,” says Rombis. “From the lighting to the storage to the materials that were used, Innerwood successfully put into three dimensions the ideas we verbally presented to them.” 

Becker and his team worked to meticulously match existing wood trim in the office, as well as custom craft a beautiful display piece that allows John to display his antique transits both on the lighted shelves and fully put together on a tripod. 

“John is still working in this office and tinkering on other jobs he wants to do,” says Becker. “It was important to give him a space that shows off his work and history.” 

The V Collective is located at 21 Whitney Drive, Milford, OH 45150. You can reach them at 513.707.1495 or visit their website at