Joseph E. Pignataro is an active devoloper and housing rehabilitator in the District who is serving as president of the newly revived D.C. Builders Association. During the tenures of Pignataro and his predecessor, Joseph Horning, the District builder group has broadened its membership and its activity within the city.

A native of Italy who came here when he was five, Pignataro learned carpentry from his father and got a civil engineering degree from George Washington University. From 1954 to 1960 he was with the Harrison Construction Co. in Laurel, rising to vice president. His projects included houses in the District and Maryland and some apartments.

From 1960 to 1964, Pignataro was self-employed in residential construction. His largest project was the 180-unit Lakeview high-rise in Bethesda.

During the next five years, the dimple-chinned builder was vice president for construction with MBD, doing town houses, apartments and a shopping center. In 1970, Pignataro was ready to do his own thing again. He has been building single-family houses and rental units in Aspen Hill and semi-detached dwellings in Northeast. In addition, he has rehabilitated some 50 rowhouses in various parts of the city. Right not he's in the 900-block of French Street NW.

Pignataro, who likes to indulge in Italian dialect stories, lives with his wife and children in the Fairland area of Silver Spring but he's a salesman for the city.