Story #9: 35 Stories for 35 Years

Guest Contributor: Mario Valle, Senior Relationship Manager

At PBS Contractors, our company purpose statement is that we “Build Better Lives, for Our Team, Our Clients, and Our Community”. Over our 35-year history, PBS Contractors has always been connected to our community by providing construction services to many diverse non-profits. Russell Budd, our Founder and CEO, believes in giving back to those who are less fortunate. In my fifteen years with PBS Contractors, I have been lucky to have been involved in many of these nonprofit construction projects.

When the families of disabled children who attended Corkscrew Middle School needed a playground that could accommodate their needs, PBS Contractors provided the Project Management and Field Supervision for the installation of a “Boundless Playground” where everyone including kids in wheelchairs could play and ride the slide.

Because Russell believes in community involvement, we have been involved in many construction projects for local non-profits: All eight (8) transitional living “Cottages” for the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, the forever homes for the Community Foundation of Collier County and the United Way of Collier County and the Keys, a group home for adult ladies with developmental disabilities for Protected Harbor, the Chapel Renovation at Grace Place for Children and Families in Golden Gate, the Holocaust Museum and Cohen Educational Center of SW FL.  Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs’ 33,000 sq ft. state-of-the-art training facility is currently under construction.

Our most recently completed non-profit project was born out of a professional relationship 17 years in the making. I met Susan McManus, President & CEO of Champions For Learning,  when we went through Leadership Collier together in 2004. During that year, I learned that Susan has a drive and a passion for education and educators. In 2008, Susan asked me to join a sub-committee for a project called “Connect Now” it was a project that changed the direction and conversation around education in Collier County. It still is one of the proudest things I’ve had the honor of participating in. You see, Champions For Learning is Collier County’s conscience on Education. By providing college scholarships to students in need, bringing together early childhood education providers, and grants to educators, they positively impact the lives of so many who might otherwise not have those possibilities.  In 2017, PBS Contractors was selected to completely renovate the lobby for Champions For Learning transforming an old office into a warm, inviting space to receive students, families, and donors.

So, when Champions For Learning received a gift from Frank and Ellen Daveler to create the “Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning” Susan reached out again to me and asked if we could take this project on as a Community Service Project. Without hesitation, we said yes! It has been a pleasure working with Susan and her professional staff as we worked together to transform a former tile showroom into a collaborative space where students, educators, and mentors can gather to innovate. We were able to remodel her space even while they still occupied a majority of the office locations.

During the demolition ceremony in February 2021

As a child of immigrant parents who did not know how to navigate the college experience, I know firsthand the importance of the work Champions For Learning does.

As we celebrate the grand opening of this life-changing space, we are proud to continue “Building Better Lives for our Community”