As impressive as the body of work Charles Perry Partners, Inc. has delivered since its founding in 1968, what is equally notable is the volunteer work and financial support the prominent construction firm has provided throughout the years to organizations and charities located in Gainesville and throughout Florida.
From its Gainesville headquarters, CPPI can boast to having built a long-running and diverse collection of altruistic partnerships with numerous local and statewide non-profit and charity groups. In this case, ‘numerous’ equals a remarkable 70-plus organizations that range from Ronald McDonald House and Gainesville Community Ministry, to the Florida School for The Deaf & The Blind, American Cancer Society and the United Way.
“It’s very much a part of our culture as a corporate citizen that we do stay involved with community organizations,” said John Carlson, CEO of CPPI. “And whether it’s volunteer organizations, or charity organizations, it’s a commitment of personal time and dollars from the corporate level, and, I will say, it’s something we expect from our employees.”
Right alongside the renovations, expansions and new design-build projects CPPI embarks on each year are the many charities the company will dedicate its time, resources and monetary support to – staying ever true to the vision of its founder, Charles R. “Chuck” Perry, who believed strongly in giving back to local communities.
In 2012 alone, CPPI has worked with the March of Dimes, Reeling for Kids, Will Muschamp Scramble for Kids, Children’s Miracle Network, Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, Shands Children’s Hospital and the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County—to name just a few located in Gainesville.
As for how CPPI decides which organization to work with, be it a longtime partner, or newly founded charity group in search of support, Carlson explained there is no scientific method.
“We try to touch things that in turn touch the most people,” he said.
It is from this fundamental ideal that CPPI develops its capacity for assistance, pinpointing segments of the community in need—education, health care, community service and professional organizations, among others.
“We sort it out that way initially,” Carlson said, “and then we try to do things in all of those areas.”
The spirit of giving back at CPPI is built upon the legacy of its founder, ‘Chuck Perry,’ a man dedicated to his local community involvement. The Boy Scouts of America and the American Heart Association are two of many organizations Perry felt strongly about supporting. These types of philanthropic relationships endure at CPPI because, as Carlson put it, “they were important to Mr. Perry.”
Managing the company’s busy calendar of community involvement is Corie Patton, CPPI’s events coordinator.
Working with Carlson and the three other CPPI principals – Breck A. Weingart, chairman of the board; Domenic E. Scorpio, president; Brian K. Leslie, executive vice president –, Patton devises a schedule of nonprofit and charity events, fundraisers, parties and volunteering.
“Since Mr. P was around, he was a huge advocate of donating and giving back to the community that he serves,” Patton said. “And that is something the principals are extremely plugged into… and they really do believe in that, which is great to see.”
And though detailed planning goes into mapping out the year for CPPI’s involvement with various charity organizations, often times the calendar gets thrown a curveball with an event that needs quick attention.
As with any of the charity opportunities, Patton says if it’s something the principals feel passionately about, they discuss it amongst themselves and find a level to get involved. “And we do get involved,” Patton said.
“When you see them donating their time and resources, it sparks you a little bit to do the same and give back,” she explained. “There is a lot of giving that can be done, not just in Gainesville, but also other communities—and there are a lot here in Gainesville that many people might not be aware of.”
The call for staff involvement runs deeper than a few fliers pinned to a break room message board, it’s an expectation of participation that, according to Carlson, is included in the evaluation of the employees.
“And that means any and all employees,” he added.
As Carlson looks ahead to CPPI’s charitable endeavors for 2013, the prevailing theme will be that of company participation – “100 percent participation,” as Carlson put it.
“It’s an all-in, all-hands-on-deck approach to doing this,” Carlson said. “Everybody ought to be doing something.”
A statement Charles R. “Chuck” Perry would certainly appreciate.