For the past 15 years, Sundt Construction, Inc., a 100 percent employee-owned company headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., has been awarding grants and sponsoring volunteer events through the Sundt Foundation. There are more than 500 members of the foundation, whose grants exceeded $500,000 in 2013 alone—illustrating that helping others is not just a small piece of Sundt, but rather an integral part of its culture.

“I wanted to create a place where Sundt employees and the corporation could work collaboratively to help those in our community that are far less fortunate than we are,” says J. Doug Pruitt, founder of the Sundt Foundation and former CEO and chairman of Sundt Construction. “The more we have participated in the community and given back to the community, the more we have improved Sundt’s bottom line.”

Participating employees volunteer for community service events and can choose to have $2 per week deducted from payroll to go toward the foundation. The funds are collected at each branch office and are matched by the corporation. Each office chooses local organizations to support, which are approved by the foundation to ensure alignment with its guidelines of making a meaningful impact on the lives of disadvantaged children and adults.

In one quarter last year, the foundation awarded 57 different grants totaling more than $100,000 to support causes such as the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children (San Antonio), and the Veteran Career Assistance Foundation and Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (both in Phoenix).

In addition, the Sundt Foundation sponsors events throughout the year that spur employee involvement—playing in golf tournaments, volunteering labor and equipment during Habitat for Humanity events, and assembling more than 100 bikes for children in foster care.

In 2001, the Sundt Foundation started an annual tri-state golf tournament that funds ALS research (via the Muscular Dystrophy Association) in memory of Mike Gaines, a former employee. Members of the construction community, including subcontractors, vendors, suppliers and clients, have come together to help Sundt raise more than $600,000 for this special cause. Golf tournaments already have been held this spring in Phoenix, Tucson, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif. Two more events will occur June 13 in San Diego and Oct. 10 in San Antonio. 


Donna Puglisi is public relations manager of Associated Builders and Contractors. For more information, email puglisi@abc.org or visit www.abc.org.