Integrity, accountability, teamwork, innovation and growth are the five values Power Design, Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., instills in its more than 600 employees. In 2008, the electrical contractor established a company-wide initiative called Project V5 to help put those values into action in the community.

Project V5 is a unique charitable program in which proceeds from the scrap metal collected on Power Design’s jobsites are deposited into an accumulating fund. The money is allocated throughout the year to nonprofit organizations selected by employees who submit a request for funding to support a local or national cause they are passionate about. Through Project V5, the company and its employees donate time and money to five to 10 different organizations per month and one volunteer event per quarter.

“Our culture has always been one of camaraderie and teamwork, so when Power Design and its employees support a community charity, it reinforces our culture,” says CFO Dana Permuy.

Since 2008, Project V5 has raised more than $600,000 for charities across the United States, including more than $200,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2010, the company flew a plane of medics to Haiti to assist after the devastating earthquake. And last November, a team of employees, dubbed “The Power Beards,” participated in Movember, a national effort to raise awareness for men’s health. The person who received the most votes for the best beard won an additional $500 toward his charity.

“As our early efforts began to spread, the customers we work with took notice,” says Power Design Marketing Specialist Rachel Podos. “Partnerships with general contractors and community organizations started to develop. If there was a cause they were involved in, Power Design would offer support by providing funds or volunteers.”

One of the most recent sponsorships was Crossing for a Cure, which supported a paddle boarding trip from Bimini in the Bahamas to West Palm Beach, Fla., to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The company also recently paired up with Construction Angels, which raises funds for families suffering from the loss of a loved one due to a construction-related fatality, and plans to stay involved in the group.

Power Design introduces employees to Project V5 during the onboarding process and encourages them to get involved by reminding them to submit a donation request and asking for volunteers for events.

Recently, Power Design held an employee appreciation day—complete with food trucks and a carnival—during which employees nominated their favorite charities and played games to win points in honor of their organization. As a result, Power Design donated $10,000 to six charities.

To show their employees appreciation for getting involved, Power Design’s Answering the Call for Excellence (ACE) Awards program inspires team members and management to hold each other accountable for upholding the company values by allowing them to nominate coworkers who have participated in Project V5.

“It’s very rewarding to see the difference we have made in families and communities across the United States, and the increased sense of purpose it gives our employees,” says Lauren Permuy, vice president of business development. “I am very proud of the emphasis Power Design’s ownership has put on giving back and even more proud to see so many of our employees participating.”


Donna Puglisi is public relations manager for Associated Builders and Contractors. For more information, email puglisi@abc.org or visit www.abc.org/en-us/abc/abccares.