With 10 office locations, Manhattan Construction Company is leaving its mark across the country, but the firm’s legacy isn’t limited to the projects being built. It extends to the communities where Manhattan employees live, work and give back.

The Heroes Project is an organization founded in 2009 that rehabilitates wounded military veterans and soldiers through programs such as “Climb for Heroes,” which helps injured military personnel conquer the challenge of climbing some of the highest summits in the world. To support this cause, Manhattan’s Washington, D.C., office took on a challenge of its own. Twenty Manhattan employees, as well as employees from other companies working with them on a federal construction project, took on the “Maryland Challenge,” a 41-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail that must be completed in less than 24 hours.

The hike stemmed from Manhattan Safety Manager and veteran Brandon Batt, who had wanted to complete the challenge since he was a kid. After speaking with a fellow outdoorsman and colleague about attempting the hike together, the conversation led to an idea about turning it into a fundraiser. 

“I simply thought, ‘Why not make this an event and do it in the name of those who deserve it?’” Batt says.

After hitting the trail at 4 a.m. and spending the whole day hiking and being cheered on by coworkers, family and friends, 10 hikers beat the challenge—finishing all 41 miles by 1:30 a.m. Altogether, the team raised more than $5,200 for The Heroes Project.

“It was very intense. The first 10 miles are uphill and it’s very rocky,” says Manhattan Marketing Manager Corinn Bovi. “But it was a great experience and challenge. Sharing this with my coworkers allowed me to see a different side of them and helped us build better relationships.”

Manhattan supported the employees who embarked on the adventure both financially and emotionally—providing rides to and from the trail, hotel rooms at the start and end of the hike, food along the way, and signs to encourage them to keep going.

“Manhattan, and especially those from my division, did more than just support a cause; they embraced it,” Batt says. “Any company can pitch money toward a good cause. The folks at Manhattan went beyond that, as I knew they would. Manhattan is a company full of real patriots. It’s inspiring.” 

That community spirit was in full force more than 1,000 miles away as well, where Project Superintendent Greg Shaw led a team of 12 members of Manhattan’s Tulsa office in the Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Manhattan ended up being one of the top 10 corporate donors, raising more than $5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We’re really lucky here at Manhattan,” Shaw says. “I’ve always had the support of the company, and that makes a huge difference.”  


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