This month marks 89 years in business for Vogel Bros. Building Co., a fifth- generation construction services firm with offices in Madison, Wis., and Lakeland, Fla. 

The firm’s mission statement says it all: “to continually improve our services in order to enhance the lives of the people in the communities we serve.”

In other words, giving back to the community isn’t something Vogel Bros. does in addition to its core services—it is part of its core services.

The company builds hospitals because babies need state-of-the-art places to be born, schools because students need engaging places to learn and water treatment plants because residents need safe water to drink. In the same vein, it invests in community organizations because underserved populations deserve support and a better future. 

“Vogel Bros. has a longstanding tradition of giving back to the communities we serve through in-kind services, monetary donations, and participation on non-profit boards and committees,” says President and CEO Peter Vogel. “These efforts are part of our DNA.” 

Vogel Bros.’ team of 45 office staff members and more than 100 craft professionals shares these community values; typically all it takes is a simple request to get employees involved in volunteer opportunities. 

This year, the Wisconsin office ramped up its 67-year tradition of fundraising for the United Way of Dane County by organizing a go-karting event. Ten employees volunteered to race and then had to solicit $5 sponsorships from their colleagues. The more sponsorships received, the better the racer’s track position. Bets were taken right up until the race began. More than 55 employees provided sponsorships, raising $1,250 for the United Way of Dane County—and that was in addition to the employee pledges and matching company contribution garnered through the workplace campaign.

The Florida office also supports the United Way through its Day of Caring event, recently partnering with the Achievement Academy, which serves children with developmental delays and disabilities. 

During the community service workday, Vogel Bros. team members diverted flow from rain gutters away from an area where a memorial garden was planned. 

“It was with energy and enthusiasm that our team members shared their experience and abilities with the Achievement Academy, even when challenges in the field were exposed,” says Marketing Manager Heather Manke. “The efforts of the Vogel Bros. team have had a huge impact on the campus and the enjoyment of the students.”

One program especially close to Chairman of the Board David Vogel’s heart is School Supplies for Kids, a fundraising effort he created 24 years ago to give the economically disadvantaged children in Dane County, Wis., access to the tools their education requires. 

He started out by helping just one neighborhood, and today the program serves all Dane County school districts and is supported through community partnerships and the generous financial donations of area businesses, foundations, organizations and individuals.

This year, $55,000 worth of supplies was given to 21,364 economically disadvantaged students in 141 public schools across the county. Volunteers sorted, re-packaged and delivered thousands of pens, pencils, crayons, folders, notebooks, binders and other basic supplies to the schools during the course of six days.

“Vogel Bros.’ values and beliefs go back to our founding fathers and their Judeo/Christian heritage. They were immigrants who came here with little or nothing. Their faith gave them the incentive to help those less fortunate and they set the example for their children and employees to follow,” David Vogel says. 

“We remain a company committed to that inheritance in a country that also lives by a belief in helping others.” 

Joanna Masterson is senior editor of Construction Executive. For more information, email masterson@abc.org, visit constructionexec.com or follow @ConstructionMag.

School Supplies for Kids
schoolsuppliesforkids.org
Established in 1993, School Supplies For Kids serves economically disadvantaged students at more than 140 public schools in Dane County, Wis. One hundred percent of every dollar donated goes directly toward the purchase of school supplies.