Erica Fish, Marketing Communications Specialist
Since Hurricane Ian hit the southern west coast of Florida, Barron Collier Companies staff have been working tirelessly helping team members after their homes were devastated by the historic storm. From clearing debris, providing hot meals, restoring home interiors and washing loads of salvaged clothes, coworkers have been striving to repair friends’ weakened spirits during this time of recovery.
Accountant Jessica DiGiorgio and her family live close to the Imperial River in Bonita Springs where their home took on a great deal of water, soiling everything that was inside. Her coworker, Danielle Guisto, did not hesitate gathering the family’s clothing and taking it all home to wash. “For me, it was imperative for my coworkers to not feel alone in this disaster. It was heartwarming to see so many jump into action and offer a helping hand to those in need,” said Guisto. Others came with tools and began knocking down dry wall, cleaning the mud out of the home and taking time drying important documents and photos.
“My family and I witnessed an outpouring of love and assistance from my BCC coworkers and their loved ones. We will never be able to fully express our thankfulness from the genuine kindness and concern we received. BCC has been with us every step of the way,” DiGiorgio said. BCC commercial real estate executive Kelly Kennedy lives near DiGiorgio and experienced substantial flooding and interior damage. It wasn’t long before the BCC team, their families and friends helped demolish, clean and begin to rebuild the Kennedy’s home. “There are not enough words to express our deep gratitude,” Kennedy said.
Human Resources Director Jamie Thompson and her husband lost both their vehicles, with their home completely submerged by the storm surge, and they too, experienced the same outpouring of help from the BCC team and their families as crews of helpers cleared out storm waste and knocked away the water-damaged interior. HR team member Ashley McNamara, organized calls to action, notifying everyone’s personal phones about where to meet and what was currently needed for others. This 24/7 open line of communication allowed everyone to stay connected when power was down and notify when they needed help. Within the first twenty-four hours after the hurricane rattled Naples, BCC Senior Vice President Tom Jones, who oversees gas operations for the company, coordinated with McNamara and supplied staff with gas and generators. The first day offices resumed operations, Collier Family Farms hand delivered fresh fruits, non-perishable snacks and cases of water to employees.
“As someone who recruits candidates for our company, I always express to them our culture is that of family, and after this disaster in Collier County, I have first-hand proof of just how dedicated our family is here at BCC,” said Thompson.
Although a great deal of devastation has impacted many, staff efforts have created big impacts. Big hearts truly have the ability to produce the greatest of gestures, showing how one selfless act can create a ripple of many more influencing the better change for many.