Andrea McLendon, Guest Writer
Going to work each day at Barron Collier Companies brings opportunities for professional and personal growth. By offering robust programming from a variety of departments and committees, team members feel appreciated and empowered to chart their path of success.
Jamie Thompson, director of human resources, oversees the company’s large employee base of over 180 members including those from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. “We are a diverse group of professionals and our talent development and employee satisfaction programs are created with that diversity in mind. We want to engage everyone to ensure they are thriving to the best of their ability.” Thompson developed new benefits programs including Veterans Day Off for those who served in the military, telemedicine access for 24/7 healthcare convenience, and Volunteer Time Off giving employees three 8-hour paid days per year that can be utilized to volunteer time with a chosen philanthropy or non-profit.
Trish Akers, accounts payable manager, explains, “I love the fact that our company allows us to give back to the community when the community needs us. I volunteer quarterly for the VFW Auxiliary Post #7721 to help audit their books for the quarter. Being able to assist in the audits on a weekday at the post makes it easier on the other board members as most of them are retired and meet during the week. I love giving back to our Veterans who have given so much to us!
Programs extend the fun and camaraderie too. Erica Fish, marketing communications specialist, introduced “social grams” through her involvement on the social committee. During the holidays or other selected recognition days throughout the year, team members select from a list of different themed gifts for $1, $3, or $5 and have them delivered to other employees as a “thank you” or “great job!” The monies collected benefit a different local charity each holiday.
“Initiating social grams was a way to connect staff through a ‘Thinking of You’ gesture. A little pick me up during the workday is always appreciated when knowing a team member thought of you and wanted to gift a little something special,” states Fish. “I appreciate working for a company that supports a group’s efforts in organizing staff get-togethers and small acts of kindness… I’ve for sure enjoyed it when coming up with different gram ideas and treats.”
Even casual meetups like Popcorn Wednesday, organized by human resources department and facilitated by the social committee, where team members from all departments gather in a main office break room for quick chat, tasty popcorn, and a pause from the daily workload foster natural camaraderie. “I appreciate the opportunity to get to know my fellow team members and what hobbies and interests they have,” comments Michelle Mambuca, marketing manager for the master-planned development Ave Maria. “Sharing stories of kids birthdays and family vacations makes me feel connected to everyone.”
The connected culture spills over to initiatives outside the office, and often organized organically by employees themselves. Ashley McNamara, human resources payroll manager, adds that she was never prouder of her company than after Hurricane Ian in 2022 when several employees’ homes and lives were traumatically impacted overnight. “The quick action and incredible generosity of our team members- without asking- is the best example of the real family this organization is to all of us. Their natural desire to help one another is a testament to the legacy of Barron G. Collier and the Collier family.”