Honorable People Help Honorable Organization

Sellen Color logoBob McCleskey, CEO of Sellen Construction has raised $50,000 so far from the building industry in the Seattle area to honor one of their fallen. Here is the letter Bob sent to his colleagues:

I need to ask you a favor. I very rarely reach out to my peers in the industry for anything, but this time it’s a good cause AND it has a very important connection to our business.

My first and most important job as CEO at Sellen is to make sure that everyone gets back to their families safely every day. Our vision at Sellen is to be the safest builder in the industry, period. We devote a tremendous amount of resources toward achieving that vision. The worst nightmare for any company leader is getting “the call” that in spite of all our efforts something tragic has happened. Unfortunately I got that call a few weeks ago – Jason Vanlandingham, a 38 year old father of three, died while working for a subcontractor on one of our projects.

Every time I hear about a serious injury or death in our business I pause and reflect on the dangers inherent in our industry and I pray to God that we could somehow eliminate all accidents. But as hard as we try we sometimes fail. And when a co-worker of ours doesn’t come home the effect on their family is difficult to comprehend.

That’s where my request comes in. For the past six years I have been helping raise funds for an organization called Safe Crossings Foundation. They work to provide grief counseling, including summer camps, for kids who have lost a loved one. I can tell you firsthand that their work turns lives around. I know one young man who shared with me that he harbored serious thoughts of suicide after losing his father, until he attended Camp Erin, and now he’s raising money himself to help send other kids to camp. I know more than a few friends and associates who have found the need for Safe Crossings in their own families. The services are highly effective and they’re free.

Now for the ask. I am trying to put together a $50,000 table (or two!) of industry leaders for the Safe Crossings luncheon on October 31st. That’s ten (or twenty) of us at $5,000 each. I know that’s a lot and I know that you and your company get asked every week to support one good cause or another. But this is different. It’s a way to honor a fellow worker in our small industry, and it’s a tangible way to positively impact those young people whose lives have been turned upside down by the loss of a loved one.

I hope you will consider this request thoughtfully. It’s very important to me personally and to the work that we all do. If the October 31st luncheon date doesn’t work for you I’m OK with just your check, but my first choice is to have you there with me and with other industry leaders. You will come away knowing that your investment is in good hands and that it is an important gesture that acknowledges the dangerous work we do every day.

Here is the link to the Safe Crossings Foundation website. http://www.safecrossingsfoundation.org

I’ll call you soon to talk about this and to answer any questions.



Bob McCleskey, CEO

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