For three generations, the name Briar has stood for quality, from its construction and paving projects in its early years to becoming the major site-development company it is today. But The Briar Team has always been about more than simply building a successful business – they are determined to help others along the way.
Bobby Good, president of The Briar Team in Sanford, says it was his father, Michael, who taught him the importance of paying it forward.
“Dad always said, ‘Not giving back is not doing your part,’” says Bobby, who bought the 340-employee company from his father in 2018. “He instilled that in me and my sisters at a young age. He sent us to The Sharing Center to help out on weekends, stocking shelves, sorting through clothes and electronics. It made me realize how many people don’t have the simple things in life. Helping others is now part of my life and part of The Briar Team.”
While The Briar Team spreads its goodwill to a number of organizations and causes, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, its two major recipients in the area are the Rescue Outreach Mission in Sanford and The Sharing Center in Longwood. The Briar Team has supported both organizations for about 20 years.
“They are both very close to our hearts,” says Bobby. “We have always been a big advocate of The Sharing Center and what they do. The center’s work weighed very heavy on dad’s heart.”
Bobby says The Briar Team’s support to the nonprofit organization includes monthly financial assistance and volunteer hours. Employees find time when they can to paint a room or unload supplies. In addition, last year The Briar Team presented The Sharing Center with a check for $50,000.
“We want to help as much as we can,” Bobby says. “They help people live their lives, so it’s important for us to take a pause from our busy lives to help them.”
“The Briar Team has been such a blessing to us,” says Nina Yon, CEO of The Sharing Center. “Not only financially, but they take the time to be engaged, and that really touches me.”
What Bobby truly appreciates about The Sharing Center is its objective of supporting those who want to help themselves through counseling, job application assistance, nourishment, and proper attire. When he is on the center’s campus on 17-92, Bobby relishes in the smiles and appreciation of the men and women receiving aid or simply stopping by to take a shower.
“These are people fighting for their lives – and they want to get out of the situations they’re in,” he explains. “It gives you a soft heart, and not giving back is something I cannot fathom. It makes you feel good being a part of something bigger than what we have going on.”
The Briar Team also donated $50,000 to the Rescue Outreach Mission in Sanford – the only homeless shelter in Seminole County.
“They had a fundraising goal of $75,000 and were short $15,000,” Bobby recalls during a visit last year. “I had tears rolling down my face from some of the stories they were telling. I knew I had to do something right then and there.”
The Briar Team supports the Mission with monthly contributions and employee volunteer hours, as well. But as the only such facility in the entire county, Bobby sees a real need for more aid from Seminole County and its residents for those who are homeless and hungry.
“So many people need help,” he says. “The Rescue Outreach Mission staff can’t help them all. At the end of the day, when they have to turn away infants and children, that hits home.”
Bobby lives in Lake Mary with his wife and two children, ages 3 and 5. The family’s long-term financial advisors, The Burke Cox Potter Group, has witnessed The Briar Team’s generosity for years and believe it is the company’s commitment to those less fortunate that has made the area a better place to live.
“We have been very fortunate to work with the Good family and The Briar Team for years,” says Garrett Burke, The Burke Cox Potter Group’s vice president and portfolio manager. “They have always been a shining case of leading by example professionally, personally, and philanthropically. They play a very direct role in making Seminole County the great community it is.”
“We do these things because we want to,” adds Bobby. “We want to help the community. We try to help the area in which we live.”
Publisher’s note: The space for this Focus was generously donated by The Burke Cox Potter Group.