Rebuilding Together Philadelphia Volunteer of the Year - Brianna Chakalis

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia Volunteer of the Year - Brianna Chakalis

Brianna Chakalis, one of our Project Managers, has always been an active member in volunteering throughout the Philadelphia community. Will Giesey, the owner of Bellweather introduced Brianna to Rebuilding Together Philadelphia early in her career with us. Brianna is the proud recipient of Rebuilding Together's Volunteer of the Year award.

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP) is a non-profit organization that helps Philadelphia homeowners in at-risk neighborhoods by improving vulnerable, owner-occupied homes into safe, healthy and energy-efficient homes. Typically, Brianna helps organize Bellweather volunteer efforts to support RTP and we encourage our sales, design, and production staff to participate in these volunteer events multiple times each year, which is a rewarding part of our company culture. We offer 3 days of paid compensation per employee for any volunteer work they wish, but Brianna’s volunteer time is far above that amount.

“I have volunteered for other causes and organizations before finding RTP and I really clicked with the mission and the work. If someone is interested in giving back, I would suggest trying different opportunities until they find one they are passionate about.” says Brianna.

RTP Volunteer of the Year Award

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes someone who has not only given of their time, but also of their heart. This volunteer is patient, willing to teach others and models exemplary service and is willing to keep learning. This person also lifts the spirits of everyone with whom they come in contact during the Block Build.

Brianna has always brought wonderful energy to her volunteering. This year in particular she was instrumental in the work that RTP accomplished. She worked as a Skilled Leader at every Block Build and helped recruit colleagues of hers from Bellweather to come out and tackle some of our more challenging projects. She also worked alongside our construction staff on a project to help train our staff members on basement stair installation.

The volunteer of the year awards someone who is humble, who is not looking for public recognition. The Block Build neighborhood events are more like marathons, not sprints, so we need volunteers who have a great attitude, can get organized quickly, and be efficient.

Brianna mentioned, “Volunteering with RTP is important to me because I believe that helping homeowners stay in their homes by making their homes safer and healthier makes the community safer for everyone. It also gives me the opportunity to work with volunteers and teach them basic home maintenance skills.”

Brandon Alcorn, Director of Operations, said “Brianna is someone who has always been happy to help wherever she is needed and is as comfortable working with other construction experts on a complex carpentry project as she is teaching new volunteers how to install flooring, drywall, or handrails.”

Brianna has also been a driving force behind a project that is now being called “WeBuild” – an effort to celebrate and showcase the work that women and LGBTQIA+ contractors and volunteers are doing in the construction industry and offer a volunteer experience that is welcoming and comfortable for women and LGBTQIA+ volunteers who want to learn new construction skills.

RTP aims to have a WeBuild house at every one of our Block Builds and Brianna is often one of the Skilled Leaders who helps lead the work in those homes. “One thing that stands out to me about Brianna is how inclusive she is of everyone. She makes sure that homeowners and families are involved in the repair process, understand what is happening, and have input in final decisions. She makes sure that volunteers of all skill levels have opportunities to contribute and feel like their time and work is valuable” says Alcorn.

Brianna Chakalis and the Bellweather Team

On the Bellweather team, Brianna is known as a steady, hard worker, but also knows how to have fun. On Mondays you can expect a good story or two from the weekend, and she has a proven ability to balance her office work with her passion for professional tennis.

Ryan Stiffney, our Production Manager at Bellweather, mentioned “It has been a true joy to be a part of Brianna's growth and maturity over the last 5+ years here at Bellweather. She has always led the charge in systems compliance, but has also focused a critical eye on those very systems, making continual suggestions for improvements. She knows herself as well as anyone, which has been instrumental in her measured growth into an incredibly successful Project Manager.”

Her work with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is a great example of how she cares, inspires, and proves that she is an overall BOSS! In her 4 years with RTP, she has inspired our company, along with countless others, incorporating her passion and knowledge of the trades with her natural drive to help and improve the lives of others who need help.

One of the most popular (no surprise!) are the block builds. "Block Builds" are Rebuilding Together Philadelphia's (RTP) primary program which help in revitalizing lower income Philadelphia neighborhoods. These two day Block Builds are held three times a year and utilize hundreds of volunteers, neighbors and homeowners to repair more than 75 homes each year in targeted neighborhoods.

“Winning the award is an honor and I'm humbled by the recognition from the RTP staff. I'm excited to celebrate the award with the Bellweather team at the party!” says Brianna.

If you would like to learn more, or to donate to Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, please check out their Guide Star profile here.

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