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3 min read

Copenhaver Construction’s Servant Leadership: Making a lasting impact on UGM

The genuine compassion and abundant generosity in our community helps make life change possible throughout UGM. Copenhaver Construction recently worked alongside other businesses to completely renovate the UGM parking lot at 1224 E. Trent Avenue in Spokane, creating a safer and more productive space for residents, volunteers, and staff.


 

Union Gospel Mission is humbled by the unique ways that our community shows up to serve those in need. Up until the renovation, the parking lot at the UGM location on Trent was not ideal for safety or functionality. In addition to providing parking for staff, the area connects multiple UGM buildings and departments including the Men’s Shelter, Recovery, Vocational Education, and administrative offices. Furthermore, the Trent campus serves as a headquarters for the other UGM facilities in the Inland Northwest, consistently receiving a large amount of visitors and traffic.

 

Responding to the Need

In 2023, the parking lot renovation project had been in conception for months but was at a standstill. Then, Copenhaver stepped in. Over the years, Danny Beard, UGM Director of Strategic Partnerships, has developed relationships within Copenhaver and attended team meetings to learn about the company.

Parking-lot-before

Prior to the project, Copenhaver had a limited understanding of what goes on inside the walls of UGM. To learn more, their employees took a tour of the Men’s Shelter and Recovery. “It was a really cool experience. Danny showed us around…to get a better understanding of what’s actually taking place on a day-to-day basis,” shared Tanner, a Copenhaver employee. Copenhaver leadership decided to take on the construction project and started working. 

Once construction was underway, they were impressed to get even deeper insight into how lives are transformed at UGM. “We got to see a whole lot more of the [UGM] process and the results of what [UGM] is doing,” shared Andy Eliason, who was the project manager. “That was a big eye opener for all of us.”

 

“We learned about [UGM] by being here on the job site...by daily interactions. It helped us be able to spread the word [about] UGM.”

- Andy Eliason

 

Union Gospel Mission has been meeting the needs of those experiencing homelessness for more than 70 years by providing healthy, clean-and-sober living communities for people seeking long-term life change. By interacting with individuals at the shelter, Copenhaver workers saw what it means for guests to be part of the UGM community.

Copenhaver-

“We learned about [UGM] by being here on the job site…by daily interactions,” explained Andy as he reflected on conversations with passersby. “It helped us be able to spread the word [about] UGM…to be able to talk about it.”

 

 

Leading by Example

The Copenhaver Corporation generously provided discounted materials and donated company time for the parking lot. Multiple employees shared about how the renovation was made possible because President Guy Copenhaver was willing to donate and provide technical knowledge.

Parking-lot

“For the Copenhaver family, it’s ‘Do right, no matter what.’ They’re very Christian-based, very humble, very ethical. They’re trying to lead their lives through God and His vision,” shared Andy when speaking about the servant leadership that is woven throughout the company’s culture.

We are honored to partner with a faith-based organization that puts their values into action in such an inspiring way. “Guy always says that the profits of a business are a byproduct of the values of our beliefs. Our faith-based company is beneficial to our success,” elaborated Justin, Guy’s son-in-law and Copenhaver employee.

 

“You’ve got a lot of good, hardworking people that are willing to continue to do [what is needed].”

 

The team at Copenhaver Construction is made up of many eager, caring hearts. “You’ve got a lot of good, hardworking people that are willing to continue to do [what is needed] to run a business and keep family going every day, and that comes from the top. Top-down leadership here is pretty good.”

Copenhaver employees had the support needed to balance their regular workload with the parking lot project. A few employees even donated their own time to keep the project on schedule, coming to UGM after a full day of regular work on weeknights and on the weekends.

Parking-Lot-Paving

Multiple Copenhaver employees do volunteer work for other organizations in the community and help each other with personal projects. “We’re always trying to help out. We’ve been blessed with tools and equipment,” says Justin.  

 

“UGM does a great job with the community, addressing the problem of homelessness.”

 

Looking back on the experience, Justin feels grateful for the opportunity to learn about how men, women, and children are receiving help at the Mission. “I think the UGM does a great job with the community, addressing the problem of homelessness in the appropriate way…to make them better people. It gives them a better life and [helps them become] better contributors to society.”

 

 

A Hardworking Community 

Andy spoke to the effort that various individuals and businesses put forth to complete the parking lot. “Some of these other folks that [worked on the project]…have been very involved with UGM, whether it’s financially or [with] people and donations and time. We’re in the limelight this time [but many worked on this project].”

 

SynTier Engineering

Ascend Structural Design

ALLWEST Testing & Engineering

Poe Asphalt

Black Diamond Asphalt

Chris Allison

WM Winkler Co.

CRH Development

AMC Trucking

CAD of Spokane

Pro-Recycle

Clearwater Summit

Rainbow Electric

509 Concrete, Inc.

BarrTech, Inc.

National Barricade

City of Spokane Development Services

City of Spokane Water Department

City of Spokane Wastewater Department

 

Finished-Parking-Lot

Thank you to all who contributed to the parking lot renovation at UGM. You’ve improved the efficiency and safety of this highly-used location. We are grateful to partner in serving those experiencing homelessness and addiction in our community.

 

 

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