PATCO Commercial is a multigenerational family business built on a set of values – integrity, fairness, respect, and loyalty. These values have guided the success of the business for over 30 years. For us, it’s not just about building great buildings, it’s also about building relationships in our community. So, when building a new warehouse space for a local non-profit was put on hold, the PATCO team still saw an opportunity to get some good work done by taking an afternoon to volunteer with the Portland-based nonprofit: Partners for World Health.
Partners for World Health collects unused medical supplies and equipment from healthcare facilities and distributes them to those in need around the world. After witnessing the conditions of hospitals in developing countries, Elizabeth McLellan, RN, MSN, MPH, vowed to do something to help. In 2007, she began gathering discarded supplies from the Maine hospital where she was working. She put out collection boxes and asked nurses and housekeeping staff to save unused medical supplies from the rooms of patients who were discharged, as once a patient was discharged from a room, all supplies left behind went into the trash. Elizabeth started by storing all the collected supplies in her house to repackage and send out, but she soon outgrew that space.
“I didn’t have a plan when I moved the project out of my house,” shares McLellan. “I had just enough naivete to keep walking down the path.”
Now, with warehouses across New England, Partners for World Health ships out two-to-three shipping containers of supplies each month, each containing about 20,000 pounds or $250,000 worth of medical supplies. “We save a couple of million pounds of medical equipment from going to the dump each year. We’re always looking for volunteers! Most of our work is done by volunteers,” say McLellan.
“When I learned about the work that Elizabeth and her organization does, it was hard not to get passionate about the project, too,” says Jon Bell, Director – Sales and Field Operations at PATCO. “So, I pitched us donating our time to my boss. It’s important to help others and it makes our employees feel good to be of service. Plus, we had a lot of fun helping out and it gave us time to team build with people from other departments.” Spending an afternoon with Partners for World Health, PATCO was reminded of how important building relationships in our community and with our team is for the company. We’re more than just a construction company; we’re neighbors trying to help make the world a better place through our work, our values, and our relationships.
Employee Spotlight: Joe Medico
Joe grew up in Sanford. As a kid he played baseball and basketball, and “got his start in construction” playing with Tonka toy trucks and Lincoln Logs. Now, as part of the steel crew for the past year and a half, he gets to work alongside his brother Tony putting up buildings for PATCO Commercial.
What is it like working with your brother? It’s not so bad! We ride together every day. We’re on most jobs together and it’s fun working with him. Really, all the guys I work with are great. Of all the jobs I’ve had, this one is right up at the top.
What do you remember about walking onto a PATCO job for the first time? My first job with PATCO was at Lovell Lumber. They had already put up the building and were just starting to do the siding. It was fun watching the guys go at it! I had never realized that was how a steel building was built. Once you learn the rhythm, the building goes up fast.
Best part of working with PATCO? They really take care of us. You ask for something and get what you need.
What is your favorite PATCO project? The first roof I put up. They call it a 4/12 pitch… It was pretty steep and it was the dead of winter. PATCO takes safety really seriously so there was nothing to be scared of. It was just a really fun experience. Also, we just finished a project in Windham where we used these new wall sheets with insulation built inside. It is so much more convenient. It all fits together like tongue and groove planks. That new wall system was just amazing!
Tell us about your family. I’ve got a 13-year-old-daughter. Between my other brothers, I’ve got five nieces and one nephew.
What are your hobbies? I love swimming with my daughter. And I go on a fishing and hunting trip every year. I hunt partridge, deer, rabbit, and turkey. I apply for the moose lottery every year, but I’ve never gotten it.
Favorite sports team? The Patriots, of course! I’ve got a lot of family from Massachusetts so we were always rooting for the New England teams – the Red Sox, Celtics, the Bruins. But football is probably my favorite sport to watch. I watch every game.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? If PATCO will have me, they’ve got me for the next 30 years!