Built with a Purpose
PRAVA Construction Services, Inc. is a team of people equipped to give
Every business owner knows that determining a new company’s moniker is one of the most important decisions to make. Glenn Torrez, CEO and President of PRAVA Construction Services, Inc., wanted to be sure his company’s name was especially meaningful.
When the marketing consultant he hired provided a list of potential names, something about PRAVA caught Glenn’s attention and it made the top 12 list of names. When he sought the opinions of others, including his family, they thought it was not a good fit. However, one of his acquaintances, a Slovak woman, gravitated right to PRAVA. “She said it with a Slovak intonation, ‘Pravda.’ It means ‘truth’ in her native tongue,” he recalls.
This struck a chord with Glenn for two reasons. One, his mother’s side of the family is Czechoslovakian, so it expresses his family heritage. Also, truth is a fundamental value for his company, a minority-owned-and-operated construction management and general contracting firm headquartered in San Diego. Its clients include commercial building owners, commercial real estate developers and government agencies.
Meaningful is not only the best word to describe the firm’s name; it also explains the soul of the company’s culture and the type of impact its members seek to have on others.
When Glenn formed the company in 2004, he didn’t know how it would evolve. It started as a construction management firm. However, because Glenn is a builder at heart, it expanded to include general contracting services. Although its services changed, one core element remains the same: the valuable role his family plays in the organization’s growth, which also creates an environment where the staff feels valued.
Glenn’s wife, Denise Maiorano Torrez, son, Nolan Torrez, and daughter-in-law, Kalina Torrez are all part of the team. Denise, who serves as the company’s chief financial officer, has been an integral part of the firm since its inception. Nolan, who is now director of field operations, joined the company as a project coordinator in 2005. He has held several positions while learning various aspects of the business. Kalina, who started in 2010, has also worked in various roles before taking on her current position as office manager.
Glenn says family is very important, so creating a corporate environment that emphasizes this principle has always been fundamental to PRAVA’s structure.
“I’ve worked for a couple of companies that had that kind of culture. We’ve adopted that culture here,” Glenn says. “We don’t call our team members ‘employees.’ They’re a team, we’re all a team here.”
How did the leaders of PRAVA Construction Services create this kind of environment? Simple: by treating others as they would want to be treated.
“We all need to take time off to be at a milestone moment for our kids, help our parents or address a personal issue,” Glenn explains. “I understand what that’s like. So, if it was important to me, then I knew it was going to be important to our team. We believe it’s important to take care of family.”
Glenn recognizes that by allowing team members to use flextime for personal reasons, in return they are strongly committed to the work they perform. He says he truly values the contributions of all his staff. “Their hard work and dedication are mind-boggling,” he says. “We’re a really busy shop and it’s astounding to me the amount of time and effort they put in each and every day.”
As the company’s owner, he knows he is expected to work extended hours to make the business successful. However, seeing his team members pour their hearts and souls into their work lets him know how invested they all are in the firm’s achievements.
Glenn says, “The work we do is not an eight-hours-a-day job and they realize that. They’re not afraid to put in long hours and do whatever it takes to get things done or meet client needs. And that amazes me, every day. So that’s what I love about our team.”
Leadership Through Service
This group of dedicated workers is also devoted to philanthropy, but in a unique way. A few years ago, Glenn asked for the team’s input on which charities each person wanted to support. The response was so overwhelming, Glenn says he didn’t know how to choose.
So instead of picking one charity, they collectively pooled their time, resources and funds to support all of the ones under consideration. Each month out of the year, the company focuses on helping one or two nonprofits.
This giving program earned the name PRAVA Giving Month Campaign. It is now a vital part of the team’s devotion to leadership through service. Through this ongoing charitable drive, everyone in the company has an opportunity to take a leadership role in championing a cause they are most passionate about.
“They have to lead the efforts, but we do all the marketing internally through our social media sites and newsletters,” Glenn explains. “It’s really up to the individuals to put the time in to make sure that they’re following through and actually producing something, whether that’s raising money or collecting items.” The company also reaches out for support from subcontractors, vendors and suppliers as well as others outside of the industry to maximize its efforts.
PRAVA has supported organizations including, but not limited to: Autism Speaks, Canine Companions for Independence, TERI Inc., Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Wounded Warrior Project and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Along with monetary contributions, team members have collected clothing, food, backpacks and hygiene products like soaps, shampoos and toothbrushes. They’ve even donated blood to the San Diego Blood Bank.
Most of the time, PRAVA allows for this charitable work during normal work hours. However, the group also supports its communities on weekends.
Glenn recognizes his team is doing more work for nonprofits and donating more time to worthy causes as a result of the firm’s strong philanthropic program. “It feels like it’s a calling for all of us and it is. Helping people is what we feel this business has really been built around. And we love helping people and organizations that help others,” Glenn says.
A Fulfilling Purpose
PRAVA is a company of people who give in so many ways. They dedicate their time to putting their clients first and exceeding customer expectations. They support one another every step of the way.
The firm could boast of its long client list, the accolades and awards it’s achieved or the fact that it bid on over $150 million in new work alone in 2018. However, Glenn is most proud that his team has a purpose that goes well beyond the construction business.