Contractors host family events to thank employees

Marleigh Sumner slides down a bounce house during a picnic hosted by ASG Solutions on Saturday at The Villages Polo Club.

It’s been a worrisome time for subcontractors in The Villages like ASG Solutions, T&D Family of Companies and Galaxy Home Solutions. Each is dealing with rising costs in materials, equipment, labor shortages and the efforts this year by three members of the Sumter County Commission to try to tax the building and maintenance industries, which would have challenged businesses and their employees’ families that rely on them.  Such challenges motivated Ted Graham, president and CEO of ASG Solutions, to sponsor a fun employee appreciation event Saturday at The Villages Polo Club.

Terry Yoder, chairman and CEO of T&D, and Steve Munz, president and CEO of Galaxy, are planning similar events.

Around 180 employees and their families set aside those challenges Saturday to enjoy some social camaraderie, good food and even games like a three-legged race and a tug of war event, said Graham, whose company provides construction, pavement maintenance, commercial landscaping and golf course maintenance in The Villages.

“It has been over a year since the crew has gathered like they did on Saturday, and it has been hard on everyone despite a successful year of dedicated service,” he said. “But we’ve got the pandemic behind us, and plenty of blue sky and road ahead us. We’re moving forward.”

His employees appreciated time to just enjoy some fun together.

“My son is having a blast, and I get to hang out with my fellow employees and have fun too,” said Sarah Mahan, who works on an ASG landscaping crew. “It’s great to work for a company that really values their people.”

The picnic featured something for everyone, even miniature bubble lawn mowers for children and a dunk tank that sent co-workers and supervisors in the drink, Graham said. Everyone also received a goody bag thanks to the office workers at the company’s Bonita Boulevard headquarters.

“The family picnic is a symbol of hope for the coming year as we prepare for whatever challenge is ahead,” he said.

At T&D, Yoder and his staff are preparing now for the company’s 40th anniversary celebration in a few months.

“We’ll have a picnic to thank the boys and girls,” he said. “We’re getting COVID behind us. This will be a good way for T&D to celebrate, and also to thank the entire county, its residents and The Villages for giving us the opportunity to feed our families.”

Graham said it was a special day for his company family.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Graham said. “We had a wonderful day. Everyone had a great time. I couldn’t hardly get out of there because of all the people who said they had a great time. Nobody wanted it end.”

The T&D celebration will come at a good time, too, Yoder said.

“We’ve had to make adjustments, but with The Villages help, we struggled through it and didn’t miss a beat,” he said. “We’re very blessed.”

At Galaxy Home Solutions, Munz said he’s been hearing a lot of good-natured trash-talking among employees about who makes the best home barbecue. So, he’s planning a picnic cook-off in a few weeks at the Silo Oaks event venue that he owns and operates near Summerfield.

“It’s my way of showing appreciation to the families that let me have their spouses, moms and dads for 80% of their lives,” Munz said “I want to see the wives and the kids happy; that Galaxy means as much to them as the employee. We appreciate them letting their significant other or head of the household spend so much time with us, and sometimes missing family functions, because they want to work to succeed in life.”

Specialty Editor David R. Corder can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5241, or david.corder@thevillagesmedia.com.