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40 Under 40 - Class of 2017
Business Observer Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 4 years ago

Christi Pritchett, 35

Executive director, Builders Care

It’s the most difficult and most rewarding job she’s ever had. 

That’s how Christi Pritchett describes her position as executive director of Lee Building Industry Association Builders Care. The nonprofit provides emergency home repairs to people in Lee County who are elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged.

Services range from fixing roofs to assisting with electrical issues. “Our purpose is to address things that would prohibit someone from living a healthy life in their home comfortably,” she says. “You get to help people who truly need our help.”

Pritchett started in the job in 2015 after a career in marketing and homebuilding, overseeing the design and development of new residential communities. She was responsible for permitting, community relations, conceptual planning and regulatory approvals.

“It was a natural progression from going from the private sector into nonprofit work,” she says. “It wasn’t anything I had considered before, but I couldn’t imagine going back.”

Builders Care, founded in 2005 by the Lee Building Industry Association, has provided $4.5 million in services to more than 350 families. Volunteers from the industry perform labor for projects and companies donate products and services. Pritchett says about 93% of funds raised by the organization are used to provide services to help homeowners, and all funds raised stay in Lee County. 

“Ultimately the goal is to expand our programs so we can provide services to a greater number of people in our community and bring on more community business partners,” she says. “There’s such a tremendous need in our community, and we want to address that as much as we possibly can.” 

Pritchett says her job has reinforced an important lesson for her: “It never hurts to ask for anything,” she says. “Don’t be afraid if someone tells you ‘no.’

— Grier Ferguson

Editor's Note: This story was updated to add the amount of funds raised that stays in Lee County.

Survey says

Name: Christi Pritchett

Age: 35

City of residence: Fort Myers

Twitter handle: @swfleaglecam, @leebuilderscare

Employer: Executive Director of Lee BIA Builders Care, a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides emergency home repairs to elderly and disabled homeowners in Lee County. Since inception, we have provided $4.5 million worth of services at no cost to over 350 families.

Co-founder of the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. Started in 2012, the cams have been viewed more than 110 million times, making it one of the most successful nature cams in the world.

Birthplace: North Fort Myers

Years on the Gulf Coast: Born and raised in Southwest Florida

Marital status/children: Single/no children

Alma mater/degree: University of Florida (Go Gators), Business with a minor in agribusiness

Best place to network: Downtown Fort Myers, I see someone I know everywhere I go!

Messy desk or clean workspace: Depends on the day, but I prefer it to be organized

Eat lunch out or at your desk: I love networking and sharing lunch is a great way to do both!

Best business lesson ever learned: I learned at a very young age from my father that “It never hurts to ask” and those words have remained with me, especially now that I am a professional fundraiser/business developer for the wellbeing and benefit of others.

Weirdest job you’ve ever had: In college, I worked for the band Sister Hazel in Gainesville, FL. I was responsible for fulfilling and shipping merchandise orders out of the garage of their band manager.

A website that makes your job easier: Amazon, hands down. Access to almost anything with free two-day shipping.

App you use the most: Square Up, for taking payments and donations on the spot.

One thing you do every day: Drink coffee

Community group you’re most involved with: As the Executive Director of Builders Care, my time is devoted to seeing that our mission is carried out and we continue expand our reach across Lee County. However, I have been very active with Special Equestrians and served on their board of directors for over five years.

Favorite off-hours activity: Showing my quarter horses in either cutting or reining cow horse competitions

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My grandfather, who passed away with I was 6, and John Wayne

What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Managing a large cattle ranch

Top item on your bucket list: Travel around South America

Your happy place is: In the barn, mucking stalls, grooming horses, getting dirty

Your biggest fear: Missed opportunities (and snakes)

Favorite Ted Talk: “Do What Makes You Happy”

Skill you’d like to learn: Patience (and bartending)

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Ashley Judd

Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, persistent and positive!

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