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Giving back is a full-time passion for the STO Building Group network of companies. One of the ways BCCI Construction has fostered its relationship with the San Francisco community is by partnering with a local foundation that helps students discover their own passions in the real estate and AEC industries.

The Presidio Bay Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on empowering underserved youth through educational and career opportunities in commercial real estate. Their mission, alongside BCCI’s commitment, is to forge pathways for youth to become future leaders in shaping more equitable neighborhoods and cities by providing resources to pursue careers in real estate, architecture, engineering, and construction. Each summer, the program hosts a cohort of students who engage in an intensive 10-week curriculum that exposes them to various facets of commercial real estate, including finance, design, management, city planning, development, sustainability, and retail. Beyond education, each student has the unique opportunity to network with industry professionals and mentors. Excitingly, the foundation will soon be launching a workforce ready initiative to assist young adults in having direct access to additional internships and entry-level roles.

According to Mallory Wall, vice president of client services at BCCI, Presidio Bay prioritizes community building by supporting cultural, racial, and gender diversity and providing Scholars with comprehensive training and connections for future success. Wall has volunteered as a construction mentor for the program for the last three years and says their unique approach to fostering new generations of leaders sets them apart from other, similar programs.

“It brings me so much joy seeing the students in the program really wanting to learn and understand how real estate development works,” she says. “Presidio Bay is genuine and passionate about instilling confidence and creating a launching pad for students to have a voice in shaping the future of their communities.”

“Whether it’s giving these young people the confidence to speak or sparking curiosity to seek a future career path in the industry, if you just touch one person, that’s what matters.”

Mallory Wall, Vice President, Client Services

The students agree. “Even if you don’t come from a background with exposure to the real estate industry, you feel embraced, encouraged, and empowered for the future,” says one recent participant. “The way this program is structured, it’s like the difference between receiving a handshake and a hug.”

Since 2021, the program has graduated 32 students and invested over $280,000 in scholarships and program growth. Looking ahead, the Presidio Bay Foundation aspires to expand its influence across the Bay Area and, ultimately, the US. And while these ambitions will undoubtedly make a tremendous impact on the future of commercial real estate, Wall knows that the local, individual interactions within the program are the ones that truly make the biggest difference.


Hear from students and see the Presidio Bay Foundation’s impact in action in this short documentary. You can also learn more about their accomplishments in their annual report on


Originally Published in STOBG Insights Issue 1 2024.

Halie Colbourne, Sustainability Associate and Matthew Koester, Sustainability Coordinator | BCCI Construction

This year, BCCI’s Sustainability Team had the privilege of participating in the U.S. Green Building Council’s GreenerBuilder Conference, San Francisco’s premier venue for architects, contractors, owners and other green building professionals to learn about cutting edge projects and latest trends in the Bay Area.

The conference opened with Vien Truong, CEO of The Dream Corps, who led the opening plenary. The Dream Corps champions nationwide policy to advocate for and address the needs of disadvantaged communities. Truong wove several threads, including the effects of poor air and water quality on Oakland and Flint-raised children, renewable energy, and state policy into a moral imperative for green building. In building inclusively and designing to mitigate the impacts on water and air quality, Truong notes that we have an opportunity to lift up disenfranchised communities and employ the community in a green economy. This theme was carried throughout the rest of the conference.

The first session focused on Rebuilding Resiliency, a crucial topic in the Bay Area due to the devastating wildfires that seem to occur during any season in California now. Led by Ann Edminster (Design AVEnues), Robin Stephani (8th Wave) and Bob Massaro (Health Buildings) the panelists shared solutions such as the urgency for cities to develop temporary housing ordinances. The idea is to utilize prefabricated housing for temporary use during and after natural disasters, similar to what Homes for Sonoma has been doing since the massive wildfires erupted in the North Bay last October. The speaker’s firms are actively working towards connecting wildfire victims with tax credits and rebates to rebuild their homes with features including Energy Star appliances, solar panels and passive heating and cooling systems. Massaro said Healthy Building’s projects are moving away from using natural gas as this can cause dangerous flare ups in the aftermath of these wildfires. He further explains that when building for a homeowner, his firm analyzes their fire insurance policy to pressure the company to finance these measures. The panelists also noted that the wildfires can still impact buildings throughout the Bay Area with high levels of particulate matter. Indoor air quality is a major component of LEED and WELL projects, and smoke/particulate matter (PM) levels become a concern when most building systems have to accommodate a minimum level of outside air. It is important to realize that wildfires directly impacting residential homes in Northern California can also indirectly impact commercial buildings in the city. Focusing on resilient building practices supports the green economy and reinforces the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

The session Women in Green: The Power of Diversity was another wonderful session led by Gabrielle Bullock (Perkins+Will), Kimberley Lewis (USGBC) and Andrea Traber (Integral Group) who highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Bullock began Perkins&Will’s Diversity + Inclusion + Engagement council in 2014 as a way to foster their culture’s talent and engagement, and to create a “diverse and inclusive practice and profession”. Bullock shared some of their focus areas such as recruitment, retention and mitigating unconscious biases. At the onset of this council, they measured their workforce gender balance, finding that women in leadership make up 25 percent where the AIA (American Institute of Architects) industry average is a mere 17 percent; in 2014, 44 percent of their workforce was comprised of women. Through their devotion to diversity and inclusion they have managed to increase their percentage to 48 percent women in the span of four years.

Their commitment to workplace diversity has produced impressive project wins as their clients are looking for diversity in a project team. Traber elaborated on these metrics mentioning the International Living Future Institute’s JUST Label which has helped Integral Group quantify similar metrics around gender equality and transparency. As a participant of the JUST Label, we were pleased to hear other companies using the JUST Label as a metric. BCCI committed to its JUST Label in 2014 and since becoming a JUST company has been able to benchmark, create and improve existing policies, as well as utilize the platform to increase our company transparency. The JUST Label allows companies to understand where there might be room for improvement. BCCI is currently working on obtaining better data in the Equity category as a commitment to one of our core values, Transparency, and to continue to strive for authenticity and equality in the workplace.

As Kimberly Lewis, USGBC’s Senior Vice President stated, progress towards a green economy has not been without its moral challenges. From building resiliency for natural disasters to increasing equity in the workplace, we are excited to see these challenges being addressed by visionaries like Truong and our green building community. In Truong’s words, we will continue to “build up, build power and build the future.”

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