Our Stories

Gwinnett business celebrates 50th anniversary by pouring back into the community through scholarship fund

Richardson Housing Group, a Lawrenceville-based family business serving Gwinnett County and beyond, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. And while it does great work in the construction realm, its impact goes far beyond building high-quality homes.

“I grew up within the building business, and with it being 50 years old, it’s hard to summarize all of the different things Richardson Housing Group has done in the community,” said Angie West, Richardson Housing Group co-owner, CFO and daughter of the founder. 

“We have a long history of supporting the community from donations to local schools and athletic teams to participating in Relay for Life events. Last year we collected over 450 pounds of food for the Lawrenceville co-op, for instance.”

Clearly, giving back to the community has been a priority for the Richardson family for many years. But in 2021, they took their philanthropy to the next level by starting the Richardson Family Foundation through the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.

“I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t know about the Community Foundation, but a couple of years ago we were looking for a way to leave a lasting impact on the local community and really create a legacy of giving for our children and future generations of our family. When we really started looking to focus our giving, the Community Foundation is where we ended up, and we’ve been happy with that decision.”

They didn’t stop there, though. The Richardson Family Foundation now has a scholarship that grants $1,000 per year to up to two students pursuing a degree in construction or a related field.

“We started the foundation to allow our family to give back to the community that has supported our business and been our home and been part of our lives for the last 50 years,” West said. “And then to commemorate our 50th anniversary, we established the RHG Workforce Scholarship Fund to assist students pursuing technical education or certification in an area related to construction and development. 

“We and others in our industry have noticed a decline in qualified applicants for construction related jobs. Also, I’m a former educator, and I recognize that the path to a four year degree is not right for everyone. I really believe in all types of education and that we don’t ever really stop learning. We recognize the impact of the trade and technical careers in our community, and the intent of this scholarship is to grow that local workforce.”

The first recipient during the scholarship’s inaugural year was Hunter Cain – and Richardson Housing Group hopes to impact many more students through the program.

Outside of her career with RHG, Angie is a wife to Jason, mother to adult children Anna Claire and Walker, a current participant in Leadership Gwinnett, a travel lover, reader and crocheter.

And not only is she a proud part of Richardson Housing Group’s impact on the community, she’s also a fundholder at the Community Foundation herself.

“I believe education comes in many forms and everyone deserves the opportunity to learn. So right now, two of my favorite charities to support are Building Babies’ Brains and Eagle Ranch,” she said.

Because of her parents’ influence, Angie has always seen giving and volunteering as a priority.

“My parents obviously set an example of giving and volunteering, through our church and local organizations. When my own children were young, my husband and I continued that tradition by encouraging them to help others,” she said. “But it was really during my years as a teacher that I saw need in a very different way. 

“For some, the only hot meal that they had was from the school cafeteria – they didn’t have money to buy necessities like food or a coat, much less anything extra. That was probably the first time in my life that I really saw with people I knew that everyone didn’t grow up like I did. When you’re an adult and you’re budgeting and you realize that some people don’t have enough money for food and all of the necessities, that’s when it really hits.”

Angie has seen the impact her giving makes in the organizations she loves and believes the impact is only increased by having her funds, and those of Richardson Housing Group, managed by the Community Foundation.

“There are many different options out there, like a charitable trust or running our own nonprofit, which we looked at doing. But we appreciate the fact that the Community Foundation has taken that complex process and made it easier to manage,” Angie said. “The Community Foundation handles the day-to-day administration of funds, are knowledgeable about the rules and guidelines and provide opportunities connect with other local organizations, which allows us to focus on our business but still be an active participant in giving. 

“And besides being those ready resources, the staff are great people to work with! I love the fact that when I have a question, I know exactly who to call. I usually call Britt, and if she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find the answer. I appreciate that so much and it makes being a fundholder such a great choice for both me and Richardson Housing Group.

“You certainly you can give as an individual and or a business, and that impacts the community. But by investing as a fundholder, you’re joining together with others in a quest to do good. When we work together, those same funds become targeted and have an exponential impact. We look forward to seeing how our fund and scholarship opportunities grow!”