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Getting 'REAL' About Community


Article by Iago Beaumont

Photography by Provided

The Grand Valley has had its share of ups and downs since Bray and Company began in 1946, enduring four boom/bust cycles since those early days. I recently had a chance to ask CEO, Robert Bray about the strength and longevity of this 4th generation, family operated business and he shared some “core values” that have helped them weather the storms securely and continue to thrive through challenges.

I learned that the company started with his grandparents Sherman and Roxy Bray and has shown an exemplary ability to endure for 74 years…. and counting!

Bray and Company began serving Mesa County’s real estate needs with a commitment to principles that remain the core of company culture today.

In the 1950’s, Bob Bray - Robert’s dad - left JC Penney’s management team in Cortez, Colorado, to work alongside his parents in real estate. What followed in Mesa County was a series of boom and bust cycles in energy development, until “Black Sunday,” May of 1982, with Exxon’s announced closure of the Battlement Mesa oil shale mine. 

Overnight, thousands were unemployed in that field and numerous supporting industries. Robert Bray - Bob’s son - had been selected as president of Bray and Company only 5 months earlier. Suddenly he was faced with lots of vacant homes and apartments under management and a near standstill in sales and development activity. Additional ups and downs related to energy development continued and led to the most recent downturn in 2010.

Each time things got rough for the Mesa County Economy, Bray and Company made sure there was clear communication between owners and tenants in rental property.  They worked hard to help those wanting to own a home, to find a home that worked for their needs. Making a difference in the lives of those they served by staying focused on what they could do in the moment is what Robert calls “focusing on what’s in front of you”.

More recently, during the COVID-19 crisis, Bray and Company went to work in March 2020 much like they have done in previous hard times. Today, with a team of associates and employees, 120 strong, the company remains positioned to respond in similar fashion, with a culture that is anchored in three core values: 

These values described by Robert Bray still shine through, today:

Family - Respect and support for each other.

Integrity - “Doing the right thing.” “If things go wrong, make it right; the best you can.” “Focus on what’s in front of you.”

Community - “So much good comes when you serve with whatever talents you have.” “I believe when the precautions come down and we’ve done all we can to pull through this time together, we’ll all be better for it.” “We are learning to make better use of the tools we have that keep us well connected and we can be even more effective and stay strong together as we focus together on what’s in front of us.” 

These timeless principles can carry us all through the next 70 years and beyond, stronger together! 

Robert, thanks for your insightful example of community centered service.

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