Buffalo Builders, Inc. was born of Russ Negaard’s desire to own and operate his own business.
He made his dream a reality in 2001. It was a challenging time. BBI had three employees and the office was in Russ’s home. Meetings were held at the kitchen table, often with kids or dogs “helping” out. It was also an exciting and challenging time. His wife, Sandy, was a stay-at-home wife and mother of three children under the age of five. The office administrator was also a new mom who brought her baby to work every day. But both Sandy and Russ were raised in Colorado Springs and they had the desire to raise their children in this city and build a successful business.
Their current office is located at 222 E. Cucharras Street and represents a labor of love. Everything within the office was created to reflect the owners and Buffalo Builders. Buffalo Builders continues to grow and support all of the individuals that have helped to make this dream a success. Buffalo Builders continues helping Colorado residents during all of life’s events and catastrophic occurrences.
Meet the Team
Russ Negaard, President/Founder
Russ Negaard, President and Founder, of Buffalo Builders, Inc. and Landmark Builders, Inc. has over 25 years in the Construction Industry. Before devoting his work fulltime to both of his companies’ Russ served as Division Manager for a national contracting firm specializing in catastrophic recovery. Prior to managing catastrophic recovery projects, Russ worked as a Project Manager for a Milwaukee/Chicago based general contractor for 10 years. He successfully completed challenging projects throughout the United States, as a leader, for their National Accounts team.
His expertise is in commercial and residential construction, PEMB/steel building, restoration, mitigation, just to name a few. He continues his education as an Instructor for Construction Defect and Critical Care Environments. He is continually helping his Team(s) grow and believes in fostering his employees’ education.
Russ and his wife, Sandy, have grown their company in Colorado Springs as it is home to them. They stay involved in the community and give back to their community any chance they can. Annually they participate in USA Pro Cycling Challenge, charitable efforts to Red Cross, Ride for Semper Fi, Touch-A-Truck, Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk as well as sending their crews for relief from natural disasters. i.e. hurricanes and fires.
Russ is a humble leader as he juggles LBI in Greeley and BBI in Colorado Springs. When he is not working, he loves spending time with his family. Sandy and Russ are avid sports fans and support all Colorado teams. Their family has a love for soccer and sponsors BBI soccer teams! Russ loves traveling and being able to unwind with his family.
Mike Foster, Estimator
Mike Foster is a highly experienced estimator serving as the Senior Estimator for Buffalo Builders (BBI). Mike came to be part of the BBI Team of quality professionals serving the construction and restoration industry along the front range in Colorado, because of the strong reputation of BBI, and his desire to be part of a growing productive organization. BBI is strong in Fire, Flood, and Wind mitigation services, as well as being fully licensed, trained and equipped to provide restoration and construction services to the areas that we serve.
Prior to working with BBI, Mike established his credentials as the Owner of Repeat Enterprises, a Construction Company, Senior Large Loss Licensed Independent Insurance Adjuster and also as a construction company estimator. He also owned and operated several real estate brokerage companies over a 23-year period. Mike is HAAG engineering trained. Licensed Insurance Adjuster, Licensed Real Estate Broker, holds an FCC radio broadcast license and carries many other Industry certifications associated with his position and activities in the restoration industry.
Mike Foster has invested his time into Church and other endeavors serving his community. He served 12 years as the President and Board Member of the Crosby Huffman Chamber of Commerce. Mike also served as a Founder and operator of Crosby Opry, Ordained Minister, and skilled musician. Mike moved from Texas to Elizabeth, Colorado in 2004. He also plays bass guitar for the band of musicians known as Highway 83.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
Chayse Diamond, Estimator and Mitigation Manager
Chayse Diamond, a professional in restoration and catastrophe mitigation, is an estimator and mitigation manager at Buffalo Builders, Inc. (BBI). Chayse began with BBI to expand his experience in management, customer relations, and enter the ever important and rewarding field of restoration and general construction. Before starting with BBI, Chayse worked as a manager, event coordinator, and onsite trainer for several franchises of Dutch Bros. Coffee in both Colorado and California. Chayse is certified in water mitigation, mold remediation, fire and smoke mitigation, asbestos and lead abatement and has completed several client relations and customer experience training.
In an area where freezing cold temperatures, wind storms, wildfires, and hail can impact us at any time, experts in catastrophe relief and home restoration are of utmost importance. When those experts are members of our local community and have empathy and understanding that comes from sharing these experiences and conditions, it can bring our community together. BBI is a perfect example of the benefits our company brings to the local community.
Chayse has traveled to catastrophe locations on several occasions to provide relief to those involved in the events including, but not limited to, Hurricane Harvey. There he led several crews performing emergency demolition and mold remediation, which was essential to the health of those living in areas where flood waters had risen as high as the height of doorways and windows.
Chayse enjoys playing piano, snowboarding, and rock climbing in Garden of the Gods and all over the beautiful Front Range.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.Nelson Mandela
Robert J. Gonzales, Project Manager
Robert J. Gonzales, Project Manager at Buffalo Builders, is an expert and specializes in project and organizational management, strategic planning, and efficiency processing. Prior to working at Buffalo Builders, Robert was a banking executive at Wells Fargo and Herring Bank. While at Wells Fargo, he had several positions including Project Manager, overseeing new bank builds.
Robert is currently attending Villanova University in pursuit of his LEAN certification and will soon be preparing for his PMP certification. He has also attended the University of Washington and Cal Poly Pomona. Robert attended Don Bosco Tech High School, majoring in construction and architecture. In the community, Robert has served several non-profits focused on helping children, including the Boys & Girls Club and Early Connection Learning Centers, where he is a current board member and past board chair.
I truly believe working at Buffalo Builders allows me to help my neighbors during their greatest time of need. The Buffalo Builders family goes on to every job site understanding that we can make a difference and impact lives in a positive way. Through expeditiously repairing a home after a disaster or updating a living space to create an environment for new memories Buffalo Builders is here to help.
Robert enjoys spending time with his family, bass-fishing, fly-fishing, camping, hiking, fitness, and gym time.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.Marianne Williamson
Don Clark, Assistant Project Manager
Don Clark is a project manager and has been with Buffalo Builders, Inc. (BBI) for over 2 years. He has over 30 years of construction industry experience. Don has worked in many areas of the construction industry and has worked as a laborer to a project manager. He volunteers in relief efforts for natural disasters and most recently went with the BBI team to help with devastation during Hurricane Harvey.
Don started working for Buffalo Builders because of the company’s values, integrity, and honesty. Don truly feels that the people he works with are family, and that is why he chooses to grow with BBI. Don appreciates and respects that BBI’s owner uses small-locally owned companies before using bigger-corporate companies.
When Don Clark is not working, he enjoys making wine, camping, fishing, and barbequing. Don loves being able to unwind with family and friends enjoying good food, drinks, and good people.
Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.Menachem Begin
Shea Gunkel, Assistant Project Manager
Shea Gunkel is a part of the strong Project Management team at Buffalo Builders. He is one of the newest members of the team. He brings a strong sense of community and personable skills. Being from a small town in Colorado, he shares the company’s values and offers his professionalism, spirit, and integrity. Buffalo Builders has been built on trust and respect and Shea strives to meet these expectations, whether in a catastrophe situation or rebuilding your bathroom counters or installing your new roof.
Colorado Springs has been his home for almost half of his life, and Shea is a proud member of the Buffalo Builders team to be on-call 24-7, to be able to help his community in times of need. Prior to Shea joining the BBI team, Shea had gained his Project Management skill set in the Golf Maintenance Industry. He was able to grow into the Commercial Restoration and Mitigation industry by overseeing the demolition and put-back efforts from the devastation caused by Harvey in Houston, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Irma in Saint Martin.
Shea feels blessed to back to his roots here in Colorado Springs, as a project manager at Buffalo Builders and be able to be part of his local community.
Shea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Dakota Wesleyan University, as well as a Turfgrass Maintenance Certificate from Penn State. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, whether it be watching his boys play baseball or riverside fly-fishing, family has always come first.
Work Hard, Have Fun.Michael O’Shea Gunkel
At Buffalo Builders, Inc., We Believe in 5 Essential Core Values…
We value our integrity, honesty, and fairness, and are committed to serving and supporting the needs of our clients.
We ensure that safety is our priority for our people, our clients, and our community.
Loyalty / Commitment
We pride ourselves in creating lasting relationships with our customers by giving exceptional service. We are always striving to be better, more innovative, and adapting our technology and processes for our customers.
We provide reassurance and reliability in some of life’s most stressful times.
We are passionate about improving the lives of people within our community. We want to limit the negative impact we have on our environment.
Green Risk Professional
BBI is a certified Green Risk Professional. Green Risk upgrade coverage offers the owners of historic and traditional style buildings, the opportunity to install green alternatives and upgrade to a green authority’s rating program. When owners of traditional buildings install green alternatives and suffer a loss, a Green Risk Professional will be able to help successfully navigate through the claim.
With a GRP, you are introduced to “green products” at any time, even when there is no green upgrade coverage endorsement. As the world around us “goes greener” and more restoration professionals implement green alternatives, you will want to be sure you have a Green Risk Professional on your side.
Buffalo Builders is adequately trained to provide a superior level of knowledge, experience, and expertise, professionalism, and deliver excellent customer service to property owners, managers, facility directors, and insurers of green buildings. BBI understands the makeup and the products used in green buildings. We understand the rating systems and insurance coverage, as it relates to them. Buffalo Builders, Inc. ensures that if a GRP covered building sustains damage, the building will be restored using the most efficient green products on the market.
Since 2010, BBI has had a presence at the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk (now the Colorado Springs DSA Walk for Down Syndrome). Through its sponsorship of the walk, BBI has helped the CSDSA to provide scholarship money, events, and programs to individuals with Down syndrome. Through their participation in the walk, BBI has helped spread awareness of the fact that people with Down syndrome want and deserve to be included and are simply another thread that ties together our diverse community.
The Ride for Semper Fi
Buffalo Builders, Inc. is a community involved company. Buffalo Builders and our staff actively participate in local charities. One of the most rewarding charity organizations we have been fortunate to be a part of, The Ride for Semper Fi is a cycling event where riders donate their time and energy to benefit the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
On the morning of September 29, 2009, an approximate magnitude 8 earthquake sent a Tsunami through the South Pacific. Reports of a 62 mile-wide wave traveling approximately 50 miles per hour at the time of impact caused severe damage to the islands of Tonga, Samoa, and American Samoa. This event directly affected the Buffalo Builders family.
A contingent from the Colorado Springs office traveled to American Samoa to assist in relief efforts and help the families. The staff from BBI were met by a strong, loving, resilient and grateful people. The words used to describe the Samoan people are equally understated when calling the efforts of FEMA, the US Army, US Coast Guard and the American Red Cross outstanding and generous.
We would like to compliment the unbelievable efforts provided by the great number of organizations we encountered in American Samoa. Most importantly, while we thank the people of American Samoa for their kindness, we would also like to emphasize the positive impact their strength and faith had on our BBI family. We continue to express our deepest condolences for the families that lost loved ones in the Tsunami.
Buffalo Builders was proud to sponsor the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It was an unforgettable experience. We were very pleased to greet riders from around the world, welcome them to our community, and introduce many people to our home – the City of Colorado Springs and the State of Colorado. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the individuals that included Buffalo Builders and First Response in a World Class Event.
This inaugural event was held to raise funds for the community-based initiatives of the Junior League of Colorado Springs. The day turned into an exciting hands-on, family-oriented show. This event was an unexpected success for the JLCS and great fun to be a part of.