Herbert “Bert” Snelling, one of the 12 people killed Friday afternoon in the shooting at Virginia Beach’s government complex, was a committed project manager for Henrico County-based home builder Eagle Construction of Virginia.
“Bert is the guy who was the servant leader. He didn’t go around talking about what he had done. His actions speak for themselves. He was just a genuine guy,” said Josh Goldschmidt, president of Eagle Construction.
Snelling, 57, who lived in Virginia Beach, had gone to the city’s offices to get a certificate of occupancy when the shooting occurred.
He was the only one of the 12 victims who wasn’t a city employee.
As a project manager for Eagle Construction’s homes that are being built in the Ashville Park development, Snelling wanted to make sure he got the certificate for the recently completed home so the homebuyer could close on the purchase this week, Goldschmidt said.
“He was a committed guy who would do anything for just about anybody,” said Jamie Spence, the Hampton Roads division manager for Eagle Construction, which is owned by Henrico-based specialty insurer Markel Corp.’s investment subsidiary, Markel Ventures.
“He did everything that was asked and had a smile on his face,” Spence said. “We always knew we could count on him.”
Eagle Construction hired him in 2016 to work on the company’s production and warranty customer service team in Hampton Roads.
That team is the group that works with homebuyers after a house is bought when post-construction issues arise.
“He took our biggest negative and turned it into a very good positive. We are good at selling and building houses but didn’t have good service for our warranty program,” Spence said. “He did a good job turning that around for us. He came in and changed that for us. He was committed to detail. He was committed to the customer. That’s who he was. It was in his nature.”
About a year ago in the spring, Snelling was promoted to project manager overseeing the 85 homes that Eagle Construction is building in one section of Ashville Park, a new residential development in the southern part of Virginia Beach.
“His contributions to our team were significant and appreciated daily, and will not be forgotten,” Goldschmidt said.
Many of the homeowners in the homes built by Eagle Construction in Ashville Park have put orange ribbons on their mailboxes in honor of Snelling, he said.
Before joining Eagle Construction, Snelling created and operated Standing Firm Builders and worked at contracting firm Golden Heritage Homes.
He grew up in Virginia Beach and graduated from Green Run High School.
He is survived by his wife, Sonja, and two adult children.