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06/04/2012 02:33 PM
Awards & Recognition Dinner Meeting- By Alisa Batten, CEO
Our HBRA held our May dinner meeting on the 19th and we celebrated the 2012 Award winners, presented two scholarships, honored our SPIKE award recipients and milestone membership recipients. We also heard from Bill Ethier about our efforts at the State Capitol this year.
Special thanks go out to the dinner sponsors:
Our 2012-2013 Board of Directors was presented, voted on and will include: As officers, President & Chairman of the Board-Mario Di Gioia, DonMar Development Corp.; 1st Vice President- Michael Di Gioia, DonMar Development Corp; 2nd Vice President- Joe Ciarliglio, Luanci Construction; Treasurer/Secretary- Vince Fini, Weinstein & Anastasio, P.C.; Immediate Past President- Bob Wiedenmann, Sunwood Development Corp; Legal Counsel- Greg Gallo, Pellegrino Law Firm.
The following are our Builder Directors: Kevin Ahern, Litchfield Builders; Mark Nuzzolo, Brookside Development; Steve Russo, Quality Mechanical Corp.; Amy Wiedenmann, Sunwood Development Corp.
The following are our Associate Directors: Pete Battaglio, Bemers Petroleum Corp.; Richard Decker, East Haven Builders Supply/Kitchen Factor; John DiMatteo, DiMatteo Group; Chris Gagnon, Godfrey-Hoffman Associates; Joe Migliaro, L. Suzio Concrete Co.; Bill Ryan, National Lumber; Jeff Stoyer, Northeast/Dream Kitchens; Debra Wolfenson, Superior Hearth, Spa & Leisure.
There is still room for two builders on the board. If anyone would like to step-up, please contact the HBRA office.
Joe Migliaro of L. Suzio Concrete, Chair of our Scholarship Committee presented our two scholarships. Our Scholarship Committee is pleased to be awarding two scholarships to two very deserving students this year.
The scholarships are both in the amount of $500 and are available to members of our HBRA, as well as, students throughout New Haven County who are pursuing careers in the building industry.
The two categories of scholarships that will be given each year include:
This year’s GEIB scholarship goes to Sarah Lavalette of Wallingford. Sarah will be graduating from Sheehan High School on June 20th and will be pursuing a degree, based on her expressed love of math, in engineering as a student at Fairfield University. She plans to be active in the school’s various outreach programs such as Engineers Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity.
Sarah will have over 1000 hours of community service upon her high school graduation. Some of those volunteer hours were with the Community Revitalization Efforts of Wallingford (CREW)- where she helped with the flood recovery in Nashville, TN; She has also been a peer advocate for the Wallingford Youth & Social Service Bureau where she spoke to anti-bullying efforts and helped raise funds for Relay for Life, the Alzheimer’s Walkathon and for abused animals.
Sarah also learned to sheetrock & spackle and taught others how to paint over the course of a week helping fix up a home as part of her service group last summer. Her guidance counselor called her a resilient young woman who has excelled in her CADD work at Sheehan.
This year’s Mark A. Barrie Memorial Scholarship goes to Cameron Cook of Middlebury. Cam will be graduating from Pomperaug Regional High School in June and has been accepted to Loyola University.
Cam’s primary goal is to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering to help create safer and more sustainable sources of energy for all people in all nations. After he graduates from college, he plans to find a job where he can create new ways in which to harness energy and to help find new sources of inexpensive, renewable energy which will in turn make housing more affordable and feasible for more people.
He would someday like to own his own mechanical engineering company and explore designing turbines that take advantage of optimal prevalent winds around the world and optimize equipment to collect tidal energy as a form of hydro-power.
Cam also has an impressive community service history. He has been involved with other peers in a mission trip to Worcester, MA during the summer of 2010 where he was stationed at a farm that donates its entire crop to a local food bank. He worked six hours a day for a week and was amazed to be able to bring fresh, unprocessed food to the food bank in the end. He has also helped on mission trips to other food pantries and with prison ministries, as well as, volunteered for the Special Olympics of CT in swimming and bowling.
Our Membership Committee co-chairs John DiMatteo of DiMatteo Group and Vince Fini of Weinstein & Anastasio, P.C. presented our SPIKE Awards- a program of the National Association of Home Builders to honor those members who contribute to membership growth and retention. Members earn one Spike credit for each new member they sponsor. When that member renews after his or her first year of membership the sponsoring member automatically gets one retention credit. Every year the member renews thereafter, the sponsoring member will receive a ½ renewal credit.
This year’s SPIKE’s went to: John Castlevetro, Total Interiors- Blue Spike Level 6; Mario Di Gioia, DonMar Development Corp- Life Spike Level 25; Liz Verna, Verna Properties- Green Spike Level 75; Kevin Ahern, Litchfield Builders- Red Spike Level 100; Bob Wiedenmann, Jr., Sunwood Development Corp.- Super Spike Level 250; Lou D’Amato, D’Amato Bros. Builders- Super Spike Level 300.
DiMatteo & Fini also presented this year’s Milestone Memberships to the following:
5 yrs: Stately Stair; F & P Development; 10 yrs: National Lumber; 15 yrs: Viking Kitchen Cabinets; Cyclone Home Systems; Superior Hearth, Spas & Leisure; Petra Construction; Litchfield Builders; 20 yrs: Iannini Development; 35 yrs: Franklin Construction.
Bob Weidenmann, Jr. of Sunwood Development Corp. introduced our Remodeler of the Year, Kevin Ahern of Litchfield Builders in Hamden. Kevin has been a member of the HBRA since April of 1997 and has served on the board of directors since 1999. Kevin served as President in 2001-2002. Kevin is currently the chair of the home show task force and regularly participates in the show. He also serves on the Past Presidents Council of our HBRA.
Kevin’s business has been going strong, even in this economic climate, and he takes advantage of utilizing social media to promote his services. Kevin Ahern is the “front man” or “face” of Litchfield Builders, Inc., acting as lead on all sales and customer relations. Along with his brother Jim Ahern, who is the director of operations, they are the principles in Litchfield Builders, Inc., a self-performing carpentry based general contracting firm in business since 1989.
With 20 full time employees, they have an average length of employment among the project managers and production foreman of over 8 years. Diversification has been the key to the success of the company. Home remodeling and renovations has been the core of the business since its inception. The company’s current residential customer list consist of 60+ referrals and more than 50% of these customers have hired Litchfield more than once.
The growth and solid reputation has led the company to handle renovations and repairs of the area’s largest public and private firms. Some of which include: Albertus Magnus College; Cheshire Academy; Children’s Center of Hamden; Regional Water Authority; Sargent Manufacturing; Stanley Works; Star Distributors; Unicorr Packaging Group; Yale New Haven Hospital; Yale University Facilities.
Due to that same theory of diversification, Kevin and Jim are proud to state that they have never had to lay off employees due to a lack of work. With a long standing tradition of reinvestment in the company and its people, Kevin states that over 95% of its business comes from referral and repeat customers. The company is located in Hamden, with a 15,000 SF facility, where they have the corporate offices, a full millwork shop and dumpster hauling business.
John DiMatteo of DiMatteo Group introduced our Associate of the Year Debra Wolfenson. Debra has been a member of the HBRA with Superior Hearth, Spas & Leisure in Milldale since November of 1997 and has served on our board of directors since 2008.
Debra is currently co-chair of the Program Committee and serves on the Non-Dues Revenue Committee and SAM Tram task force. Debra also jumps in and helps whenever she can and attends almost all of our events and has been supportive of the association by sponsoring meetings and events and advertising in directories or resource guides.
Superior has also participated in our Home Show for many years and supports the State HBA’s HOBI award dinner. Debra is also an active member of the Hartford and Fairfield associations as well.
Michael Di Gioia of DonMar Development introduced our Builder of the Year Joe Ciarleglio of Luanci Construction in North Haven. Joe has been a member of our HBRA since April of 2011 and joined our board of directors in September 2011. He currently serves as our 2nd VP. Joe has gotten involved right from the beginning and has attended building industry day at the capitol, most dinner meetings and has helped recruit new members.
Luanci Construction is known for their attention to details, beautiful stone work- which Joe does himself, curb appeal, trim work, interior details and leaving a clean job site. Joe is a master carpenter and framer who owns his own equipment and does his own site work. He is also a remodeler.
Our State HBA CEO and lobbyist, Bill Ethier, gave an update on our success at the Capitol for the session that just ended a few weeks ago. That full report will be provided in a separate newsletter for all members and it will be posted in this section of the website shortly.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members and all of our board members for their commitment to our HBRA- especially in this economic climate. If you have any comments or suggestion as to how we can maximize the benefits of belonging, please contact me in our office. Hope to see you at the golf outing on June 18th! Thank you all who attended our May awards dinner....we had about 100 members & friends celebrate with us!