Harrell Remodeling Wins 2019 ESOP Company of the Year

PALO ALTO, CA Harrell Remodeling, Inc., has been named the 2019 ESOP Company of the Year by The ESOP Association. The announcement was made at the Association’s Annual Conference in Tahoe, CA.

“Harrell Remodeling is a terrific example of an ESOP company that actively engages its employee owners, the employee ownership community, and our elected officials at the local and federal levels,” said Lisa Sten, President of Harrell Remodeling. “We are fiercely proud of our commitment to sharing the power of ESOPs both internally and externally.

Founded in 1985, the company launched its ESOP only a few years later, in 2001. By 2014, Harrell Remodeling was 100 percent employee owned with every one of our employees eligible to participate in our Harrell Remodeling ESOP.

”We are so often inspired by the many remarkable Employee Owned companies that make our ESOP Association Chapter,” states Ciro Giammona, CEO of Harrell Remodeling “To win the Chapter’s Company of the Year Award among such an impressive field of contenders is a true honor and it makes us that much more proud of our 100% Employee Owned company and our Team!”

Harrell Remodeling proudly supports our internal ESOP educational committee, comprised of employee owners from every department in the company. They meet for 60 minutes once a month and offer a wide range of educational and inspirational activities to help our employee owners learn about ESOPs and our unique company culture. Externally, they shares lessons learned by participating in and speaking at chapter and national meetings of The ESOP Association.

Founded by Iris Harrell in 1985, Harrell Remodeling is now a 100% employee owned company, and provide award winning, full-service design + build services, specializing in timeless residential interior/exterior design.

Learn more about our work and culture here: https://www.harrell-remodeling.com.

About ESOPs
An ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is a retirement plan permitted by federal law. Owners of a business set up an ESOP by selling some or all of their shares to an ESOP trust, which then credits shares to the accounts of participating employees. The Trust holds the shares for employees for the duration of their tenure with the company. After leaving the business, employees may receive cash for the value of their shares or roll the funds they receive into another qualified retirement vehicle. ESOPs are the only retirement plan authorized to invest primarily in the stock of the employer. Under specific conditions, employees are legally entitled to diversify their ESOP funds and to invest assets outside of the company.

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Media contact:
Bella Babot
Director of Marketing

The Bay Area News Group Names Harrell Remodeling a Winner of the Bay Area Top Workplaces 2019 Award

PALO ALTO, CA Harrell Remodeling has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2019 honor by The Bay Area News Group. The list is based solely on Employee-owner feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

“Harrell Remodeling is thrilled to be named #13 in the Bay Area News Group Top Workplaces!” says Lisa Sten, General Manager. “Harrell Remodeling is “home” to 40 employee-owners, due in part to our team’s alignment in providing exceptional client service throughout the arc of the home remodeling Design+Build experience, and because we focus culturally on shared values and behaviors. Clients and employee-owners are drawn to Harrell Remodeling as we have high levels of engagement in The Harrell Process and with each other in creating an unparalleled home remodeling experience.”

“At Harrell we expect results, yet not at a cost to our functional teams, collaboration and culture.” Sten said.”We encourage innovation, creativity, and agility, and ‘fun at work’ is one of our 10 core values!”

“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” Claffey said. “It’s an achievement organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”

“We are proud of our 100% Employee Owned company and our ownership culture. Employees, clients, vendors and trade partners often tell us that we are an unusually team-oriented and fun Design+Build remodeling firm, but being included on the Bay Area Top Workplaces list is a wonderful confirmation of that fact,” states Ciro Giammona, CEO.

About Harrell Remodeling: Designing beautiful and highly functional homes that reflect the style of the people who live in them is the work that has inspired Harrell Remodeling and their team of employee owners for over thirty-three years.

In 1985, Harrell Remodeling was founded by Iris Harrell and began with a single employee. Today, we employ thirty-seven employee owners, including designers and accomplished craftspeople. We are an award wining, full-service design + build firm specializing in high-end residential interiors and exteriors throughout Silicon Valley, from Los Gatos to Hillsborough. Harrell Remodeling’s projects range from stunning whole house, kitchen and bathroom remodels, universal design, home theaters and wine cellars, outdoor living and kitchens, to smaller projects focusing on a few impactful elements of design change.

Harrell Remodeling is a company that is known for our client focused design with both individuals and families who are interested in a quality renovation managed by a collaborative and receptive team of professionals.

With designers holding numerous certifications from the National Kitchen and Bathrooms Association (NKBA) and/or members of the prestigious American Society for Interior Design (ASID), Harrell Remodeling has showcased prominent, high-end interior and exterior design projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

We have received over fifty design awards through the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s META design contest, in a number of categories, including residential kitchen, bath, universal design, whole house remodel, and exterior landscaping. We have also won multiple Contractor of the Year, National Kitchen and Bath Association awards, and Chrysalis design awards.  We’re blushing a bit here, but are also proud of our press attention, frequently appearing in publications such as the California Home and Design, GENTRY, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Palo Alto Weekly, San Jose Mercury News and Qualified Remodeler.

Giving Back to the Arts with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Community is a cornerstone at Harrell Remodeling. Every Employee Owner within the company is encouraged to engage with local organizations about which they are passionate. Be it education, youth, animals, literacy, or one of many other worthwhile causes, these outreach opportunities allow the company and its Employee Owners to give back on a deeply personal level.

For musician and Harrell Remodeling CEO, Ciro Giammona, music and the arts have always held a special place in his life, so when he was invited to perform in a community theatre production of Legally Blonde, he was instantly inspired.

“I loved the experience so much that I began looking into other local theatres,” explains Ciro. “It was during this time that I discovered TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, that seems to be one of the best kept secrets in Silicon Valley.”

Founded in 1970 as a theatre arts workshop for teens and college students, the nationally acclaimed TheatreWorks has emerged as one of the largest theatre production companies in California. They produce world-class regional theatre backed by a steadfast commitment to community, innovation, inclusion, and diversity.

Harrell Remodeling has been integrally involved with TheatreWorks for over four years. Soon after Ciro was introduced to the organization, he was invited to become a member of the Board of Trustees, and ever since, has been a strong proponent of Harrell’s involvement with the much-admired theatre company known for its innovative productions.

One of the first such productions was TheatreWorks Leading Ladies program, which highlighted the achievements of notable women. The heart of the Leading Ladies program was an inspiring theatrical work followed with discussions lead by speakers such as Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, New York Times author Lalita Tademy, and Emmy-nominated screenwriter, Margaret Nagle. Leading Ladies resonated with Ciro and Harrell Remodeling as a whole because the company was led for almost 30 years by founder Iris Harrell, until the company became 100% Employee Owned in 2014. Harrell Remodeling’s Director of Marketing, Bella Babot, volunteered as a Committee member for the Leading Ladies series while Harrell Remodeling served as one of the fundraising event sponsors for the program.

One of the core underpinnings of Harrell Remodeling’s community outreach is philanthropic networking, creating connections and symmetry that affect a symbiotic and resourceful relationship between nonprofits. One of these connections resulted from Ciro’s ongoing participation in the American Leadership Forum where he met Christa Gannon, Executive Director of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, otherwise known as FLY.

Fresh Lifelines for Youth is an award-winning organization whose focus is to “break the cycle of juvenile violence, crime, and incarceration.” FLY provides youth with opportunities to change the trajectory of their lives, replacing incarceration with meaningful opportunities. An impressive 80% of kids participating in FLY’s leadership programs avoid recidivism during the program year.

Ciro realized that there was an incredible opportunity to connect the two organizations and so introduced FLY’s Christa Gannon to TheatreWorks Director of Development, Ronnie Plasters. Eight FLY youth were chosen to work with a professional playwright, Meghan Hakes, who helped distill their uniquely personal life stories into a 20-minute production. The blended story evolved into a play about the young playwrights’ experiences and culminated in a September 2018 performance by four professional actors for FLY staff, families, and participants.

In addition to his work on the Board and his on-going charitable networking, Ciro strives to be an active participant in TheatreWorks. He contributes his creativity and enthusiasm to several aspects of the organization including serving on the committee for its annual gala. Ciro’s rock and roll band, the E-Ticket Band, also played at the 2016 1970-themed “Party of the Decade” fundraising event.

Harrell Remodeling has been a corporate sponsor for TheatreWorks “Directors Series” in addition to underwriting and sponsoring a number of their productions including Silent Sky, Hound of the Baskervilles, and Prince of Egypt.

In 2019, Harrell Remodeling will help to underwrite the “roof-raising musical hit”, “Marie and Rosetta”. An upcoming performance of “Marie and Rosetta” will be the cultural centerpiece of an evening event including a mix of Harrell Remodeling Employee Owners and Clients.

Harrell Remodeling Team Donates Time and Talents to Design For a Difference & Transforms Mountain View’s Community Health & Awareness Council (CHAC)

Harrell Remodeling Design+Build CEO Ciro Giammona and General Manager/Senior Designer Lisa Sten volunteered their time and expertise to the Design for a Difference (DFAD) makeover of Mountain View’s Community Health & Awareness Council (CHAC). The nonprofit provides counseling and prevention services to children and families in Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, and surrounding communities.

Backed by the International Design Guild, DFAD is spearheaded by Guild members throughout the United States and Canada who sponsor “community-based and design-driven” transformations for deserving charitable organizations. The North American spokesperson for DFAD is Mark Brunetz, interior designer, author, and Emmy-award-winning television host.

Fred Wee, Guild member and owner of Interiors & Textiles, was the facilitator for the CHAC project. Mr. Wee reached out to Lisa Sten of Harrell Remodeling, requesting that she serve as the project’s working professional, leading a diverse team of experienced, emerging, and student designers.

After visiting the CHAC location and speaking in-depth with Executive Director, Marsha Deslauriers and her staff, the DFAD team discovered the existing floor plan was cumbersome, confusing, and uninviting, all of which negatively affected employees productivity as well as the emotional wellbeing of CHAC clients.

“Although typical DFAD projects do not include construction, we knew that some creative space planning would vastly improve CHAC. Fred encouraged the team to think big,” said Lisa Sten.

In late 2016 and into 2017, Lisa Sten, and the core design team began to reimagine the entry, reception, “village well” (kitchen), and intern quiet spaces. The focus was on evidence-based design to transform the space into one that enhances quality of life. The scope of the project involved reconfiguring the space as well as painting, flooring, window treatments, furnishings, art, and landscaping.

In August 2018, CHAC temporarily vacated its space and the DFAD team got to work. Because of their advanced planning and a detailed schedule developed by Mr. Giammona, the 50+ person team, including six people from Harrell Remodeling, completed the project in nine days, a remodel that typically would take months to finish. 

The CHAC project was made possible by a generous monetary gift by LinkedIn as well as the donations and discounts offered by multiple companies, vendors, and tradespeople. Harrell Remodeling donated approximately hundreds of hours of personnel time during the lifespan of the redesign. In all, the project is estimated to have a market value of more than $350,000 and involved thousands of volunteer hours.

After the reveal of the redesign in August to CHAC staff, Executive Director Deslauriers had this to say about the makeover, “Folks coming into our agency need a warm, welcoming, inviting, peaceful, comfortable space. Having a space that has such dignity and such beauty for our clients is just remarkable.”

The Harrell Remodeling team is dedicated to being an active member of the community and works with local and national organizations. This was the first project with Design for a Difference. The Harrell Team plans to continue their involvement, participating in future DFAD endeavors.

“Once I understood the Design for a Difference movement, I was completely hooked and knew that I would be involved for years to come!” explains Lisa Sten.

Since 1985, Harrell Remodeling Design+Build has offered a full-service conception to construction remodeling concept. They are based in Palo Alto and have an office/showroom in Los Gatos.

Lisa Sten CID, UDCP
General Manager/Senior Designer
Harrell Remodeling Inc.
944 Industrial Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94303

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