CAN DO held its 15th annual Curb Appeal Awards Ceremony this past Thursday, September 22nd. The awards recognize tenants across its five business and industrial parks who dedicate time and attention to beautifying their property through landscaping and grounds maintenance.
At the event, co-chair and head judge of the Curb Appeal Awards, Sherri Homanko, announced American Eagle Outfitters as the overall winner during an industry mixer held at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Humboldt Station. For Curb Appeal judges Sherri Homanko, Pharm.D., Keri Nork, and James Dino, the entire American Eagle Outfitters facility embodied what it means to have Curb Appeal: pristine landscaping and beautiful flower displays (Vito’s Lawn Care), cohesive branding and signage throughout the property, an immaculately clean parking lot and entry space, and a stunning façade that elevates the building’s physical curb appeal.
The massive 1 million square foot building along Oak Ridge Road in Humboldt Industrial Park was constructed in 2014 and has won the Overall Curb Appeal Award twice. As the company’s first omni-channel facility, the distribution center services both online customers and retail stores. The highly technical building uses conveyor systems to transport 100% of its product and is also a LEED certified building.
Longtime American Eagle Employee James Passman, accepted the award on behalf of American Eagle Outfitters. As the Maintenance and Facilities Manager, Passman sees the importance of a positive work environment, which includes well-kept grounds and facilities. For him, this win will contribute to increasing pride in the workplace of the associates, which is always the goal.
When asked why Curb Appeal is an important factor in managing a business, Passman said, “It promotes pride in the workplace and helps to build esprit de corps1 amongst the workers. The associates are seeing equipment improvements inside the facility and this award helps confirm we are sincere about making the outside beautiful for use while on break or lunch.”
For Passman, his favorite aspect of American Eagle’s landscaping design is the main entrance side of the facility. He finds that the different type of plants and shrubbery makes the entrance more welcoming. Additionally, he wanted to further extend his gratitude to Vito's Landscaping, who helped them secure this year’s win: “Our landscaper, Vito's Landscaping, does a fantastic job, and happily responds to our requests.”
Another notable winner for the 15th annual Curb Appeal Awards is this year’s new category: most creative. This year, the judges wanted to recognize tenants who tried to beautify their location even if they did not have the means or abilities to do so within the framework of traditional judging criteria.
This year, for the first time ever, Amazon AVP1 was awarded this distinction for their decorative flower boxes and benches that line their parking lot to benefit employees and visitors alike. Landscaping was handled by Brightview Landscaping, and General Manager Stan Weitoish and Human Resource Manager Mariah Grabinski both accepted the award on behalf of Amazon AVP1.
In addition to these overall winners, awards were presented to tenants within CAN DO’s five business and industrial parks. For Humboldt Industrial Park, a distinction was made for companies with under 100 employees, 100-200 employees, and 200+ employees; for Valmont Industrial Park, a distinction was made for companies with under 150 employees and over 150 employees; one award winner was also recognized from McAdoo Industrial Park, the CAN DO Corporate Center and Humboldt Station, respectively.
This year’s award winners include Best Cigar Pub and Prices (Steve’s Lawn Care & Landscaping), Capriotti’s Catering (maintenance staff), Johns Manville (McD Lawn and Landscape), Amcor Flexibles (J&S Landscaping), Burger King (Walko’s Landscaping & Nursery), Service Electric Cablevision (Eddie’s Lawn and Landscaping), Cargill Cocoa (J&S Landscaping), and Michael’s Distribution Center (Varsity Landscaping). These companies have dedicated their time and resources to creating and maintaining beautiful properties, and CAN DO is proud to be able to recognize their hard work towards beautification.
For Sherri Homanko, this is her favorite event of the year because it benefits the Greater Hazleton community in many ways. She said, “Curb Appeal is a great way to see the ongoing changes, growth, and foundation being laid for our area's future. Our industrial community is acknowledged for showing pride in their properties while allowing everyone to network in a relaxed environment.”
Residence Inn by Marriott, Coordinated Health, and T.Verrastro sponsored Thursday’s event. Award sponsors were Steve’s Lawn Care & Landscaping Inc., Walko Landscaping & Nursery, Eddies Lawn and Landscaping, Nause Landscaping, and H.T. Lyons Contractors. Door prize sponsors were Sand Springs Country Club, The Pines Eatery and Spirits, and Capriotti’s Catering.
Another notable change made to this year’s Curb Appeal Awards is that businesses will not be excluded from winning two years in a row. However, many properties within the five parks are undergoing extensive renovations and construction, meaning next year’s awards may be increasingly competitive.