Monthly Archives: June 2016

BL Companies Welcomes Three New Principals

BL Companies (BL), an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm recently named three employee owners to Principal.

The newly appointed Principals at BL are employee owners, Kevin Hixson, Michael O’Brien and Brett Stark.

Principals 2016

L-R: Kevin Hixson, Michael O’Brien, Brett Stark

Kevin Hixson, Project Manager – Meriden, CT
Mr. Hixson is a Civil Engineer with over 20 years of experience covering a broad range of projects, including design, project management and inspections, in the public and private sectors.

Michael O’Brien, Project Manager – Norwood, MA
Mr. O’Brien is a Mechanical Engineer with 10 years of experience in the natural gas industry, specializing in the development and maintenance of both transmission and distribution infrastructures.

Brett Stark, Project Manager – Hartford, CT
Mr. Stark has over 15 years of experience in the design and administration of transportation projects. As a Consultant Liaison Engineer working on behalf of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Mr. Stark has been involved in a wide range of both State and municipally administered projects, from roadway and bridge improvements to major transportation corridors and public transit initiatives.


“We are extremely delighted to welcome these talented individuals to the Principal Program,” said Carolyn Stanworth, President and CEO. “This remarkable group of new principals embodies the leadership, performance and client service BL Companies is known for in the industry.”

These three individuals join the ranks of the Company’s thirty-six existing Principals who support BL Companies’ growth across all of our key markets.

The Principal Program is a program for people who have the proven ability – and the responsibility – to have a broader impact on the success of the entire Company for the benefit of all employee owners.

BL Companies Honored for Excellence in “Employee Ownership” Communications

ESOP_AACEBL Companies, an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm was recently named the 2016 recipient of the Annual Award for Communications Excellence (AACE) in the Total Communications Category by The ESOP Association. The award recognizes excellence in a total communications program. Winners are presented in two subcategories: companies with 250 employees or fewer, and those with more than 250 employees. BL Companies won the award in the smaller company category.

The AACE Awards are sponsored each year by The ESOP Association to recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs of its members. The awards are presented each May at the Association’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC to companies that have excelled in communicating the ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) and its meaning to the company’s employees.

“We are honored to have been selected as a 2016 AACE Award winner by The ESOP Association,” commented Heather Halotek, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications. “It is no secret that we are proud to be an ESOP company and strongly believe in the power of employee ownership and share that belief through our communication efforts.”

The judges were impressed with BL Companies’ comprehensive, prominent messaging about ESOPs. BL Companies offers a strong orientation for new employee owners, explaining the benefits of joining the firm and of being an employee owner. The Company sponsored special events each day of Employee Ownership Month, which takes place in October, and provides strong communications, including a colorful newsletter, to employee owners.

AACE Award winners are chosen by a panel of five judges made up of both management and non-management employee owners, each of whom has demonstrated active experience and interest in the field of ESOPs and employee ownership communications. Awards are based on: overall quality and quantity of employee owner education, contributions of employee owners, integration of the ESOP into company culture, frequency of ownership communications, involvement and/or response of employee owners, encouragement of ownership attitudes, clear explanations, creative ideas, graphic design, and technical quality. BL Companies was recognized for this accomplishment at the Annual ESOP Association Conference held in Washington, DC in May.


The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core belief of The ESOP Association is that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website- and blog –