Author: Heather Halotek

How BL Made it Possible | Whole Foods Brooklyn

Celebrating almost 10 years, BL Companies reflects on one of our award-winning projects from the initial concept to the final completion of one of the greenest engineering designs. As the lead A/E firm for the 58,000 SF Whole Foods store in Brooklyn, New York, this project received LEED Platinum status.

The project site was home to an abandoned auto repair shop, former petroleum bulk storage tanks, and masonry yard. After the extensive planning process of community meetings and collaborative work with project partners, BL Companies completed the Whole Foods store project, maintaining the character of the surrounding neighborhood and improving the natural environment.

With such an innovative design, BL Companies made is possible for Whole Foods Market to stay committed to their environmental stewardship and continue to support the health and well-being of their customers, team members and the community.

Announcing Vice Presidents of Operations

BL Companies is excited to announce the promotions of Derek Kohl and Julia O’Brien to Co-Vice Presidents of Operations. Their new roles will prove critical to the future success of BL, ensuring that it has strong, experienced leaders in place. Derek and Julia were the obvious choices to take on this new role because of their dedicated work and proven ability to have a broad impact on the success of the entire firm. Additionally, Derek and Julia are frequent collaborators and will be able to leverage their strong existing relationship into this new partnership.

Derek and Julia will be jointly responsible for ensuring the success of BL Companies’ day-to-day operations but will also continue to serve in their existing roles as Executive Director of Engineering (Kohl) and General Counsel (O’Brien). In addition to leading BL’s operations, they will be responsible for helping to lead BD execution and Marketing, financial performance, project management, infrastructure, human resources, information technology, legal, succession planning, and culture. This partnership will help ensure BL’s operations continue to be excellent both internally for our employee owners and externally for our clients.

As BL Companies has grown rapidly over the last few years, it has become especially important to plan for the future. Strong leadership is necessary for a sustainable company, which is why Derek and Julia’s promotions are so important. We’re confident their combined leadership will create an even better BL.

BL Companies Honored with CT ASLA Award for State Veterans’ Cemetery Expansion and Improvements

Cremains structures designed by BL Companies Architects installed at the Connecticut Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Middletown, Connecticut.

Cremains structures designed by BL Companies Architects installed at the Connecticut Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Middletown, Connecticut.


Connecticut Chapter of ASLA Announces 2018 Professional Award Winners

The Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CTASLA) has announced the winners of its annual Connecticut Professional Awards competition, presented at the organization’s holiday party on December 13, 2017 in New Haven.

CTASLA conducts the awards competition to recognize excellence in landscape architectural design, planning and analysis, communication, and research. To be eligible, an applicant must be a landscape architect or designer in the state of Connecticut, and the entrant or project location must be based in Connecticut.

“These projects showcase the depth and talents of our members, and the value that landscape architecture brings to the built environment across Connecticut,” said Debra De Vries-Dalton, president of CTASLA and a designer with Aris Land Studio, of Bridgeport, CT.

Winners of the 2018 Connecticut ASLA Professional Awards competition include:

Landscape Architectural Design – Corporate Institutional

Towers|Golde, LLC (New Haven, CT), AWARD OF EXCELLENCE for University of Kentucky
Chandler Hospital (Lexington, KY)

Dinep + Schwab (West Hartford, CT), HONOR AWARD for The Healing Garden at Cone Health Cancer Center (Greensboro, NC)

Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (Cheshire, CT), MERIT AWARD for Entertainment & Media
Company Campus Green (Bristol, CT)

Towers|Golde, LLC (New Haven, CT), with Devore Associates (Fairfield, CT), MERIT AWARD for Norma Pfriem Healing Garden (Bridgeport, CT)

Towers|Golde, LLC (New Haven, CT), MERIT AWARD for 1775 Tysons Boulevard (McLean,
VA)

Landscape Architectural Design – Municipal/Public Spaces

BL Companies (Meriden, CT), MERIT AWARD for Connecticut State Veterans’ Cemetery Expansion and Improvements (Middletown, CT)

Landscape Architectural Design – Residential

Doyle Herman Design Associates (Greenwich, CT), HONOR AWARD for Engaging the
Native Landscape (Rye, NY)

Anne Penniman Associates, LLC (Essex, CT), HONOR AWARD for Island Habitat Landscape (Mason’s Island, Mystic, CT)

Gregory Lombardi Design Incorporated (Cambridge, MA), MERIT AWARD for Field Point
Estate (Greenwich, CT)

Threshold Landscape Architecture, LLC (Redding Ridge, CT), MERIT AWARD for Landscape for Walking, Gathering and Listening to Music (Redding, CT)

Reed Hilderbrand LLC (New Haven, CT), MERIT AWARD for Forest Cucoloris (New Haven,
CT)

Devore Associates (Fairfield, CT), MERIT AWARD for A Coastal Home (Stamford, CT)

Doyle Herman Design Associates (Greenwich, CT), MERIT AWARD for New England Respite (New Canaan, CT)

Landscape Planning & Analysis

Anne Penniman Associates, LLC (Essex, CT), HONOR AWARD for Elizabeth Park Master Plan (Hartford/West Hartford, CT)

The S/L/A/M Collaborative (Glastonbury, CT), MERIT AWARD for Sacred Heart University
Campus Master Plan (Fairfield, CT)

The jury for this year’s competition was comprised of members of the Alaska Chapter of ASLA.

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication and fellowship.

BL Companies Named a Best Firm to Work for by Zweig Group

BL Companies (BL), an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm is proud to announce that it has been named a 2017 “Best Firm to Work For” by Zweig Group – a prestigious ranking honoring the creation of outstanding workplaces at architecture, landscape architecture, geotechnical, environmental, and civil, structural, and multidiscipline engineering firms. Ranked at #19 in the multidiscipline category, BL is among firms who have been recognized for their ability create outstanding workplaces through workplace design, teamwork, excellent benefits & amenities, and work culture.

Firms were graded on a combination score of comprehensive employee surveys and corporate evaluations, then ranked by category. Over 11,000 employees from participating firms responded to the employee survey.

“We are honored to have been selected as a Best Firm to Work For,” commented Carolyn Stanworth, President and CEO of BL Companies. “Particularly as the judges were our own employee-owners. It is their talent and engagement that continues to make BL one of the best firms to work for in the A/E/C industry.”

BL Companies currently has 250 employee-owners in offices in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas and will be formally recognized at the A/E Industry Awards Conference held at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, Washington in September, 2017.

BL Companies Wins Two Marketing Communications Awards from SMPS CT

BL Companies (BL), an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm is proud to announce that it was honored by the Connecticut Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS CT) at its Marketing Communications Awards Gala. SMPS CT’s Marketing Communications Awards recognizes excellence in marketing communications by professional services firms and dedicated SMPS marketers in the AEC industry for their exemplary marketing projects, campaigns, and materials.

BL scored the Best Video award for its Who We Are entry. The video won praise from the judges as doing “a great job of introducing us to your firm- telling us who you are and what you do in an engaging way”.

BL also received The Corporate Identity Rebrand award for its refreshed, streamlined collateral materials redesign, which maintains consistency throughout the firm’s marketing materials.

“We are grateful to be recognized by our peers in the industry for the work that we do,” commented Heather Halotek, Executive Director of Marketing & Business Development for BL Companies. “The talent in this industry is enormous. When you can celebrate and shine a bright light upon the efforts and creativity of your own marketing team, it’s an extreme honor.”

BL Companies currently has 250 employee-owners in offices in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas and was honored to receive the awards at SMPS CT’s Blue Carpet Gala on May 17.

BL Companies Opens New Office in Warwick, Rhode Island

WARWICK, R.I. – BL Companies, an employee-owned multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm, has opened a new office in Warwick, Rhode Island. The Warwick office will support BL Companies’ on-going work with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation as well as its municipal and corporate clients.

Please note BL Companies Warwick address:
2348 Post Road
Suite 26
Warwick, RI, 02886

2016 New York State Historic Preservation Award – Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY

img_0004BL Companies has been awarded the 2016 New York State Historic Preservation Award for the restoration of Hangars 1 & 2 at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY. It will be presented at a ceremony in Albany on December 8th.

The buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and are owned by the National Parks Service. Williams Pipeline is using the interior space to house a natural gas regulating station. In exchange, they agreed to restore the buildings to their original condition.  Although the buildings hangars were on the verge of collapse BL Companies undertook design of the restoration.  They have been faithfully restored in strict compliance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards.

Earlier this year, the project has also received the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York City Landmarks Conservancy.

The State Historic Preservation Office selected this project from all of the many historic preservation projects that the office reviewed last year, which is truly remarkable.

BL Companies Expands Hartford, Connecticut Office

Carolyn Stanworth (BL's President & CEO) cuts the ribbon with the assistance of Mayor of Hartford, Luke Bronin

BL Companies (BL), an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm has expanded its Hartford, Connecticut office. The larger office space, occupies the entire 10th floor of 100 Constitution Plaza and will employ over fifty BL Companies’ engineering, architectural and environmental professionals.  The expanded office positions BL to complete and provide exceptional responsiveness for our clients and projects in the Greater Hartford area.

“We have strategically expanded our Hartford office in what we believe to be one of the important economic corridors and hubs in the New England region,” said Derek Kohl, Director of Engineering. “Having been involved in many public revitalization and infrastructure projects as well as retail/commercial development within the Hartford/Springfield corridor, this larger office further enhances our capacity while allowing us to be close to our key clients and projects.”

Over the last few years, BL Companies has been recognized for both its Workforce Practices and as a Business Champion by the MetroHartford Alliance. “Our decision to expand the Hartford office confirms our commitment to grow in the heart of the capitol city and to further support the economic development in the area,” said Carolyn Stanworth, President & CEO.

This expansion was celebrated on October 12th with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by members of the Hartford business community and Mayor Luke Bronin.

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- www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

BL Companies Expands Bridgeport, Connecticut Office

BL Companies (BL), an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm has expanded its Bridgeport, Connecticut office. The larger office space, located at 855 Main Street, will accommodate over 20 BL Companies’ employee owners and positions BL to provide additional customer care and responsiveness to clients in the Fairfield County area.

“We have strategically expanded our Bridgeport office in what we believe to be one of the key economic corridors in the State of Connecticut and provide additional coverage between our Manhattan and other Connecticut office locations,” said Derek Kohl, Director of Engineering. “Having been involved in several recent revitalization, architectural and infrastructure projects within the City of Bridgeport, this larger office further enhances our ability to provide services and be close to key clients and projects.”

BL Companies was honored in 2013 with a Business in Bloom award for its commitment to grow in Bridgeport. “This Bridgeport office expansion confirms our commitment to grow in the heart of the City and to further support the economic development in the area,” said Sam Haydock, Director, Business Development and Client Care.

Engineering News Record historically lists the 100% employee owned BL Companies as one of the Top 500 Design Firms in the country. BL Companies currently has over 250 employee owners in offices in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.