Category Archives: News

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

BL Companies Hires CFO

AIseleyBL Companies, an employee-owned multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, environmental, and land surveying firm, announced that Ann Iseley has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

As CFO, Ms. Iseley joins the senior leadership team and will oversee the company’s corporate finances, IT infrastructure and support services.

Throughout her career, Ms. Iseley has been responsible for all aspects of corporate financial leadership including financial strategy, executive leadership advising, design and implementation of financial and IT systems, and support management. Prior to joining BL Companies, Ms. Iseley was the CFO at JCJ Architecture and over her 30 year career has been involved in other industries such as real estate, insurance and investment management.

“Ann brings extensive experience and thoughtful leadership to BL,” said Carolyn Stanworth, President and CEO. “Her background complements both our operations and long-term growth objectives. We are excited to have her join our senior leadership team and to help move our business forward.”

Ms. Iseley received her MBA from The University of Virginia Darden School of Business, an undergraduate degree from Brown University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

BL Companies Welcomes Four New Principals

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

The newly appointed principals at BL Companies include employee owners:
• Michelle Carlson, PE – Civil Engineering / Land Development – Meriden, CT
• Robby Erwin – Pipeline Engineering – Houston, TX
• Nicholas Giardina, Jr., PE – Transportation and Infrastructure – Hartford, Connecticut
• Heather Halotek – Marketing and Corporate Communications, Meriden, CT
BL Companies_Principals photo
“We are incredibly excited to welcome these talented individuals to the Principal Program,” said Carolyn Stanworth, President and CEO. “This exceptional group of new principals embodies the leadership, performance and client service BL Companies is known for in the industry.”

These four 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 was approved as part of the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) implementation in 2006 as an incentive 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 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.

BL Companies, Inc. Named to The ZweigWhite 2014 Hot Firm List

Meriden, CT — July 17, 2014

BL Companies, Inc. is proud to announce that it has made The ZweigWhite 2014 Hot Firm List. Ranked number 45, BL Companies has been recognized as one of the 100 fastest-growing companies among architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms in the United States and Canada. In an industry comprised of over 100,000 firms, placement on the list is based on firm’s percentage revenue growth and dollar revenue growth over a three-year period compared to the other entrants.

“We are truly honored to once again be named to the ZweigWhite 2014 Hot Firm List,” said Carolyn Stanworth, President and Chief Executive Officer. “To have moved up from a ranking of 82 in 2013 to 45 in 2014 is an incredible accomplishment and reflects the strong commitment of our extraordinary employee-owners who have driven our significant growth by their continued dedication to our clients.”

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 Zweig Letter Hot Firm Conference September 25-26, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.

BL Companies Receives Overall Business Champions Award

Meriden, CT — June 05, 2014

BL Companies, Inc. is pleased to announce that the firm has received the 2014 Overall Business Champion Award presented by the MetroHartford Alliance and the Hartford Business Journal. The Business Champions awards celebrate the achievements of privately-held companies in the Hartford Region.
BL Companies was chosen from among 57 nominees by an independent panel of judges. The nominees represented a diverse group of businesses from around the region. BL was recognized as the Overall Award winner for its growth and best practices in all categories – revenue, innovation, workforce and community involvement.

“As a 100% Employee Owned company the acknowledgement of who we are as a company, what we do and how we do it is especially meaningful to us,” said Carolyn Stanworth, President and CEO. “Four words describe the heart of BL – Employee Owned. Client Driven. It is an honor to accept an award that stems from a talented and engaged workforce focused on meeting our client’s needs.”

The MetroHartford Alliance and The Hartford Business Journal announced the recipients of the 2014 Business Champions Awards at a breakfast reception held on June 5th at the Connecticut Convention Center.

BL Companies Architecture Division Expands – James Vira, AIA, LEED AP of VIRALINE Architecture joins BL Companies

Meriden, CT — June 03, 2014

BL Companies, a multi-disciplinary architectural, engineering, environmental and land-surveying firm, welcomes James Vira from VIRALINE Architecture, a New York-based architectural design firm. As BL Companies Director of Design, James Vira will lead BL’s architectural project design and development team in Manhattan, NY.

Mr. Vira’s experience strengthens BL Companies’ design presence in the New York Metropolitan area, and provides his existing clients with an expanded source of multi-disciplined services and resources.

“James brings more than 20 years of architectural design experience to the table and his professional expertise and project diversity in building a successful architectural firm will help move our core business model forward,” said Rainer Muhlbauer, Director of Architecture for BL Companies.
Mr. Vira’s diverse portfolio includes projects such as new buildings for the NYC School Construction Authority, renovations for charter and private schools, post disaster provisional housing for the NYC Office of Emergency Management, laboratory buildings for the University of Pennsylvania, the master plan for the University of Colorado medical campus, and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas.

Prior to successfully developing his own firm, Mr. Vira was an associate with Cooper Robertson & Partners in New York City.

Mr. Vira is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. He is a LEED accredited professional and is licensed in the State of New York. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

“I am excited to join such a diverse and highly regarded employee-owned company. In my new position as the Manhattan lead and Director of Design, I will have a greater ability to offer expanded services to the successful client base developed under VIRALINE,” said Mr. Vira.

Engineering News Record historically lists the 100% employee-owned BL Companies as one of the Top 500 Design Firms in the country. “We’ve built our reputation on attention to detail, dedicated professional excellence, and commitment to the total satisfaction of our clients,” said Robert Celata, BL Companies’ Director of Architecture and Building Engineering, “James shares these same principles.”

BL Companies currently has 250 employee-owners in offices in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.