A Time for Reflection; A Time for Gratitude: Women Still Lead the Way at Harrell Remodeling

It’s that time of the year again, as we celebrate the holiday season and approach the end of the year, when the world slows just a bit and the season creates the time and space for reflection and gratitude. We reflect on the positive things that have occurred in our lives during the year, and on the challenges and hardships we faced. We are grateful for the good things in our lives and take inventory of the losses, contemplating how we move forward in the coming year. This year, a moment of gratitude is especially helpful to makes sense of an otherwise challenging year for all of us.

For Harrell Remodeling, as our 35th year in business draws to a close, we find ourselves reflecting on our company’s ground-breaking history, the extraordinary year we have faced, the success we had as a company, and all the great possibilities that lie in the years ahead. Through it all, HRI has been grounded in a culture and values that embrace diversity and offers a gentler, more compassionate remodeling experience for its clients. But even more so, we find gratitude in our broad and diverse group of clients who have embraced our unique approach to Design + Build remodeling. They have been the foundation that helped build our great company.

Exemplifying the motto, “We never forget it’s your home,” from the outset Harrell Remodeling made its mark by flipping the script on the typical jobsite mentality, providing a kinder, more considerate touch in our client interactions. From the beginning, company founder Iris Harrell instituted jobsite rules that embodied a woman’s sensibility and fell right in line with the corporate motto to respect our clients and their homes. For over three decades, these policies have been a key point of differentiating HRI from the average general contractor.

When Iris founded Harrell Remodeling in 1985, she was one of very few women in the construction industry. Her pioneering and visionary spirit shaped a Bay Area company that educated and elevated those around her – employees and clientele alike. That vision included diverse and deliberative hiring focused more deeply on cultural fit than prior construction experience. Her process of hiring based on one’s potential and ethos has resulted in numerous talented women assuming leadership roles, each of whom have been instrumental in advancing the success that continually carries us forward.

Lisa Sten, CR, CID, UDCP is a perfect example of the vital leadership roles women have held at HRI. And in March 2020, Harrell Remodeling once again welcomed a woman leader to its helm. Lisa assumed the role of CEO upon the retirement of Ciro Giammona, the company’s most recent past CEO who recounted, “My mother raised me as a feminist!” Sharing in Iris’s passion for excellence, Lisa is mentoring a new generation of women leaders to meet this moment, ensuring the future success of HRI while continuing to foster the culture and values upon which it was founded.

Before relocating to the Bay Area from Minneapolis, a mutual acquaintance connected Lisa and Iris, leading to Lisa joining Harrell Remodeling in October 2000. Lisa always wanted to be involved in helping to govern HRI. Over her twenty-year tenure, Lisa has taken on more responsibility and leadership, holding positions as Sales Designer, Sales Manager, General Manager, culminating in her transition from President to the company’s top position as CEO.

“I still embrace our long-standing mission to provide excellent customer service and be our clients’ ‘contractor for life’.” When asked about what it means to be a woman leader in a still primarily male-dominated industry Sten replied, “Harrell Remodeling has an inclusive culture that encourages new ideas and achievements regardless of gender. As Employee-Owners, we collaborate toward a singular goal, providing the ultimate quality and the best customer service to every client.”

According to Ciro Giammona, he stated emphatically that Lisa’s progressive entrepreneurial spirit, deeply-rooted understanding of the industry, and “get it done” attitude are reminiscent of Harrell Remodeling’s founder. “She embodies our company’s innate DNA and deeply entrenched core values. Through her leadership, Lisa Sten continues to elevate Harrell Remodeling’s already high level of quality, design, and customer care to even greater heights.”

Other talented female leaders also play critical roles at HRI. Senior Designer and Sales Coordinator, Gloria Carlson, CKD, UDCP, has worked at Harrell Remodeling for over six years. Gloria prides herself on listening to her clients, understanding their needs and lifestyle, which enables her to provide designs that are appropriate to how they live and the overall design of their homes. She also takes the lead in matching clients to other HRI Designers who then explore remodeling engagements with Harrell Remodeling.

Senior Designer and Design Coordinator, Sara Jorgensen, AKBD, CID, has been a key player at Harrell Remodeling for over 14 years. Sara is a stickler for process and helps guide all of our projects through the critical phases of design development, like feasibility and city plan check reviews. For her own projects, Sara starts with the initial planning stage, commencing with complex code city research. From the schematic floor plans to the design development for the entirety of the project, Sara works from a holistic viewpoint to the smallest of details that create the design’s “wow” factor.

Chief Design + Build Estimator/Specifier, Kathy Paul, has been estimating projects for Harrell Remodeling since 1998. In 2001, Kathy was promoted to Chief Estimator, and over the past 20 years has been leading the estimating team and been instrumental in developing Harrell’s comprehensive approach to developing projects through thoughtful phases from conceptual scopes of work to highly detailed build contracts.

Outdoor Living Designer, Lisa Parramore, APLD, brings a unique set of experience and skills to Harrell Remodeling. Lisa P’s passion for designing indoor-outdoor living spaces enables her clients to embrace the lifestyle for which California is celebrated. Her projects are informed by the special relationship between traditional Japanese architecture and their surroundings, whether it’s borrowing scenery from a distant landscape or creating a lovely courtyard vignette, Lisa P’s creativity is inspiring.

Divya Vijayanandakumar, LEED AP ID+C, UDCP, joined Harrell Remodeling in May 2019, and has already proven herself to her colleagues and clients alike. She takes a practical approach to designing spaces for clients, making sure functionality is weighted equally to design. Her charming personality makes her easy to work with and her practical approach to leading clients through the phases of design make the journey both pleasant and productive.

Harrell Remodeling’s design team offers a heightened appreciation for the finer points of style trends, mixing of materials, color, and cabinetry. Their practical knowledge of the home and inherent female touch affords them the ability to lead clients through a complex journey of design and value.

Despite having one of the industry’s most talented and award-winning design teams, “Collaborating with clients is a philosophy,” explains retired HRI Designer, Genie Nowicki. “If you engage the client in the design process, it’s a much stronger relationship.”

By involving every client in a collaborative process, listening to and understanding their distinct requirements, HRI’s female design leaders provide the love and care clients want, the quality they expect, and the flawless execution for which Harrell Remodeling is known.

As we enter into our 36th year, we are incredibly grateful for our community of clients, many of whom have become friends and serial remodelers. Thank you for trusting Harrell Remodeling to transform your homes and make your vision a reality. We are inspired by the women in leadership roles that carry us forward into the future, and we remain indebted to Iris for the foundational and cutting-edge culture and values upon which she constructed the company. All of Harrell Remodeling’s Employee-Owners uphold the high bar she established for quality, relationships, and client care.

35 years and counting, Harrell Remodeling remains Woman Founded, Client Focused, and Employee-Owned.

Our Covid-19 Response

An important message from Harrell Remodeling

Dear Harrell Remodeling friends,

We hope that you are safe and healthy in your homes, and that when the need arises, you know that the Employee Owners of Harrell Remodeling will be there for you.

We are glad to be continuing work on our construction jobsites! For the safety of our clients, communities and Employee-Owners, our already-in-place protocols and procedures are aligned to follow County Health Orders and Safety Protocols, State, CDC, and OSHA guidelines while working in our clients’ homes. In addition to keeping sick employees off of our jobsites, we are doing daily temperature checks for everyone working on site and maintaining a daily log. Passers-by have written in with appreciation that we have implemented 6′ of physical distancing, hand-washing, and the wearing of masks. We’ve also been cleaning frequently-touched surfaces, and are partitioning work space when possible.

In light of COVID-19, we’ve pivoted to hosting webinars on Zoom. During this time we are still committed to providing you educational resources to make the remodeling process less stressful. We’ve enjoyed this new format and will announce our 2021 series soon. Whether you’re considering updating only certain rooms of your home, or remodeling the whole house, we have information to help you along the way!

We want to let you know the many ways that we are keeping your projects and our business on track:

  • Designers are holding live Zoom (video conferencing) meetings to continue with the schematic design process, make plumbing, electrical, tile and other product selections along with other aspects of design development, and are even presenting Contracts virtually.
  • Our Accounting team has ways to make it easy for you to pay any open invoices. We have our cloud-based BuilderTrend system as an electronic payment option, along with other methods. Please contact your Designer or our accounting team if you have questions.
  • To maintain our company culture, we’ve had regular “All Hands,” and our Sales and Design meetings via Zoom, and even an occasional Zoom lunch break! We continue to share tips about effectively collaborating and working remotely, and to see how everyone is managing.
  • Our Emergency Phone Number (650) 230-2929 is up and active for our current and past clients. One of our Project Managers was able to aid a past client recently and get her water heater replaced immediately.

As the Shelter in Place continually evolves and restrictions have been put in place again, we thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these new limitations.

With our very best regards for a speedy end to this situation. Take care of yourselves, and your families.

On behalf of all our Employee Owners,

Lisa Sten

Lisa Sten, Current President of Woman-Founded Harrell Remodeling, Inc. (HRI) to be Installed as the Design + Build Firm’s Second Woman CEO

Palo Alto, CA USA – Iris Harrell founded her namesake Design + Build company in 1985 during a time when the construction industry was predominantly male-driven. She led Harrell Remodeling, Inc. until her retirement in 2014. On February 28, 2020, the firm will again have a female in top leadership when Harrell Remodeling President, Lisa Sten, assumes the role.

Upon Iris’s departure in 2014, Ciro Giammona assumed the role of CEO. After twenty-three years with Harrell Remodeling and six years as the firm’s leader, Mr. Giammona will retire on February 28, 2020 and Ms. Sten will become HRI’s third CEO and second female leader in the company’s history.

HRI is 100% employee-owned and embodies a carefully cultivated culture that allows its employee-owners to work their way up the ladder into top leadership roles. When Mr. Giammona announced his plans to retire, Ms. Sten, then General Manager/Senior Designer, was identified for the role and a two-year transition plan was initiated.

Ms. Sten previously co-owned an interior design company in Minneapolis. A mutual acquaintance connected Sten and Iris Harrell, leading to Ms. Sten joining HRI in October 2000 as a Designer.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a design you have created become a reality,” Sten says, explaining her attraction to HRI and the Design + Build industry.

Ms. Sten always wanted to be involved in helping to govern Harrell Remodeling. Over her twenty-year tenure, Sten has taken on more responsibility and leadership, culminating in her imminent transition from President to the company’s top position.

“As CEO, I will be more deeply involved in many ways, but still embracing our long-standing mission to provide excellent customer service and be our clients’ ‘contractor for life’.” When asked about what it means to be a woman leader in a still primarily male-dominated industry Sten replies, “Harrell Remodeling has an inclusive culture that encourages new ideas and achievements regardless of gender. As employee-owners, we collaborate toward a singular goal, providing the ultimate quality and the best customer service to every client.”

According to Mr. Giammona, Sten’s progressive entrepreneurial spirit, deeply rooted understanding of the industry, and “get it done” attitude are reminiscent of Harrell Remodeling’s founder. “She embodies our company’s innate DNA and deeply entrenched core values of ownership, teamwork, customer service, innovation, quality, professionalism, personal growth, integrity and fun. Through her leadership, Lisa will elevate Harrell Remodeling’s already high level of quality, design, and customer care to even greater heights.”

Based in Palo Alto and serving Silicon Valley and the mid-Peninsula, Harrell Remodeling, Inc. Design + Build has offered a full-service approach to design and remodeling since 1985. Harrell Remodeling is one of only a handful of woman-led Design + Build firms in the Bay Area.

Lisa Sten CR, CID, UDCP
Harrell Remodeling Inc.
944 Industrial Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94303
[email protected]

A modern, gray universal design bathroom features a curbless shower and tile details.

Harrell Remodeling Designers Win Multiple NARI META Awards

Two of Harrell Remodeling Inc.’s Designers were honored recently at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Silicon Valley awards gala. Gloria Carlson and Debra Winston received coveted META Remodeling Awards for multiple projects that transformed the homes of three Harrell Remodeling clients. Both designers have received META honors in the past but, as Gloria shares, “A large part of the award is the fact that we’ve solved very unique problems, making dramatic and often life-changing transformations in our clients’ homes. Clients love to feel that their needs were met but in such a way that their home was acknowledged as an award-winner.”

META, short for metamorphosis, “signifies the transformation process and beautiful results that can be accomplished through a remodeling project.” The Silver, Gold and Platinum awards are categorized by project price point and include everything from interior redesigns of kitchens, baths and living spaces to residential landscape design to entire home remodels.

Designer Debra Winston won multiple META Gold awards for two projects within one residence, which incorporated Universal Design principles to enable the homeowners to age in place. The first project took a small, outdated master bathroom from “Blah to BLING” while the second Gold award winning project transformed the compartmentalized floor plan into a spacious and dramatic interior.

Blah to Bling

Two META Gold awards for Residential Bathroom under $100,000 & Universal Design Bathroom

“This couple isn’t afraid of color or of embracing their unique style and personality in the home,” Debra remarks. “This project definitely proves that Universal Design can be beautiful and functional.”

Dark, dated, and depressing, this original San Jose master bath was small and was not wheelchair-accessible. The corner shower was much too small for assisted bathing and had a high curb that created an entry barrier. Debra reconfigured the area, more than doubling its size by taking space from the hall bathroom. In its place Debra designed a stunning spacious roll-in shower with teak folding bench, grab bars, and a handheld shower to make bathing safe, easy and accessible. The wall-hung Toto Washlet toilet and white high-gloss floating vanity with Silestone quartz white platinum counters are functional and attractive. The “bling” comes from wall, floor, and backsplash tiles with burnished metallic finishes, glittering mosaics, and silver “ribbon candy” pendant lights that add sparkle.

Debra relates, “One of the wife’s guilty pleasures is collecting fragrances and nail polish. To display her collection in style while offering easily accessible storage, we added was a 16-inch X 5-foot Robern medicine cabinet.”

Dark to Dramatic

META Gold Award for Residential Interior $250,001-$500,000

The same homeowners also needed to convert the entry, kitchen and great room of their home to increase functionality and accessibility. The existing 1950’s kitchen was dark, narrow, and closed off from the living space by a 16-foot long wall.

Removing the entry coat closet and the dividing wall created an open floor plan, allowing ease of movement and linking the great room and kitchen together. The same glossy white cabinets grace the updated kitchen and are accented by vivid glass “wavy” backsplash tiles and matching pendants above the contrasting dark island. The kitchen is illuminated with recessed lighting and a skylight.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring extends into the great room, which had a dated brick fireplace flanked by built-in bookcases with scalloped wood trim, all which had been painted white. The space was transformed by applying concrete over the existing brick for an industrial look, adding metal mesh door panels to the bookcases, and matching the color of the kitchen island. Floating shelves and an edgy wallpaper transform the space into one that is functional, accessible, and captures the homeowner’s distinct style.

“The homeowners aren’t afraid to be bold with color, texture, and design,” Debra explains. “In their previous home, they used a small-run “stealth print” wallcovering and decided to continue this adventurous design aesthetic by incorporating a fanciful skeleton wallpaper as a feature wall in their new great room.”

Last but not least, all interior doors were painted a charcoal gray, and the home’s exterior was modernized, removing the dated scalloped facia and adding horizontal cedar plank siding. The stucco was painted a deep teal and the exterior entry door a bright orange, creating curb appeal with significant WOW factor.

Small to Spacious & Stunning

META Gold Award for Residential Interior Remodel $100,000-$250,000

Harrell Remodeling Senior Designer, Gloria Carlson, was a META award winner for her transformative design on a two-story Menlo Park home. The layout of the client’s home restricted her ability to age in place as there was no bed and bathroom space on the main level that offered the necessary accessibility.

To achieve a functional, accessible, and beautiful master suite, Gloria reconfigured the existing floor plan, which included a barely usable ensuite “micro” bathroom and small closet, with an adjacent sub-standard “bedroom” that was too small to be used as one.

By incorporating the footprint of the second bedroom, Gloria created a luxurious master bathroom and walk-in closet, both 3-1/2 times larger than their original spaces. The once infinitesimal closet was expanded to a walk-in closet, allowing the owner to store all of her clothing in one place whereas before, it was scattered in various closets throughout the home.

A large shower includes accessibility features such as a low curb, folding teak bench and grab bars. The client and Gloria worked together to lay out the shower tiles to mimic hot air balloons floating skyward, reminding the homeowner of one of her favorite getaways.

Gloria interspersed numerous other personal touches reminiscent of vacations including custom cabinet knobs made from stones found near the owner’s beloved mountain cabin on the double vanity and seated make-up area.

“The homeowner is a tall woman and she wanted the bathroom designed to comfortably fit her height,” Gloria explains. “Now she has a master ensuite bath that not only fits her personality but her stature, enabling her to comfortably and safely live in her home for years to come.”

Baker’s Dream Kitchen & Functional Garage

META Gold Award for Residential Interior Remodel $250,001-$500,000

Gloria designed a dream kitchen for another Menlo Park client, a close-knit family that loves to bake. Their adult son is a professional baker while the husband makes 1,000 truffles at a time multiple times a year. Their kitchen was attractive yet the confined space was not conducive to the cooking and baking functionality this family desired.

“This family is very unique and as such, had very specific requirements and challenges to solve in their home remodel,” Gloria states. “Not only were they avid bakers and chefs but they had a menagerie of exotic pets whose needs they also wanted to embrace in their remodeling project.”

Significant changes to the structure were made to create the dream kitchen that fit the family’s lifestyle. A load-bearing wall was removed, and a massive engineered beam inserted into the ceiling framing opened the kitchen and dining areas. It also allowed for a large island with seating for four, a lower counter area for the son’s baking while the husband used the large, higher portion of the island for making his truffles. With so many special baking appliances and accoutrements, storage was at a premium. Appliance “garages” were added for mixers and other large items while overflow storage was added to the home’s garage. The end result is an open, expansive space filled with natural and artificial light, colorful cabinets, plentiful prep space and storage, high-end appliances, and a mosaic backsplash, which is a nod to the family’s Spanish heritage.

The garage itself also underwent a significant METAmorphosis, transforming it into a fully functional space for laundry and overflow kitchen storage. Gloria also designed a secure location to store high-end bicycles in addition to a separate area for storing food for their tortoises, iguanas, snakes and other reptile pets.

Founded in 1985 by Iris Harrell, Employee-Owned Harrell Remodeling, Inc. has been transforming distinctive homes for 35 years in the Bay Area. If you are considering a METAmorphosis of your Silicon Valley or Mid-Peninsula home, Harrell Remodeling’s award-winning Design + Build team can make your residential dreams a reality. Explore our website to see more of our projects, learn about our company or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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://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.

Related Links

Media contact:
Bella Babot
Director of Marketing
[email protected]

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.