When shopping for just about everything, from new kitchen appliances to cars and even hotel rooms, the Internet has become a great place to do your homework. Not only can you check local availability and competitive prices, you can also gain valuable insight from other consumers like yourself by searching online reviews.
"No one should make a purchase before doing their homework," Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving the Chicagoland area, said. "Knowing what others think before you buy -- and even knowing what others think of the place you're buying from -- can save you from making mistakes, and more importantly can save you money."
Just as BBB Accreditation provides a recognizable benchmark for companies that meet the high standards of this revered organization, accolades from industry peers offer consumers an insider’s perspective that pay tribute to exemplary work.
Along with recognizing a job well done, industry awards help inspire others to do their best. By shining the spotlight on great achievement, awards help raise the bar that companies strive to meet and exceed.
In homebuilding, the Key Award is the mark of quality bestowed annually by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC). The Crystal Key Award is the highest and most prestigious award of excellence.
To select their award winners each year, the HBAGC takes nominations from builders, remodelers and homebuilding industry professionals who believe their projects are the best in the industry. Then, teams of building experts go into the field and judge the nominated projects, looking at quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The 2012 Key Awards were presented during a celebratory dinner earlier this month, and Phillippe Builders was the honored Crystal Key Award winner for their work in The Gates of St. John.
'We are very honored to be a part of such a strong, growing community as The Gates of St. John. To receive recognition as the best community of all Chicagoland, voted by peers in the industry, means a lot especially in these economic times,” Robert Phillippe said.
“It is our philosophy to provide the expertise, consultation and support our customer needs to visualize and plan their new home in lasting communities, such as The Gates of St. John, for which the American Midwest is known. We will continue to be committed to provide homes that are built to last and built for living. We are grateful for our Home Consultant, Jennifer McCollom, who has been at The Gates from the beginning back in 2005 as well as Jim Williams, our Superintendent who is there to provide customer service to our homeowners.”
Key Awards are judged on a point basis, with a threshold for gold, silver and bronze Key Awards. Those who enter their projects in the Crystal Key competition are judged on the overarching excellence of their community or development.
According to the HBAGC, homebuyers who know their builder has won a Key Award can be assured that they are dealing with a company whose standards are among the highest in the industry. Not only are the standards high, but the prestige of holding the Award earns companies the respect and admiration of their fellow competitors. They set the bar for innovation and quality, giving inspiration to others.
“You can tell when you walk into these homes and communities, that the people involved set out to make a difference in the quality of life for their residents,” Gail Payonk, past co-chair of the Key Awards Committee, said. “The Key Awards winners are those who are building exemplary homes. Anyone who buys a home from a Key Award winner can be assured that their builder is among those who care to bring their best to the table every single day.”
The oldest affiliate of the NAHB, the HBAGC is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1939. The group represents more than 2,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other segments of residential construction.
A little over two years ago, a fire in one of the 19 Hampton-in-Highland apartment buildings on 45th left 25 families homeless. Looking to offer residents “a healthier lifestyle within walls of peace and comfort,” Partnership Concepts Realty Management, the management company for Hampton-In-Highland used the opportunity to do more than just replace a building. They established policies new to Northwest Indiana - smoke-free and pet-free housing – and they added amenities like quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, sprinkler systems and phone-controlled access.
As a result, Hampton-in-Highland was recently awarded the 2012 Prodigy Award for the “Best Renovated Community” in the state of Indiana, which is the industry’s leading award honoring excellence in an apartment community. This is the 12th major award acknowledgement for Hampton-in-Highland.
“It’s an honor to receive this award,” Sandra Barber, Property Manager at Hampton-In-Highland for 23 years, said. “I’m thankful every day we can make a difference in people’s lives.”
Following in his father’s footsteps, Lance Swank, president of the Sterling Group which recently celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of an all-new Residence Clubhouse at Covington Square on Vale Park Road in Valparaiso, was the 2012 recipient of the Daniel M. Grady Memorial Award by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in recognition of his leadership within the association and his commitment to affordable housing. His father, Larry Swank, received the award in 1997.
Built in 1993, Covington Square now features a 24-hr. fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment and a cyber cafe with complimentary Wi-Fi. With 152 apartments/townhomes, a new two-bedroom apartment home model is also now available.
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