The Harrell Design + Build team is dedicated to being an active member of the community and giving back to those who have given us so much. Working with both our neighbors and national organizations, we are convinced that every effort has a positive effect at home and abroad.

Music and the arts have always held a special place in life for Harrell Design + Build CEO, Ciro Giammona. After performing in a community production of Legally Blonde, he discovered TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Founded in 1970, the nationally acclaimed TheatreWorks is one of the largest theatre production companies in America.

Harrell Design + Build has been integrally involved with TheatreWorks for over four years. After Ciro was introduced to the organization, he was invited to become a member of the Board of Trustees. Since then, he has been a strong proponent of Harrell’s involvement in the company.

Read more about Harrell’s involvement here.

Harrell Design + Build CEO Ciro Giammona and General Manager/Senior Designer Lisa Sten volunteered their time and expertise to the Design for a Difference (DFAD) makeover of Mountain View’s Community Health & Awareness Council (CHAC). The nonprofit provides counseling and prevention services to children and families in Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, and surrounding communities.

Backed by the International Design Guild, DFAD is spearheaded by Guild members throughout the United States and Canada who sponsor “community-based and design-driven” transformations for deserving charitable organizations. The North American spokesperson for DFAD is Mark Brunetz, interior designer, author, and Emmy-award-winning television host.

Read more about the makeover here.

Harrell Design + Build has always been an integral part of the communities we work in, and this year is no different! The Foundation we are spotlighting this month, is the San Francisco 49er’s Academy in E. Palo Alto – a stone’s throw away from our office, yet seemingly a world away. We decided we wanted to do something more this year and with a local group involving children. After much thought and research, we are pleased to be underwriting the sponsorship for an inaugural FUNdraising event in Atherton, on September 12th, 2013.

We are partnering with Wine, Women and Shoes to bring a fabulous event to the Bay Area, where the 350+ women attending will be sipping Napa valley wines, savoring gourmet bites from some of the Bay Areas most notable Chefs, boutique shopping and enjoying a Wilkes Bashford created and sponsored Fashion Show, and with all the proceeds going to the San Francisco 49ers Academy!   A little bit about the Academy and why this fundraiser is so important! The 49ers Academy serves 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from East Palo Alto.  Defined by educational excellence, the 49ers Academy maximizes the potential of every student. The school emphasizes self-discipline, respect, and individualized attention to help students master core subjects and prepare for high school. Students benefit from a small, nurturing and personalized environment.

Located in the heart of East Palo Alto’s most at-risk neighborhood, the 49ers Academy creates a climate of hope among this community’s most challenged children. Advanced technology, individualized instruction, social support services and extended school hours are just some of the practices the 49ers Academy utilizes to achieve a higher standard of education. A talented, caring staff establishes high expectations in the belief that every student can and will achieve academic success…and they do! We are thrilled to be a part of this very special event! If the shoe fits share it!

How many summer afternoons were spent reading a book when you were a child, or maybe even now as an adult? As a child, how many nights did you sit in bed, maybe under your covers with a flashlight, reading your favorite story or poems (hoping your parents didn’t find out you were still awake…past 10!) What about lolling by a pool, sitting on a deck, laying on the beach or perched atop a rock overlooking a mountain lake only made better by the “great read” you just found and can’t put down? Books transport us to anywhere we wish to be, they fulfill and educate, they thrill us with adventures of long ago, or futuristic kingdoms and lives unknown, they bring truth, make us laugh, sometimes cry, and always leaving us wanting more.  Books are a gift, and one we so easily may take for granted. We are once again working with the One World Child Fund/The African Library Project to bring about some small gifts to those whom may not have known the excitement of owning and reading a book.  We will be collecting any and all gently used (or new!) books you would like to donate.  Please bring them to: The Harrell Design + Build Design Center between April 4thand April 28 nd for the Harrell Design + Build Book Drive to benefit the African Library Project.  Our goal is to collect at least 1,000 books – but let’s strive for 2,000! I will also be happy to pick them (or arrange to pick them up) if you cannot make it to the Design Center!

Harrell Design + Build is pleased to announce that we will be hosting three California Building Officials (CALBO) Code Classes all in one day. May 10th, 2011: 2010 California Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Code You can sign up for half-day if you are just interested in Electrical (first half) $100.00 or Plumbing and Mechanical (second half) $100.00 or the full day (electrical, plumbing and mechanical) for $200.00. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED BY CALBO.

Design your own dream room! If you could have any kind of room, what would it be, what would it look like? Now is your chance to become a Designer and learn the skills needed to create a 3D floor plan! Read and understand Architectural plans – what do all those symbols and vocabulary really mean? Watch as the drawing comes to life with CAD (computer aided design) and then becomes a reality as the final project shown is in a 3D Model. Discover the many styles of homes – is your home a Victorian, French Country, Traditional, Contemporary or maybe a combination? Be an Interior Designer for the morning! Choose your dream room, add color and style, and enter to have “your room” featured on the Harrell Design + Build Facebook page, along with some other cool prizes! Learn about “SMART” homes – how they work, why they are energy efficient and how the “new” technology is changing the way we design, build and remodel homes. You have heard of construction, but do you know what “deconstruction” is? Take the “smell” test and ask yourself, why do some paints or glues smell and others don’t? (hint…one is good for you and one is not!) What is a “Green Home”, or what is a “Universally Designed Home? “Unearth” the answers to all these questions and learn about how you and your family can take small steps to having a healthier home with better indoor air quality and more energy efficient while looking out for our planet! You and your friends will take a journey through the world of Design and Building, gain an understanding of what it means to be “Green” and learn about a career in the creative and every changing world of Designers, Architects and Builders! Each girl will leave with a tote filled with their projects, “tools of the trade” and other goodies to enjoy and share with their friends and family!

Mountain View’s Iris Harrell, CEO of Harrell Design + Build, is blushing. Recently named a Santa Clara Valley YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) award winner, she’s one of fifty female executives selected to be honored at the April 30th awards dinner for exemplifying excellence. For the past 19 years, the YWCA TWIN program has recognized Silicon Valley executive-level women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities within their companies. Judged by a panel of past TWIN honorees on their demonstration to have made a substantial organizational impact relative to innovation, growth and motivation, these women are noted as role models for other women aspiring to executive level positions. Harrell, while modest about the honor, is proud to be identified as possessing these attributes. “I’ve tried to create an atmosphere at Harrell Design + Build that benefits and nurtures each company individual,” says Harrell, “and that’s also reflected in how we care for our clients. I believe that by respecting our everyone as family, philosophy, our clients benefit, our employees benefit, and the company benefits.” Taking that everyone is family philosophy to the next level, in April of 2002, Harrell initiated a non-leveraged Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that, over time, will leave her remodeling legacy to those who helped build it, Harrell Design + Build employees. “It won’t all happen at once, but it’s a strong motivational tool that our employees can believe in and look forward to,” says Harrell. Nominated by a member of her staff, Harrell is looking forward to attending the TWIN ceremony along with several of her office teammates. Providing services to over 32,000 Santa Clara County residents, funds generated through the Annual Awards Dinner allow the YWCA to continue its mission to empower.

Taking home improvement into their own young hands, Mountain View Girl Scout Troops #1023, #369, #1082, and #45 learned the tools of the construction and remodeling trade this last Sunday at Harrell Design + Build Learning from the skilled staff of Harrell Design + Build, a woman-owned residential remodeling company, thirty-seven girls had the chance to earn their Ms. Fix-It badge by learning about the various aspects of the remodeling industry – from what it takes to be a woman in the construction industry to the many skills needed for running a remodeling company. Iris Harrell, owner of Harrell Design + Build, led the day as the girls worked hands-on in electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and tool and energy conservation workshops that taught them basic home-improvement as well as perseverance and pride in work. Additionally, in talking with the experts these industrious young women really got to understand the business aspect of remodeling and the many facets that belong to it. From changing electrical fuses to continuing education, these girls are ready to meet the challenge!

Thirty continuation students form San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School recently had the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of the remodeling industry from Harrell Design + Build, opening their eyes to new possibilities. Preparing to enter the work force and curious about their options in remodeling, students from 17-27 years old spent several hours at Harrell Design + Build head quarters getting a feel for what it takes to be in the business. While normally this kind of job shadowing is limited to one or two students shadowing a CEO, Harrell Design + Build invited all who were interested and presented a series of speakers representing various jobs in the industry. Led by CEO Iris Harrell, a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the company was given, which then led into a Q and A session between the Harrell Design + Build staff and students. Focusing on the various aspects of being a remodeling CEO, contractor, designer, production manager, and estimator, the education, skills, and business practices necessary to build a successful company were of particular interest to the students. “[Harrell Design + Build] presented the good relationships and teamwork needed for a successful company, and the students really caught onto that,” says Jacqueline Richberg, SJCC teacher. “They also emphasized that no matter how old you are, you are always a student – I thought that was a really good point too.” Richberg also noted that in thank you letters to the company, many students commented either they were now considering jobs in the remodeling field, or that because of how they learned careers develop they now know it is important to study so as to keep their job options open.