The Bozzuto Buzz is about coming together and connecting as a community—sharing our stories and using our voices to express the triumphs and challenges we face. For the month of November, we celebrate some exciting updates, accomplishments, share the stories of our peers and provide ways to give back.
As we enter Thanksgiving week, we wish you and your families a happy and peaceful holiday. Now more than ever, we’re thankful for your extraordinary work.
Read These Stories
An Introduction by President and CEO Toby Bozzuto Cultivating a Community of Belonging: Our New Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Hub Rise to the Occasion: Support Feeding America Bozzuto Philly Jumps Into Action on Election Day Bozzuto Awarded Two New MHN 2020 Excellence Awards Among Other Honors A Virtual Night to Remember: the 2020 BMAs Honoring & Celebrating Our Veteran and Veteran Spouse Employees
A Season of Gratitude: An Introduction by Toby Bozzuto
As we approach the holiday season, it is helpful to pause and reflect on the many things we can be thankful for. Despite this incredibly challenging year, The Bozzuto Group continues to recognize that we can make the world a better place by creating sanctuary for those we serve. As a family taking care of family, we know that sometimes we need to step up and care for one another. We are all so incredibly fortunate to be in the position to do this good work for others.
As such, this month’s Buzz features a number of wonderful things you are doing each and every day.
First, many of you know that we’ve been laser-focused on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. You have participated in Courageous Conversations and Thought Leadership forums, and many more of you will participate in our forthcoming unconscious bias trainings. I truly appreciate you putting in this hard work. These conversations (which can sometimes be difficult) will help us to learn from one another and to grow. It is critical that we constantly strive to understand and appreciate different perspectives.
We have built a platform dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion so that you can easily access resources anytime. This DEI Hub is now live on the intranet. I hope that you find this new space useful, and that you will contemplate contributing content and additional resources.
Last week, I reaffirmed my commitment to building upon a culture of kindness and belonging at the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion annual meeting. It was an incredible experience to gather with more than 500 of my fellow CEOs to discuss the specific actions we can take as leaders to guide our companies and foster diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces where all are welcome. We heard from my friend Wes Moore about the role that businesses can have in creating a more inclusive society. We also heard from other speakers such as Dr. Robin DiAngelo and Professor Ibram X. Kendi about the critical need to understanding implicit bias. The entire day was filled with rich content and best DEI practices from some of the leading companies in the world. I was fortunate to cap off the week by speaking to CREW DC about Bozzuto’s efforts to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.
During this time of reflection and gratitude, it is also important to remember how many are suffering. I would like to remind you that we are collecting food and contributing to Feeding America through Rise by Bozzuto. Unfortunately, Feeding America has projected that the number of people in need of food this year may increase from about 35 million to more than 50 million because of the pandemic. Food insecurity is causing many of our neighbors to struggle, just as the holiday season approaches.
If you are able, I would encourage you to join us as we work to provide 10,000 meals to those most in need. After all, the season of Thanksgiving is a time where we can share our abundance.
I am grateful for the exceptional work and kindness you demonstrate every day. Thank you for everything you do. It is truly a privilege to work with such a supportive, kind and extraordinary group of people.
Cultivating a Community of Belonging: Our New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hub
We’re excited to share our new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hub, which reflects the actions we’ve taken together and provides helpful resources to guide our continued efforts. Explore our different cultures and observances in the Cultural Placemaking Guide, read about the experiences of our colleagues in Employee Perspectives and more.
As a company that deeply values our employees’ diverse perspectives, Bozzuto understands the importance of cultivating an environment of trust and belonging, where employees seek to understand each other’s lived experiences, embracing the beauty and richness of our diversity and awakening one another to opportunities for equity. Explore the hub on the Bozzuto Intranet here.
We’re also inviting you to share your voice for our inclusive leadership session, an interactive training launching in early 2021 that includes 10 short films featuring Bozzuto associates. To be considered for these films, please record and submit a 30-second video of yourself answering a set of questions. Find the questions and submit your video here.
Rise to the Occasion: Support Feeding America
Are you looking for a way to give back this holiday season? The pillars of Rise by Bozzuto—which focus on homelessness and housing, youth development and environmental impact issues —offer you several ways to make a collective, positive impact on our neighborhoods and communities. Whether you want to host a food drive, make a donation or lead regional Rise initiatives as a Community Champion, Rise by Bozzuto has the resources for you to give back in a way that works for you.
Here are a few ways you can make an impact:
- Donate here today—every $1 donated to Feeding America turns into 10 meals for those who are experiencing food insecurity.
- Host a food drive—5 canned goods create 10 meals. Click here for everything you need to lead a drive in your community.
- Track any food donations you collect for your local food banks on our collective drive page here.
Bozzuto Philly Jumps Into Action on Election Day
Imagine being able to roll out of bed, walking down to your apartment building’s lobby and casting your vote in this year’s election. For some Philly residents, this convenient process was a reality for the 2020 election. This year’s election day brought some unusual work responsibilities for members of the Bozzuto Philadelphia team, who were hard at work supporting local voting efforts, including hosting on-site voting at Dalian on the Park, on Election Day.
When the Parkway House—a designated Election Day polling station in Fairmount, Philadelphia—caught fire on November 2, the Philadelphia Board of Elections urgently went next door to Dalian on the Park to ask for help. Property Manager Michael Allard, working with Regional Vice President Doreen Trongone and their asset manager, secured the community as a polling station.
On Election Day, The Dalian on the Park team allowed five voters in at a time, enforced social distancing measures and required face masks. Residents were able to vote on their way out of the building. The residents, poll workers and voters expressed appreciation for the beautiful location and well-thought-out set up.
“I am so pleased that we were able to pull this together so quickly and do our civic duty,” Michael reflected.
A few blocks away, 1213 Walnut Property Manager Anthony Barone was working with Fairmount Votes to increase voter turnout and recruit poll workers to take the place of older, at-risk workers who were staying at home due to COVID-19 concerns. He encouraged the new paid poll workers to reach out to their local ward leaders to identify and donate their pay to these individuals, who may have had to choose between their health and finances.
On Election Day, Anthony also served as a poll watcher—reporting late openings and voting issues causing backups and working to resolve issues that came up for anyone who was denied the right to vote. He and his team made the process more efficient by identifying which voting machines voters needed to use based on their precincts. Crane Chinatown Property Manager Ashley Gredzinski served as a poll watcher as well.
Thank you to Michael, Anthony, Ashley, the Bozzuto Philadelphia team and all those who helped with this year’s election—we appreciate your hard work and dedication to democracy.
Bozzuto Awarded Two New MHN 2020 Excellence Awards Among Other Honors
Multi-Housing News (MHN) awarded Bozzuto and Bozzuto-managed communities several notable awards and honorable mentions during their 14th annual 2020 Excellence Awards. These awards recognize the company’s exceptional attention to detail and dedication to creating sanctuary.
Rise by Bozzuto was selected as the winner of MHN’s inaugural award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program. As communities faced unprecedented challenges this year, Rise united the Bozzuto network to give back like never before—thank you for your amazing participation in these campaigns and efforts. Additionally, Regional Director of Maintenance and Engineering Yasmin Hayat won the Rising Star award, recognizing her for her impactful leadership, out-of-the-box thinking and impressive on-site project results. Yasmin is the first Bozzuto associate to earn this impressive award. Liberty Harbor East, which made its grand debut in Baltimore, Maryland last year, was recognized as a Silver Medalist for the Best Development & Design: Mixed Use.
We are thrilled to be recognized for the following honors:
- Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program: Rise by Bozzuto
- Gold: Yasmin Hayat, Rising Star
- Silver: Liberty Harbor East, Best Development & Design: Mixed Use
Several other Bozzuto-managed properties won MHN awards as well—check out the full list here.
A Virtual Night to Remember: the 2020 BMAs
Even while we’re physically apart, we still found ways to celebrate one another’s accomplishments during this year’s first-ever virtual Bozzuto Management Awards (BMA). The sense of excitement and community was strong throughout the night as we celebrated from properties, home offices, kitchen tables and more. Thank you for tuning in to the celebration, where we were able to hear from our leadership, recognize the strong relationships you’ve built and the excellent work you’ve done in collaboration with our residents, clients and partners.
Congratulations to all our award winners—we are so grateful for your hard work and dedication to our mission. See the BMA winners here.
Employee Perspectives: Honoring & Celebrating Our Veteran and Veteran Spouse Employees
Last week, we paused on Veterans Day to remember the invaluable service of our veterans—their bravery, sacrifice and resilience. To all those who have served, especially the veteran and veteran spouse employees in our Bozzuto community, thank you for your service to our country.
Chairman and Co-Founder Tom Bozzuto and fellow Co-Founder John Slidell, both Vietnam veterans themselves, shared a special Veterans Day message. Watch the video here.
Do you know these Bozzuto veterans and veteran spouses? We asked several of our Bozzuto veteran and veteran spouse colleagues to share stories about their experiences in the military with us. Read about their service, career journeys and what Veterans Day means to them here.