First place: C.H. Briggs Hardware, Reading,
Hardware Manufacturer Focuses
on Community Life
C.H. Briggs believes in participating in the community in which
it operates, and improving quality of life in that community and
its employees truly take this idea to heart. The kitchen and bath
hardware manufacturer doesn’t just serve the surrounding community
through one aspect, but rather is involved in several segments of
community life all with a level of employee involvement that is
In fact, it was the combination of enthusiastic employee
participation, diversity of community involvement and overall
commitment to service that won the company top honors in Category
Eight of K&BDN’s second annual Industry Leadership
Key to the company’s activity is the Community Contribution
Committee, an employee-run arena where all requests are reviewed
and then distributed to those organizations that meet the
committee’s criteria, which include enriching the local community
and quality of life.
The company and its employees are also deeply involved with the
United Way of Berks County, winning the Employee Campaign of the
Year Award, the Gold Award and the Presidential Award for
increasing commitment to the non-profit organizations of Berks
County. An inspired commitment, C.H. Briggs boasts that, in the
1999/2000 campaign cycle, the company had an 88 percent employee
participation rate and raised $15,136.
During this time, the company was also awarded the prestigious
Frank R. Palmer Corporate Citizenship Award, a prize presented by
Berks County to only two companies each year, firms that exemplify
the corporate commitment to a better community through support of
the local United Way’s annual campaign. In addition to her
corporate responsibilities, Julia Klein, president and CEO of C.H.
Briggs, is a founding member of the Cabinet Industry Distribution
Associ-ation (CIDA), and serves on the board of directors for the
Berks County Community Foundation, as well as the board of
directors for the Manufacturers Association of Berks County.
Klein’s interest in the local community trickles down through her
company, which also gives generously to Berks Women in Crisis, and
participates in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer
Many of the firm’s employees have also formed teams, giving up
lunch hours to deliver meals to senior citizens through the local
Meals on Wheels program, the company notes. And, at holiday time,
employees participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program,
which collects gifts for needy children and senior citizens in the
C.H. Briggs’ future plans include continuing to expand its list
of volunteer projects.
Second place: Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry,
House Tours, Cooking Demonstrations Feed the Hungry
The plight of the hungry has always been viewed an urgent issue
for John and Les Petrie, and all of the people at Mother Hubbard’s
Custom Cabinetry. So, in an effort to raise awareness and money for
the South Central PA Food Bank, the company organized an event that
not only raises money for a good cause, but also gives participants
a glimpse of the firm’s kitchen designs, and provides an education
in cooking, as well.
Mother Hubbard’s asked its past clients to open up their homes
to the public for viewing and cooking demonstrations by local
chefs. Ticket sales raised money for the food bank, an organization
dedicated to reducing hunger by soliciting, warehousing, processing
and distributing nutritious food to a network of community
organizations that directly serve the hungry in the central
Additionally, monies were raised by local sponsor advertising in
the “Heart of the Home” kitchen tour guide book.
Since its inception in 1995, the “Heart of the Home” kitchen
tour has raised $20,000 for the food bank, according to the company
a significant contribution that garnered the company not only
respect in the community, but second-place honors in Category Eight
of K&BDN’s second annual Industry Leadership Awards.
The kitchen tour has been held in 1995, 1996 and 1999, and is
now an every-other-year event, with the next one planned for 2001,
the company further notes.
Third place: Carefree Kitchens, Inc., Linthieum Heights,
Firm Supports Community With Time, Labor, Materials
Owner Jik Yousefi of Carefree Kitchens, Inc., and its employees,
are proud of the fact that they are always ready to help their
community in times of need. In fact, reaching out and supporting
the local non-profit organizations as well as other causes in their
community is a key component in the company’s makeup.
Carefree Kitchens believes that coming to the aid of its
community not only strengthens the firm as a whole, but also
strengthens the community where it does business, improving the
market overall. And it is this effort which won the company third
place honors in Category Eight of K&BDN’s second annual
Industry Leadership Awards.
Whether donating time, materials, labor or other services,
Carefree Kitchens is always looking for an opportunity to become
involved in a community project, according to Yousefi.
On several occasions, the company has been approached by special
interest groups it has assisted and been contracted to build or
remodel a specific area or perform some type of work for them. In
these cases, Carefree Kitchens conveniently “forgets” to send an
invoice for the work, Yousefi adds.
By helping to support the community, Carefree Kitchens has
received great loyalty from members of the surrounding area it
serves, Yousefi believes. The community service efforts not only
inspire good will, but also bring in kitchen and bath remodeling
referrals from all over the Baltimore, MD area.