Winter Park Construction Named ARDA’s ACE Award Winner

04/20/2011

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ORLANDO, FL (April 20, 2011) –- Winter Park Construction (WPC), one of the nation’s most respected general contractors, was recently honored by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) with one of its highest awards. WPC was named the winner of the prestigious ACE Community Service Award, which recognizes outstanding community contributions by an ARDA member or organization.

Although WPC provides volunteers and extensive financial support to many other community charities, it was their Home At Last Project that won the award—a special program that has honored combat-wounded U.S. veterans of military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan with custom-built, mortgage-free homes. The award was presented to WPC President Jeff Forrest and Project Managers John Russo and Paul Caruana at the annual Awards Gala of the 2011 Convention & Exposition, recently held in Orlando, Florida.

Explained Jeff Forrest, “When the West Orange Habitat for Humanity (from the Orlando, Florida area) saw a need to build ‘disability-friendly’ homes for wounded vets about three years ago, WPC eagerly volunteered to participate in this important project. Our initial intention was to build the homes as a way to say ‘thank you’ for the personal sacrifices the veterans had made while serving our nation.“

Since then, the WPC team has guided the building of not just one residence, but one home a year for the last three consecutive years to deserving combat-wounded veterans. While many Habitat for Humanity homes are built by special volunteers who may be considered “weekend warriors” in terms of their construction skills, the homes built by Winter Park Construction and friends were built by professional tradesman – including architects, designers, assisting general contractors and subcontractors – working under the WPC umbrella, all of whom had a passion to provide custom-built homes to serve each veteran’s specific needs. Many subcontractors relied on various vendors to supply labor for special construction-related skills at which they excelled. The project itself has extended beyond the footprint of each residence to the communities in which they are located with all of the local communities offering assistance with reduced impact fees and permitting costs.

Winter Park Construction knows they could not make the mortgage-free home ownership a reality for these soldiers on their own and have heavily relied on their trade partners who leveraged their relationships and buying power with their suppliers who donate most, if not all, of the building materials needed. They recognize that Home At Last is a collaborative effort on the part of all partners in this philanthropic and community service project to give back to wounded U.S. soldiers.

Founded in 1974, Winter Park Construction specializes in the hospitality, commercial, multi-family, student housing, and senior living markets. WPC has completed projects all over the Southeast United States, Las Vegas, and Cancun, Mexico.

The Orlando Business Journal has ranked Winter Park Construction one of Central Florida’s largest local construction/general contractor companies. Engineering News-Record Magazine also lists them as one of the nation’s Top 400 Contractors. With revenues exceeding $200 million, Winter Park Construction has completed over one billion square feet of construction work including over 10,000 timeshare units and over 20,000 units in the multi-family sectors. Over 40% of the operations staff with management responsibilities are LEED accredited.
For more information, visit www.wpc.com.

PHOTO ID: John Russo (second from left), Winter Park Construction President Jeff Forrest, (center) and Paul Caruana (far right) accept ACE award from ARDA members.

Source: Inside the Gate

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