Open House Held to Celebrate Our Office Building’s Renovation and Expansion

Open House Held to Celebrate Our

Office Building’s Renovation and Expansion

June 2008

01Orion Associates, Meridian Services and Zenith Services held an Open House on June 12, 2008 to celebrate the
completion of the renovation and expansion of our offices in the Orion
Building, at 9400 Golden Valley Road, in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

The Open House was attended by consumers, their families, and our employees, as well as by our colleagues in the Human Services field, people with whom we do business, and representatives from the Counties and State.  In addition to offering tours of the building and refreshments to our guests, we provided games and activities for the children.

02The renovation and expansion of our building became necessary due to the
remarkable growth that our organization has experienced in recent
years.  To support that growth, the number of employees based in the office has almost doubled from when we first moved into the building in the fall of 2003.

In response, we considered the option of
moving our offices to another location.  We decided, however, that we wanted to remain our building and chose to renovate and expand the building to meet our needs.

03We engaged TDB Builders, LLC of Forest Lake, Minnesota,  Represented by Tony Vannelli, Doug Jeans and Steve Johnson, TDB took on the building project, which brought with it three unique challenges.

The first challenge was that we wanted to create a new, contemporary space, doubling the size of the building, but to do so in a way that maintained design continuity with the original building.  We wanted it to be difficult to tell which part of the building was original and which had been a part of the

04The second challenge was that we had set for ourselves the goal of achieving Leadership in Energy &
Environmental Development (LEED) certification
.  We will
accomplish this goal in a years’ time if the building meets a set of criteria as an environmentally friendly building, which conserves energy usage and minimizes waste of any kind.  Currently,
there are only a handful of commercial buildings in Minnesota that are LEED certified.  As an organization, we felt that it was
important to be a role model and leader in the community.  More information about LEED certification may be found here: LEED certification.

The third challenge was that we wanted all of05 this for a very reasonable price!

TDB Builders succeed in meeting all of these challenges and more.  We have doubled the space in our building, making it possible to provide adequate office space for our
office staff.  Our building is more accessible to people with
disabilities.  We now have a training room that can be use as one large space or sub-divided into three separate meeting or classrooms rooms.  The building now has a bright, open reception area and a day care facility which will allow employees to have their children cared for in the workplace.

To express our appreciation to TDB Builders, Rebecca Thomley, Chief Executive Officer, prepared the following Letter of Recommendation, which was presented to Tony Vannelli and Steve Johnson, by Stephen Hage, Chief Administrative Officer, at the Open House.

June 12, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to TDB Builders for their work building the addition to our office building at 9400 Golden Valley Road, in Golden Valley.

TDB demonstrated enthusiasm for the project from our first meetings with them through to the end of the project.  They listened to what we said, were sensitive to our needs, and took to heart what we told them was truly important to us in the building we envisioned.  They presented us with cost effective plans that realized our vision and built the addition that
fully met those plans.

The most telling demonstration of their desire and ability to meet our vision for the building was when, after they had taken on the project, we told them that we had decided to seek
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Development (LEED) certification for the building.  LEED certification is achieved if a building meets a set of criteria as an environmentally
friendly building, which conserves energy usage and minimizes waste of any kind.  As there are only a handful of commercial buildings in Minnesota that are LEED certified, TDB had to learn about LEED certification from the “ground up.”  They did so and then applied what they learned to the construction of our addition.  They did so with enthusiasm and incorporated the principals of a “green” design into their plans, construction, and the building that resulted.

Through all aspects of their work, they were flexible and adaptable to our needs, continually striving to see that the building was going to be exactly what we wanted.  They regularly adapted their construction plans, including moving a door so that furniture would fit into one office better and installing a “doggie door” in another person’s office.

Above and beyond their work on our building, TDB was willing to join with us in our charitable relief work, through our company’s “River of Hope” project, rebuilding hurricane damaged homes in New Orleans.  TDB paid for a large number of their employees to travel to New Orleans on two separate trips.  For us, this demonstrated not only a sincere wish to
please their clients, but a willingness to serve the community at large, doing both with enthusiasm and competence.

We want to express our deepest appreciation to TDB Builders and to recommend them to other organizations seeking to work with a conscientious builder of the highest quality.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Rebecca Thomley Chief Executive Officer