Tappouni Challenges People to Think ‘Outside of the Box’ on Green
Jacksonville Business Journal, May 24, 2010
The list of honors and awards that Mary Tappouni, president and CEO of Breaking Ground Contracting, received last year alone could fill pages. She was named Florida State Small-Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, received a national Women in Business Stevie Award for Best Entrepreneur, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Women Business Owners of North Florida, received an award for outstanding community leadership from the Northeast Florida chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and was the recipient of the prestigious Best Practice Award for Leadership from Sustainable Florida Collins Center for Public Policy, to name a few.
Known for her passion for and focus on sustainable, green and LEED construction, Tappouni could easily fill her time completing commercial and residential projects for the growing list of Breaking Ground clients. Instead, she has chosen to expand her scope of work to educate and influence as many people as possible on sustainable and green living, a decision that colleagues say inspires all who come in contact with her.
“Mary is one of the most driven people I have ever worked for,” said Catherine Burkee, director of Breaking Ground’s Education Services division and one of Tappouni’s several family members who work for her. “She is a leader in global thinking and has made it a mission to challenge people to think outside the box in terms of green and sustainability.”
Through the company’s Education Services division, Tappouni and employees offer classes throughout the state, speaking on small-business issues, green building and sustainable construction. The company holds a regular “Lunch and Learn” series for clients, subcontractors and vendors, and Tappouni frequently appears as a panelist and speaker at conferences and events.