By Sami Sallaway
On December 17, 2021, Metropolis President Frank Fortino announced the winners of the company’s top awards at the annual holiday celebration, held at the Metropolis Group headquarters. Project Manager Hope Denon was honored as the 2021 Employee of the Year, and Managing Director Joe Bastone received the 2021 Manager of the Year award.
“Despite the continuing challenges presented by COVID, Metropolis team members continue to work together in service of our clients,” said Fortino. “Hope and Joe both embody the dedication and excellence upon which Metropolis was founded. Congratulations to you both.”
2021 Employee of the Year: Hope Denon
A Metropolis Group team member since June 2019, Hope brings a thoughtful, strategic perspective and unwavering attention to detail to every project. Her performance on the Outer Borough team has prepared her for new challenges and greater responsibility as a project manager for the Major Alterations & New Buildings division, a role she has held since April 2021.
“Hope has true dedication to her work,” says Project Management Officer Gregory Fortino. “She is extremely organized and helps keep projects on track and moving forward. Hope knows what questions to ask, and she is able to pinpoint problems and resolve issues before they have an adverse impact on projects.”
Founder Frank Fortino praises Hope as embodying the qualities upon which Metropolis was built, including her commitment to both clients and colleagues. “Hope has shown all of us how to be a team player, and she never hesitates to jump in and assist with a project,” he says. “Hope is quiet and kind and, above all, very smart. We are blessed to have Hope as a rising star.”
When she heard her name called, Hope was surprised since so many of her teammates work hard and deserve the honor. “It’s very nice to be recognized and appreciated, especially for doing something that I really enjoy,” says Hope. “No day is the same. You’re always learning something new about the city agencies, the filing and permitting process, and how to run projects to reach their full potential.”
2021 Manager of the Year: Joe Bastone
Earlier in the week, Joe Bastone was telling Frank Fortino that, if it weren’t for bad luck, he would have no luck at all. After announcing Joe as the Manager of the Year, Fortino pointed out that Joe’s statement wasn’t entirely accurate.
“I literally did a double-take,” says Joe, who joined Metropolis in 2017 as Senior Account Manager. “Winning the award could not have been further from my mind. It took a few seconds for the news to sink in. I am both honored and humbled that the Metropolis team thinks of me in that way—especially now, when so much of our interaction is virtual.
“We’ve been successful in this challenging time because we’ve maintained close communication and focused on doing what we need to do. We’re all more unified as a result.”
As Managing Director, Joe is involved with every aspect of company operations, from troubleshooting resolutions for complex, technical issues to ensuring that team members have everything they need to perform to the best of their abilities.
According to Gregory Fortino, “Joe has this innate ability to help others find out what their strengths are and to really connect with employees and clients to identify issues and problem solve. This skill set not only aids in employee growth, but also the growth of Metropolis.”
“The office elected Joe Bastone for his continuous support to each employee and his guidance and direction,” says Frank Fortino. “Throughout the pandemic, Joe never stepped down; instead, he rallied and pushed to support every team member. His continuing efforts on behalf of our clients and our employees are very much appreciated.”
The Employee and Manager of the Year awards recognize outstanding team members who not only fulfill their job responsibilities, but also demonstrate initiative in taking on other roles. Other criteria include industry knowledge and expertise, positive work attitude, and team contributions.
Each year, Metropolis employees anonymously nominate peers and managers, who must be full-time employees with a minimum tenure of six months.