Stellar, a fully integrated firm focused on design, engineering, construction and mechanical services worldwide, has been named one of Jacksonville Magazine’s 2020 “Companies with Heart.” This is the sixth time Stellar has received the designation since 2014.
The “Companies with Heart” award program recognizes local businesses that contribute to nonprofits and give their employees the time and opportunities to improve the communities where they work and live.
In 2019, Stellar’s charitable arm, The Stellar Foundation, donated time, money and resources to more than 60 charitable organizations across the First Coast.
“Stellar is celebrating our 35th anniversary as a company this year, and we are proud to call Jacksonville home,” said Mike Santarone, Stellar’s CEO. “Giving back and building up this community has always been at the heart of who we are as a company, and we look forward to continuing that tradition.”
Supporting organizations that do good
Stellar was the title sponsor of the 5th Annual Run for Heroes in Jacksonville. To date, the event has raised more than $60,000 to support trauma injury prevention and community education at UF Health Jacksonville, which is home to the only adult and pediatric Level I trauma center in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Most recently, funds supported Stop the Bleed training and bleeding control kits for local area schools as well as first responder training courses. A team of Stellar employees also fundraised and participated in the race.
One of Stellar’s most notable programs is The Stellar Academy of Engineering at Nease High School, which provides students with a foundation of skills, knowledge and experience in engineering through coursework, guest lectures and course-specific field trips. Stellar also donates two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from the academy each year. The success of the program has grown to the point that 20 percent of eligible Jacksonville students now opt to attend the academy over their neighborhood school.
As part of the company’s “Believe in the Jeans” program, Stellar employees can donate to wear jeans on Fridays, with proceeds benefiting a different charity each quarter. In the last year alone, this initiative raised approximately $15,000 for charities including:
- Brooks Rehabilitation Foundation
- Tesori Family Foundation
- Children of Fallen Patriots
- Hope Town Rising
The YMCA Tiger Academy is a charter school program in Northwest Jacksonville that provides full days of learning, as well as before and after school care for Pre-K to 5th grade students. In 2019, Stellar employees donated backpacks and bags of school supplies to students for the new school year.
Stellar is also proud to support the Healthy Kids Running Series, a five-week running program for local children from Pre-K to 8th grade. The events are designed to get kids active, experience accomplishment and lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Stellar employees volunteer for the events and help promote it within the community.
Providing for those in need
For the past several years, a team of Stellar volunteers has helped prepare and serve a delicious holiday meal, decorate and provide holiday gifts for children at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center. In 2019, Stellar had 25 employees who volunteered, which is the maximum allowed by the Center.
In 2019, Stellar employees gifted a company-record 70 Thanksgiving food baskets to local families in need at Community Hospice, providing the families with gift cards and non-perishable food items to complete a Thanksgiving dinner.
The company donated presents to 50 children and families at Community PedsCare, a pediatric palliative and hospice program for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. Stellar also donated $1,000 to the organization’s 2019 “Halloween Doors and More” event.
Each quarter, Stellar organizes a team of about 15-20 volunteers to work on a new home or remodel in support of Habitat for Humanity in Jacksonville. Tasks from the most recent renovation project included painting the inside of a home, repairing bathroom walls, remodeling the front porch and landscaping the yard.
Stellar also regularly supports local hospitals, colleges and universities, and has donated thousands of dollars through the company’s Employee Match Program.
Stellar is a fully integrated design, engineering, construction, refrigeration and mechanical services firm serving commercial, industrial and public sector markets across the United States and around the world. More than 750 Stellar employees worldwide design, build and maintain award-winning food processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, distribution centers, commercial buildings and military facilities. In addition to its Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters, Stellar operates support locations and offices throughout the United States. Stellar also serves Central and South America, Europe and India. For more information, visit stellar.net.