Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mary Tappouni Wins Prestigious Stevie Award!

Mary Tappouni continues to be a woman on fire. On November 13, 2009, Mary was honored at the Stevie Awards ceremony in New York City as the winner in the category of Best Entrepreneur, Service Businesses up to 100 Employees.

The Stevie Awards were created to honor and generate recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and business people worldwide. The mission is to raise the profile of exemplary organizations and individuals among the press, the business community and the general public. The Stevie has become one of the world's most coveted awards!

Mary, we are so proud of you and your newest accolade! Your hard work, passion and desire to make a difference are a model for us all! Congratulations!

Friday, October 30, 2009


We are thrilled to have Me and Green available at!! If you, or someone you know, would like to purchase our book, you can contact Catherine Burkee directly by phone at 904.388.1350, by email at or order at
This book, written for children and adults alike, emphasizes the connections we have with our home, Mother Earth. Our official book launch is Wednesday, November 4th, at the downtown library's Booktique during the Jacksonville ArtWalk.
Me and Green makes a great gift for a child, parent, grandparent or teacher! Think about your holiday gift-giving list and plan ahead. If you would like an autographed copy, contact Catherine at the phone or email above. Keep it green!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Me and Green Arrives October 5th!!!

Breaking Ground Education Services is excited about our children's book entitled Me and Green which is due to be available October 5, 2009. This book is a collaborative effort by Mary Tappouni, Therese Tappouni and Catherine Burkee and is the first in a series of books that will be published for children of all ages!
Me and Green is designed to educate children about their role in keeping our earth happy and healthy, and explores the connections we all have to Earth and each other. Me and Green contains both teacher and parent activities, as well as discussion points, which encourage interaction between parents and their children and teachers and their students. Look for us soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eco Eve Takes Springfield!

Eco Eve has taken Springfield by storm! She was hatched and brought to her home in front of Three Layers Coffee house on the corner of Walnut and 6th Street. Eve is the turtle sponsored by Breaking Ground Contracting as part of the Turtle Trails project benefiting the Child Guidance Center. She sports a solar panel on her back which generates energy to her torch (not seen in photo). Her body artistry was created by local artist Joanelle Mulrain and reflects the sustainable ideals represented by Breaking Ground's philosophy.
Child Guidance Center is a private, nonprofit agency that understands and treats emotional and/or behavioral problems of children. CGC offers an entire spectrum of counseling and social services - case management, psychiatric services, in-home family and school-based counseling, crisis response, supervised visitation with parent education classes and full-service school programs. A link about CGC and the Turtle Trails project is included under Great Green Links on the left, or you can go to to get more information.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mary Tappouni Meets President Obama!

As many of you already know from my earlier post, Mary Tappouni was selected 2009 Business Person of the Year by the National Small Business Association. As part of the Small Business Week festivities in Washington, D.C., Mary and her mom, Therese Tappouni, were invited to the State Department and were in awe of the history that was before them. The highlight of the trip for Mary was having the opportunity to shake hands with President Obama, a man she admires greatly. I'm not sure she has yet to wash her hand!!! She was giddy with excitement and said it was the greatest honor of her life. The photo above is of Mary and Therese.

Faces of Green Unveiled

Breaking Ground Education Services unveiled its Faces of Green exhibit to the public for the first time on June 3rd, at Chamblin's Uptown, as part of the Jacksonville Art Walk. The photographs in the exhibit reflect a variety of building construction professionals and community members that have provided their reflections on why green building and green living is important to them. Faces of Green is a photographic campaign that has been over a year in the making, and is a result of Mary Tappouni's vision to create a community outreach project focusing on the "why" of being green. The exhibit features the photography guessed it, Catherine Burkee. The exhibit will be traveling, so keep your eyes on this blog for future locations!!
This post shows a few photos from the exhibit opening:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mary Tappouni...Small Business Association's 2009 Florida Business Person of the Year!!!

President Mary Tappouni of Breaking Ground Contracting Receives SBA Award as 2009 Florida Business Person of the Year! The Jacksonville woman-owned business competed with business owners in 43 counties! Here's a news clip:
Jacksonville, FL., --The U.S. Small Business Administration's North Florida District Office is pleased to announce the 2009 Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Florida. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, SBA District Director: "We are proud of Ms Tappouni's accomplishments and of her committment to small business and environmentally friendly practices. She is an example of the credence of the importance of small businesses to our American economy." Mary Tappouni has not only excelled at being a female entrepreneur in the male dominated construction field, she has successfully blended her profession with her passion for the environment, and along the way, established a new standard for "green" commercial construction. Mary's creative vision for BGC has produced an organization recognized for excellence in design, building, construction management, pre-construction consultation and education. The company has increased revenues more than three fold since 2004, averaging 56% growth each year. At the same time, the company continued its high level community involvement. Congratulations Mary and BGC!

Are We a Contractor or Educator?

The answer is....both! As Director of Education for Breaking Ground Education Services, a division of Breaking Ground Contracting, people often remark about how unconventional it is that a construction company also promotes education. Each time I hear these remarks, it becomes even MORE clear to me just how much sense it makes that a successful construction company like Breaking Ground Contracting blaze the trail of education in green, sustainable and LEED* building and workplace safety. After all, buildings use the greatest amount of energy...WAY more than our vehicles. So, it stands to reason that we do our part to enlighten the industry to environmentally sound ways of doing business. We don't just believe it, we live it! The foresight of President, Mary Tappouni, began many years ago with her passion for building, nature and the environment. Her vision drives her company, and those of us who have the privilege of working for Breaking Ground Contracting have been infected by her passion for green building and the desire to couple sound building practices with environmental responsibility. It is our mission to educate other contractors, architects, engineers, subcontractors, developers and anyone else who wants to listen and learn, about the ways we can all do our part in building green for the future...the future of our industry, our children and our world.