MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hialeah-based CGI Windows & Doors, part of the PGT Innovations family of brands, recently selected four community standouts for “CGI Heroes: Celebrating Strength”, a contest to recognize area residents who have gone above and beyond to help others, with a $2,000 cash prize each.
Joan Saint-Hilaire, Katie Lizana, Demi Genao and Jarrel Strong were all nominated by peers for their commitment to assisting others. Giving back has always been part of the company culture at CGI Windows & Doors. That philosophy fueled the launch of this contest as a way to honor and spotlight these four Miami-Dade and Broward County residents.
Saint-Hilaire is a kindergarten teacher at Whispering Pines Elementary School in Cutler Bay within Miami-Dade County. The 49-year-old seasoned schoolteacher has been instructing students for 26 years. The Miami resident is not your typical teacher and focuses on more than just the curriculum. She has purchased a mini refrigerator and filled it with milk, cereal and other snacks to ensure her students were well fed, driven by their homes with pamphlets and gift bags and made sure they had the necessary school supplies.
Lizana is a fourth-generation watchmaker and co-owner of Circa Tempus, LLC, a company that produces watches for individuals with special needs. She has been sewing to save health care professionals’ ears after hearing that many nurses and doctors were experiencing discomfort due to the loops and restrictions of their surgical masks. The Hollywood resident developed an ear-saving product prototype and has crafted and customized thousands of complimentary medical mask attachments. Dubbed ear savers, the 43-year-old began making the mask attachments in April 2020 with strong ribbon and buttons, forming a soft strap that could connect to the face covering. Since she launched the giving-back initiative, Lizana has received hundreds of requests through Facebook and Instagram from all over the country and mailed them to close to 100 hospitals nationwide to alleviate ear pain and chafing for health care professionals. She has never accepted compensation for the products.
“Giving back gives me purpose, and I cannot thank these health care workers enough for what they do on a daily basis,” said Lizana. “When I send out a batch of ear savers and get pictures back from an entire ward at a hospital, it makes me happy and makes me feel like I am doing a small part. People are always searching for the path to true happiness in life, and time and time again, I have found the only thing that really makes people happy is doing something for someone else.”
Genao, a 25-year-old registered nurse at Broward Health Medical Center, works 12-hour shifts three days a week. She typically arrives home exhausted but that doesn’t stop her from buying and hand-delivering food, including bread, eggs and other necessities, to the elderly in her off time. The Miami resident has adapted to her nursing role in the first few years and has worked through a pandemic with grace, courage and compassion.
Born and raised in Miami, 26-year-old Strong lived in nearby Overtown for most of his life. It was his connection to the area and the hardships he has experienced that compelled him to help the homeless. He saw the need for daily resources like food for those living on the streets. Since March, Strong and others have purchased and made two meal deliveries, including a welcomed meal of spaghetti, green beans and dinner rolls wrapped up in to-go containers with utensils, that fed about 300 men and women in three separate Overtown sections. Strong seeks to pursue criminal defense law in order to help those inside the criminal justice system and help defend and provide resources for those who cannot defend themselves.
“I’ve experienced these same situations,” said Strong. “Once I was above those circumstances, I felt it was my duty to turn back and help those in need as well. Someone helped me before. It was my inspiration and my opportunity to do so. It made me happy because my little help was going far, and it was a blessing to those at that moment.”
CGI Windows & Doors accepted nominations from October 22 through November 18, and a winner was selected weekly throughout the 4-week contest. To learn more about the contest winners, visit cgiwindows.com/celebratingstrength.
“These four Miami-Dade and Broward County residents represent the definition of a community hero,” said Bob Keller, President of the Southeast Business Unit for PGT Innovations. “They have demonstrated strength, generosity and compassion in the face of unprecedented adversity, and their actions have shown that we truly are stronger together. Our team is honored to highlight their selfless acts and reward them for the ways they have served their communities.”
About CGI Windows & Doors
CGI® Windows & Doors, part of the PGT Innovations family of brands, was established in 1992. CGI Windows & Doors has consistently built a reputation based on designing and manufacturing quality impact-resistant products that offer protection against hurricanes, intruders, outdoor noises and more. The company has more than 300 employees at its Hialeah-based manufacturing plant. Today, CGI Windows & Doors continues to deliver high-performance products that building professionals and homeowners have trusted for decades. Its flagship line, Sentinel, provides security and style. Targa, the brand’s vinyl impact-resistant line, combines strength with energy-efficiency benefits, and Sparta is built for heavy impact and affordability. CGI Windows & Doors is a wholly owned subsidiary of PGT Innovations (NYSE: PGTI), a national leader in the premium window and door category. For additional information, visit cgiwindows.com.
About PGT Innovations, Inc.
PGT Innovations manufactures and supplies premium windows and doors. Its highly engineered and technically advanced products can withstand some of the toughest weather conditions on earth and are revolutionizing the way people live by unifying indoor and outdoor living spaces.
PGT Innovations creates value through deep customer relationships, understanding the unstated needs of the markets it serves, and a drive to develop category-defining products. PGT Innovations is also the nation’s largest manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors and holds the leadership position in its primary market.
The PGT Innovations’ family of brands include CGI®, PGT® Custom Windows and Doors, WinDoor®, Western Window Systems, Eze-Breeze®, CGI Commercial, and NewSouth Window Solutions. The company’s brands, in their respective markets, are a preferred choice of architects, builders, and homeowners throughout North America and the Caribbean. Their high-quality products are available in custom and standard sizes with massive dimensions that allow for unlimited design possibilities in residential, multi-family, and commercial projects. For additional information, visit www.pgtinnovations.com.