We made it. The past 365 days have been long, difficult and unprecedented, but we’ve made it through nonetheless. As we get ready to ring in the new year, we cannot help but take a moment to reflect on 2020. And while it is easy to focus on each hurdle and obstacle this year brought, we’d like to remember the good moments that American Sentry Solar, our team, and our community, got to share.
Opening of our Bel Air Marketing Center
The start of the year saw the opening of our new 52,000sqft Marketing Center in Bel Air, Maryland! This new facility comfortably houses our growing team with socially distant workspaces, breakrooms and all the tools needed to succeed! The new Marketing Center is also centrally located in Harford County, and is right next door to our corporate office.
“We were fortunate to find a space that not only fit our teams’ needs perfectly, but that’s also located right next to our headquarters to minimize the potential impact a relocation could have on our business and clients,” said Shana Koslowsky, Vice President of Marketing at American Design & Build and American Sentry Solar. “The new office will allow us to enhance operations and continue to grow and keep pace with our clients’ needs while creating a fun and professional environment for employees. We look forward to bringing even more value and exceptional customer service to those who put their trust in us.”
Changes in Protocol – March 2020
The end of March marked the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus the start of Maryland’s lockdown. Due to the roofing services we provide to the local community, we were deemed an essential business, and had to quickly enact new protocols to comply with the new CDC Guidelines. Our new safety protocols, such as wearing PPE, virtual estimates, and contactless installs helped keep our team and community safe. These protocols are still in place, and will stay in place as we enter 2021.
The beginning of the pandemic was a time of uncertainty for so many, and we wanted to find a way to relieve homeowners of that uncertainty. We began offering homeowners the chance to own their own electricity-producing solar panels at a cost less than what they were currently paying their utility provider. We also further assisted our solar homeowners by giving them $1,000 to help them through this difficult time and thank them for choosing solar. Because of this initiative more homeowners were able to save with solar when it mattered most, while also getting a little extra help.
Small Business Recognition Program
As an essential business in Harford County Maryland, we felt that we could not just sit back while our local small business community suffered. That is why we created the Small Business Recognition Program, an initiative where our solar homeowners can nominate a small business of their choice to receive a $1,000 donation from American Sentry Solar. Since the program has been introduced in early May, we have had over 100 small businesses nominated, and each one will receive a $1,000 check to help them come back from this crisis. It has been (and continues to be) truly heartwarming to see our customers give back to those that matter most to them, and the business owners are always so grateful for the recognition. We have donated to businesses across Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, and some businesses have even taken our donation and paid it forward in their communities!
Top Solar Contractor 2020
On July 20th, during a virtual gala hosted by Solar Power World, we were named a Top Solar Contractor, ranking 100th nationally in the Residential Solar Market! The Top Solar Contractors list is developed each year by Solar Power World to honor the work of solar installers big and small. Companies are grouped and listed by specific service, markets, and states. We were in the running with companies across the United States, ranging in size from large utility/commercial solar installers to local, rooftop solar companies. This is the 7th time American Sentry Solar has received this award, as we have been recognized as a Top Solar Contractor each year since 2013!
#KidsLoveSolar Art Scholarship
In February we announced our #KidsLoveSolar Art Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship available to any child in grades K-8 who submitted a piece of artwork showcasing “how solar can help my family and the environment.” While the initial plan was to announce the winner on Earth Day, the unanimous decision was made to extend the deadline until Labor Day to give children, who were at the time transitioning to virtual learning, more time to enter the scholarship contest. We are happy to report that Quinn, a local 1st grader, was the winner of our #KidsLoveSolar Art Scholarship. Her and her family are pictured above with her winning artwork, which is now framed in our corporate office!
Enphase Platinum Installer Award
In October of 2020 American Sentry Solar was awarded the Enphase Platinum Installer Award! This recognition is given to solar companies who "deliver exceptional quality and earn the highest customer satisfaction scores." We are honored to receive this recognition, and it would not have been possible without our amazing solar homeowners!
The Cleanie Awards
The Cleanie Awards were also held in October of this past year, and American Sentry Solar was named a Finalist in the “Community Giveback” category for our Small Business Recognition Program! The Cleanie Awards is a national competition highlighting the leaders in clean energy and innovation, and we were honored for the recognition!
Years of Service Awards
Towards the end of each year, we like to take a moment and thank our hardworking employees for all they have accomplished. These awards, titled the “Years of Service” awards, are awarded to employees who have reached their 3-, 5- and 10-year anniversaries with our company. Like many things in 2020, our award ceremony was moved to a virtual setting, but it did not make it any less touching! You can view our Years of Service Award Ceremony in the video above!
Baltimore Sun’s Top Workplaces 2020
On November 30th we were announced one of the Baltimore Sun’s Top Workplaces for 2020! This was the third year in a row that we have received this recognition, and we look forward to continuing to offer our employees a safe, comfortable, and secure place to work in 2021!
This past year has been one of difficulty and adversity, but it was also a year of adaptation and strength. It was a year of neighbors helping neighbors, sacrifices for the greater good, and overcoming obstacles together. And while the hardships may be far from over, we know that whatever may come, we can get through it together. Happy New Year to all, and best wishes in 2021!