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Judges' Choice Award: S&T Group

"Our open-door policy gives us the opportunity to take all feedback received and try to better our services and make our operations limitless as to what we can do."

If a company's worth can be gauged by the response from its customers, then S&T Group is in good stead.

Praise bestowed by clients of the Sault Ste. Marie-based telecommunications company is generous in describing the level of attention to detail and customer service it provides.

EllisDon Corp.'s construction manager, Frank Bruni, is plain in his assessment of S&T's services.

"This customer-focused company has been dedicated to the economic development and resiliency of Sault Ste. Marie for the last 30 years, and as such, is the ideal candidate for an award such as this," Bruni writes in his supporting nomination letter.

Led by founders Andrew Sarlo and Dennis Tatasciore, the company specializes in solutions, general contracting, services, and sales and maintenance in the areas of electrical, mechanical and technologies, sheet metal, HVAC and refrigeration, plumbing, and building management controls. Support is available to clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In 1998, the company expanded its operations into the U.S., operating as S&T Electrical International.

"Our open-door policy gives us the opportunity to take all feedback received and try to better our services and make our operations limitless as to what we can do," reads a company missive. "We appreciate the city of Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District for what they have done for us, and we will continue to work harder to please our number one: the customer."

S&T places its primary focus on meeting a consistently high standard of work, meeting clients' needs while coming in on budget.

The company employs more than 100 full-time workers, including tradesmen, supervisors, managers, and office staff, and grows its tradespeople from the ground up through apprenticeship training. All employees are required to participate in the in-house safety program.

Bruni said S&T was an "excellent contractor" on a pair of recent projects that were completed in a tight timeframe, with no safety incidents, and with cost-saving measures in place.

"Their capabilities, knowledge of the area and relationship with local trades has made this project one of our smoothest that we have experienced to date," he writes. "This project was also accomplished with no safety incidents, which is also a commendable record."

Community involvement is important to the firm, too, and it's committed to support projects and programs that improve the quality of live in the communities it serves, and where its employees live and work. Over the years, S&T has provided scholarships for academic excellence, advertising support for local theatre groups, donations for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and more.

Chris Haas, Nedco's district manager for Northern Ontario, said Nedco has worked with S&T since its inception in 1984, and calls their working relationship "exceptional" for the "invaluable services to the residents of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District."

"We have found their company to go above and beyond in terms of service to our mutual customer base," Haas writes. "Additionally, they have always been fair, courteous and, above all, professional in every aspect. The communication lines and doors are always open and the staff are always informed regarding what is coming next with products, projects and customer needs."