LOUIE MORIZIO IS VICE-PRESIDENT OF HOUSING FOR Geranium Corp.’s Housing Div., Geranium Homes. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s Civil Engineering program, Louie has spent nearly 30 years in the building industry. His responsibilities include overseeing the many aspects of product design, development, contracting, and site management. Implementing new building initiatives such as the company’s participation as an Energy Star for New Homes (ESNH) builder also falls within his scope. Being a problem-solver, his day is filled with trouble-shooting and offering guidance. “It’s hectic, but I enjoy it all,” says Morizio.
How did he find himself in the housing business? He explains that in the mid-1980s, graduates in civil engineering found that there were few job openings in civil engineering due to market conditions and the economy of the time, so he turned to the housing industr y for employment. His first position was as a site administrator, prior to joining Geranium in 1985 as a project/contracts manager. Morizio left the company in the 1990s to hone his skills and experience with other builders. In 2010, he was approached by Geranium, as the company was once again on the threshold of expansion. “It’s an exciting time to be here, and I’m glad to be back. Although the company has grown significantly, it still retains its characteristics of a family business and I like the fact that everyone helps each other.”
Morizio’s children are experienced Geranium team members as well. His daughter Stephanie is a graduate in urban studies and now works in planning and development. His son Michael has worked onsite in construction during the summers while he is at university. “We all love the building business,” Morizio says. “Even my wife, Teresa, is involved. She is a freelance décor consultant working for several builders.”
Geranium’s corporate philosophy includes hosting homeowner events, which often require the support from those on-site, office staff and on occasion trades and suppliers. “What sets Geranium apart is that we share a mindset, to meet purchasers’ expectations. This company believes in doing little things that make a big difference. Our homeowner events are incredible, we go all out, and our residents are really inspired by the community spirit they experience.” He says, adding that Geranium’s concept of “home” extends to the broader community. “Whether it’s organizing a food drive in Stouffville or collecting donations for the children’s book we published to benefit charities, it is important for companies like ours to support an overall quality of life.”
Reflecting on his years in the industry, he recalls that he was once called “the young guy.” Now, newer
members of the team look to him for advice. “I am surrounded by a group of young, energetic professionals. We share ideas and we learn from each other. That’s the kind of corporate culture we have. Smart, assertive people have a good chance of succeeding at Geranium. It’s dynamic and exciting.”
How does he unwind? Through participating in sports, Morizio keeps active. “I really enjoy bicycling, motorcycle riding, hockey, soccer, tennis and skiing. Not golf, though. I’m a perfectionist, and it would take more than a lifetime to master that sport.”
Geranium employs technology in many ways to help everyone work efficiently. In construction, that might include tendering contracts, performing PDIs or tending to after-sales service. “We work at such a rapid pace, and technology allows us to streamline by reducing duplication. The portable tablets on our construction sites give us the ability to download deficiency items immediately after a pre-delivery inspection, so we can issue them to our trades right away. Quick turnaround times are important.”
Geranium’s approach is to keep ahead of the technology curve in many ways, including its significant commitment and investment to build every new home to Energy Star standards. Geranium was first to register homes in 2012 when the latest ESNH standards were implemented. “Our participation in this superb program is possible because we can trust our subtrades and site staff to do the job right,” Morizio says. “We train each trade and worker before we put a shovel into the ground.”
The home building industry is constantly evolving. “Even after 30 years in the business, I’m always learning. As techniques improve over time and new materials become available, it is our job to understand how these can fit into our homes and benefit our homeowners.” This attitude also extends to helping newcomers to the industry. Morizio participates on a committee at the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), which is dedicated to removing barriers to employment in new construction. “We’re working with George Brown College to give students a leg up on entering the industry,” he says. “I’ve seen firsthand what the enthusiasm of youth can accomplish – and I’m pleased to say we’ve placed every student who has entered the program. We’re helping to groom the next generation for success.”
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Geranium Homes is the award-winning home building division of Geranium Corp. The company’s fresh approach to each new development results in neighbourhoods with individuality and with appropriate natural and built amenities to add value. Emphasis is on appealing streetscapes that result in welcoming neighbourhoods. Geranium Homes was the 2012 BILD Home Builder of the Year, and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s 2011 Grand Sam winner and the recipient of numerous design and marketing nominations and awards.
Recently opened for sale Copperstone in Ballantrae and Uptownes in Cardinal Point. The Neighbourhoods of Cardinal Point in Stouffville (Phase 6); Forest Trail Estates in Ballantrae; The Verandas in Port Hope; The Village at Sally Creek in Woodstock; Friday Harbour in Innisfil and coming soon PACE on Main Street, Stouffville.
The Courts of South Rouge in Pickering; Heritage Port Hope; The Neighbourhoods of Cardinal Point, Phases 1 through 5; and completed communities in Aurora, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Victoria Harbour, Brampton, Bolton, Newmarket, Lindsay, Courtice, Cobourg, Whitby and Cambridge.