October 6th saw the 8th edition of the Belgard HARDSCAPE HERO™ Awards at The Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, Virginia. The ceremony caps off a year of intense competition by crowning one of our monthly HARDSCAPE HERO winners with the ultimate prize: Belgard’s HARDSCAPE HERO of the Year.
The annual competition celebrates the creativity, craftsmanship and dedication of hardscape professionals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Talented designers & installers submit their work on residential patios, driveways, retaining walls, fire features, outdoor kitchens, and more, for a chance to be crowned the ultimate HARDSCAPE HERO.
And the title doesn’t just come with bragging rights – winners receive a whole package of perks and prizes:
In 2022, monthly HARDSCAPE HERO winners received $750 in Belgard Bucks, $250 in gas cards, features in the Belgard Mid-Atlantic blog and social media and, of course, a chance to win HARDSCAPE HERO of the Year.
The 2022 yearly winner also took home $5,000 in tools and equipment, $5,000 in gifts and prizes, a $500 credit for Techniseal products, $500 in custom marketing materials, and features in the Mid-Atlantic blog and social media.
The Belgard dealers that provided product for the winning jobs also took home prizes including a $250 catered lunch – and the dealer who worked with the winnerof the 2022 HARDSCAPE HERO was awarded a $3,500 credit applied to their next product order, as well as outdoor and digital banners.
All monthly winners from the 2022 season were invited to bring along a companion and be treated as special guests of Belgard at the beautiful Graduate Hotel in downtown Richmond for the October celebration and awards ceremony.
As is tradition, the day of the event began with a trip out to Providence Forge for a friendly shooting competition at Old Forge Sporting Clays. Course winner Jon Marson of Ed’s Plant World walked away with a complete Craftsman Tool Set; wobble winner Lenny Peters of Lenny’s Landscapes took home a bluetooth meat thermometer; and the lowest scorer (who shall remain nameless) was on the receiving end of a good-natured roasting at the evening ceremony by Technical National Account Manager, Andrew King.
After a spirited happy hour in the Dominion Energy Center lobby, Matt Kwarta, VP of Sales and Marketing, kicked off the evening in the historic Carpenter Theater with a comical recap of the shooting tourney and an overview of the HARDSCAPE HERO program to an audience of previous award winners, Belgard dealers and corporate representatives, and proud loved ones there to support their Heroes.
And with the buildup to the big moment complete, the 2022 HARDSCAPE HERO was announced to the roar of the audience and a shower of confetti. And (drumroll, please) the winner was … Josh Bell of New Leaf Landscaping! And Bell’s Dealer, Site One, took home the Dealer of the Year Award.
Bell’s crowning as 2022 HARDSCAPE HERO comes after two turns as a monthly winner in 2021 and 2022 – serving as a reminder that it pays to keep entering new projects into the competition even if you’ve entered before and/or been a previous winner.
With the show concluded, it was time for all of the Heroes and other guests to get down to the party part of the evening. The dance floor opened to the sounds of the Blue Tip Rhythm Revue, and didn’t stop shaking until the wee hours.
And with that, another year of HARDSCAPE HERO competition drew to a close. But if the winning projects from 2022 are any indication, 2023 is shaping up to be another banner year. See you all next October for the next HARDSCAPE HERO of the Year Award ceremony!