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Centro Hispano is getting a total interior makeover of its building on Madison’s south side. That was the big news that came out of the Spring into Design kickoff event last night at Floor360 in Verona.

Floor360 is the proud sponsor of Design for a Difference, the only community-driven designer movement in the U.S. and Canada that brings local business owners together with interior designers to makeover much-needed spaces at local charities and non-profits.

“[Centro Hispano Executive Director] Karen [Menendez Coller] was one of the many reasons that [Centro] was nominated – her work and her passion and her professional skills … and organizing that group,” Bob Tobe, owner of Floor360, told the crowd at the event. “It was all pretty impressive when we researched it. They are so worthy of this and we can’t wait to get started.”

Last year, Design for a Difference embarked on the makeover for The Rainbow Project, a child and family counseling and resource clinic, and 30 different designers worked with them to refurbish their space on East Washington Ave. This year, Centro’s unorthodox space on Badger Road will see the makeover.

“I think this is one of the most significant nights that I have had since I joined Centro four and a half years ago. Back in Los Angeles, I was working in academia and in research and when I came to Wisconsin, I wanted to see if I wanted to continue that path or explore something different,” Menendez Coller told the crowd. “I met the fantastic board [of directors] at Centro and they convinced me. Well, it wasn’t that hard of a sell. But ever since, it’s been such a dream. It’s hard work that we do, but we keep going because it’s meaningful for our community.

“Centro has been around for 34 years and we serve the fastest-growing community in Madison, Dane County, and Wisconsin. They are a significant part of the population and everything we are to become as a state,” Menendez Coller continued. “We take our mission of empowering youth, strengthening families, and engaging community very seriously. Through our partnerships with the City, the County, with our school district … we are determined to make sure that we can transform the way that the City and County serve our community and we are so proud of the work that we do.”

FLOOR360 was founded in 1998 by Laurie and Bob Tobe and opened our showroom and offices in 2006 in Delafield to serve the greater Milwaukee market. Design for a Difference is one of their signature campaigns.

The staff at Centro Hispano is getting ready for a big makeover of their building on Madison's south side.
The staff at Centro Hispano is getting ready for a big makeover of their building on Madison’s south side.

“Our building never reflected the significance of what we do in the community. It never had the functionality that we needed. It never supported our staff in a way that they deserved for the countless hours and determination to keep fighting,” Menendez-Coller said. “And when this opportunity came up, it just has been such a blessing to know that we are starting on this journey together and I hope that you will join us.

“This is such a wonderful movement,” she added. “I hope you will join the Design For A Difference movement and we can learn from you to create a space that is truly significant for our community that we serve. You will make an enormous impact for all of the families that we serve and in the City and in the County. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely appreciate you for all that you do.”

Written by David Dahmer

David Dahmer

A. David Dahmer is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Madison365.

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