WELL Story: Anthony Cardenales, our newest WELL AP

WELL Story: Anthony Cardenales, our newest WELL AP

Friday, March 29, 2019
/ By:
McKayla Couacaud


Meet Anthony Cardenales, our newest WELL AP. From professional to personal life, WELL has had a transformative impact on how he approaches wellness.


An associate and friend, Allen Hershkowitz, introduced my company, Hugo Neu Realty Management, to The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™). After reviewing the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™), I knew I wanted to pursue the WELL AP™ credential.

Hugo Neu is managing the Kearny Point Shipyard Redevelopment, which is pursuing the WELL Community Standard pilot™ as well as Core & Shell certification under WELL v1™.

Our company always approaches [real-estate] development with wellness in mind, and WELL has provided us with a tool to ensure we are planning with people in mind. As Director of Security & Property Management, I’ve been able to take the knowledge I obtained through pursuing the WELL AP credential and become an active participant in the implementation of WELL features throughout the project.


I’ve always understood that physical fitness can lead to emotional wellness and is key in living a fruitful life-- I used to exercise every weekday without fail-- but when work life and children happened, I made excuses and stopped working out.

The Fitness concept in WELL v1 [Movement concept in WELL v2™ pilot] has inspired Anthony to see all movement throughout the day as a form of exercise.

At work, I’m more engaged when I’m walking around the 130-acre job site, not sitting behind a computer monitor, I feel invigorated to tackle problems then and there. At home, it’s as simple as running around after my son and enjoying play time with him. Learning about the health intents behind other WELL concepts has also led me to a better understanding of what holistic wellness means-- it’s not just physical fitness, but also mental, emotional and spiritual health.


In the near future, I think we will see more developers pursuing wellness initiatives in the workplace. There is substantial evidence justifying the business case for it and I am confident that there will be more incentives to pursue and achieve robust and healthy work environments.

The impact of Community, as a concept and district-scale rating tool, resonates with Anthony, who sees it as a framework to build social cohesion.

I’d like to see more social engagement in community convening spaces, both outdoors and indoors. While technology has its place in bringing the global community together, it has also removed a sense of local connection, the type we used to have in social gathering places. I’d like to see how design and policy can positively influence people to put down their phones or tablets and engage with each other face-to-face. Positive social interaction can lead to social cohesion and maybe a cultural shift in how we connect with each other.


As an organization, Hugo Neu will continue to prove to the world that a successful business can demonstrate environmental responsibility while remaining socially conscientious and civically engaged. WELL is one tool in our kit to help us achieve this vision.

On the practice of mindfulness and letting go of what is outside of his control.

From a personal point of view, I’m building discipline in mindfulness; understanding what is inside and outside of my control and reacting accordingly. As I’ve mentioned, maintaining movement and physical fitness is a big part of that. So, this year I’m going to control what I can and let go of what I can’t. At the very least, expect me to keep moving!

Anthony and McKayla’s advice for others studying for their WELL AP exam.

Anthony says: The exam is detailed and very specific. I would recommend a diverse approach to studying. For example, spread it out, join a study group and connect learning to what is in front of you in your daily routine.

McKayla says: Practice does make (near) perfect. Take the time to do all the practice exams and test questions. Not only will this help you identify areas for further study, but it will also assist you to consolidate learning and identify areas that you’re more confident in.

To join a community of trailblazers in wellness, earn your WELL AP credential.

Anthony Cardenales is the Director of Security & Property Management at Hugo Neu Realty Management, based in Kearny, New Jersey.