JHE Presents the “Dog and Pony Award” Winners

December 19, 2012

JHE’s annual holiday party is the event of the year. The company recognizes employees who have been with the company for more than five years, celebrates the exceptional team with the “Dog and Pony Awards,” and treats the group to an exciting performance.

JHE is proud to announce this year’s “Dog and Pony Award” winners:

The Goose Bump Award is awarded to a JHE event moment that created “goose bumps” for the JHE team and the audience. “25 Days of Service” was selected as the winner because the JHE family rallied around the cause, dedicating 25 days of giving back to well-deserving charities.

The Buzz Kill Award pays tribute to a moment that seemed to (or almost) kill the event’s “buzz” that day. “Bristol Blows” was the award winner based on the effects of amicroburst hitting Bristol Motor Speedway, ultimately destroying the mobile touring displays and damaging JHE assets. Charlie Roberts, Donato Bonacquisto, Gary Dozier, Dave Long and Jordan Litcko took home the infamous buzzard which will be housed in Dave’s office throughout 2013.

The Best Save Award honors the action or actions that were implemented to rescue an event or activity from having a really bad day. This year’s winner was the “Kentucky Wind Wars” where Charlie Roberts, Donato Bonacquisto, Gary Dozier, Dave Long and Jordan Litcko conquered the huge wind storm that came through the midway pre-race. The team was able to put the displays back together and make them operational again quickly.

The Unsung Hero Award recognizesa person that simply makes things happen every day without much fanfare. Last year’s winner James Raven presented the award to Dan Mott whotook home the gold for always stepping up to help when needed.

The Bert Award, named after Jay’s dog, signifies a person that continually displays loyalty to the JHE company, brand and people. This year was the first-ever tie with 38 votes casted for two employees, one being Brad Smith. The two continually exemplify the JHE culture through their work and support of fellow employees.

The Vision and Passion Award honors an individual that continually goes above and beyond to ensure our product and client services are excellent. Last year’s winner, Cassie Mucks Brickman, awarded Terry Hodges with this honor. Terry continually puts the company first, helping to grow JHE’s business.

JHE Gives Back salutes a JHE employee that exemplifies JHE’s culture through charitable efforts. This year, the honor went to Ashley Dempsey who went above and beyond heading three “25 Days of Service” projects and donating time and resources to various other causes. JHE presented Ashley with a $2,500 check to be donated to the charity of her choice in her name to recognize her commitment.

Driver of the Year acknowledges this year’s drivers who had the best safety record. Julie Alascio “grades” each driver on a scale which starts at zero and subtracts points for various violations. John Sheppard and Matt Vaz were recognized for both receiving a zero score at the end of the year and were presented with new iPhones for their commitment to safety.

Partner of the Year celebrates the partnerships that make JHE possible. This year, JHE recognized Sprint and presented the award to Tim Considine, Chad Willis and Sean McCloskey.Sprint has partnered with JHE for the past nine years, producing the Sprint All-Star Race opening ceremony each year, executing the sold-out Pit Crew Challenge, designing the NBA All-Star Jam Session display and executing the Sprint Experience at each NASCAR race which has attracted 2.7 million visitors and counting.

JHE also recognized those team members who have demonstrated a loyalty to JHE by being a part of its success for many years:

The five year service award was awarded to 11 JHE members. Each recipient received a bus trophy, inspired by Jim Collins saying that if the right people are on the bus you will be able to have a successful company, even if it means finding where they “sit” later. Congratulations to Jonathan Waple, Rob Coffey, Mary Griffin, John Sheppard, Greg Smith, Ryan Martin, Aprill King, Lisa Ward, Kristin Thompson, James Raven and Brian Hancock who have been a part of JHE’s success since 2007.

The 10 year service award was presented to Ronnie Oehler. Ronnie is known around the JHE offices as the man who gives a hug to everyone he meets. Jay presented Ronnie with a personalized JHE guitar to recognize his achievement.

The 15 year service award was awarded to Jacqueline Gafrarar. Jacqueline, who loves the Caribbean, was presented with three round trip tickets to take her family on a trip to Turks and Caicos to reward her 15 years of work with JHE.

To recognize Jay Howard’s leadership through the past 25 years, Michael Verlatti surprised Jay Howard by presenting him with a blue bus signifying his silver anniversary since the company’s inception.

Jay Howard welcomed the newest additions to the JHE family, the daughters of Jeff Gajewski and Brad Smith, by presenting each with a $1,000 certificate of deposit for their future education.

The night was complete with a performance by Dee Snider from the Twisted Sister with Jay Howard on the drums as well as a JHE Rocks “American Idol” style competition between two teams, Shepp and the Dog Catchers and Lunchbox and the Snack Packs.


Congratulations to Lunchbox and the Snack Packs who our panel of judges chose as the winner for their performance of “Mambo No. 5.”


Dog & Pony Awards, Jay Howard, Dee Snider, Twisted Sister, 25 Days of Service, Bristol Motor Speedway, Kentucky Motor Speedway,Michael Verlatti, Tim Considine, Chad Willis, Sean McCloskey, Sprint, Pit Crew Challenge, Sprint Experience, NBA All-Star Jam Session, NASCAR
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