Three years ago, we began investigating the idea of “going green” at our manufacturing facility in Rhode Island. Our goal: to reduce both our environmental impact and our energy costs; and, ultimately, maintain our commitment to American manufacturing of our products.
So, after a lot of starts and stops along the way, we’re thrilled to announce that, come spring, Hodges Badge Company will become the first manufacturer in our state powered entirely by a sustainable energy source. As we type, a 149-foot wind turbine 47.5-foot blades that will generate an estimated 451,000 kilowatt hours, is being built for us by Aeronautica Windpower in Durham, N.H.
Why a wind turbine? Well, our home of Aquidneck Island boasts a lot of wonderful features… and a blustery wind is one of the most constant!
Installation of the turbine begins in April, and we expect it will be complete by June. We’re proud that, with this turbine, we’ll reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10,000 pounds per year… allowing our customers to know not only that they are buying the finest awards and ribbons, but also that their Hodges purchases are an environmentally responsible choice.
Well, we got an email from Bob Bell this morning (Classic Company and Gulf Coast Classic) that today’s events were being canceled due to snow. In Gulfport, MS – who would have thunk?? Meanwhile our shipments from Baltimore are delayed due to 50″ of snow, and the places where I would normally head for some skiing are crying that they don’t have any snow. What a strange year.
I spent this morning laying out the first draft of our upcoming Championship catalog. Lots of new items, like etched glass bowls, hardwood plaques from Indonesia and some really nice pewter are going to grace the pages of this book. The whole idea is courtesy of my friend Paul O’Reilly of Newport Harbor Group who innocently asked me if I sent all of my customers the exact same catalog. Of course I said yes, and well, maybe that wasn’t the right answer, so now we are doing a book featuring higher end pieces than we have ever shown before. We are promising that it will be ready by ‘spring’.
Finally, it isn’t a big secret around here that we are working on a new web site. It was originally scheduled to launch in January, but we held off while we fine tuned the shopping cart, and updated all the product photos. With some luck, it should come on line around March 1st. The technology in this site is going to be 9 years newer than what we currently have so it should have the look and feel that people expect from the web today. Among the features it includes are multiple sized photos of products, easier online ordering, support for micro sites and (probably not on day 1) the ability to see your printing and colors on the ribbon you are ordering.
I will keep this post updated as the launch date approaches.
The USEF had their 2010 Annual meeting this year in Louisville, Kentucky. Rochelle and Jessica were there to represent Hodges Badge Company and meet with the attendees.
As the Official Ribbon Supplier of the USEF, Hodges was proud to meet the directors of the multiple breed and discipline associations that attended the convention’s meetings.
As everyone headed to registration or picked up lunch they walked by our award display and had the opportunity to stop and say hello. It was good to hear that so many people were very familiar with Hodges and our products.
It was also good to be able to show them new products that everyone seemed excited about. One being the Pewtarex plates (check your 2010 Equestrian catalog [hitting the ground March 1] for details).
It was also great to hear how different organizations in USEF use our ribbons. (Have you ever thought about handing out a 12 inch rosette to all participants and then pinning on buttons to the streamers for each class entered?!)
Perhaps the best part of the trip for Rochelle and Jessica was that they attended the Pegasus Awards, a huge banquet honoring the stars of equestrian sports. They watched as dressage rider Steffen Peters was named Equestrian of the Year, and Olympic rider and Chef d’ Equipe Jessica Ransehousen was honored for her lifetime commitment to the sport.
While we’ll be back to Kentucky in May for IHSA Nationals, our next event is the Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Hope to see you there!