Wow! It’s been almost a year since I’ve taken up writing for our blog, and there’s been quite a lot that we’ve shared with readers on this space since January 1st. Looking back, we’ve accomplished a lot. Here are a few of the highlights, especially for those of you that may not have been following for a full 365 days yet ;-)
We’ve been to trade shows both near (Tri State Camp Conference, USA Gymnastics National Congress) and far (ASCD, Western States Horse Expo). We watched the competitors at Rolex, and cheered on the teams at IHSA Nationals. We introduced you to where we live, to ten of our Customer Service reps, and even to our employees’ pets.
We announced a new sponsorship with the IEA, answered FAQs and even delved 40 years back into our catalog archive. We compiled tips on how to save you money, were visited by a Senator, contributed to charities, and launched a new website. We celebrated our 100th post, Customer Service Week and Earth Day. Unfortunately, we hit a few setbacks in the timeline for our wind turbine launch, but hey- it’s something to look for in 2011!
That seems like a lot, but it takes a good amount of stories to keep our blog going! Happy New Year to everyone who is in any way a part of the extended Hodges Badge family. We look forward to working with you in 2011!
For several years, Hodges Badge employees have held in-office fundraisers to raise money for toys that we purchase and deliver to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. This year our employees were quite generous, raising just shy of $600 and filling the entire back of our company pickup truck with toys. Today two of our employees/elves personally delivered the gifts to the hospital, where the hospital employees were “very, very thankful” for our donation.
Does your office hold some sort of drive or donation during the holidays? ‘Tis the season for giving!
Last week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D- R.I.) made a speech to Congress requesting an extension of a Treasury grant program that has provided funding to renewable energy projects. The Section 1603 grants, originally created as part of the Recovery Act and set to expire in 2011, helped Hodges Badge acquire funding for our wind turbine project (currently under construction).
In his speech, Senator Whitehouse, who toured our facility last May, mentioned Hodges Badge and our wind turbine project several times.
“If your kids have ever won a ribbon at a track meet or a horse show or some other competition, it was probably made at Hodges Badge” he said. Whitehouse went on to explain that Hodges Badge “is on track to become the first manufacturer in Rhode Island powered entirely by clean energy…” and that our energy project wouldn’t have been possible without assistance from State and Federal Government grants.
For those of you interested in reading the full speech, the Library of Congress has it online here.
Our next rep kind enough to participate in an interview for the blog is Liz, a name that I hope will be familiar to many of our customers as she has an impressive 27 years of service with Hodges Badge. Liz is our Customer Service Supervisor and like Billy, she refers to Hodges as her “second family.”
During her time with the company, Liz has built many enjoyable relationships with customers, some of which have invited her to coffee or to their event. In addition to being a friendly “real person” on the phone, Liz enjoys reassuring the panicked customer that it’s not a problem to meet their needs, and speaking with people from across the country.
Spending a significant amount of time on the phone with our customers has not only allowed her to provide them a service, but provided Liz with a surprising benefit. “I can now answer a lot of questions on Jeopardy! because of things I’ve learned talking to our customers” she said.
Speaking of TV, Liz shared that she admits to tracking the appearance of Hodges ribbons, medals and awards in commercials, programs, and movies. “When I spot a ribbon, I’m always looking to tell if it’s from Hodges” she said. This has turned into an unofficial game that more than a few of our employees (myself included) will admit to playing.
A Massachusetts native, Liz enjoys spending time gardening, reading, and hanging out with family. When I asked her how long she planned on staying at Hodges, she responded “Forever! Or as long as they’ll have me.” That’s some serious employee dedication that I know we are happy to have.
Welcome to our construction site!
Here's the alignment ring which is the same diameter as the turbine's column
The rebar in concrete
As these pictures show, construction on our wind turbine generator (WTG) has finally begun! The excavating was done last week, and this week S&S Forms started laying out the reinforcing bars. By the time they are done, there will be two dense layers of rebar – top and bottom of a five foot thick cement pad. In total, they are going to pour 188 yards of cement.
The actual turbine is going to ship from India on December 11 or the 18th, and from there it is 32 days on the water before it gets to Newark. I am expecting to have more photos towards the end of January of them putting everything together and putting it up.
As for the foundation, we will have photos of that being poured some time next week.
If you are interested in seeing the progress, go to http://hodgesbadge.viewnetcam.com for a live picture.
It’s December 1st, which means the start of a busy season here at Hodges Badge. Our Winter Sale starts today, and continues through February 15th. All prepaid orders using a credit card can take 10% off their order total. If you’re ordering online, just enter Keycode W12100211W to take 10% off.
Have a question? Don’t hesitate to contact Customer Service at 1-800-556-2440 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Happy shopping!