Hodges Badge Co. takes part in State House Rally

Our company’s President, Rick Hodges, was one of several hundred attendees at the rotunda of the RI State House for a rally yesterday to save job training funds.  As part of their plan to reduce the state’s $220 million deficit, the RI state legislature has proposed eliminating $1 million in state job training funds.  Hodges was part of a large crowd that included state business owners, labor leaders, and Governor Donald Carcieri.

Hodges Badge has benefited on numerous occasions from the job training and development grants administered through the Department of Labor and Training and RIMES.  In particular, we have worked with RIMES (the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service) to bring our employees through Lean and 5S training.

“Elevating the skill sets of our employees is key to our ultimate success,
and having the job training funds eliminated and placed into the General
Fund is the worst outcome we, as Rhode Islanders, could have,” stated Hodges.  “Our state has a number of financial problems, but taking these funds (or the Renewable Energy Funds) is not a reasonable way to close the deficit,” he added.

Introducing our Featured Customer Series- first up the Garden State Horse Show

In order to spice up our blog with more news from outside the Hodges office, we have decided to introduce a new group of posts, the Featured Customer Series.  The series will let our readers know a little more about some of our customers and give a heads up on an event they’re hosting. 

Our first featured customer has their event rapidly approaching. The Garden State Horse Show takes place May 5-9 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta.  Now in its 59th year, the event is the biggest horse show in New Jersey, with AA rated hunter classes and up to 8 rings going at once.    

Now for a little history.  Back in 1951 the show started as the Junior Essex Troop Horse Show.  The Junior Essex Troop was a junior cavalry organization formed by members of the 102nd armored cavalry unit after World War II.   The JET show became the largest all-junior show in the country before adding adult classes and eventually being renamed in 1984.

Today the show offers competition classes in hunters, equitation and jumpers for all levels of riding, from leadline to Grand Prix.  New this year will be the Devoucoux 3’3″ Hunter Derby.  Drawing the largest crowd are the two Grand Prix classes- the $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix on Thursday and the $50,000 Junior Essex Troop Garden State Grand Prix on Saturday.  The classes have been known to draw big names, with 2009’s event won by Olympian Leslie Howard.

So if you’re within driving distance of New Jersey, you just might want to head over and be a part of the show.  More information, including the full prize list, is available on their website, www.gardenstatehorseshow.org

Here is 2009’s Adult Amateur Hunter Champion Masterpiece with rider Danielle Devincentis.  Garden State chose the Wheaton Rosette with custom coin center for its division champions.

Rolex 2010- Day 3

I realize we’re two days late in reporting from Rolex but I hope you’ll still enjoy seeing some more photos we took while ringside on Sunday.  The crowd was fired up and it was an electric environment- everyone cheered after each clear round or clear effort over the triple combination. 

 Capt. Geoff Curran had 8 faults on The Jump Jet.

Here is Napalm and Ian Roberts, who finished just inside the top 20.

This is Kyle Carter and Madison Park.  They had 4 faults to finish 13th.

Phillip Dutton and Woodburn went double clear and finished second.

Kim Severson came into the stadium round in second but unfortunately had a refusal and rails down to knock them out of the placings.

And the winner… British rider WIlliam Fox-Pitt claimed his first Rolex title after 6 trips to Kentucky.  He lead the competition from start to finish, with a dressage score of 42.8 and no faults in cross-country or stadium jumping.

Rolex 2010 – Day 2

Our second day in Kentucky started wet and dreary, with forecasts of heavy thunderstorms and hail.  The schedule was shortened up, with no lunch break and riders starting every 4 minutes.  This enabled most rides to take place under hazy skies, moderate breezes and just wonderful conditions.  The rain held off until about 30 minutes after the last ride, so it was a really great day.

The Rolex web site (rk3de.com) has the ride by ride summary of the day, I just have a bunch of photos to share with you.  So look below for some of my best photos from Saturday’s Cross Country competition.

#12 Peter Atkins and Henry Jota Hampton over fence #6A, the Ducks.

Rider #17 over fence #4, the Covered Bridge.  This would be Kyle Carter of Canada on Madison Park.

#24 Will Faudree on Pawlow over fence #23, the Keeper’s Brush.

#36, Boyd Martin on Remington XXV dropping into the Hollow, fence #21.  This jump proved to be difficult for several riders, with three falls over the course of the day.

#41, Jonathan Paget of New Zeland on Clifton Promise over the first of the two Squirrels (fence #17).

#67, Tara Ziegler on Buckingham Place dropping into the water at #15B -the Head of the Lake.

#69, Oliver Townend of Great Britain on Ashdale Cruise Master over part C at the Head of the Lake. Just a few minutes later, he suffered a serious fall  and was brought to the UK hospital.  Reports say that thankfully both he and his horse are OK.

After the Cross Country we headed out to dinner, and returned to the park for the WEG Stadium Jumping Grand Prix Test event – only to find out that it had been canceled at the last minute.  So I am sorry, but no stadium jumping pictures until we report back from phase 3.

Live from Rolex 2010 – Day 1

Our team made it out to Rolex with less difficulty than some of this year’s European competitors.  Unfortunately we got just as wet today as they did.  Showers and occasionally moderate rain dogged today’s early rides.  By noon things were looking up and the riders after lunch all had dry rides.  The competition is stiff, and even with this year’s difficult test, 9 riders have scores under 50 going into the Cross Country phase.  To see the latest scores, click here.  To see general news about this year’s Rolex Three Day, click here.

Here is a shot of Oliver Townend warming up on Ashdale Cruise Master.  The pair is currently in 6th place.

A groom’s job is never done!  This is Amy Tryon’s Horse Coal Creek after their test.

Finally, a shot of Phillip Dutton warming up on Waterfront.

After the Dressage Test wrapped up, we headed in to Lexington to see the sights.  We ended up at Thoroughbred Park.

Happy Earth Day!

We’re hoping you already know, but if you haven’t heard, today is Earth Day.  Started in 1970, the day is designated to promote environmental awareness.

Here at Hodges we definitely do a few things to promote using less natural resources and making a positive impact on our local environment.  I’m sure you’ve heard enough about our wind turbine, but besides that upcoming project we regularly recycle a ton of things!  In the factory, all cardboard is recycled, as is the lead used to make our metal dies (the stamp used to imprint logos onto ribbon) and any incorrectly engraved silver or wood.  In the office we turn off unused lighting, recycle paper, cans, and glass, and have been known to re-use office supplies multiple times.  Plus, I am proud to say our ribbons are biodegradeable (not that you would be throwing them out in the first place- wink!)

We’re pet people too!

Given the nature of our business, we are always hearing about our customers’ pets.  Some tell us about their dogs, others about their horses, and as you can see from the previous post, some have “different” pets altogether.  We at Hodges wanted you to know that we are pet people too.  Of course Rick Hodges has written about his dog, McKell, several times over on our dog blog.  Here are some other pets whose parents work at Hodges:

[rockyou id=157354824&w=426&h=320]

Bet you didn’t know…

I was thinking the other day about who or what organization might be considered our most unique customer.  While we are certainly better known for horse show and dog show ribbons, we also have some customers that tend to fall into the ‘other’ pet category.  It may seem strange, but if you’re having a pet show, no matter the type, doesn’t every winner deserve a ribbon?

Sometimes the ribbon is bigger than the pet (this is a dwarf hamster)

 We also help our customers design awards for hedgehog shows, bird shows, cat shows, even fish breeding championships.  It takes hard work and planning to breed a champion fancy guppy or koi!

Is your hedgehog show quality?

A fancy guppy

The Backstory on our Banners

It started out like many other projects around here.  We never meant to get into the ‘banner business’ – but here we are.  In 2007, we bought a Roland VersaCamm printer to make stickers.  And we did actually use it to print a huge number of stickers, but eventually we bought other equipment that was even better for stickers, leaving us with a large and unused printer.

The VersaCamm was billed as a versatile printer, and it is.  We use it for window clings, canvas prints, and the subject of the day, banners.  Made with high quality vinyl, outdoor grade inks, and solid brass grommets, our banners are made to withstand the weather. 

Many customers are happy with our 2’ x 3’ or 3’ x 5’ banners, but we can make banners up to 4’ wide up to 100’ long.  Last week our friends at Matouk Textile Works in Fall River, MA had a grand opening for their solar energy project and we made them the largest banner we have ever produced– it was 3’ x 25’!  Here is a picture of the banner, and another showing our machine while printing.



Tips for saving money on your awards order

Our customer service reps often speak with customers who are on a budget, or looking to reduce the cost of their order from the previous year.  We understand your concern and have compiled a list of ideas that may help you save more than a few pennies.

  1. Take advantage of price breaks.  Depending on the quantity you are ordering, requesting a few more to get the next price break may actually lessen the total cost of that item. 
  2. Order more than 25 rosettes, 100 flat ribbons, or 25 printed neck ribbons per style in order to avoid printing set up charges.
  3. Use a button center for your rosettes.  Custom button centers with your camera-ready design are FREE!
  4. Still need to go with the gold rim or satin center?  Order more than 200 rosettes to avoid set up fees for gold rim and satin rosette centers.
  5. Think twice before adding the date.  Leftover awards without the date will still look new for next year’s event.
  6. Browse our extensive selection of stock designs.  There is never a charge for using a hot-stamped stock die.
  7. Plan ahead.  Especially during the busy summer months, give us 3-4 weeks lead time in order to avoid any premium processing or rush shipping fees

Have another idea that might help save on your awards order?  Let us know in the comments.