Hodges Badge Company Continues its Environmentally Conscious Endeavors

In 2012 Hodges Badge Company went live with a wind turbine at our RI location.  Our project for 2013 is to take on solar power!

 

If you didn’t already know, Hodges Badge Company has long been firmly committed to conservation and to renewable energy.  Maybe it began with our CEO’s college time in Burlington, VT, or perhaps during his many years of volunteer work with the Aquidneck Land Trust, but it began (as it always does) with a series of small steps.  In the beginning we focused on reducing our energy consumption as we tried to make the entire plant more energy efficient.  Here’s a summary of Hodges’ Go Green History:

  • We installed a thick insulation on the roof in order to run the heat and air conditioning units less. 
  • We switched to on demand hot water heaters and removed our six 20 gallon hot water tank heaters scattered around the building. 
  • We used to have two trash dumpsters and a recycling dumpster that we filled every week.  Then we started a recycling program and now what we send away is 2/3 recycling  and 1/3 trash.  We aren’t aiming for zero trash, but we’d sure like to get close to that goal. 
  • We tied all of our heating and air conditioning units to a master computer to control their energy usage
  • We also bought a high efficiency vacuum pump and high efficiency air compressor because we previously used a 40 horse power motor to run these all of the time.

Having done all of this, we were still using 450,000 kW of energy a year – about a $50,000 electricity bill.  We realized very quickly that there were certain factors that we couldn’t eliminate.  Obviously we have to turn the lights on and provide workers with a heated or air conditioned work place.  Another example is the fact that we also constantly run hot stamping presses that have to be heated.  These hot stamping presses often heat the room too much and then we have to cool it.  We found that we were facing a few vicious cycles that were inevitable if we were going to run our business properly. We then began to brainstorm what the next step would be. 

We thought briefly about putting solar panels on the roof at our Rhode Island facility, but realized that the building was built in the mid 1970s and had no way of figuring out if the building would hold up the solar panels.  We turned to wind.  As devout readers of this blog know, we installed a 250kw wind turbine in Portsmouth two years ago.  To date, it has generated more than 225,000kw of power!

The wind is strong at our RI facility because we are located near the ocean, but our plant in Washington, MO doesn’t get much wind.  It just so happened that in Missouri we came across a company called Microgrid Solar from St. Louis who had already done other commercial projects.  We also had access to engineering drawings of the Missouri building and were able to determine that the grade of steel it was made of could support solar panels.  After several discussions with Microgrid Solar we determined to put solar panels on the roof of our Missouri facility.

We are going to install 68kw of solar capacity, which should generate 89,000kW hours of energy a year – about 25% of our total usage.  The cost of the project is $204,000 and thanks to rebates and incentives from our power company, the payback is just over a year.   Installation should start in November, and be complete by the end of 2013!

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Rick Hodges’ hope is for Hodges Badge to be the best environmental steward that it can possibly be with the goals of minimizing the companies impact on the environment, preserving the earth for future generations – oh, and saving money to keep costs down whenever possible.  Rick says that he doesn’t know what Hodges next environmental project is going to be, but he’s sure to announce it here on this blog when the time comes.

The Story Behind The Plaque

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It seems that no matter where you go there is a plaque hanging on the wall to honor someone’s accomplishments.  But where did that plaque come from and what did the person do to receive it?

Here at Hodges, we make thousands of plaques a year, and sometimes we have the privilege of knowing the story behind the award.  Recently, we were asked to make a very unique plaque that sparked our interest.  We designed this custom award plaque that is significant in size, printed in full color with a lovely Celtic knot border and includes 4 photos. This plaque was nothing short of amazing and come to find out so are the woman and the horse it was made for!

We had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to, Lee Gregory, the owner of the horse that the plaque was made for. Lee grew up in Boston, MA and started riding horses around the age of 4.  She took to riding instinctively, just like her Grandfather, J.W O’Connor, who was a Irish horseman. Lee spent 38 years of her life as a first grade teacher in Cambridge, MA.  A career that she was passionate about, but certainly not her only passion in life!

Lee loves to travel and while on a trip to Ireland she purchased her first Connemara from Willie Leahy, the largest breeder of Connemara ponies in the world.  This particular Connemara was named “Martin” and was a very special part of Lee’s life for 19 years.  Lee felt one with Martin and when he passed it was a terrible loss for her. She knew that getting a new horse would be difficult, but when the day came that she was ready, she would go back to Ireland to purchase from Willie Leahy once again.

Lee headed back to Ireland to see Willie sooner than she thought.  Before she knew it she was riding another Connemara.  At first she was uncertain if he was the horse for her. However, as she continued to ride him down the trail, her right stirrup snapped.  As she was trying to keep her balance while waiting for help, she realized that the horse “didn’t take advantage of the situation and continued on”. This was the perfect selling point for Lee and she was confident in her purchase.

The horses name is “Allie Coretca”, or “Crysty” as Lee nick named him.  Crysty is a 14.2 hand Gray Connemara gelding.  After taking Crysty back to the United States with her, Lee made certain that Crysty received the proper training.  With the help of his trainer, Alyce McNeil, Crysty became the horse that Lee always knew he could be.  The plaque was being made in honor of Crysty’s accomplishments, which are as follows:

    • 1st place in Novice Division at Fitch’s Corner in Millbrook, NY-2007 and 2008
    • 1st place in Beginner Division in the Millbrook, NY event in 2009
    • At the United States Eventing Championship Finals in Wayne, IL – highest scoring pony in a class of 63 mixed horses and ponies, placing him 3rd overall in 2009
    • Winner of the Captain Mark Phillips Award
    • Exhibition Pony at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010
    • 2nd in the Purebred Gelding Division at the New England Connemara Society Annual Show in Woodstock, Vermont

    The plaque will be going to the Dartfield Horse Museum in Galway, Ireland, where Crysty and other horses bred by Willie Leahy are honored for their accomplishments.  Lee Gregory, at 80 years old, still loves to dance, swim, garden, travel and ride her beloved Crysty.  We are proud to have been able to make an award for both Crysty and Lee’s accomplishments and we wish them both all the best!

     

    My Personal Favorite New Dog Show Awards

    Each catalog we strive to find new solutions for your awards. We just published our Dog Show Award Catalog (in March) with over 90 NEW products.

    I wanted to tell you today about my personal favorite new dog show awards in the catalog.

    My first favorite is our new vintage dog plaques. We actually have two versions: The “Best Dog” Vintage Award Plaque and the “Dog Life” Vintage Award Plaque.  Both plaques feature dog themed quotes, attractive backgrounds and are customizable with one of our AKC breed stock designs (200+ new full color designs). These make great awards and gifts for your volunteers!

    dog-show-award-plaque-pf8110                       dog-show-award-plaque-pf8112

    My second favorite product is the new Windsor Rosette. It offers something a little different from what is currently in our line of dog show rosettes. The Windsor Rosette features a ¾ rosette top made of hand sewn petals and three 12” streamers. Just like our other rosettes, you can still choose a button, gold rim, or satin center rosette center with your logo or a stock design, any ribbon color or combination of ribbon colors including exclusive multicolor side streamers and 10 lines of custom print. The Windsor Rosette can also be customized with up to 24” streamers to accommodate if you are looking for a larger rosette.

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    My third favorite product is actually not a product but a new option for our dog show trophies. We had our art department create a custom printed column that can go on any trophy with columns. It features a paw print design on a light green background and your choice of any AKC Dog Breed stock design. This is great for those shows exhibiting less common breeds not usually available in trophy tops. It allows you to customize the trophy specifically for your breed with a more generic trophy top.

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    So I’ve listed my personal favorites here but we have so many more new great products in this catalog. Go on-line, find your and let us know. We would love to get your feedback. Happy browsing!

    Resin Trophies at Great Prices

    Every once in a while we discontinue a line of trophies, whether it is because our supplier discontinued the line or our supplier raised the prices too much to pass on to you our customers. Unfortunately this time it is our resin trophies that are being discontinued. We know you loved them and we did too but we have to say good-bye.

    Now before that happens we are offering you the chance to buy these trophies at significant savings – up to 40% off some styles.

    We have resin trophies in 3 styles: the Signature Resin Trophy Line, the Star Resin Trophy Line, and the Athletic Resin Trophy Line.

    The Signature Resin Trophy Line

    This trophy line features a resin figurine sitting atop a plastic marble finished base with FREE text engraving. It is available in 13 different sports: Baseball, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey Lacrosse, Skating Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball and Wrestling. We also offer male and female versions in most sports. Original Price: $10.50 Sale Price: $6.75

    Female Hockey Signature Resin Trophy Female Basketball Signature Resin Trophy Cheerleading Signature Resin Trophy Female Soccer Signature Resin Trophy

    The Star Resin Trophy Line

    This trophy line features a gold and silver finished sculpted resin trophy with FREE text engraving. It is available with an “Achievement” theme and 7 different sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer, Softball and Volleyball. Original Price: $9.50 Sale Price: $6.00

    Soccer Star Resin Trophy Volleyball Star Resin Trophy Basketball Star Resin Trophy Achievement Star Resin Trophy

    The Athletic Resin Trophy Line

    This trophy line features a smaller silver finished sculpted resin trophy that is hand painted with FREE text engraving.  This was a popular choice so we only have three sports left: Baseball, Volleyball and Soccer. Original Price: $7.85 Sale Price: $4.00

    Baseball Resin Sports Trophy Volleyball Sports Resin Trophy Soccer Resin Sports Trophy

    3W Rosettes ON SALE!

    Our  3W Rosette sale starts today and goes on until Monday March 18th.

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    This is a fantastic deal. It offers saving on three of our popular rosettes: the Empire Rosette, the Ideal Rosette and the Beauty Rosette.

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    What is so special about this sale?

    • This sale offers customized rosettes at up to 24% off regular prices
    • Each rosette is available in a variety of satin ribbon colors with a white center streamer and a white gold rim center.
    • Each rosette can be customized with your design or logo (there is a die charge if we haven’t printed your design or logo before) or a stock design at no extra charge in the center of the white gold rim center.
    • Each rosette can be customized with 10 lines of print (14 characters each). The place will not be printed on these Sale rosettes. We ask that you signify your place by the color. (This is what allows us to give you these great prices)

    My Personal Favorite New Equestrian Awards

    Each catalog we strive to find new solutions for your awards. We just published our Equestrian catalog (in January) with over 35 new products.

    I wanted to tell you today about my personal favorite new equestrian awards in the new catalog.

    My first favorite is our new vintage equestrian plaque. We actually have three versions. Two, the “Treasure” and the “Character” are sold as is with no customization but offer inspirational messages with beautiful imagery. The third version is the custom version of the vintage plaque. This version allows you to put any type of artwork, photograph, logo, design, text, event information or names on the plaque while still keeping the vintage look.

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    My second favorite product is the new Windsor Rosette. It offers something a little different from what is currently in our extensive line of equestrian rosettes. The Windsor Rosette features a ¾ rosette top made of hand sewn petals and three 12” streamers. Just like our other rosettes, you can still choose a button, gold rim, or satin center rosette center with your logo or a stock design, any ribbon color or combination of ribbon colors including exclusive multicolor side streamers and 10 lines of custom print. The Windsor Rosette can also be customized with up to 24” streamers to accommodate if you are looking for a larger rosette.

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    My third favorite product (which by the way I am definitely suggesting to be given as employee appreciation gifts at Hodges) is the Rosewood Pen & Pencil Set. This set can be engraved with you logo or event information on the case. I know it is the age of tablets and smart phones but who doesn’t need a good pen & pencil set.

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    So I’ve listed my personal favorites here but we have so many more new great products in this catalog. Go on-line, find your and let us know. We would love to get your feedback. Happy browsing!

    It’s Winter Sale Time!

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    It’s that time of year again! Time for our annual Winter Sale!  Place an order and get 10% off your merchandise total when you prepay with a credit card.  All our awards are included: rosettes, ribbons, silver, trophies, medals and more!

    Use keycode W12120213E to get your discount over the phone or online.

    Don’t need your awards until the spring? We can schedule your delivery for a later date so you can still get the discount!

     

    Student Recognition and Award Programs Reinforce Achievement

    Today’s students are involved in a wide variety of activities in and out of the classroom. They participate in Spelling Bees, athletics, reading contests, clubs, and Science Fairs to name just a few. There are also many classroom opportunities to celebrate success and accomplishment every day.  A simple, budget friendly recognition program can provide the tools needed to encourage achievement and motivate students to perform at their highest level – while still having fun.

    Good Job!
    Rewarding students for positive contributions and achievements builds self-esteem and confidence. With feelings of confidence come positive behavioral choices immediately apparent to teachers, school administrators, and parents alike. Sometimes a well-timed “excellent!” or “good job!” is all that is needed.  

    Opportunities for Recognition
    Take every opportunity to celebrate and reward successes – the small ones and the big ones.  Think about using simple recognition awards every day when you are asking your students questions about homework, helping out other students, or participating in class.   Here are some recognition opportunities to consider:

    • Academic excellence – Celebrate specific milestone accomplishments in Reading, Writing, Science, and Math. Students who show extraordinary scholastic achievement deserve recognition along with students who are working hard to improve their grades.
    • Classroom participation – Maintaining a high level of classroom participation can often be a struggle. Simple classroom participation ribbons are a great way to get students excited about participating in class.  If they are participating they are learning!
    • Spelling Bee – The Spelling Bee is a traditional competitive event where there can be many winners.  Consider participant awards for all of those students that participated in the event.  Adding your school identification to any award makes the award important and special.
    • Citizenship – Recognize students with all around good behavior, manners, and respect for others. A most worthy award!
    • Attendance – Good attendance should be rewarded at end of year award ceremonies but also consider using attendance awards more frequently during the school year.  Try a monthly attendance award.
    • Student of the Month – Create your own Student of the Month Award to reward students exceeding your expectations.
    • Leadership – Reward the students that provide leadership for classroom projects and activities.
    • End of the year award ceremonies – All students have unique abilities and interests and it is important that their individual qualities are recognized at end of the year award ceremonies. From an award for “Being on Time All the Time” to “Always Completes their Homework” to the “Mad Scientist” award (most creative with their Science experiments), these rising stars all need a pat on the back.

    What Types of Recognitions and Awards Should You Give?
    There are many factors to be considered when choosing the right recognition program for your school or classroom, including: What milestones or behaviors do I want to reward?  Do I want my recognition awards customized with school logo and personalized messages? How do I get the most value on a limited budget?

    The following is a list of recognition award solutions to help you make the right choice for your program.

    • Ribbons and Ribbon rolls – Kids love ribbonsRibbon rolls are one of the most cost-effective choices teachers and school administrators can make to reward students. A teacher or principal can easily store hundreds of customized ribbons on a single ribbon roll and just cut them off the roll to award students as needed. Ribbons and ribbon rolls are make great on-the-spot awards – economical and easy to use when you want to reward a student immediately in class.  Customized ribbon rolls can be printed with your school logo and your own personal achievement message.
    • Buttons and pinsButtons and pins are another economical way to appreciate students for a job well done. They are also a preferred choice for building school spirit.  Why not hand all students a button customized with the school mascot to display their pride at major athletic events, musical performances, or even to welcome them back to school. Any school sponsored activity can be acknowledged with personalized buttons, giving students who wear them a feeling of belonging and pride.
    • Medals Medals are an exceptional way to recognize a student who has achieved a great milestone or goal. They are typically given at award ceremonies where a student is called upon to take center stage before his peers and be recognized for academic or athletic excellence.
    • Dog tagsDog tags are the hottest trend! Kids love wearing customized dog tags on chains and using them as key chains.  Customized dog tags provide a unique way to recognize students and give them a sense of pride and honor when participating in school activities and athletics. They are a great choice for recognizing individual or team accomplishments.
    • Plaques and trophiesPlaques and trophies are the traditional recognition awards preferred for End of the Year Awards ceremonies. These are awards students will cherish for a lifetime and frequently are displayed on a student’s bedroom shelf or hang on their wall as a constant reminder of their achievements.

    Recognition and award programs can have a major impact on academic performance and are easy to implement, especially in K through 4th grade classrooms.  All students have a need to be recognized for jobs well done. Confidence soars, grades improve, school pride escalates, and students are primed for continued success throughout their educational careers.  After all, who couldn’t use a little recognition for a job well done every now and then?

    Introducing Cat Show Ribbons & Awards

    It’s been a long time coming, but we are happy to announce the release of our new Cat Show Awards Catalog.  Filled with colorful ribbons and rosettes, elegant silver, and affordable acrylic awards and plaques, we bring the same familiar Hodges service and reputation to another “breed” of competitions.

    In addition to our 32 standard satin ribbon colors, customers can make their rosettes uniquely feline by using our new cat-themed multicolor side streamers. We offer cat breed and coat pattern designs, and Hodges Badge Company is the exclusive manufacturer of CFA (Cat Fanciers of America) multicolor side streamers.

    Whether you manage a CFA, TICA, ACFA, AACE or unaffiliated show or club, we hope you will consider our high quality and affordable awards.  To request a Cat Show Awards Catalog, click here.

    Bring your basic rosettes up a notch with the Peerless

    Or add some frill with the Finchley

    The Paw Print Pewtarex plates make a great prize & come in 4 sizes

    4-H Field Trip

    This morning we were the lucky hosts to members of the 4-H club from Franklin, Connecticut.  After earning a few of their own ribbons, they took a field trip to visit our Rhode Island factory and see how awards are made. 

    Here are a few photos from the tour with Rick Hodges:

    Snapping together freshly printed Cloverbud dog tags

    Checking out rosette assembly (the red, yellow and green boxes are Empire rosette tops)

    Standing with our Holsworthy rosettes- they were almost as big as the girls!

    Posing with our Hodges mascot after the tour.

    Are you part of a school, equestrian, 4-H or community group that would like to tour or Rhode Island or Missouri facilities?  Let us know and we’ll be happy to work something out!