In today’s business world, changing positions frequently is the new norm for employees. Gone are the days when employees started their career with a company and ended it with the same company.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported in 2014 that the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.6 years.
However at JHE, the 29-year-old organization recently celebrated the tenure of 15 employees who have accumulated 10 plus years at the event production company. To celebrate with these odd-defying individuals, we asked a few probing questions.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the company?
Brandon Stegall (16 years): “When I started in 2000, JHE had very few assets and now we have an abundance. The same thing goes for the number of employees. When I started, I was one of six employees and now I am one of 90. The growth of the company over the last 16 years has been phenomenal.”
Jacob Meadows (11 years): “Change, wow has there been change. In 11 years, we acquired Total Event Production, a year later opened a Nashville office and expanded staff to another state. Then we were acquired by a company that is global, and more is coming every day with that.”
What is your favorite aspect about JHE?
Ashley Dempsey (12 years): “I love the feeling of family and keeping things personal at JHE. As much as this place has grown through the years, the importance of family has stayed constant. From having new babies highlighted at the holiday party each year, to highlighting a staff member in the newsletter each month, to Jay sitting down with each employee to have coffee so that he can get to know them better. The feeling that you are more than just a worker is important and one of the reasons that I have stayed here for so long.”
John “Lunchbox” Autrey (10 years): “I love throughout the years of being here that we are still to this day are a very family-oriented company.”
What was your first impression on day one?
Ryan Williams (13 years): “My first full day at JHE was in late February 2004. I showed up and was told to check in with Brandon Stegall and see what he needed to be done. His reply, “Buddy, we are going to have you build some desks. One of them will end up being yours.” I spent the rest of the morning putting together desks until I was told we were closed for the day at lunch due to a snow storm that had been going on outside.”
Jim Ablard (10 years): “I was impressed with the advanced capabilities for production support. As an outsider my impressions were that JHE was an audio company; not a complex of multiple divisions that work to make a client’s vision a success. If we can't do something then we just have to figure it out.”
John “Lunchbox” Autrey (10 years): “From my first day here, I've always thought that this is the company that I will be able to retire from. Such great people that share a love for what we do.”
Comment on the growth at JHE during your tenure.
Ronnie Oehler (14 years): “The biggest change I have seen is the growth of the company from five full-time employees to over 80 and the addition of more and more clients and venues over the years.”
Jacqueline Gafrarar (19 years): “When I started my journey at JHE in 1997, there were only four employees … now there are 80+! It’s been exciting to see and be a part of the growth over these 19 years. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our culture … it truly is one of a kind!”
Natalie Epperly (11 years): “So much growth at JHE! Not only in the number of people we have employed but with the types of events that we take on. We are constantly growing our resume and executing at another level.”
Who would you like to thank?
Brad Smith (13 years): “I would like to thank my wife, Amanda, for being in my corner and understanding the lifestyle that you have to have to work and be successful in this industry. Without her support, the highlights and achievements that I have had with JHE wouldn’t mean as much. All of the significant others of the JHE staff deserve a great big thank you for all they do behind the limelight.”
Ryan Baxter (13 years): “My parents - the work ethic that both of my parents have instilled in me is a huge reason from my success. If you work hard good things will happen.”
Jacob Meadows (11 years): “Brad Smith. He has been the best manager I have ever had and I have had A LOT! No offense to “Ryan Baxter” “Gary Dozier” “Dino Torres” “Michael Verlatti” “Kenneth Byrd” "Matt Davis” or “Ash Munro.”
John “Lunchbox” Autrey (10 years): “I would like to thank Jay Howard "of course," Ryan Baxter and Gary Dozier for ALWAYS being there and believing in me. Each one of these guys fuel my fire to be more dedicated to the success of what we have here and to give the client that above-and-beyond feeling of what we have to offer. I'm a very proud "family" member of JHE Production and look forward to many years to come.”