JHE’s "people first" approach has built a unique culture founded on hard work, an unrelenting commitment to excellence and over-delivering on each client’s vision. To our partners, the JHE team is known for a make-it-happen mindset, its charitable endeavors, integrity, candor, motivation, innovation and reliability.
JHE President Jay Howard is passionate about putting people first and promoting our unique culture. Thus why we chose to highlight a personal side of the team as the last month of summer is celebrated. So, we took to the aisles of JHE and asked employees several summer-related questions.
The first up is an easy one. What’s your all-time favorite summer movie?
Jamie Fair, a logistics manager on the transportation team, quickly answered with “Grumpy Old Men.” He actually likes watching this movie all year, but it has a great fishing scene during the summer that he especially enjoyed.
The 1985 classic “Summer Rental” featured John Candy as Jack Chester, an air traffic controller that takes his family to the beach, and it quickly takes a turn for the worst. This topped the list for JHE’s Paul Nolasco, CrossFit fanatic and an experiential activation touring manager.
Michael Ann Gosby, JHE’s quintessential travel guru, immediately recalled the 2005 film starring Ice Cube, “Are We There Yet?”
However, the one that tops them all was chosen by Ann Nestor, senior manager of client services … “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Ann claims that her dad is 100 percent Clark Griswold and was happy to share a photo to let you decide for yourself.
“There are so many times throughout the movie where my sister and I can say, ‘That is so Dad.’ We actually started calling him Clark on a trip to the Virgin Islands in 1999, when he made us walk a mile through the woods to tour historic sugar plantation ruins, and then walked even further across a rocky beach where he made us snorkel through thousands of jellyfish. He even used to dress like Clark – short shorts, polos and big glasses.”
Employees, Culture, People First, Summer Movies
A team of passionate, driven people make up the JHE family. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, more than half of the employees signed up to participate in the first “JHE Get Fit Challenge.”
The eight-week challenge started August 4 and incorporates both an individual and team aspect. The program was developed to encourage employees to work together to create healthy habits that would ultimately lead to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. A private Facebook page was also launched to correlate with the start of the program that gives employees a forum to share recipes, articles, workouts and encouragement.
For the “biggest loser” individual challenge, participants will record their starting and ending weight. The individual with the highest percentage of weight loss will be declared the winner.
The team competition is broken into six groups led by Dan Mott, Paul Nolasco, Derek Lane, Aprill Williams, Erin Nosker and Jeremy Callahan. Participants can earn points daily by:
-Avoiding fast food (two points);
-Getting more than seven hours of sleep (two points);
-Drinking 62 ounces of water (three points);
-Eating two servings of vegetables (three points);
-Eating two servings of fruit (three points);
-Avoiding sweets and sugary treats (three points); and
-Working out for 30 minutes (four points) or 60 minutes (five points).
Each employee can also earn a onetime 10-point bonus by participating in a race or trying a new workout class. For every pound lost, participants will earn another four points. And since a team competition is all about group motivation, teams will earn an extra 25 points if everyone completes one category at least four days a week.
In addition to the satisfaction of helping each other lose weight and become healthier, JHE is rewarding the “biggest loser” challenge winner with a $75 Dick’s gift card and the team challenge winners with a $50 Dick’s gift card each.
Dan Mott, Paul Nolasco, Derek Lane, Aprill Williams, Erin Nosker, Jeremy Callahan, Get Fit Challenge
In the past year, my dedication to a healthy lifestyle has been renewed. Up to this point, I’d run one 5k, but when I saw the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge (ROC) 5k at Charlotte Motor Speedway advertised on Facebook, I knew I wanted to give it a try.
Described as a 5k course that combines game show inspired obstacles, such as an inflatable slide, belly flop drop, wrecking ball and Tarzan swing, to give you the craziest run ever, the ROC race seemed like a must for the JHE family.
I rounded up 12 people to join me for this crazy race: Mary Griffin, Cassie Brickman, Michael Ann Gosby, Michael Verlatti, Jeff Gajewski, Jeremy Callahan and his twin brother Jonathan, Avery Nelson, John “Lunchbox” Autrey, Aprill King, my roommate Brynn and Andrew Stilwell. Even though we are a competitive group, we chose to run the race as a team and waited on every person to finish before advancing to the next level. “We are only as strong as our weakest link,” is a mindset we live by at JHE which came into play during this obstacle-filled race.
One of the toughest obstacles was the wrecking ball. Only two team members managed to hold on and not get wet.
The “Foam of Fury” obstacle was one of the funniest moments. Jeremy Callahan went down the bubbly horizontal slide almost immediately after Cassie and pushed her head first quickly. A mouth full of foam, she was coughing bubbles for the rest of the race.
We all had the most fun on the “World’s Largest Moon Bounce.” I think it would be the perfect addition to the JHE holiday party We also had a blast on the “World’s Largest Inflatable Water Slide” which we were able to slide down multiple times thanks to Lunchbox knowing the race director (he seems to know someone everywhere).
However, one of my best memories was finishing as a team. It was a fun, crazy and memorable experience. I can’t wait to do it again with my second family next year!
– Erin Nosker
Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Erin Nosker, ROC Race
As Benjamin Franklin said, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” JHE continues to take this advice and invest in the future of its people through targeted training opportunities.
In addition to ongoing career education, JHE began offering a monthly lunch and learn training series for all employees in 2013. Employees were asked to provide feedback on topics they would be interested in learning more about during an end of year survey. JHE used this feedback to create a nine-month series that includes classes taught by outside experts, such as photography basics, priority management and strategic thinking, and in-house experts, such as sales 101, audio/video essentials and art fundamentals. By offering a unique collection of classes, all employees can benefit from the opportunity. JHE has also started capturing the sessions on tape to share with the employees who are on the road and unable to attend in person.
The training series is another way for our employees to continue to better themselves and continuously maintain their status as experts in their field. JHE looks forward to continuing to offer unique employee education opportunities to help make our employees the best of the best.
– Michael Verlatti
Michael Verlatti, Benjamin Franklin, training, corporate education
On October 27, a few members of the JHE team participated in what is described as “probably the toughest event on earth.” Michael Verlatti, Ryan Martin, Cassie Brickman and myself along with two Wisconsinites, Jess Suter and Megan Synder, set out to participate in a Tough Mudder Challenge.
The team had signed up for the event earlier in the year, and we were determined to push ourselves to the brink. We had all run a few 5Ks and other “mud runs” in the past but nothing compared to the 12-mile run with obstacles designed by the military’s Special Forces that we would soon encounter in the challenge.
We began training about 16 weeks prior to the challenge, starting with three- to five-mile jogs. Ryan and Cassie added in CrossFit workouts to increase body strength and stamina. Michael signed up for every class known to man, creating a very busy training regimen for himself. I personally stuck to long jogs and circuit workouts a few times a week. As the event approached, we lost a key member, Cassie, who had to sit out due to health issues, but she became our coach.
The JHE crew arrived at the course before a 10 a.m. start time to prepare for the challenge we were about to face in 60 degree weather. The first obstacle was jumping in a giant ice bath; a difficult way to start a 12-mile journey! However, we kept on and prevailed through difficult challenges, including an eight-foot wall climb, a mud crawl through live wires, giant hay bale climbs, log carries and swimming through a pond ducking under water barrels.
One of the most difficult obstacles came towards the end of the race around mile nine or ten when you had to carry a teammate on your back up a hill. Since we were an odd numbered group, Michael turned around and carried the next guy in line who just so happened to be dressed in a purple spandex suit with fairy wings. Seeing Michael carry that man and then jump on his winged back gave us the extra boost of energy we needed to complete the race!
The final challenge was running up a giant half pipe greased in oil and then running through live wires. We were exhausted but all proud of ourselves for completing the challenge. It was an incredible team building experience and by far the toughest challenge I’ve ever completed. I can’t wait to start training to compete in my next Tough Mudder challenge.
– Chris Fox
Chris Fox, Michael Verlatti, Ryan Martin, Cassie Brickman, Tough Mudder