JASPER® would like to extend a sincere congratulations to Ray Schwenk, who was honored with the 2017 Distinguished Citizen Award at this year’s Boy Scouts DCA Banquet.
Ray is someone who continuously lives by the Boy Scout laws and values every day and JASPER® is blessed to have him as an Associate-Owner for over 40 years.
Congratulations, Ray! This award was much deserved.
Ray Schwenk is an Eagle Scout and has been for nearly 50 years. He earned Scouting’s top rank, in 1968, from Precious Blood Catholic Church, where he was a member of Troop 183 and Explorer Post 183. As an adult, he served as Assistant Scoutmaster for the Troop.
Ray graduated from Jasper High School in 1970 and attended Indiana State University, where he earned a teaching degree and a business minor. He taught school in Vincennes, IN, for three years before joining Jasper Engines & Transmissions.
Ray has been employed by Jasper Engines and Transmissions for over 40 years. He has helped JASPER® grow from a regional company with 12 branch locations into a nationally respected organization with 45 branch locations, two distribution centers, five remanufacturing facilities and multiple divisions. Ray was actively involved in the 2010 transition to a 100% Associate Owned Company. He currently serves as the Treasurer and Plan Administrator for the JET 401(k) Plan.
Over the years, Ray has served the Boy Scouts of America in numerous capacities. He is currently an Advisory Board Member for the Buffalo Trace Council and was an Executive Board Member of the Council for 10 years. He also served as a District Committee Member for the Lincoln Heritage District for two years and as a Council Member at large of Buffalo Trace Council for one year. He has played an instrumental role in providing Scout Handbooks to new Boy Scouts in the spring, courtesy of Jasper Engines & Transmissions, and has lent his support to the last two Jamboree Committees for the Council, as well as assisting the Buffalo Trace Council in a number of other ways. In 2010, he made a trek to Canada with Holy Family Church Venturing Crew 185 and served as Chaplain Aide. All of the boys with him on the trek earned their Duty to God Award. In 2011, the Buffalo Trace Council honored Ray with a Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not seek it.
Outside of Scouting, Ray has served on the Jasper Junior Achievement Board and currently serves on the boards of Dubois County Community Foundation, Providence Home/Cathedral Health, and Anderson Woods, Inc. He is a Religious Education Teacher and Hospitality minister for Precious Blood Church and has served on various church committees.
Ray says, “My father, mother, and family set an example for me to give back to the community. Endowing our community’s future is the responsibility we have for the future of our children and youth.”
This year we are celebrating our 75th anniversary! Jasper Engines and Transmissions was founded in 1942 through the vision of Alvin C. Ruxer. We have been remanufacturing quality products since 1942 and today we are the nation’s largest remanufacturer of gas and diesel engines, transmissions, differentials, rear axle assemblies, marine engines, stern drives, performance engines, and electric motors.
In true JASPER tradition of, “Doing it Right… And Having Fun,” we had an anniversary celebration earlier this month for Associates and their families. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the great success of the past 75 years. We were graced with a beautiful day and many events such as a 5k, Car Show, Health Fair, Magic Show, Bounce Houses/Inflatables, Games, Bingo, Food, Concerts, and more!
Thank you to all Associates and their hard work in getting us to the 75 year milestone! It is truly an anniversary worth celebrating.
JASPER’s Doug Bawel, Chairman and CEO, and Zach Bawel, President and COO, were recently guests on a podcast and cited in a blog by Kyle DeFur, President of TrueU. They discussed how servant leadership and Associate (employee) ownership has affected JASPER’s culture.
JASPER® has worked to create a culture of servant leadership over the past 75 years. This leadership began with Alvin C. Ruxer when he founded the company in 1942, and continued throughout the years with the leaders that followed. It is servant leadership that helped the executive team make the decision to become 100% Associate Owned through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company in 2010.
So what exactly is servant leadership, and what does it mean? A servant leader is someone who makes decisions that benefit their Associates before themselves; someone who looks at how they can make their Associates’ jobs easier, safer, and someone who helps their Associates grow to their fullest potential. The decision to become an ESOP company was made to protect the Associates, the community, and the brand. It was a decision to benefit others and not for personal gain. This is the epitome of servant leadership.
Becoming an ESOP has enhanced the servant leadership culture at JASPER. It has given all Associates, not just those in management positions, the desire to be servant leaders. Work days are no longer only about clocking in and out. Associates now have a vested interest in the greater good of the company. Associates take ownership and pride in everything that is done here at JASPER. They are continuously looking for ways to improve. It has created a culture where it is normal to receive 18,000+ improvement ideas annually from Associates. It is a culture where Associates care. They care about their coworkers, the company, and the product.
Here at JASPER, we are proud to say that each unit that leaves our facility was built by an owner of our company. Our Associate-Owners have a vested interest and care to be sure that each unit is built perfectly for you.