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JASPER® Earns ESOP Company of the Year Honors for 2018

 

Jasper Engines & Transmissions has been named ESOP Company of the Year for 2018 by The ESOP Association, Indiana Chapter.  The announcement was made February 27th at an Association conference in Carmel, Indiana.

 

“We are truly honored to receive this award,” said Doug Bawel, JASPER Chairman/CEO.  “We have 2,900 Associate-Owners who are very proud of their 75-year company, and this recognition is all about them.”

 

The ESOP Association is the largest employer-sponsored advocacy and education association in the United States.  The Association focuses on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP). Founded in 1978, the Association seeks to enhance federal laws governing ESOPs, provide members with expert information, and fund research via the Employee Ownership Foundation.

 

The ESOP Association is a national non-profit organization with 18 local Chapters, including Indiana.  Its members include ESOP companies, companies considering an ESOP, and service providers that assist in setting up and maintaining ESOPs.

 

JASPER has seen immense growth since the inception of the ESOP in 2009. In 2010 the company had grown to approximately $280 million in revenue, and approximately 1,800 Associates nationwide.  In the last six years, JASPER conducted strategic acquisitions within the automotive industry that  allowed the company to grow and prosper.  JASPER also expanded its remanufacturing facilities in Jasper and Leavenworth, Indiana, as well as Willow Springs, Missouri. 

 

Today, JASPER has 2,900 full-time Associate-Owners, with revenue in excess of $608 million.  The company’s ESOP stock has grown in six years from $2.30/share to over $220/share at the end of 2016. 

 

“We will be announcing our current share price in April, and we are excited about our 2017 growth and success, which we feel will reflect in our stock price,” said Bawel.

JASPER's ESOP Committee Pictured Left to Right: Thom Ireland, Kate Schwenk, Audra Dilger, Josseline Carr, and John Wiggins.

 

 

JASPER Authentic Customer Sees 390 Big Block Dyno Test Session in Person

JASPER® customer, Tony Habermel of New Albany, Indiana, was able to watch his remanufactured Ford 390 Big Block on the dynamometer during a recent visit to Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains.

A numbers-matching build, including a dyno-run, was part of the package Tony purchased for his 1969 Ford Torino GT Sport Roof.

“My Aunt & Uncle bought the car brand new in February of ’69,” said Tony.  “The car sat for nearly 20 years in my Aunt’s garage, on carpet and under a cover.”

“I bought the car from my Aunt, and moved it to my garage, where it sat because there wasn’t time for me  to do anything with it.”

“I had the whole body redone after a tree fell on my garage,” Tony added.  “The engine wasn’t running right, so I had the engine brought to JASPER.”

During Tony’s visit to JASPER, he toured the facility along with Dawn Byrne of Byrne’s Garage of New Albany.  They were both invited into the dyno room to watch Tony’s engine go through its paces.

“The experience with JASPER has been phenomenal,” Tony said.  “They are some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with.  They have been very helpful and knowledgeable.”

“It’s moments like these, that make my job an absolute pleasure,” said Darren Ragsdale, Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains & Performance Division Manager.  “It’s an honor to work with our customers, especially when they are passionate about their restoration projects.”

JETT Kicks Off Endowment Season for 2018

Jasper Endows Today & Tomorrow (JETT) held its annual kick-off meeting February 5th at the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Training Center.  Over 30 people were in attendance to hear a recap of 2017, and get an opportunity to hear from a guest speaker.  The night began with a review of the 8 grant recipients that received over $28,000 in 2017.  One of the recipients, Mentors For Youth, submitted a status report for the two matches that their grant had helped to initiate.  The membership also got to hear about the current JETT endowment total, $166,000, and what legacy that will leave on local communities.

 

The guest speaker was Jamie Levy, President and Chief Vision Officer of JD Levy & Associates.  Jamie is also a faculty member at Indiana University, where he teaches graduate and professional programs in not-for-profit management and development through the IU Center on Philanthropy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the Fund Raising School.  His primary message a the meeting was 3-fold;

 

“Each organization must know its vision,” said JETT Facilitator, Mark Balsmeyer.  “Jamie’s example of the Rockefeller Rule explained that strategic planning (99%) doesn’t always align with the vision (1%).  Many organizations lose momentum this way.” 

 

“His second point of emphasis was, as a grant maker, not to be afraid to ask questions to non-profits,” said Balsmeyer. “They need to be asked ‘What does value look like’, and understand the difference between outputs and outcomes.”

 

“His last take away revolved around the 3 R’s (Relief, Rehabilitation, Restoration) and identifying what JETT’s footprint looks like from previous grant making,” he added.

 

The meeting concluded with a listing of opportunities for JETT members to get involved by use of time, and talent, in 2018.  It was also mentioned that JETT will host its 2nd Live/Silent Auction April 28th at The Schnitz Brewery & Pub.  “The inaugural 2016 event raised $13,000 that went towards supporting non-profit organizations,” said Balsmeyer.

 

JASPER® Acquires Greensboro Distributorship

Jasper Engines & Transmissions is proud to announce the acquisition of Jasper Engines & Transmissions of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Located at 4120 Beechwood Drive in Greensboro, this branch opened in 1986 as an independent distributorship, selling JASPER® quality remanufactured products to customers in North Carolina, and southern Virginia. 

“Our Greensboro customers can now take full advantage of several JASPER programs not afforded to them in the past,” said Zach Bawel, JASPER President.  “These include availability to Cooperative Advertising programs, our Preferred Installer programs, along with other Volume Discount programs and Corporate Tours that go with dealing directly with the factory.”

“In addition, the Greensboro branch Associates become owners of the company as part of JASPER’s Associate-Owned Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP),” Bawel added.  “This territory will continue to get great customer support from our outside sales representatives, branch operations and delivery drivers.”

Jasper Engines & Transmissions currently has 45 branch offices and distribution centers in 28 states.

 

 

Commodore Manufacturing – 100% Student-Led/Operated Business

The Perry County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on December 19 for the first local student-led manufacturing facility, Commodore Manufacturing. Commodore Manufacturing is 100% student-led and operated; the business plan was created by students in the business pathway and the HIRE Manufacturing students are responsible for the customer interactions, quality, production, marketing, payroll, and safety components of the business. JASPER Vice President of Logistics, Luke Bawel, spoke to the crowd, which included school officials/administration, local and state elected officials, Perry County business leaders, as well as representatives from Waupaca Foundry and JASPER.

 

JASPER® and Waupaca Foundry has partnered with Perry Central to design an educational pathway for manufacturing careers, providing real hands on experience which is accredited by the state to provide high school and college credits. Commodore Manufacturing has adopted JASPER's lean principals, including a Management Board which tracks trainings and orders. Commodore Manufacturing is currently a supplier for Jasper Innovative Solutions and Bawel shared that he foresees the student-led business partnering with other JASPER divisions in the future.

 

JASPER® Announces Calendar Winners for 2018

Thank you! Our customers come through each year for the annual Jasper Engines & Transmissions calendar, and this year was no exception! We had lots of great entries for the 2018 edition. Entries received this year were judged on adherence to the category, equipment appearance and the quality of the photograph or image.

Entrants whose work appears in the calendar receive a $100 gift certificate, which can be used to purchase JASPER remanufactured products or wearable items, 30 complimentary calendars and a special JASPER Gift Package.

Congratulations to all our Winners!

  1. Ron and Jill Pair - Dawsonville, Georgia - 1941 Cadillac Series 62 - Convertible
  2. David Rudolph - Rio Vista, California - 1950 GMC Pickup
  3. Terri Blackburn - Durham, North Carolina - 1967 Chevy Camaro (Custom)
  4. Chris Rhinehart - Frederick, Maryland - 1972 Chevy Nova SS
  5. Louis Clements - Ararat, Virginia - 1940 Ford Coupe
  6. David Graff - North Las Vegas, Nevada - 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I
  7. Bob & Greg Drennan - Sonora, California - 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL
  8. Chris & Sharon Whitlow - Coloma, Michigan - 1956 Ford Thunderbird
  9. Edward Gath - Springville, New York - 1962 International - Harvester Metro Van
  10. Herb & Marilyn Polson - St. Petersburg, Florida - 1967 Chevy Corvette Coupe
  11. William Shollenberger - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - 1945 Dodge WC51
  12. Peachtree City Fire Department - Peachtree City, Georgia - 1949 Chevrolet Fire Engine
  13. Rob Byers - JR Brothers Ministries - Kyle, Texas - 1981 Jeep CJ7

JASPER® Names Hulsman Advertising Division Manager

Jasper Engines and Transmissions is pleased to announce the following change to its Advertising Division staff. Jason Hulsman has been named Advertising Division Manager.  Jason is a 17 year JASPER Associate-Owner.  He began his JASPER career on January 10th, 2000, and initially worked in Customer Communications as a Tour Guide.  Jason then spent eight years with the Inside Sales Department, before joining the Advertising Division, where he has spent the last nine years. 
 

Jason is responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for new, and existing products through brand, product and channel marketing, keeping these activities in alignment with JASPER’s corporate goals.

 

“My job is to ensure the marketplace understands who we are, the features and benefits our products carry, and the high-level of quality and service our Associate-Owners provide,” he said.
 

“As an Associate-Owner, I’m extremely proud of our company’s achievements and the growth we’ve seen over the years,” Hulsman said.  “It’s proof that we, as a company, are doing the right things. I’m excited to lead the department that I’ve been a part of for so many years.”
 

Hulsman succeeds Mike Pfau, who has been with the Advertising Division since he started his JASPER career on May 16th, 1977.  Mike was named the Division Manager in 1987.  He will remain with the division until his retirement in January of 2018.   
 

“We thank Mike for his 40+ years helping to make Jasper Engines & Transmission the Brand of Choice for our Customers,” said Zach Bawel, JASPER President.  “During Mike’s time leading our Advertising division, JASPER went from a Midwest regional company to the nationwide company we are today.”
 

Bawel added, “We look forward to Jason’s leadership as we continue to grow our Jasper Engines & Transmissions brand, along with growing our ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) for all the Associate-Owners.”

 

 

Jason Hulsman succeeds Mike Pfau as Manager of JASPER’s Advertising Division.

 

A Culture of Servant Leadership and Employee Ownership

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.

 

Podcast: https://trueu.com/resources/trueu-mobile-app/
Blog: https://trueu.com/leader-serves-servant-leadership-perspective-kyle-defur/?platform=hootsuite

 

Where Should You Invest Your Marketing Dollars?

Carm Capriotto for JASPER (Blog 2 of 6)

Marketing for customer retention and recruitment can be a daunting task. I’ve had the privilege to interview a few smart people when it comes to understanding the value of newsletters, direct mail and social media. In the end, along with your own experience and equipped with expert advice, you ultimately make your decision based on your budget, acceptable ROI, and which medium you feel will have the most impact on your customer and market.

I’ve found shop owners lean heavily on social media and some use a blended approach. Many business coaches recommend your marketing spend is a percent of your sales. You can budget for that and create a calendar of your marketing initiatives of all types. Your goal is to build customer retention and a recruitment campaign.

Below I’ve listed a few bullet points that provide insight from my interviews with shop owners and marketing specialists. I’ve come to understand that there is no magic bullet. But what I have uncovered is that you must ‘Always Be Marketing’ to quote shop owner Greg Buckley.

The list contains some very reflective statements. Don’t gloss over them. Look at them carefully and see if they excite you to action or help you improve what you are currently doing.

At the end of the list I’ll give you a few links so you can hear the entire context of these interviews and listen to your industry colleagues share their marketing strategies and insights.

  • Today marketing is a blend of social media, direct mail, newsletters, women's clinics, community events and more.
  • We get over 6,000 advertising messages bombarding us each day.
  • On social media, you need to be active and have a strategy.
  • Be respectful of the Facebook algorithm. Look at Facebook like the King/Queen at Homecoming. The most popular in the school gets crowned. Your posts need to become popular.
  • You need original (organic) content for social media and newsletters. No canned content. Someone can create the post but your ideas or pictures rule.
  • Inject personality so people can relate to you.
  • Run a Facebook “Like: Campaign.” Don’t be afraid to buy a Facebook ‘Like’. Pay a community group X amount of dollars per like in a short amount of time.
  • Posting on Facebook is easier than you think. You can post 5 engagements for the week in one hour on a Monday morning.
  • You want to be known before a prospect comes in the door. Use your Social Media strategy to accomplish that.
  • Newsletters need to be fun and interactive. Surprisingly, millennials like to get mail.
  • Social media has clutter. Mail does not have as much clutter as in the past.
  • With direct mail, your customer can always review it later. It is easier than finding it again in social media.
  • Websites may become obsolete in the future as Google and Facebook ramp up their strategy to keep the user on their site. Facebook is becoming more search friendly. It may give Google a run.

The content library on the Remarkable Results Radio website can easily serve up every episode that contains important marketing and social media talk.

  • Find all episodes about marketing here.
  • Find all episodes about social media here.
  • A great interview on newsletters here.
  • Keeping pace with your website here.  (A JASPER Authorized Vendor)

 

JASPER Produces Engine for Folds of Honor Recipient

Ginger Ravella, a Folds of Honor recipient, recently posed with a JASPER® remanufactured Chevy 350 engine, and the JASPER Associates who produced it at our Willow Springs, MO facility.

This is their story...

Major Troy “Trojan” Gilbert, U.S. Air Force, age 34, was killed in action while flying a combat mission in Anbar Province, Iraq, on Nov. 27, 2006, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Major Gilbert saved 22 Special Forces soldiers the day he lost his life. He left behind a wife and five young children.

Since 2007, Folds of Honor has carried forth this singular, noble mission: To provide educational scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. Our motto says it best "Honor their Sacrifice. Educate their Legacy." Major Gilbert’s children were some of the first recipients to receive scholarships. Ten years after his death, they are all thriving in a private Christian school in San Antonio. The oldest attends Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

Major Gilbert’s widow, Ginger, is an international motivational speaker. She shares her family’s testimony of loss, faith and patriotism. Through Folds of Honor, she and her family met award-winning country music artist, Lee Brice. They connected over his number-one chart hit “I Drive Your Truck”. 

Through Lee Brice, his manager, friends and Ginger’s new husband, Colonel Jim Ravella (a widower himself), Major Gilbert’s old pick-up truck was found in Arizona, and brought back to the family after 10 years. It was given to Ginger and her children live last year at the ACM’s (Academy of Country Music) Party for a Cause in Las Vegas. Iron Cross Automotive out of Tulsa, OK worked to restore, refurbish and transform the old truck. Jasper Engines and Transmissions and Seymour’s Garage of San Antonio and have teamed up to fully restore the drivetrain for the family.

Major Gilbert’s children will enjoy the third-generation 1992 Chevy Silverado 1500 for many many years to come thanks to patriotic Americans who are thankful for the sacrifice the Gilbert family has made in defense of this great nation.