It’s essential for the Tempe Trophy staff to work as a team. As a shop with about seven employees, the workload requires everyone to communicate well and not be afraid to ask for a helping hand. We also value having a good time together. Last Saturday, the Tempe Trophy team took on the Color Vibe 5k at the Arizona Mills Mall. All of us attended and even brought our family members to enjoy the color run.
Part of the Tempe Trophy crew post-5k.
The Color Vibe 5k is a run (or walk) where all participants get showered with colored powder by each other or through color stations. There was also a lot of dancing in the beginning and the end of the run. From the Tempe Trophy team members to the little kids in our group, we all had a lot of fun being messy with the fascinating colors.
Before and After
The Tempe Trophy crew and family and friends before the start of the 5k
Before we began the 5k, we all met up to take a photo. When the race started, we all went at our own paces. Most of the people in attendance were walking or sprinting as opposed to running the whole 3 miles. We turned out to have 3 groups. Jason’s family led in the front with their energized little kids. Most of the staff walked together to the finish line where we all received a cool Color Vibe medal made out of rubber.
Until the music was over, we threw around our remaining color packets and danced in front of the DJ on the stage. We also took an after photo, which came out way more colorful than the “before.”
The Tempe Trophy crew and family and friends after completing the 5k
The Team Shares Their Experience
Seeing each other almost everyday, the Tempe Trophy team has become its own little family. Personally, I loved attending the color run because it was great to step out of the work environment with the team for a change. It reminded me of our mid-year celebration at Main Event where we all got to bowl and play laser tag together. I’m glad my first color run was with the Tempe Trophy team.
On account of some unfortunate chafing, Jason said, “I wish I had followed Andy from “The Office” and been prepared for this very real danger. If you or someone you love is a slightly soggy middle aged man attempting a “Fun Run” please warn them of this very real danger!”
The Tempe Trophy crew and family and friends after completing the 5k
The Tempe Trophy crew and family and friends during the 5k
One of our newer team members Aubrey said, “Walking the Color Run was the first time that I’d ever done any fun activity as coworkers, and it was a very delightful experience. It definitely strengthened my relationships with my fellow co-workers. It was great to see a fun side to everyone, a blast was definitely had by all.” It was hard not to have fun with colors flying everywhere.
Norma, our shop manager, said, “This was my first 5k ever. I was a little intimidated because I thought it was a run and I just don’t run—unless a clown is chasing me. I was anxious when I got there and saw lots of people but my Tempe Trophy Crew helped to ease my worries. Most of us walked together the whole time and it was so fun. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do this walk with my people and hope to do it many more times.”
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Halloween? It originated from an old Celtic holiday called the festival of Samhain. People would light bonfires and dress up to scare away ghosts. Later on, Pope Gregory II created All Saints Day to honor all saints and used traditions from the Celtic day. The night before was called All Hollows Eve and later, Halloween. The practicies eventually came to the United States through some colonists and then heavily with Irish immigrants during the potato famine. Centuries later, the day has transformed into the costume and candy-driven celebration that we know today.
If you thought there were no awards given out on Halloween, think again. There are many different “Best” trophies that you can give away to trick-or-treaters, passersby, and partygoers. Tempe Trophy has an assortment of silly Halloween awards that are perfect for the scary holiday. From pumpkins to witches to skulls, here are our superlatives.
Can’t Go Wrong with Pumpkins on Halloween
Custom Pumpkin Trophy
Pumpkins are a Halloween staple. If not real jack-o-lanterns, than pumpkin trophy toppers! The laid back jack-o-lantern scarecrow is the perfect piece to a “99 Problems but a Witch Ain’t One” Award. It’s a fun award for the person at your party whose costume screams “Most Single.” Everyone is sure to get a laugh out of that one. We’ve also created a cute dance-off trophy topped by a pumpkin with flexible arms and legs.
Corporate Halloween-Themed Pumpkin Award
Not only do we have fun Halloween awards, but we also have corporate or professional-style awards such as the blown glass pumpkin. This elegant award can be used as a best costume trophy for the office party. The glass pumpkin can also be carried into November and can be used as a Thanksgiving awards. Is your company honoring someone for their excessive attendance at the food bank?
Pumpkins are essential to Halloween, but so are all of the classic creepy characters. We have unique figurines to put on top of your Halloween awards such as the zombie, witch, and headless skeleton. They are all put on a base with a custom plate. Do you have any good punny phrases? We’ve come up with a few play on lyrics plates: “99 Problems, but a Witch Ain’t One” and “Hotter than a Son of a Witch.”
Skull Liquor Bottle Made into a Trophy
Coffin-shaped Engraved Flasks
Along with these Halloween trophy toppers, we’ve got a few items that are a perfect addition to your Halloween party. Below is a skull-shaped liquor bottle that was placed on a base to create a unique costume award. Aside from awards, we have engraved miniature coffin flasks. This is the perfect Halloween party favor for the adults!
On September 6th, 2007, PFC Mykel F. Miller of the U.S. Army was killed in action during his first tour to Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom. To honor the 10th anniversary of his death, his mother Maria Miller asked Tempe Trophy to help her create a bronze cast plaque which was cemented under a bench at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.
Mykel joined the Arizona Army National Guard Phoenix and completed his basic training in Georgia after graduating from Desert Vista High School in 2006. The 19-year-old hero had a deep passion for motorcycles and was even part of the “Devil Riders” club. Today he survives by his loving family, his mother Maria, stepfather David, and two younger brothers.
Mykel’s plaque under the memorial bench at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.
Honoring a Fallen Hero
This past September 6th, Mykel’s family, friends, and platoon got together at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona where his plaque was unveiled. His mother Maria told us that the person at the cemetery who mounted the plaque under the bench said he’d seen many plaques and this was the most beautiful one. We are glad that his family loved the plaque.
The Bronze Cast Plaque Process
Due to the extensive work needed to create a bronze cast plaque this project began early in May of this year. Mykel’s mother sent us a rough sketch of what she wanted the plaque to look like and I took the photos she sent and designed a real-life version. We went back and forth with edits and eventually came out with the final design.
Bronze cast plaque dedicated to Mykel Miller
Tempe Trophy first approached a bronze casting company who told us that the job wouldn’t be able to be done due to the details in the image. We couldn’t give up that easily on such an important memorial. The second company we spoke to, Matthews International, worked with us to get it done. Together, we made a few adjustments to the design, and they had us double the size of the plaque from 9 x 12 inches to 18 x 24 inches. The larger design ended up fitting really well under the large bench. Matthews International even expedited the creation of the plaque in order for us to get it to Maria before the ceremony date.
After designing this plaque and researching a bit about Mykel, his story and the love he receives from his family has touched me emotionally. The meaningful projects we receive such as baby announcement plaques to engraving wedding cake cutters to even the quirky fantasy football trophies allows our work to feel more personal. We feel connected to our customers and it makes working at Tempe Trophy so very rewarding. One of the best feelings is seeing the look in the eyes of a customer who loves the item they received from us. Tempe Trophy thanks all of its customers for bringing in stories that can stick with us forever.
Arizona State University, with 17 separate colleges and institutes and over 1,000 student organizations, is always in need of trophies, plaques, medals, and other custom projects. Tempe Trophy is just a stone’s throw away from the biggest and “best” university in Arizona, although I may be a little bias as an Sun Devil myself. We do a lot of great projects for ASU students, faculty, and organizations.
We provide awards for various organizations and departments within the school. As a local Tempe engraver, right down the road from ASU’s, we get to do a lot of great projects with them. Tempe Trophy is the best place to go when the an organization needs a job done. From plaques to trophies to custom name badges, we can customize items for any event. In fact, the picture to the right is one of the name badges that engrave for ASU. This particulate name badge was done on a custom cast acrylic specifically for ASU. We commissioned a special run of maroon and gold acrylic so we could create their high durability name badges.
The Engraved Plaque Expert
This past school year, the Information Systems Department at the W.P Carey School of Business awarded several high-achieving professors. Tempe Trophy created a stately plaque shaped like the state of Arizona with simple gold detailing on a black plate. Six of these plaques were made, all identical except for the recipient details and character of the wood. We only put out the best products and these awards came out clean and high quality.
Tempe Trophy has much experience in creating plaque awards. A couple of other plaque projects we have conquered in the past include a display case for an ASU PhD student’s work and an award for the Graduate and Professional Student Association. We created a display case for PhD student’s blood separator prototype. It is labeled with an engraved black plate with silver detailing. The GPSA award is engraved gold on a maroon circular plaque to represent the ASU colors.
Display case for an Arizona State University PhD student made by Tempe Trophy.
Engraved plaque for Arizona State University’s GPSA made by Tempe Trophy.
Custom Projects for Student Organizations
Among the over 1,000 student organizations at ASU comes the Greek-letter organizations. Being prideful of the Greek-letter gal myself, I know that each fraternity and sorority pride themselves on recognizing and fostering greatness which is often best expressed publicly with awards. Tempe Trophy has engraved everything from fun kickball trophies to serious plaques recognizing the contributions of past presidents, mentors and the like.
A couple of other Arizona State organizations that we have worked with include the Indian Students Association, Veterans Association, NROTC, Tillmans Scholars Program, Chinese Student and Scholars Association, Kuwaiti Club, Residence Hall Association, and various sports teams. For the ASU 2013 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year and First-Team All-Academic honors wrestler Jake Meredith, Tempe Trophy created the plate for his uniform display which included a plaque, pinned jersey, and plates of the ASU and Pac-12 logos.
Indian Students Association logo being engraved on a plate at Tempe Trophy.
Jake Meredith’s wrestling jersey display with a plaque engraved by Tempe Trophy.
There’s Nothing Tempe Trophy Can’t Do
One major piece that Tempe Trophy received was a bronze cast leadership circle medal for the New American University. We engraved the back of the medal to say the recipients names, a latin quote, University President Michael Crow’s signature, and the school’s logo. Through the various projects and jobs given to us by Arizona State University organizations, it is easy to see that Tempe Trophy can engrave nearly any type of hard surface, flat and curved.
Bronze casting engraved by Tempe Trophy for New American University.
As a small local business ourselves, Tempe Trophy loves local jobs and putting quality products into the community. Our products are based on the needs and requests of the customers which makes it easy to fulfill all these jobs given to us by Arizona State University and its diverse organizations. From corporate awards to custom projects, we are happy to work with such a big entity right here in Tempe.
Tempe Trophy is a family owned and operated company representing three generations of expertise. For more than 30 years, we have been the industry leader in awards and high durability signage. We offer high durability and contrast signs, labels, panel tags, and industrial labels.
From simple address labels to complicated signs, we are here to help. If the utility company says engraved site maps are needed, send us the plans. If a hospital needs every switch plate engraved, we can help. If you need to color code the backup power system for a customer, we’ve got you covered. If you need to match a site’s existing panel tags and labeling, just get us samples, we’ll match it. If you simply want customer loyalty, let us design tags and weatherproof stickers with your logo. What ever you need, let us help you get the job done right.
Odd Rodney sculpting the Deadhead Rum bottle. (Image by Kamala Kingsley)
At Tempe Trophy, we love to work with local artists. We utilize their skills to help us with customer requests and they use our services on their art projects. Our various services come in handy. It’s all about using the right tool for the job. At the same time, we often reach out to talented artists like our friend, Odd Rodney, for help creating Custom Awards.
Odd Rodney is a talented sculptor who works with various materials, primarily clay and resin. He has created pieces for various companies and people, from children’s stores to alcohol brands. When we need a custom piece for a client, Rodney has the ability to sculpt in any style. One of the largest veterans groups in Arizona asked us to re-imagine their “Copper Sword” Award. Who better to collaborate with than Rodney?
Build-A-Bear Workshop models by Odd Rodney.
Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society Copper Swords
The Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society was conceived in 1976 by members of the Arizona Chapter of Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The society was a way to recognize not just Arizona veterans, but community members who have made a difference in veterans’ lives. By 1978, the idea of a “Hall of Fame” gained the support of not only the DAV, but Arizona legislators. As it grew, veterans organizations like the Unified Arizona Veterans began to throw support and resources into making the “Veterans Hall of Fame” one of the most prestigious and meaningful awards given in the veteran community. They award veterans and community members for their service at their annual induction ceremony and Patriotic Gala.
The 2014 recipient of the Copper Sword Award. (Source: Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society)
One award that we make for this event is theCopper Sword. This award is given to an individual who hasn’t worn a uniform, but does amazing things for veterans or the community. It represents bravery, leadership, and a warrior who fights for things bigger than their own interests. In past years, Tempe Trophy had custom swords created out of copper, but after our source for custom copper swords no longer existed, we turned to sculptor Odd Rodney.
Copper sword prototypes by Odd Rodney. The final one is the middle sword.
Copper sword prototypes by Odd Rodney.
Final copper sword used for the AZ Veterans Hall of Fame ceremony.
To build the new swords, Rodney used a cold cast method where a mold of an existing sword was made and touched up. It was shaped like a traditional Greek/Roman gladius, which has a lot of historical significance in its symbolism. Clear resin was used to fill the mold and adding copper powder created the authentic color. Connecting a customer’s request with a local artist and friend allowed us to get to the perfect version of the sword.
Sculpting Shrunken Heads
Deadhead Rum (Image by Kari Hendler)
Odd Rodney sculpting the Deadhead Rum bottle. (Image by Kamala Kingsley)
Rodney is known for having pieces that are detailed, original, and so strange that they’re captivating. The company Deadhead Rum asked him to redesign a shrunken head bottle. In an impromptu interview with Odd Rodney, he explained how he worked with Deadhead Rum to develop the bottle. The rum company had an existing bottle design but needed an update. Customers loved the old design. They often kept the bottle as a piece of art, painting it or turning it into the body of a lamp.
With the old design, the name of the rum company was covered when the bottle was painted. As a result, he decided to create a shrunken head where the name was raised. Tempe Trophy helped during this step of the process. We cut acrylic letters spelling “Deadhead” so that they could easily be placed on the shrunken head. This made it so that Odd Rodney didn’t have to tediously cut out clay letters.
Rodney sculpted clay versions of the new design and sent photographs back to Deadhead Rum for approval. Next, a solid version was created from the clay prototype of the bottle. Four copies were made as well as a master that was eventually sent out to a glass manufacturer. The sculpture was scaled to fit the different bottle volumes needed for alcohol. A production mold was made and these iconic bottles were put on shelves world-wide.
AO Tequila and More from Odd Rodney
The Apacalypto Tequila bottle.
The clay version of the Apacalypto Tequila bottle.
Deadhead Rum is one of several liquor brands under Iconic Brands, a company based in California. Their other brand, Apocalypto Tequila, has just as extraordinary bottles as Deadhead. Odd Rodney himself originally sculpted the iconic half-Mayan Man, half-Jaguar bottles. Along with the shrunken head, he previously sculpted a shrunken monkey head for a Dark Chocolate Rum soon to be released by Deadhead.
Odd Rodney sculpting the monkey head bottle.
Tempe Trophy has helped Odd Rodney in other ways as well. We helped engrave the wood piece and plate on a trophy he designed for a LowView Magazine car show. Also, we helped him engrave his name on his original Flink Toe Keychains and an Exotic Elixir bottle for his home tiki bar.
Rat Fink Toe sculpted by Odd Rodney.
Custom trophy sculpted by Odd Rodney.
Elixir bottle made by Odd Rodney
In previous years, Odd Rodney has not only created these eccentric sculptures, but other creative displays as well. His work includes panels in the library, Muppet figurines for the F.A.O. Schwarz toy store in New York, and even Build-A-Bear Workshop displays. This just shows the variety in his work and why he is often able to help Tempe Trophy.
FAO Schwarz Jim Henson Model by Odd Rodney.
FAO Schwarz Jim Henson Model by Odd Rodney.
You can see a lot more of Odd Rodney’s work on his website and follow all of his fun projects on his Instagram and Facebook pages. Of course, if you would like to purchase some of the fun pieces that he makes, check out his Etsy store. We would also like to accredit Kamala Kinglsey for the photos she took of Odd Rodney and Deadhead Rum for details in this article. We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the fun and random projects we do at Tempe Trophy!
On April 6th, Tempe Trophy participated in your not-so-average electrical trade show. Hosted by the Fortune 500 electrical supply company Anixter, this electrical trade event in Phoenix included a cook-off, a lot of high school students, and fundraising for the IEC Foundation and the IEC of Arizona Apprentice Program.
Tempe Trophy booth at the Anixter electrical trade show.
You might be wondering what Tempe Trophy was doing at an electrical trade show. First of all, we earned a booth for making the custom trophy for the cooking competition winner. Secondly, we provide services that could aid electrical and industrial companies. Our team can engrave anything from conduit tags to safety labeling to panel tags. Remember, if it has a hard surface, it can be engraved. For emergency needs, let’s say your inspector is coming tomorrow morning, our turnaround time can be the same day if requested. We’re not only experts on custom awards, but also expert industrial engravers.
Electricians speaking to Jason and Connie Hood at the Tempe Trophy booth.
Funny Thing About the Cook-Off
As a booth, we were responsible for providing food for the electrical trade show attendees and to compete in the cook-off. We didn’t have the time commitment to provide a dish of culinary excellence. Instead, we trusted Chick-Fil-A’s Chick-n-Minis, garnished with a slice of cheese, spinach, and a bit of honey mustard, to appeal to our visitors. It did. Apparently, everyone loves Chick-Fil-A, but of course we couldn’t enter the competition, it just wouldn’t be fair (for everyone else). The Tempe Trophy Chick-n-Minis brought quite a lot of electricians and potential customers to our table.
Visitors also loved our sample name tags that sported titles such as “Mr. Awesome, Master Builder” or “Ms. Perfect, Queen of the World.” Tempe Trophy even got the request to make one that says “Mr. Wonderful.” They were a small sample of the labeling we could do. Usually, we make these as a test after calibrating our machines. Who would have thought that Chick-n-Minis and fake name tags would make great marketing materials? Of course, they were aided by our newly designed posters and brochures. Our tables were decorated with panel tags, safety signs, and an assortment of other industrially labeled items. As a result, we caught the eye of many wandering electricians.
Jason hood talking to a potential customer at the Tempe Trophy booth.
Marketing material at the Tempe Trophy booth.
And the Winner is…
Congrats to Fox Valley Electric for winning the Cook-Off and the custom trophy we made. The fun little award is made of acrylic and looks like a standing grill. It’s a similar, smaller version of the “Tailgater of the Year” Trophy we made for the Arizona Cardinals. Since there was a lot of great food competing, seems like this title is well deserved.
Fox Valley Electric winners with the Anixter Trade Show Cook-off Trophy we custom made. (Photo Source: IEC Phoenix)
It was a Success!
Having never been to a trade show like this one, it was a new experience. It was almost like a fun fair where we got to promote all of our industrial labeling services to the visiting companies. There was even a “Wire-Off” between electricians from different electrical companies. The Tempe Trophy team had a good time, met friendly people from other suppliers, electrical companies, Anixter, and high school construction teams. My favorite part, though? The freshly cooked food. We are thankful for Anixter for having us participate in their Trade Show!
Giving to charity and having fun playing in a golf tournament is one of the best combinations. Steve Young, former NFL quarterback, hosted the Desert Classic celebrity golf tournament and family-friendly night to raise money for his own charitable organization, the Forever Young Foundation, as well as the Anasazi Foundation. His charity supports other non-profits and community groups like the Anasazi Foundation that help the needs of troubled underprivileged youth.
Young and his NFL, NBA, and MLB friends played at the Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale. The following evening, there was a family-friendly night at Crackerjax Family Fun and Sports Park.
Steve Young and Desert Classic Golf Tournament attendee at the 2016 tournament. (Source: http://foreveryoung.org/event-view/desert/)
Desert Classic Golf Tournament attendees at the 2016 tournament. (Source: http://foreveryoung.org/event-view/desert/)
Does “Least Sober” Mean Best or Worst at Golf?
For the charitable event’s celebrity golf tournament portion, Tempe Trophy had to come up with a fun little “Least Sober” trophy. The production team had to brainstorm how they could create the best trophy for this idea. Eventually, they decided to put an actual Pabst Blue Ribbon can on a black marble base. This is not the first time we’ve added real-life beer cans into the mix; it has been done for several custom Fantasy Football trophies. Because the fun beer can design had been such a hit previously, it was a no-brainer to implement it into this quirky trophy. On this “Least Sober” trophy, we crushed the can to show its emptiness and attached a “goofy” golfer (who may have had one-too-many) to the top. Of course the trophy turned out awesome! Our team can do any custom project requested, big or small.
Custom trophy for “Least Sober” with golfer figurine on top, crushed PBR can, and black marble base.
Don’t Underestimate Golf Fashion
The tournament is competitive in more ways than just golf scores. The Forever Young Foundation also requested another creative custom trophy for the Desert Classic. This trophy was for the “Best Dressed.” It began with a gold cactus on a black marble stand, but the best part is that the cactus itself was best dressed. The cactus was suited up with a black bow tie and suit cuffs on its arms. Players were required to wear their best golf attire in order to score this custom trophy. A green suit would have been a hit. Our custom trophies are hand-designed and made-to-order for special events like this one. We have a lot of fun doing what we do best!
Custom trophy for “Best Dressed” for Steve Young’s Desert Classic Golf Tournament
Speaking of Golf Accessories…
We’re not amateurs in the golf department. Previously, we have engraved items such as the divot repair tool and ball marker, golf ball presentation box, golf clubs, as well as other golf trophies. Our divot repair tool is the perfect gift or award for any golf lover. And, what makes it more awesome is that it’s shaped like a pocket knife It’s a trophy that you can take with you (and brag about) on the course.
At Tempe Trophy, we take the the time to perfect the gifts and awards that you need to be made. Although making all kinds of trophies is pretty fun, custom ones allow both you and us to use our creativity more. We take your instruction, together we create a design, then we turn it into whatever award you need to perfect your event.
With the holiday around the corner, we can’t help but bring up the Easter keg trophy that we custom make for 98 KUPD.
For the annual Big Red Easter Keg Hunt, the radio station staff hides 98 full-size kegs on Good Friday and the week before. The kegs will be hidden throughout the valley for radio listeners to find. Clues will be given out over the course of two days, Thursday and Friday, to help Keg Hunters. Each winner gets to take home goodies such as an Octane Raceway gift card, but most importantly, a Mini Keg Trophy! Oh, and of course, one random winner will receive the grand prize of $5,000.
How do we make a Easter Keg Trophy, you ask? Well, we start with a fantastic mini keg bought overseas. These sleek mini kegs are from none other than Germany—the Germans do love their beer, don’t they? These sturdy kegs are perfect as the base for our Easter Keg Trophy. Each of the 98 mini kegs are customized with an aluminum plate riveted on to its face. Each plate proudly displays which of the kegs the Easter Keg Hunter has found. This amazing German engineered Keg Trophy is a great addition to any mantle. We highly recommend it to all serious Keg Hunters.
Best of luck to this year’s Keg Hunters!
Can’t Get This Trophy Just Anywhere
2017 Easter Keg Hunt Mini Keg Trophy
The Tempe Trophy team loves doing custom awards. They’re fun and allow us to dig into our creativity to design awards exactly as our customers envision them. Arizona’s Real Rock Station 98KUPD has entrusted us with making these mini keg trophies for them year after year. This is how much commitment we give our clients. We make sure that they are satisfied with every project we’re assigned. When our clients love what we create for them, that’s a success in our books.
This year’s design resembles a seed still encased in its pod. Larry Kornegay says “The seed and pod approach to this award expresses the need for constant vigilance and nurturing of the environment around us.”
Solid Bronze Seed
Kornegay Design brought to us a solid piece of bronze that had been custom-cast and patinated, and asked us to use our Sand Carving technique to deeply etch the stone as they had envisioned. The solid piece of bronze we were served was quite heavy – we’re talking roughly ten pounds. And, once our part of the process was complete, the carved stone encasement (pod) was added.
LAF Founders’ Award 2016
Hopefully the American Society of Landscape Architects, the winner of this year’s prestigious award, sent a strong individual up to the stage to accept the award! Mass aside, the end result was stately, elegant, and presented with pride at the LAF banquet this past spring.
Whether we’re just another hand-in-the-pot to help put the final touches on an epic creation like this one, or we get the pleasure of seeing an idea through from vision board to full production, our number one goal is to make it perfect. Every time. We’ve built a business based on customer service for a reason – we want to make sure that the product our customer envisions is the product we help create.