At the Evening of Excellence in Orlando Saturday night, everything went as expected – Brad received the two awards he expected (an individual award and a group award). We had salad, then a steak dinner.
There was entertainment.
Many awards were given out.
Then we finally reached the end of the evening when the President of the company goes to the podium to give out the top awards. Brad told me earlier in the evening that everyone – even the top award winners – know they’re getting the trophy ahead of time. But after seeing a couple of them – Volunteer of the Year, Engineer of the Year – receive their awards, I turned to Brad and said “Are you sure they knew? They look pretty shocked!”
While I was talking, the next award was being announced so I was still looking at Brad when the president said “Manager of the Year: Brad Just”. I saw his jaw drop, then I turned around to see his name on the big screen next to the words “Manager of the Year”. I was so shocked, it took me a few seconds to close my mouth and get my camera out so I could record what Jim Barry was saying. I have the video on YouTube but the sound quality is so poor, it’s impossible to tell what he’s saying about Brad.
The summary of his speech was that Brad went to Orlando last year and saved the MEADS program. There was a lot more to his speech than that, but I was frankly so shocked, I don’t remember most of it. But in the end, Brad sat down with a big trophy and an envelope, and the highly sought after title of “Manager of the Year”! I’m so proud of my man! He really deserved it. After spending six months bouncing back and forth between Dallas and Orlando, and after all the long hours of work he put in to keep up with his Dallas job while doing the Orlando job, I can honestly say, he earned it!!! It was an amazing honor, and an evening neither of us will soon forget!