The Ernest Brand Council’s year in review

February 08, 2024

2023 Year in Review

At Ernest, we don’t just pay lip service to company culture—we live and breathe it, every single day. As a family-run business, fostering human connections is near and dear to our hearts. We work just as hard at strengthening our internal relationships (we call them “rela-fun-ships”) as we do on building long-term partnerships with our customers, which is why we can proudly say that many of our team members have been here for decades.

Our Ernest Brand Council (EBC) is an all-volunteer organization made up of dedicated E-Teamers who are the eyes, ears, and voice of every Ernest division. They’re always looking for fun ways to celebrate, and reward, the people who keep our business running. You can dive deeper into how the EBC came to be in our explainer video. As the council wraps up its 10th year, let’s look back at all the action—from our annual EBC meeting (watch the recap) to companywide events they organized to bring people together in in 2023.

Celebrating divisions, people, and milestones

Every March, the EBC hosts E-Teamer Appreciation Day, with each division throwing a party to make every member of the Ernest family feel valued. They also host a number of regional events, like the safari picnic our Los Angeles headquarters hosted in August and a dedicated Driver Appreciation Week in September, when we show our hard-working road warriors how much they mean to us—because they literally keep all of us moving forward.

This year, we were very fortunate to have the whole company help celebrate a major milestone: Mr. Wilson’s 99th birthday, on June 16th. To show our founder how much he means to us, we got every division together on a Zoom. We also had some special guests, including his granddaughter Sari and the Los Angeles Battalion “Rough Riders,” who joined us in our LA office. The flight deck crew from the USS Carl Vinson CVN-70 Aircraft Carrier also joined by satellite to wish Mr. Wilson a happy birthday and thank him for the service and bravery that earned him a Bronze Star of Valor. We are so lucky to have him as our North Star.

Coming together to help our communities

The EBC also organizes a number of initiatives aimed at helping others, and this year was no exception. Giving back has always been part of the Ernest way and it’s exciting to see how our programs seem to grow year after year. Lyndee Ashford, EBC Alumni Lead and Client Coordinator Supervisor in our Phoenix division, says, “Being humble about everything we have and how we can give back is an essential part of working here.”

This year, our annual September “Givember” driveway overshot our goal of 10,000 knit hats, gloves, and scarves to keep people warm this winter. The founding chair of the EBC, Linda Rodriguez says, “I’ve participated in the program since day one. It’s progressed so much and we love to see all the ways we can impact our communities.” She also says the divisions get very competitive with each other and raise the goal every year. “Everyone pitches in,” she says. “It’s wonderful.” Like all of the EBC efforts, Givember has become an essential part of the Ernest culture, which was even highlighted in the book Culture Quotient by Greg Besner.

October (aka “Pinktober”) was dedicated to breast cancer awareness, with one of our own bravely sharing her story.

And our Los Angeles division held both a Halloween Trunk or Treat & Christmas Adopt-a-family event for local families in need in partnership with Olive Crest.

Looking forward to more fun in the new year

Some of the other entertaining events the EBC organized this year included a drawing contest for our calendar, a Monthly Messenger newsletter, and a Crock Pot Creation contest. Check out our EBC Year in Review sizzle reel to see for yourself how committed we all are to maintaining the Ernest culture that we hold so dear.

Finally, we want to give a special shout out to outgoing EBC chair, Nancy Ponce, and a warm welcome to Jose Ibarra, who’s stepping into her shoes to lead the council in 2024. We can’t wait to see what you all cook up for us this year.