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2017 Eagles of the Year

Shelby Knepper from Martinsburg, Jilly Waso from Elizabethtown, Mel Stetter from Altoona, Desiree Bruzda from Greensburg, Jenny Bailey from Carlisle, Cassy White from Scranton Marzoni's, and Russ Pleva from Hoss's Central Processing were honored as our Eagles of the Year 2017 at our 11th Annual Eaglefest held on April 14, 2018, at the Huntingdon Country Club.

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District #1 - Shelby Knepper

“Courage And Compassion”

Shelby KnepperDouglas McArthur once said that “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.”

On the inside of this “tough, stay out of my way, I'll do it myself, red-haired West Virginia girl” lies a kind, caring, compassionate, and intelligent individual who does not hesitate to put aside her own needs for the needs of others.

Whether it is at Hoss's, on the farm, 4-H, the local Soap Box Derby Chapter, her church youth group or the annual Thanksgiving Dinner to support the needy and homeless – there is no mistaking Shelby's graceful balance of courage and compassion.

Eagles are known for their courage and tenacity, but more astonishing is the fact that no other member of the bird family is more gentle and attentive to their young. 

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District #2 - Jilly Waso

“Weathering The Storm”

Jilly WasoHaruki Murakami wrote that “once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through...how you managed to survive.  You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain:  When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in.”

Gilbert’s family was forced from their home in the Democratic Republic of Congo by a war which later took the life of his father.  Relocated to Rwanda, “Jilly”, as he is known, and his four siblings lost their mother to illness a mere six years later.  Borne on the winds of that storm, “Jilly and his four siblings came to the US alone in 2013.

Pursuing a degree in social work with a secondary major in “Peace, No Violence” leaves no question to Jilly's desire and passion to help others.

When all other birds seek shelter from the fierceness of a storm, an Eagle is the only one to use the strong winds to rise to greater heights. 

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District #3 - Mel Stetter

“Soaring Higher”

Mel StetterMargaret Cousins once wrote that “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.  Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

At times, we do not realize what it is that we have, until one day, it is no longer there…  and one day, after 20 years of service, Mel was no longer there, and the feeling of loss set in.

Having to take some time off due to emergency surgery, Mel’s absence was immediately felt – by her managers, her peers, and her guests… 

Described as hardworking, loyal, honest and dedicated, it is no wonder that the temporary loss of an Eagle was so quickly felt – but Mel is so much more than this to those around her. 

An amazing mother, a loving role-model, the most genuine of friends, and the purest of hearts… Mel soars at a height which we should all try to match.

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District #4 - Desiree Bruzda

“On The Wings Of An Eagle”

Desiree BruzdaLouis Pasteur once said “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals:  My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

Throughout history, the eagle has been the power symbol for many conquerors and nations...including ours.  The eagle is the spirit of tenacity.  These majestic birds have symbolized courage, strength, wisdom, and bravery.

Desiree's 33 years of dedication to Hoss's may only be rivaled by our guests' dedication to her – sometimes walking out if they discover Desiree is not working that day.  Equally as impressive is her family's and her peer's reliance on her strength, wisdom, love, and encouragement.

Whether it is her guests, her family, her peers, or her managers – it is no secret that many people rely upon Deziree's strength, wisdom, and tenacity – and on the powerful wings of an Eagle, that task is handled with grace and ease.  

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District #5 - Jenny Bailey

“Renewed Inspiration”

Jenny BaileyGoethe once wrote “We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden.”

To be chosen as an Eagle 10 times in nearly 19 years is an amazing accomplishment – but even more so, it is a testament to Jenny’s ability to renew herself daily and approach each moment as an opportunity to be an inspiration to others.

An Eagle goes through a process of continuous renewal - plucking bent, worn and tattered feathers which slow it down, hold it back, and prevent it from flying efficiently.  Just as an Eagle, a leader must go through a daily renewal process in order to approach each day’s challenges - not as a burden, but as an opportunity to help others with the burdens they carry.

Jenny’s ability to greet each morning with a smile on her face has touched the lives of so many, and perhaps that’s because the sunrise is all the more breath-taking when your soaring at the height of an Eagle.

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Marzoni's - Cassy White

“Live Well, Laugh Often, And Love Much ”

Cassy WhiteAlexander Graham Bell once said that “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Not so with Cassy White - who in the same day, closed the doors of one business and entered ours - on the very first day of interviews at our Scranton Marzoni’s.

Eagles are known for their vison, fearlessness, tenacity, and soaring at heights unmatched by other birds – but they are also known for their love and loyalty.  One only needs to spend a few moments with Cassy to recognize the love and loyalty found within her, and her ability to bring that out in others.

In fact, we are pretty sure that the saying “Live well, laugh often, love always, live simply, speak kindly, care deeply, love generously, laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live” was written with Cassy in mind...  ***************************************************************

HCP - Russ Pleva

“The Wind Beneath Our Wings”

Russ PlevaConfucius once said that “Sincerity and Truth are the basis of every virtue” – and these are certainly qualities which serve as the proverbial wind beneath an Eagle’s wings.

Since joining our family in 2016, Russell has continuously proven to be both an Eagle himself, and the wind beneath the wings of others.  Always treating others with respect, and always there to lend a helping hand - it is no wonder that Russell’s peers often request him to be part of their team daily.

“Honest,” “dependable,” “hard-working,” and “self-motivated” are just a few of the terms that come to mind when Russell’s name is mentioned, and all are certainly reasons why he was chosen to be HCP’s Eagle of the year.

To be an Eagle is certainly an honor, but to be the wind beneath the wings of so many others is a thing of beauty, something to be cherished, and something to be admired…

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Quarterly Awards | General Manager of the Year | Eagle Leaders