Tervis Employee Spotlight: Jaysen Ward

As I walk into the office, I hear a voice ask, “Is there a ‘T’?”

On the dry erase board that dominates the back wall, a ‘T’ fills the eighth blank of a hangman game that’s missing the gallows. “We play ‘Stand Man,’” says one of the participants. “We don’t want to hang anyone.”

Meet Jaysen Ward. He’s an affable guy with a wry smile, a subtle sense of humor, an ear for Queen and System of a Down, and 206 creative bones in his body. And as a Licensing Coordinator at Tervis, Jaysen uses his talents to showcase our licenses — like Disney, NFL, Hello Kitty, Realtree and Marvel — in fresh and original ways.

Jaysen also shoots videos, like the safety video that is now used during new employee orientation. Whatever he is asked to do, he does it with style, skill and a unique spin. He’s like a Jaysen of All Trades.

Juggling 400-plus licenses to ensure new designs are approved and ready for scheduled launch dates comes with hundreds of hours of work from everyone involved. Then there are the continually evolving procedures and innovations. Enter Jaysen.

Secured licensed properties grant Tervis access to approved artwork. Its first stop is with Jaysen. He created the filing system in which all licensed art is stored for our designers’ easy access. 

Jaysen also melds his close contact with licensors and his experience with the Tervis brand to develop art concepts that are true to both. Jaysen oversees as these ideas or hard concepts go through rounds of design and approval processes both at Tervis and with the licensor, and ensures any corrections and suggestions are implemented. Upon final approval the product can take the next steps to reach the productions phase.

As if keeping track of thousands of designs, rounds of tracking and art direction changes isn’t enough, Jaysen likes to entertain his coworkers. Every day — no one knows for sure when it’s coming, just that it is coming — Jaysen will break into the first line of System of a Down’s “Chop Suey.”

Wake up! Grab a brush and put a little make-up! — directed at everyone yet no one in particular.

Then just as quick as it happened, Jaysen’s back to the drawing board, designing ways to improve the procedures that the licensing team uses daily.

If Tervis introduces a new product form, like the collectible, Jaysen creates a presentation detailing its features and benefits, and how those fit into the license. He then sends it to the appropriate licensors. When a licensor approves the new form, the contract is amended and signed off. Then, before you know it, collectibles with licensed designs make it to market.

Jaysen also developed a program that allows licensors to view art concepts on our forms in a 3D setting. With a click, the presentation art goes from flat to a “real-life” example, which helps speed up the approval process. For example, because wraps are designed on a curve, the art may look off-center when viewing just the flat design. This program shows the wrap as it appears on our drinkware; curve removed, art centered and on point. Approval close at hand.

Full day, right? Not quite. Jaysen also created a way to speed things up on the production floor. Not long ago, there was a bulky notebook that contained the procedure for the placement of necessary licensed stickers. Production workers would have to page through the book to find the design they’re working on. Jaysen made this step electronic. Now when an order comes down the line, the worker just scans the order and any necessary licensed information immediately appears on the computer screen in their work area, speeding things up and creating a solution that fits a need to a “T.”

This brings us back to the “Stand Man” game. The word was “hippopotamus.” Just like in his work, Jaysen figured it out quickly and nothing got hung up.

— P.J. Butland