The Hennessy Travelers Association has historically recognized
and supported the John L. Hennessy Awards program through
its industry advisors and evaluators. As both the
association and service award programs expanded, the HTA
produced and distributed a variety of challenge coins over
the years. Coins have evolved as have both the
Hennessy trophies and the annual awards. Starting in 1994,
the first minting was intended to be limited solely to the
“organization”, how ever quickly upon there discovery as a
token of the John L. Hennessy Award, they went like hot
cakes. The front contained the newly created Air Force Food
Service logo and the back contained the John L. Hennessy
Trophy in a relief. That original mold was intentionally
destroyed, making the first minting of the Hennessy coin a
pure collector’s coin. That original production run was just
second minting of a larger Hennessy coin was produced in
1996. The John L. Hennessy trophies both changed and had
a second larger lower base added to them. The back of the
coin commemorates the new trophy and the front also contained the
color Air Force Food Service logo. This time however these
coins where made available to the general public to support a
new scholarship initiative created and funded in part by the
sale of these sought after Hennessy coins. Their popularity
lasted for over 4 years with 6 mintings creating 1,500 coins.
In 2000, the Hennessy trophy again grew with a third
trophy base. To commemorate the growth of the trophy,
organization and mark the new millennium, the coin again was
reminted. This minting lasted through the end of 2005 with a
total of 8 mintings creating 2,750 coins.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the John L.
Hennessy awards, a commemorative and larger coin was designed and
released in 2006. This new look was also cast in
“sanding silver” to bring out the likeness of the sterling
silver John L. Hennessy trophies. The coin was also enlarged
to denote the accomplishments of the Hennessy Awards and those
that have “served” as competitors, winners and those that have
traveled for 50 years.
Starting in 2000,
the HTA program was expanded to support both food service
awards programs in the Air National Guard and Air Force
Reserve. In 2005, the Air National Guard
designated their special recognition program award as the
SMSgt Kenneth W. Disney Award, named in honor of his
illustrious career in the Air National Guard specifically
fostering excellence in their food service program.
SMSgt Disney was unexpectedly killed in a traffic accident
while serving as the superintendent at McGee Tyson AB,
Tennessee. Both the Disney and reserve award programs use
the HTA coin as a form of individual recognition as HTA
travelers support these evaluations.
This new coin has now been minted multiple times and now
stands as the HTA's personal recognition for outstanding
service, "recognizing excellence world-wide".
expansion of the John L. Hennessy awards program, industry
travelers have expanded into supporting awards programs
under the United States Marine Corps Major General W. P. T.
Hill awards programs. In 2009, the HTA first minted
both a gun metal and highly polished brass coin specifically
recognizing the HTA contributions to the USMC program.
These coins are still used to recognize outstanding
contributions during the annual programs.