John L. Hennessy Award

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John L. Hennessy Award
Hennessy Travelers Association (HTA) Challenge Coins

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 250 coins.

A 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".

Through the 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.



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