Thanks to Award Maker, HSC’s Contest Winners Shine

July 08, 2009

By Cynthia San Miguel, HSC Intern


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Cooking Up Change's 2008 winners pose with their custom-made medals.



The R.S. Owens Company has been making awards for 60 years, producing the Oscar, the Emmy, the MTV Video Music Award, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award . . . and the trophies and medals that HSC presented to the talented student chefs at the 2008 Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest!

 

We spoke with Scott Siegel, who has been president of R.S. Owens since 2000.

 

What is the process of making an award?

It depends on the award. We do cast, metal, resin, crystal, glass, wood, aluminum and brass. If it’s a custom order or new award it goes through a design phase and specification phase, and then the customer would approve it. If it’s not a custom order, it would be test marketed. Also, if it’s a sculpture we have a professional sculptor who does the work.

 

How did you get started in the award-making business?

My father started the business in 1938. I was a high school teacher for seven years. I always worked in the company during summers and weekends and came on in 1980.

 

Hi_oscar How did you get started making the Oscar?

We had the opportunity in 1982 to buy the company that was making the Oscar. We didn’t buy the company. The next year they told the Academy they would no longer make any products and suggested us.

 

How long have you been making the Oscar?

Since 1983. And we’ve been making the Emmy since the 70s.

 

Besides the Oscars, what other events do you provide awards, trophies, and medals for?

Anything from the Lion’s Club president retiring to the President of the United States. We do a lot of entertainment, sports and corporate awards.

 

What was your most unusual award?

We will be manufacturing packaging for all of Elvis Presley’s recordings. The packaging will be made out of glass, wood, and metal.  We also did a cast of Gandhi; the bust was a tarnished copper finish and we handcrafted the glasses. And The Associated Press sports award: the keys of an old typewriter were printing up inscription on glass.

 

What does it feel like to work in an industry where you are constantly congratulating people?

Fantastic! We are always upbeat, and we remind ourselves that we make people smile. And people who get our awards are happy — it shows that people who purchase them care about the recipient.

To learn more about Cooking up Change, visit HSC's website!