2014 Panel Member Profile: Julie Ann Sullivan

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

julie ann sullivanWhat is your name?

Julie Ann Sullivan

What are you best known for?

My programs are high in content with a good measure of humor and motivation. I always make sure that my audience has new concepts and ideas to implement right away. I enjoy showing people how to see the lighter side of life and how obstacles can be wonderful opportunities.

How long have you been in the humor space?

I have been utilizing humor in my life since my mom told us that our dad had just enough time to say, “Son of a B!&@h” after the aircraft he was on was hit by another. He did not survive, but me and my family did.

How did you get started using humor?

In 2010 I became a Certified Laughter Leader and since then I have made it a priority to include humor in everything that I do, both personally and professionally. People learn more when they are having fun!

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

I wish that more people realized that every second, or every minute, of every hour, of every day of their lives they have the opportunity to choose a better attitude. If Victor Frankl could do it in a concentration camp, then so can we!

What is your favorite website?

WorldLaughterTour.com

People should contact you if…

They are interested in finding ways in which to create a happier life for themselves and those around them, at home, at work and at play. I base what I share on research and many years of observation. Take a free Happiness at Work survey.

For more information on Julie Ann, check out www.JulieAnnSullivan.com.

2014 Panel Member Profile: Avish Parashar

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

avish parasharWhat is your name?

Avish Parashar

What are you best known for?

Doing hilarious and interactive programs that show groups how to use ideas from improv comedy to improve their personal and professional lives.

How long have you been in the humor space?

Improv Comedy: 22+years
Humorous speaking and keynote: 11+ years

How did you get started using humor?

Just joking and messing around in high school. In college I did a little stand-up and then discovered improv comedy, and everything changed and took off from there.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

Even though I love performing, I’m actually a big introvert. Networking events, pre-event diners, etc, drain my energy.

What is your favorite website?

Humor: Cracked.com
Nerdy: io9.com
Misc/Procrastination: digg.com

People should contact you if…

A) They are putting together a meeting or conference and want a high-energy, hilarious speaker who will show their group how to think quickly, adapt to change, and innovate.
B) They want to learn how to be funnier, especially as speakers.

For more information on Avish, check out www.DingHappens.com.

2014 Panel Member Profile: Jill P. Knox

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

jill p knoxWhat is your name?

Jill P. Knox

What are you best known for?

My specialty at the moment is using my past experiences as an educator, parent, and life-long learner to encourage others to incorporate humor in their lives. I have been known for my spontaneous wit and as an educator who uses humor to motivate and energize my students.

How long have you been in the humor space?

Although, from a very young age, I was known as the “friend who made you laugh”, I began taking humor and positivity seriously while in college when I read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Today there is more research available, and more books and articles written about humor and laughter so I continue my independent study.

How did you get started using humor?

I began using humor more purposefully when during my teaching career. I soon realized that my use of humor motivated and energized my students and, when used at the appropriate time, was also a tool for resolving conflicts. I later developed a program for educators that led to my career as a speaker.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

I spent several weeks visiting my daughter in Niger, West Africa, while she was in the Peace Corps, living in her mud hut and pulling water from a well in her village. The laughter, smiles, and kindness of the villagers, who are living in one of the poorest countries in the world, not only touched my heart, but reinforced my belief that laughter is a universal language.

What is your favorite website?

www.aath.org

People should contact you if…

They have an interest in the field of humor research and application, are seeking a speaker, or just want to “chat”.

For more information on Jill, check out www.LaughingontheSunnySide.com.

2014 Panel Member Profile: Heidi Hanna

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

heidi hannaWhat is your name?

Heidi Hanna

What are you best known for?

Energy Management – nutrition, fitness, positive psychology, brain health, cognitive fitness, stress management, resiliency training…teaching people to bring their best energy to the time that they have.

How long have you been in the humor space?

Personally forever, but professionally this is new territory.  I’ve always known the positive impact of humor for health, the brain, and stress management but am now starting to better understand humor as a business initiative and it just makes sense!

How did you get started using humor?

I sought out humor and laughter as a way to improve my own energy when I was going through a very difficult time personally. When I saw the difference it made I had to make it a bigger part of my every day life, including my work both as a writer, speaker and energy advisor.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

That taking care of your energy is not selfish but the greatest gift you can give to those you care about!

What is your favorite website?

Hmmm…good question.  As much as I hate to admit it, probably Facebook right now.  And Jib Jab.

People should contact you if…

They want to know more about energy management or have a funny joke.

For more information on Heidi, check out www.SynergyPrograms.com.

2014 Panel Member Profile: John Garrett

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

john garrettWhat is your name?

John Garrett

What are you best known for?

Customized comedy.

How long have you been in the humor space?

My first time doing standup was 14 years ago but I didn’t go full-time until 2005.

How did you get started using humor?

I’ve always liked street jokes as a kid and I found they were a good way to make friends as the new kid. My father was in the Air Force, so I was the new kid quite a few times. As I got older and began working in Corporate America, I realized that humor helped make difficult situations more tolerable for everyone.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

How annoying it is when you leave a shopping cart in the parking lot. Also that being a comedian is a real job. And it’s harder than any corporate job I ever had.

What is your favorite website?

www.hulu.com

People should contact you if…

They need someone work with them as an emcee or after-dinner entertainment to create an interactive event that everyone will be talking about.

For more information on John, check out www.JohnGComedy.com.

Panel Member Profile: Chip Lutz

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

chip lutzWhat is your name?

Chip Lutz

What are you best known for?

Leadership skills and training.

How long have you been in the humor space?

All my life.

How did you get started using humor?

As a chubby kid growing up the youngest of 6.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.

What is your favorite food?

Donuts.

People should contact you if…

They are an action oriented leader looking for strategies that work.

For more information on Chip, check out www.UnconventionalLeader.com.

Panel Member Profile: Mary Kay Morrison

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

mary kay morrisonWhat is your name?

Mary Kay Morrison

What are you best known for?

I’m probably best known as the founder and director of the Humor Academy-the educational arm of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

How long have you been in the humor space?

20 years.

How did you get started using humor?

When I worked at the Regional Office of Education, I became increasingly concerned about the emphasis on testing and assessment and not on meeting the needs of the child. We grow and learn best when we are engaged and in a positive emotional state.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

That excess stress and poor health habits are killers. Humor, laughter and a positive outlook on life are antidotes.

What is your favorite food?

A fresh ripe tomato from the garden.

People should contact you if…

They want more information on the AATH Humor Academy for 3 hours of grad credit or for workshops on humor and learning. They can email marykay@questforhumor.com.

For more information on Mary Kay, check out www.QuestForHumor.com.

Panel Member Profile: Mike Kerr

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

mike kerrWhat is your name?

Mike Kerr

What are you best known for?

Using humor in leadership roles and within a workplace setting to build morale, improve communication, inspire innovation & creativity, reduce stress and improve customer service. Everything I write, speak and research about is connected to workplace culture and the role humor plays in building and reflecting an inspiring culture.

How long have you been in the humor space?

13 years.

How did you get started using humor?

I practiced a lot of humor as a senior manager, and got interested in the role of humor at work after seeing firsthand both the benefits of using humor, and what the absence of humor did to to the culture in our organization.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

That it’s possible to be serious and playful at exactly the same time.

What is your favorite food?

Sushi.

People should contact you if…

They are serious about building a more successful culture that will drive greater success, are experiencing challenges related to morale, stress and workload issues, employee retention and recruitment issues, if they are introducing new values that they need to embed within their organization, or if they have simply lost the mojo in their workplace.

For more information on Mike, check out www.MikeKerr.com.

Panel Member Profile: Andrew Tarvin

We’ve gathered some of the world’s most renowned corporate humorists to serve as our panel of judges to select the award winners. Through our profile series, we’ll learn a little more about each one.

andrew tarvinWhat is your name?

Andrew Tarvin.

What are you best known for?

I’m probably best known for applying engineering concepts to humor and applying humor to engineering concepts. Also puns.

How long have you been in the humor space?

I started performing improv in 2005 and started writing about the value of humor in the workplace in 2007.

How did you get started using humor?

My friends and I decided to start in improv group when I was in college. I fell in love with making people laugh and continued doing improv and stand-up after I graduated. I started to see the value of using humor at work, so I started writing about it, first on an internal blog at Procter & Gamble, and then through Humor That Works. From there I started offering trainings and ended up writing a book about the topic.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew?

The power of “Yes And.” It’s a concept from improvisation and that phrase alone can dramatically improve your work and life. Also please know that if you stand on the left side of an escalator, I secretly hate you (not forever, just while you’re standing there).

What is your favorite food?

Milkshakes.

People should contact you if…

They are interested in learning about how humor can make them more productive, improve their communication skills, or even make them more money. Or if they want to hear a pun.

For more information on Andrew, check out www.HumorThatWorks.com.