2014 Best Humorist Winner: Kathy Keaton

The 2014 Most Humorous Individual Award for Best Humorist goes to… Kathy Keaton!

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Avish had this to say about Kathy’s use of humor:

I like how she uses humor in the most stressful, difficult times to help people.

Here’s the nomination for Kathy:

Individual: Kathy Keaton
Organization: San Angelo Community Medical Center (http://www.sacmc.com/)
Submitted by KK

Kathy is a Therapeutic Clown Practitioner, sometimes called A Caring Clown. As a stress management humor professional, she is one of the few in her state employed to practice gentle and light hearted humor. Nurses guide her to rooms where patients could use a little lift, which she provides. Whether it’s in the emergency, common waiting areas, or ICU, Kathy finds people who may be experiencing the stress, anxiety or pain that come with an unexpected accident or illness, uses humor to help them give them renewed hope and a smile.

Be sure to check out all of the 2014 Corporate Humor Award Winners.

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.

2013 Best Humorist Winner: Carol Spurgeon

The 2013 Most Humorous Individual Award for Best Humorist goes to… Carol Spurgeon!

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Andrew had this to say about Carol’s use of humor:

“The fact that Carol uses humor daily, and does it in so many ways, makes her worthy of Best Humorist!” –Andrew

Here’s the nomination for Carol:

Individual: Carol Spurgeon
Organization: The Gardens Tulsa (site)
Submitted by Valerie

Carol Spurgeon is the Activity Director of Gardens Tulsa and is known as one of the funniest people there. She will do ANYTHING for a laugh. She sings, dances, plays, jokes, teases, and laughs her way through EVERY day. Gardens Tulsa doesn’t have karaoke, they have Carolokie. She sings any song from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Lastly, Carol brings her dog Pedro (Chihuahua) to work with her, and he will also sing on command. The residents LOVE Carol and Pedro.

Be sure to check out all of the 2013 Corporate Humor Award Winners.

Most Humorous Individual Award for Best Humorist

The finalists for the 2013 Most Humorous Individual Award for Best Humorist are:

Individual: Carol Spurgeon
Organization: The Gardens Tulsa (site)
Submitted by Valerie

Carol Spurgeon is the Activity Director of Gardens Tulsa and is known as one of the funniest people there.  She will do ANYTHING for a laugh.  She sings, dances, plays, jokes, teases, and laughs her way through EVERY day.  Gardens Tulsa doesn’t have karaoke, they have Carolokie.  She sings any song from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Lastly, Carol brings her dog Pedro (Chihuahua) to work with her, and he will also sing on command. The residents LOVE Carol and Pedro.

Individual: Lisa Warsinke
Organization: Find the Fun (site)
Submitted by Goddess of Fun

Lisa constantly pulls small pranks just for fun. They are non-hurtful shenanigans such as taping a soda cup above the driver’s side of her car to evoke panicked reactions as strangers scream “there’s a cup on top!” while jumping and pointing. She’s also always finding ways to incorporate improvisation games into your daily work and make the day more enjoyable.

Individual: Dick Chudnow
Organization: ComedySportz (site)
Submitted by Improv Lover

Dick is the founder of ComedySportz and his sense of humor permeates the entire organization. He’s always doing things to liven up meetings and gatherings, including creating a bag of energizers that people can pull from whenever a meeting is getting too dry. Dick instills a sense of fun wherever he goes, whether it’s on a corporate training, in his improv classroom, or randomly on the street. In fact, if you call Dick up, he’s likely to answer with something like “Thank you for calling ComedySportz, how can you help me?”

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.