Kerusso celebrates success at company Christmas party
A packed auditorium at the Community Center in Berryville on Friday, Dec. 14, brought together the world’s largest Christian apparel company, for the annual company Christmas party, featuring an up-and-coming stand-up comic, Jaron Myers.
Vic Kennett, founder and CEO of Kerusso, served as master of ceremonies for the event, which drew almost 200 to a buffet lunch, prizes and gifts, and a year-end recap of the company’s astonishing success.
But all eyes were on Myers, a Kansas City-based comic that attended Evangel University in Springfield. Featured on Buzzfeed, Newsweek, and other major media outlets, Myers wowed the crowd during his 45-minute set, peppering his routine with good-natured jabs at various Kerusso employees he met beforehand. Pointing to one of his new friends, Myers noted the fellow’s cutting-edge hairstyle, at first likening it to a “hip” audience, but then dead-panning, “Or an emu.” The remark drew huge laughter from the audience.
Near the end of his act, Myers turned sharply toward the serious, reminding his audience that a life dedicated to trying to measure up to others’ expectations is a recipe for failure and disappointment. He related the life lesson to his own dramatic weight-loss in the past 18 months, saying that he now has more contentment because of a renewed commitment to his faith.
Kennett drew plenty of his own laughs as he handed out cash prizes from several drawings during the party, and his own trademark ad-libs were a highlight.
Attendees learned of key markers for the company during 2018, including reaching 1.5 million followers via social media giants Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, a half-million people from 200 countries visited Kerusso’s websites.
It was the personal testimonies, however, that most moved those at the party. Several testimonials were read, including the following:
“My name is Jessica Kirby. I am a seventh-grade student at Dillon Christian School in Dillon, SC. I am writing to you on behalf of the wonderful products you carry. My dad and I spend a lot of time in the Lifeway Christian Bookstore, in Florence, SC, and have even ordered online from your company. My closet is full of your shirts. ‘May the Lord Be with You,’ ‘The Holy Spirit,’ and ‘War Room’ are some of my favorites. I can’t wait to see what you are coming out with next. It is one thing to know God, but another to help others to know Him. Your shirts are a great conversation starter, and I wanted to thank you for being a company who is not afraid to spread God’s word. Keep up the Good Work.”
Kerusso, founded in 1987 by Kennett and his wife, Melody, has grown from a one-room operation to a sprawling Berryville campus—one that ships T-shirts and other faith-based products globally. More than 100 employees work to make Kerusso a well-known ministry-focused business.
On the heels of the Christmas party, Kerusso employees took part in a fundraiser dinner the following week for the LUC (Lives Under Construction) Boys Ranch at Lampe. Ken Ortman, founder and administrator of the ranch, expressed his appreciation to Team Kerusso for their willingness to provide gifts and inspiration to the boys at the ranch.
“I guess it goes without saying, there are some people who will only get involved if they know the people. To my understanding, most of the Kerusso group didn’t know any of these guys. Their only motivation to get involved was to do something nice. The guys appreciated it and were wearing their shirts right away.”
Kennett expressed his appreciation for the success Kerusso has gained over the years.
“This was an especially great week. The Christmas party was a way to let our people know they are loved and valued. And the fundraiser, particularly at this time of year, was the kind of thing we’ve come to enjoy being part of. We are blessed and want to share in those blessings.”