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Pit Boss Gives Back By Honoring Heroes

Ray Sheehan

Published Author

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Did you know that Pit Boss offers a 25% Hero discount on all Pit Boss grills and accessories to first responders and servicemen and women, past and present? This discount is available on their website It’s their way of saying thank you for your service. I recently caught up with Julie Day, one of the managers of the program to find out more about it.

RS- Hi Julie, Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do at Dansons (the parent company of Pit Boss Grills) and how long you have been there?

JD- Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be able to share a little about our charitable giving initiatives at Dansons. I have always had a passion for volunteerism and giving back to the community. It has been in my blood from a young age, and I was even honored with a YWCA Young Woman of the Year award one year for my service to the community. When Dansons offered me this position, it was the perfect fit for me. I have always been involved in the charitable giving world through various volunteer positions. Before I started with Dansons, I was active with our local Salvation Army women’s ministry van. The owners of Dansons wanted someone they could trust to truly reflect their desire to give back and there are many reasons I am uniquely equipped for this.

RS- What brings you the most joy in your current position?

JD- I always say I have the best job in the company! There’s the brain of the company – our finance and innovations departments, the hands of the company – our production and creative departments, and the feet of our department – our extensive logistics department – to name a few. I get to run the heart of our organization.

 We receive an enormous number of in-kind requests every year. Even though we are unable to give to all of them, reading through the many submissions, I am always inspired by the passion and commitment people have towards others in their community. Most of our requests come in on evenings and weekends, showing how many charitable giving initiatives are labors of love. Many requests come from people who are reaching out outside of work hours because they believe so much in what they are supporting. We can all give back no matter what our situation is. I especially love to connect with enthusiastic Pit Boss or Louisiana Grills owners who are passionate about BBQ AND about supporting their local community. That’s my sweet spot; I love it when we get to support the amazing work of Pit Boss Nation!! Their investment in our business gives us the opportunity to give. It’s a full-circle experience.

RS- What is the PIT BOSS HEROS program, who is eligible for it, and how did it come about?

JD- Pit Boss Heroes was born almost 2 and a half years ago. It was the directive from our founder, Dan Thiessen. He has the utmost respect for those who put their lives in danger every day for the greater good of our communities. He wondered what we could do to show our support. That led to discussions around a discount on our products for police and firefighters. As the discussion progressed, I specifically remember the passion with which Dan’s son and COO, Jordan Thiessen, talked about those in the military who leave their families to protect our freedoms. These were deep, heartful conversations steeped in gratitude.

As our team expanded, it was suggested that a 25% discount would harm our bottom line too much. The program hinged on these words of our “this is not supposed to be a money-making initiative, I want to do something significant to show our support.”

Frankly, I feel very honored to have been a part of these conversations because they set the tone for the entire program – it isn’t just words; it is the heart behind it that we try to reflect through Pit Boss Heroes. Our team meets bi-weekly. Although we discuss numbers and utilization of the program in terms of dollars and cents, every few meetings, we come back to the purpose, “We want our first responders and military to feel significant support from our company. We want them to know that we appreciate and honor them”.

We measure success by program utilization, and so we love to get the word out. We hope that, even if our heroes don’t make a purchase, they see that we support and honor them.

We have some amazing dealers and independent stores who share our values and have asked how they can offer the Heroes program to their customers as well. As a result, we are set to launch our Pit Boss and Louisiana Grills Heroes rebate program this year! The promotion will run from Memorial Day to the 4th of July weekend. During this time period, we will be offering a $50 rebate on every Pit Boss appliance over $400, a $100 rebate for a Louisiana Grills Black Label wood pellet grill, and a $200 rebate for any Louisiana Grills Founders Series grill, with verified first responder/ military ID and store receipt.

RS- I love that you feature HERO of the Month on the Pit Boss website, how are heroes selected?

JD- This was another initiative started by Dan. Anyone can apply or nominate someone else. Its impetus was to inspire people with stories of first responders or military members who have served and bettered their community/country in some way. It always strikes me how, in a world where people always seem to be jumping between things, so many of our military and first responders have made serving their community their life’s work. Their commitment to doing their very best has often spurred them to go above and beyond to mentor, volunteer, or take on even more in their roles.

RS- What does the Bigger, Hotter, Heavier grilling experience mean?

JD- Pit Boss is a pellet grill that has always strived to be financially accessible and of the highest quality. Our grills are made of high-quality metals, which naturally make them heavier. They can also burn at extreme temperatures… hello sear! Many of our Heroes have “been through the hottest fires” – literally and figuratively. They know what to do with our “hotter” grills. They’re the perfect grill for our first responder/military community – many make an average American or Canadian wage – since our grills are affordable, but they are high quality!

RS- When you log onto the Pit Boss Grills website the first thing you notice is a tag line that states “Experience the Pit Boss difference.” What does that mean to you?

JD- Everything that Dansons does strives to be the best in class. Our entire culture is one of excellence, not perfection, but the desire to do our best. It really is a family, and we do our best for our family. We hope that our customers “feel the love” by seeing that we care, give more than any other BBQ company back to our communities, and keep the innovations coming to meet the needs of a changing market.

RS- Pit Boss is a customer driven company and cares deeply about how they af- fect their communities locally and globally. What can you tell us about that?

JD- Dan, Jeff, and Jordan started Dansons from humble beginnings. They credit God with the success of Dansons. From the beginning, they desired to give 10% of profits to Christian charities. In this way, they always remember who the giver of all blessings is. Throughout the years, the Thiessen Dedicated Foundation has given millions of dollars to worthy charities at home and around the world. Because of their commitment to give back, thousands of children have received an education, the hungry have been fed, and the hopeless have been given hope. This has been a very special thing to be a part of. Even though they no longer own Dansons, the company continues to run a robust in-kind giving program, which continues to grow and innovate. When you support Dansons with your business, you are not only getting a quality product, but you are also ensuring that initiatives in your community are being supported.


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