At Maxwell Medals & Awards, we fully believe excellence warrants recognition; recognition begins with you. Our team members want to invest the time to understand what you’re looking for in creating emblems of success to represent your brand and honor your participant’s achievements. We respect the unique demands your event presents. As part of your team, we strive to provide high-quality custom awards, competitive pricing, and on-time delivery backed by first-class customer service.

Whether you’re at the finish line, the podium, on the field, or in the moment when you’re finally able to take a breath and embrace the wonder of accomplishment, know we’ve had your back the entire way. Our over-arching message of commitment to you is managing the details of your beautifully crafted awards.

We welcome you to explore our product offerings and experience The Maxwell Difference!

About Us - Top of Page Image

Meet The Team

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  • Admin
  • Art
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Production

Sharon Janis-Rochford

Co-Founder / CEO

231-941-1685 ext. 129

Bio
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Sharon Janis-Rochford-1

Sharon Janis-Rochford

Co-Founder / CEO

Sharon Janis-Rochford
Co-Founder / CEO

The entrepreneurial sights of Sharon were set in her early childhood, inspired by her father’s manufacturing company (she listened to his reel-to-reel selling seminar tapes in their basement for entertainment). The 70s brought with them breakthrough opportunities for women to pursue non-traditional business degrees, which opened doors into sales and marketing, and she seized them. Upon graduating from Western Michigan University, she was awarded an MBA based upon the research she conducted on working women in America.


An encourager at heart, cultivating a company recognizing achievement, has been a particularly good fit for Sharon. While overseeing operations in their entirety, Sharon maintains the intrinsic value of Maxwell lies within its’ employees and is tireless in upholding them. Four plus decades into building and expanding a business, she remains energized in making her customer’s experience, a dynamic one.


Maximizing time spent with her “tribe” consistently tops her list. Sharon is a passionate supporter of at-risk women and children, mentors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and lectors at her church.

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Maxwell Janis

President

Joined Team: January 2021

 

Max is native to Traverse City, MI. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Alma College, during which he completed an international business studies program at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and in 2013 earned the designation of Certified Financial Planner™.

Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, Max established his own successful advisory practice and marine business. Throughout his 16 years of advising entrepreneurs, Max developed an appreciation for the challenges and corresponding rewards being a business owner presents.

Maxwell Medals’ mission to acknowledge effort and recognize achievement has always resonated with Max, originating from his youth as a high school and collegiate athlete, and continues to this day. Therefore, it was a natural fit for him to partner with his mother (MMA co-founder Sharon) to craft a succession plan to purchase the family business.

Max enjoys spending quality family time with his wife Peggy and children Marina and Roman. He is an avid waterski enthusiast who enjoys mountain biking, boating, golf, and alpine skiing. Max also serves on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan, whose mission is to provide opportunity and hope for at-risk children to succeed.

Steve Scott

Vice President / General Manager

231-941-1685 ext. 124

Bio
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Steve H. Scott

Steve Scott

Vice President / General Manager

Joined Team: April 1995

Since 1995, Steve has been an integral member of the Maxwell Medals team, serving as Vice President and General Manager. In addition to overseeing the broad scope of our operations, he does so with decisive assuredness and inarguable detail. His management style has helped grow the company while building a culture of trust, loyalty, and integrity by doing things the right way.


Steve remains committed to developing strong teams across all departments and upholding exceptionally high customer service standards in everything we do. He is the quintessential model of dedicated professionalism.


Outside of the office, Steve primarily invests his time into his two grown sons, following, supporting, and celebrating their educational/business accomplishments and admirable sporting careers. He’s also a steadfast backer of his many nieces and nephews. Steve’s passion for golf finds him playing numerous courses both at home and away. He is a sporting enthusiast who routinely rallies around the teams of his alma mater, Michigan State University.

Paul Guyon

IT Manager

231-941-1685 ext. 142

Bio
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Paul Guyon

IT Manager

Joined Team: January 2006

Paul manages all technology, logistics, and other special projects at Maxwell Medals. He ensures our operations run smoothly and implements business processes, software systems, and technology to help us grow and stay competitive. Paul is proud of several projects he spearheaded at Maxwell over the past few years: new websites, digital marketing, performance measurement, and integration with UPS and FedEx to improve efficiency, accuracy, visibility, and on-time performance.


As contractors in the 1980s, Paul and our GM, Steve Scott, were instrumental in positioning Maxwell Medals for growth with computers, accounting, and CRM software.


Paul is a proud believer, father, and husband. He and his wife have seven children and make their home in Kingsley, Michigan. Paul is active at Saint Patrick Catholic Church. He serves as Lector, Music Minister, Eucharistic Minister, and Parish Council Vice-Chairman. Paul's love for music has existed ever since he can remember, leading him to become a professional drummer and singer. You may find Paul performing on weekends all over Northern Michigan with his two classic rock bands: Duke & the Studebakers and The TC Knuckleheads.

Jon Scott

Sales Manager

231-941-1685 ext. 123

Bio
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Jon Scott

Sales Manager

Joined Team: October 1995

Jon continues optimizing his selling and customer relationship skills serving a diverse national account base. As Maxwell Medals’ Sales Manager and someone who has navigated through major changes within the custom medals and awards market, Jon’s sales intelligence is as strong as anyone’s in the industry. He mantles his department, burns the proverbial midnight oil, and is the backbone of all things related to sales. Sharing his “how-to” experiences gleaned throughout his tenure at Maxwell, enables him to instill amongst his team, the essential axioms of successful selling. Customer service is Jon’s second language.

He's an avid reader, stays current on national and world affairs, and is a well-storied conversationalist. Outside the office, Jon is an ardent supporter of his road racing and 9x marathoner wife and continues following his three collegiate/high school-aged children in their sporting/academic careers. Summertime is congruous with jet skiing and time on the water. Fall and winter Saturday afternoons find him watching college football and basketball. Jon’s alma mater is Michigan State University/Class of 1990, and he remains a die-hard Spartan fan.

Barb Ellis

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 143

Bio
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Barb Ellis

Sales Associate

Joined Team: April 2018

Barb joined our Sales Associate Team and immediately fit right in with the Maxwell Medals family. She is an absolute asset to our Sales Team; Barb's productive attention to detail, dedication to exceptional customer service, and personal approach to communication ensure all of her customers are satisfied.


Outside of her time at the office, Barb is an avid gardener who loves to spend time outdoors, especially hiking throughout the amazing landscape Northern Michigan has to offer. She also enjoys traveling, small group gatherings, volunteering, worship, camping, and relaxing with family and friends.


Cathy McAuliff

Sales Assistant

231-941-1685 ext. 148

Bio
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Cathy McAuliff

Sales Assistant

Joined Team: November 2007

Cathy's big-hearted, wide-open personality ensures we're all kept on our quick-witted toes. Aside from being one of the smiling faces to greet you in our lobby, Cathy plays a decisive role as Sales Assistant. She routinely handles nearly every aspect of the sales cycle, making it possible for our Sales Associates to clear crucial factors before processing orders. A stickler for details, she works hard to keep the vibe positive and is a practical joker extraordinaire.

Cathy lives on an 80-acre farm with her husband; they enjoy taking hikes around their property with their dog, Snoopy, watching for deer and other northern Michigan wildlife. She and her husband have two adult sons and three granddaughters, so her home life is busy with family, cooking, baking, and puttering around in her many flower gardens. Cathy also enjoys beachcombing, puzzle building, and relaxing on her porch swing with a good book.

David Stone

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 130

Bio
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David Stone

Sales Associate

Joined Team: September 2002

David is a well-seasoned, detail-oriented Sales Associate, which translates into a hugely satisfied customer base. He arrived at Maxwell Medals with a wealth of successful selling experience and hit the ground running. David’s competitive spirit originated with skiing and motorsports which recognized him with numerous medals and trophies and to that extent, he has come full circle.


David is a proud father of three adult sons and is ecstatic to have recently welcomed his first grandchild into the world; he values quality time spent with his family. David has been involved in motorsports since 1973. In 1985 he claimed a SCCA Pro Rally Series Co-Driver Championship and a 2020 SCCA United States Road Rally Championship. He currently competes and assists in organizing automobile rallies, hill climbs, and ice races. David has also been an avid alpine skier for 60+ years.

Juli Ackley

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 144

Bio
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Juli Ackley

Sales Associate

Joined Team: November 2005

Juli is one of Maxwell Medals’ Sales Associates whose focus is on accounts in the Reorder Department. She makes a point of keeping a positive, upbeat attitude and she’s always happy to lend a helping hand on extra projects around the office. Juli’s productivity levels result in an extraordinary number of sales calls, and she takes pride in working with her customers to help bring their award ideas from a concept to a finished product, representing their events to a tee!


On days away from Maxwell Medals, Juli relishes time spent at her family farm and is an avid gardener. She’s a voracious reader, enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and wine tasting at the many local vineyards throughout the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas of Traverse City. Juli sings 1st soprano with the NMC Chorale which performs concerts locally at Milliken Auditorium and with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra at Corson Auditorium at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Kathy Bowen

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 125

Bio
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Kathy Bowen

Sales Associate

Joined Team: March 1987

Kathy is a well-seasoned Maxwell Medals veteran who has been selling for a whopping 35 years and counting! Back in the days of cold calling, she began in New Sales, and as she grew her customer base, she transitioned to our Reorder Sales Department.

 

Kathy says when she walks through the lobby door, she doesn't think of MMA as a job but believes it's more like coming home to a family. Her attitude sparkles as well as virtually everything in her office – she's our self-described "Queen of Glitter." She routinely spoils us with homemade baked goods, and we're all a bit plump with gratitude.

 

Outside the office, Kathy loves spending time with her family and readily admits her two grandsons are the apples of her eye. She's a dog lover at heart, but Pugs crown her list. Kathy has found a new passion for kickboxing, and she also has a creative passion for sewing. During fall weekends, Kathy attends area craft shows as a vendor where she sells a variety of handmade products she's curated throughout the year.

Lisa Bristol

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 122

Bio
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Lisa Bristol

Sales Associate

Joined Team: July 2004

Lisa started at Maxwell Medals as our Receptionist and the Sales Assistant to our Sales Manager, New Sales, and Wholesale Department. After three years, she transitioned to a Sales Associate role in our Reorder Department, where she remains today.


Herself a longtime dancer, Lisa has worked as the rehearsal assistant for a local youth ballet company since 2006. She is also an active volunteer at her church in a variety of ways, including administrative projects, banquet decorating, and, on rare occasions, plays guitar in the services. She has most recently been inspired to learn to play the cello, a life-long dream. Lisa loves to spend time with family and particularly relishes beach time spent with her daughter; she also loves to read and is a die-hard fan of the Detroit Tigers.

Michael Foster

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 149

Bio
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Michael Foster

Sales Associate

Joined Team: December 2004

Michael arrived at Maxwell Medals well prepared. He spent 10 years in the running industry before joining our team. Based in South Carolina, Michael is no stranger to working remotely and regularly visits our headquarters in Traverse City. He has culled out a formidable presence within the North American road race market. His good humor and easy-going personality help make him a sales powerhouse.

His family includes his wife and their adult son, a National Guard soldier, and a Clemson University student. Michael is actively involved in his church, loves Grandma's epic Sunday dinners, and thoroughly enjoys time spent at the family compound on the river. Michael loves to play golf, enjoys watching sports of every kind, and remains a steadfast Clemson Tigers fan.

Pete Comfort

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 147

Bio
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Pete Comfort

Sales Associate

Joined Team: September 2014

Pete's area of expertise lies in the High School, Middle School, and Collegiate markets. Additionally, his customer account base includes rowing, track & field, wrestling, hockey, and swimming. Pete also welcomes and services a wide range of new business opportunities. His customers frequently comment on his quick response time, attention to detail, and professional, easy-going demeanor.


Pete and his wife are proud parents of two daughters, whose busy household also includes one loveable golden retriever. He enjoys kiteboarding and has a passion for competitive and leisure sailing. Pete also embraces the snowy winters in northern Michigan with his love of skiing and snowboarding. As a graduate of Western Michigan University, he remains a committed Bronco fan.

Tina Treece

Sales Associate

231-941-1685 ext. 134

Bio
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Tina Treece

Sales Associate

Joined Team: November 2007

The combination of Tina's dynamic and outgoing personality makes her an asset to our Sales Team. Her area of expertise includes soccer, gymnastics, dance, and cheer, and she happily welcomes new business in various other markets. Her bright energy and positive attitude make her a customer service pro, which her customers can attest to and routinely comment upon.


Tina enjoys combing the beach for native Michigan stones, rocks, fossils, and beach glass (Petoskey Stones and Leland Blue Stones are her favorites!). Tina is the kind of person who will never tire of watching a magical summer sunset on her favorite beach. Along with her love for the outdoors, Tina also cherishes time spent with her two grown children and precious grandkids. Over the last few years, Tina has grown especially fond of throwing stones at the Leelanau Curling Club and even assists in coaching those new to the sport!

Jamie Heim

Office Manager / Accounting

231-941-1685 ext. 132

Bio
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Jamie Heim

Office Manager / Accounting

Joined Team: June 1984

After three-plus decades with Maxwell Medals, Jamie has amassed a vast amount of operational knowledge. She is our go-to for everything from accounting to overseeing HR to understanding day-to-day operations.


Jamie and her husband live on multi-generational farmland, first established by his family. Substantial vegetable and flower gardens serve to keep her thumb green and disposition serene. Devoting her free time to enjoying family and long-held friendships pique her list of priorities. Jamie is an alum of Michigan State University and remains a steadfast Spartan fan.

Jenn Nelson

Art Department Manager

231-941-1685

Bio
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Jenn Nelson

Art Department Manager

Joined Team: December 2012

Jenn joined the Maxwell Medals team as an entry-level graphic designer following her college graduation. Her impeccable design skills, ability to automate systems within her department, organizational talents, and eye for keeping things fresh quickly enabled Jenn to accelerate her position to that of Art Department Manager.

 

In bringing clients' ideas to fruition, she maintains it professionally fulfilling, knowing our award recipients will be impressed with such cool custom medal designs. As the person who oversees all aspects of our Art Department, Jenn proudly ensures that every design our team creates is crafted with individualized care, whether for a 4th-grade spelling bee or a well-known marathon with thousands of participants.

 

Jenn treasures hang-time with her amazing son, mom, and siblings. Her family attests to her broad array of tidbit knowledge concerning random topics, thinking she could readily be a game show contestant. She is an avid gardener and arborist. An impressive collection of 80+ indoor varietals handily has her wearing the title of "the crazy plant lady." Jenn is also committed to setting aside time to volunteer around the community, which speaks volumes of her genuine and caring spirit.

Derek Barg

Shop (Production) Manager

231-941-1685

Bio
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Derek Barg

Shop (Production) Manager

Joined Team: July 2005

As Shop Manager, Derek oversees virtually all facets of production at Maxwell Medals. He is our Inventory Management Specialist, studies time utilization of production efficiencies, integrates digital art into a finished product, coordinates workflow between sales and production, and manages the details of sandblasting.

He is a devoted husband and father and invests most of his free time among his wife and son. Derek is a confessed homebody, a gardening enthusiast, and admitted fixer-upper with perpetual projects and home improvements. Collegiate and professional sports spark his interest—football being his favorite—and listening to heavy metal helps him get the job done.

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Chris Parker

Production

Joined Team: November 2005

Chris is literally our in-house "jack of all trades" who greatly contributes to the seamless functionality of production. He comfortably transfers between hard-surface laser operations, laser color printing, sandblasting, and tooled engraving.

A native of Traverse City, Chris is a huge participant in the great outdoors. He and his son can often be found pursuing their ongoing adventures in fishing, hunting, camping, and paddleboarding. Additionally, Chris closely follows and supports his son's interest in baseball and hockey. Although conservative in nature, alternative rock is his jam. When it comes to sports, the Boston Red Sox is his longtime team of choice.

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Keith Smith

Production

Joined Team: November 2012

Keith is our hand-tooling Engraving Specialist extraordinaire. He can also be depended upon for precision sandblasting. Keith's easy-going personality makes him a pleasure to work with. When our workload calls for "all hands on deck," he readily jumps in assembling trophies, attaching ribbons, packaging medals, and assisting with plaque assembly.


Outside of Maxwell, Keith enjoys spending time with his family as much as possible. They love the great outdoors and recreating finds them hiking, swimming, and paddleboarding. Keith is also a sports enthusiast and keeps close tabs on the athletic teams of his alma mater, the University of Wyoming – a Cowboy fan through and through. His daughter is also a legacy grad who provided many additional opportunities to return to Laramie.

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Shawn Peck

Production

Joined Team: February 2002

Shawn is our UV Color Operations Specialist as well as Laser Production Specialist. His artistic strength, used in our various processes, is a mainstay of our Production Team. We're also able to rely on him for the intricacies of sandblasting. Shawn's tenure recently exceeded the 20-year mark; through it all, he has acquired a vast amount of Production knowledge and remains a hard-working, committed professional.

Outside the MMA Shop, Shawn, his wife, and their two children enjoy spending as much time as possible at their Lake Huron beach cottage. In the winter months, you can find Shawn and his family on the ski slopes of northern Michigan. Shawn also serves as the Board President of the Benzie County Ski Boosters, and his wife serves as Treasurer to the board. Shawn will take you up on any opportunity to be at the beach or on the water!

Chuck Mueller

Art Director / Graphic Designer

231-941-1685

Bio
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Chuck Mueller

Art Director / Graphic Designer

Joined Team: April 2003

Chuck brings a unique artistic style to Maxwell Medals, honed during his years as an ad agency owner in the Detroit area. His office also serves as a studio where he produces and shoots product photos for marketing projects and our website. Company outings routinely find him behind the lens, capturing candid co-worker photos. He brings time-honored approaches to production art and capably integrates the techniques of Illustrator.

Chuck's in-home fine art studio frequently finds him drawing and painting. Additionally, Chuck is charged with the many tasks of maintaining the aesthetics of a small farm which serves as the residence he shares with his wife.

Liz Robertson

Marketing Coordinator

231-941-1685 ext. 131

Bio
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Liz Robertson

Marketing Coordinator

Joined Team: May 2020

 

Liz joined the Maxwell Medals team accepting a newly created position as Marketing Coordinator to capitalize on opportunities within the digital world. With experience in various roles in communication, sales, customer service, e-commerce, social media, and digital marketing, she is well familiar and motivated by the ever-evolving world of online commerce.

She looks forward to spending time with her family, friends, and two dogs. As a lover of northern Michigan summers, Liz and her husband head to the beach hunting for rocks, kayaking, and boating. Liz also enjoys making her way to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to camp, hike, look for the northern lights, side-by-side, and search for agates on the shores of Lake Superior. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and an impassioned fan of concerts, music festivals, Broadway shows, travel, and exploring new destinations.

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Giavanna Latorre

Graphic Designer

Joined Team: September 2014

 

Giavanna, "Gia," came to us after graduating from Grand Valley State University. She's an exceptionally creative designer who demonstrates terrific finesse in custom medal design. Her positive energy and easy-going personality allow her to readily interface with our entire Sales staff, converting customers' requests and ideas into tangible awards.


Outside of the office, mothering her two young children and tending to their pet dogs keep her beyond busy. Gia is teaching her daughters to enjoy the outdoors as much as she does. Her favorites include hiking, gardening, beach relaxing, and kayaking. Her precious free time is spent drawing, doodling, and coloring – always the artist! Michigan State University has a huge fan in Gia. She's happy to follow football, basketball, and golf.

Jason Davis

Graphic Designer

231-941-1685

Bio
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Jason Davis

Graphic Designer

Joined Team: September 2014

Upon graduating from Baker College, Jason joined Maxwell Medals' Art Department and now plays an integral role as a designer. His graphic design is versatile and multi-faceted. Jason brings a strong eye to classic medal design with a multitude of 3D sculpting and cohesiveness in pulling together the essential elements of design. His easy-going personality positively contributes to team morale.

While enjoying time away from creating killer designs, Jason believes banking hours with his family and friends bring him the most contentment. Once summer is upon us, his pontoon boat is his oasis. Lakeside living brings a host of water activities that fill his recreation time, especially kayaking. Being an outdoorsman, Jason also enjoys camping and traveling. His commute to the office allows him to take advantage of audiobooks, and he's a big enthusiast of watching movies.

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Jeanne Spencer

Billing

Joined Team: October 2017


Becca Nelson

Graphic Designer

231-941-1685

Bio
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Becca Nelson

Graphic Designer

Joined Team: July 2017

 

After earning a trifecta of bachelor's degrees from Eastern Michigan University in Graphic Communications, Children's Literature, and Film/Television Studies, Becca joined Maxwell Medals as a part-time Graphic Designer in the summer of 2017. She reunited full-time with our design team in 2019. New to our Art Department, Becca brings a watchful eye for details, accuracy, and expeditious timing.

Becca previously lived in England and is well-traveled throughout Europe. She relishes historic architecture and is an ongoing planner of future adventures to explore more corners of the Earth. Musicals and live concerts draw her attention, and a newfound favorite of hers is K-Pop. Becca's talents include playing various musical instruments and walking her leash-trained cats!

History

Opportunity is often described as overcoming an obstacle. The inception of Maxwell Medals & Awards began with a sporting coach's oversight to order medals for an upcoming weekend tournament. The "ah-ha" moment of realization was met with the same coach's shop class hand-tooling plaques, and a business idea was born. The rest, as they say, is (our) history.

 

In the summer of 1975, we filled our first order from the basement of a small farmhouse in southwest Michigan. Fast forward four-plus decades - we're still in Michigan, processing orders with a global reach from our headquarters in Traverse City.

 

Maxwell Medals continues to grow and has expanded our staff accordingly. Our client base, consisting of tens of thousands, ranges from small and obscure events to large and prestigious venues. The New York City Marathon, the National Science Olympiad, and the United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association head a lengthy roster of our national and international customers.

 

One of the most frequently asked questions we field is, "Why Maxwell?" Simply stated, when you partner with Maxwell Medals, you're guaranteed the best value in the awards industry. We back this up with state-of-the-art designs, high-quality custom pieces, and on-time delivery, underscored with first-class customer service. We view ourselves as an integral part of your team and hold ourselves fully accountable for getting the job done, managing every detail to produce and deliver your custom medals and awards.

 

We're eager for the opportunity to earn your business and invite you to start the conversation today!

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