Instant Brands rewards employees for attendance, Greencastle forklift driver gets Jeep SUV

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Ask Lisa Houck if she's lucky and the answer is "no, no, no. I am very unlucky."

If luck wasn't involved, then she can credit two recent prizes to hard work and maybe a little help from above.

She won a 2022 Jeep Compass two weeks ago and received $1,000 in July 2020, both in drawings to reward employee attendance at Instant Brands' Greencastle distribution center. The prizes are part of a companywide program to reward employees' commitment to the maker of kitchen products including Instant Pot, Corelle and Pyrex.

Lisa Houck is shown with the Jeep Compass she won in an employee rewards drawing for attendance in the second half of 2021 at Instant Brands' Greencastle distribution center. Also pictured are her supervisor, Loren DaSilva, left, and John Kessler, senior plant director.

The win in July came at a sad time, with the loss of her mother, Rose Davis.

"I wonder if she isn't looking out for me, bless her heart," said Houck.

More than 350 people work at the 1 million-square-foot facility at 12000 Molly Pitcher Highway South, Greencastle, and about 20 were eligible for the drawing based on attendance in the last half of 2021.

Houck believed she had "no chance" of winning.

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She said she was in shock when her name was drawn and didn't know how to act in front of so many people, but remembers her supervisor, Loren DaSilva, just holding her hand.

"I wasn't prepared to have my picture taken. Look at my hair, look at my clothes," Houck said, referring to photos taken with the SUV, balloons, DaSilva and John Kessler, senior plant director.

"I didn't know Jeep made nice-looking SUVs ... when I saw it I was, 'Oh, my God, it's beautiful,'" Houck said.

Houck continues to drive her 1995 Lexus while that beautiful SUV sits in the garage of her home on Buchanan Trail West near Upton, where she lives next door to her father, John "J.R." Davis Jr., who "is all excited" about her prize.

"I'm still excited, too. Every now and then I gotta go and look at her," said Houck, whose words are filled with laughter.

"I tell my dad it's my retirement vehicle," said Houck.

It's up to her financial planner, but she would love to retire after nearly 32 years of service in July, when she will be 62.

Houck started when the company was known as Corning and has risen through the ranks, holding nearly every job from a utility person for assemblers to her current post as a forklift driver, as its name changed to World Kitchen, Corelle Brands and, most recently, Instant Brands.

Lisa Houck said she was in shock and just remembers her supervisor, Loren DaSilva, holding her hand after she won an SUV in an employee rewards drawing for attendance in the second half of 2021 at Instant Brands' Greencastle distribution center.

Instant Brands is conducting car giveaways to employees with the best attendance records in the second half of 2021 at all its U.S. manufacturing and distribution. In coming months, employee rewards will include all-inclusive trips.

“We are incredibly proud of our employees and grateful for their commitment, day in and day out,” said Ben Gadbois, president and CEO of Instant Brands. “We’re committed to celebrating and recognizing their contributions in meaningful ways because of their dedication to continue to deliver our products to all our consumers during very challenging times.”

"Throughout COVID-19, Instant Brands maintained its primary focus on keeping employees safe while also keeping production lines going at its facilities," the company said in a news release announcing Houck's win.

“Our plant operations have been running at full capacity during 2021 to meet consumer demand,” explained John Lackovic, vice president of operations for Instant Brands. “We very much appreciate the efforts of our colleagues across all of our locations — especially the dedicated team here in Greencastle.”

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at