By Olan Beam, Photography By John Walsh

Ginger Judge

Ginger Judge does not do half way. When she commits to a job, a friendship or an organization she is all in. Her commitment and drive brought her leadership roles in her company and in a variety of other local and national organizations. Plus, she has fun doing it.

From the moment you meet Virginia “Ginger” Judge, you sense her energy and self-confidence. Her manner is engaging and conversational. When she makes a decision it comes with a sense of certainty – clearly, she is totally comfortable taking the lead. At the same time, Ginger enjoys a bit of irreverence and good-natured fun. Experiencing her style and decisiveness, you quickly begin to understand why so many people and organizations have confidence in her leadership.

The former Ginger Warwick grew up in New York and went to college in Massachusetts. In 1951, she married Dan Judge Jr., her high school sweetheart from New Rochelle, N.Y. “I remember our first date in 1948 – a sleigh ride at Pelham Country Club. A friend told me he had said he was going to marry me even then,” Ginger said.

The Ringling Museum bb&t perspectives

The Ringling estate and museum in Sarasota, Fla.

The catalyst that brought the Judges to Sarasota was a business relationship Ginger’s father-in-law had with Edith Ringling, of the Ringling circus family. Dan Gordon Judge Sr. was an attorney in New York and executor of Edith Ringling’s estate. That relationship brought him to Sarasota frequently where he bought property. One of the commercial properties turned out to be just right for the Judges’ business, Honeycomb Company of America.

She has fond memories of the Northeast, but in 1964 the Judge’s moved from their home in Trumbull, Conn. to Sarasota, Fla. and sunk roots deep into the community. “One evening Dan came home and told me, ‘We’re moving to Florida’ and that was that. In the next few weeks we packed up the company, our home and the kids and off we went.” Ginger and Dan brought a thriving business to the area and a sense of responsibility to give back to the community they now called home.

Their business, started by Dan’s father, Honeycomb Company of America, is a precision manufacturer of replacement aircraft parts and was already well established in Bridgeport, Conn. Dan had been awarded patents on some of his processes and products in 1975, giving the company a new competitive edge. The move to Florida gave the company a place to expand and a new market in which to grow.

Growing The Company

Ginger Judge plane bb&t perspectives

Financial tombstone of the Honeycomb Company of America, Inc. sale.

In 1969, Honeycomb established a relationship with the U.S. Air Force. The company manufactured replacement parts for the B-52, A-10, KC-135, C-5, C-130 and many other aircraft. Its products were exceptionally precise and reliable. The Honeycomb team’s aircraft knowledge and experience with how the parts functioned proved critical in developing the appropriate replacement parts. “Our point of view was that every part had to be perfect. Our servicemen and women were relying on us, and we took our responsibility seriously,” Ginger said.

While Dan was the president and CEO, Ginger was the go-to person whenever a special project or task arose. “I remember so many times being in a meeting when something would come up and Dan would say, ‘Ginger will volunteer to do that,’ and I’d go get it done. Most of those jobs weren’t very glamorous, but I learned so much and was involved in every aspect of our business. All that hands-on experience really helped me when I became CEO.”

Not only was Ginger the go-to person for projects within the company, she also became its representative with community organizations. “I’m not sure how I started with Easter Seals, but when I saw those children and what they had to go through I knew I had to help,” she said. In typical fashion, once she committed she was in for the duration – for more than 45 years and still counting.

Supporting The Community

She has committed her time, money and leadership to many worthy organizations through the years. “Many of the organizations I’m involved in lend support to people who are less fortunate or help people who deserve appreciation, such as our veterans. And, heck, I have a good time,” she added.

GINGER_JUDGE_SCIENCE_CENTER-bb&t-perspectives

Ginger Judge Science Center at Endicott College.

Some of the organizations Ginger supports include:

When asked what drives her to manage all the work, family and community demands and still take on more she said, “I chuckle a little when you talk about what drives me. I drive myself. But, I don’t think about it that way. It’s not a conscious effort. It’s just part of me. When I looked at my company or an organization I’m involved in, I want to make it the best it can be. So I get involved, I get hands on. When I care about something I can’t just let it go. I don’t know how else you can be successful.”

Ginger Judge 2 bb&t perspectives

(From Left) Honeycomb headquarters; Ginger reads to children at Easter Seals of Southwest Florida.

Managing Through Difficult Circumstances

Ginger’s drive and commitment have helped her through difficult personal as well as professional times. Her son, Tim, died in a tragic industrial accident at Honeycomb in 1998, and Dan died in 2005. “We all shared the same work ethic. We always worked hard. You realize there are things that need to be done and you just do them – you take responsibility and do whatever needs to be done,” Ginger said.

She makes it clear, though, that getting through difficult times and succeeding were never done alone. “My success was built with lots of good people helping me. I have high expectations, but I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the team members, staff and colleagues who work just as hard as I do. And I spend time communicating – at the business, at schools, at charities. Getting to know people helps them trust and understand you and your intentions,” she said.

Making A Transition

After Dan’s death, Ginger became president and CEO and ran Honeycomb successfully for several years before deciding it was time to sell the company and exit. “I wanted an owner that could invest the capital needed to take Honeycomb to the next level. I established the parameters I wanted for the deal and picked advisors who understood me and what I wanted. They helped me get the right financial agreement and the right owner to fit the values of Honeycomb and its staff. The business is still here in Sarasota continuing to run successfully,” she said.

When you ask Ginger what she misses most about running her own company, she doesn’t need time to think about it. “I miss two things. I miss the challenge – particularly negotiating a deal for a new product. But I miss the people the most,” she said a bit wistfully.

Now after owning and running a business for 49 years, raising a family and giving countless hours to a variety of good causes, what do you think Ginger Judge has planned? Rest and relaxation? Golf at her country club? Enjoying the sun at her cabana overlooking the Gulf? “I keep getting involved in projects – I guess I just see something that needs to be done and can’t stop myself. I also love traveling. I didn’t get to do that much when I was running the business. I’m not slowing down anytime soon,” Ginger said.

For people throughout her community, those she helps lead and inspire, encourage and benefit, that’s a good thing. A very good thing.

Ginger Judge’s BB&T Wealth advisors are Karen Lane and Richard A. Penix III.
BB&T Capital Markets advised on the Honeycomb Company of America sale.

By Olan Beam, Photography By John Walsh

Ginger Judge

Ginger Judge does not do half way. When she commits to a job, a friendship or an organization she is all in. Her commitment and drive brought her leadership roles in her company and in a variety of other local and national organizations. Plus, she has fun doing it.

From the moment you meet Virginia “Ginger” Judge, you sense her energy and self-confidence. Her manner is engaging and conversational. When she makes a decision it comes with a sense of certainty – clearly, she is totally comfortable taking the lead. At the same time, Ginger enjoys a bit of irreverence and good-natured fun. Experiencing her style and decisiveness, you quickly begin to understand why so many people and organizations have confidence in her leadership.

The former Ginger Warwick grew up in New York and went to college in Massachusetts. In 1951, she married Dan Judge Jr., her high school sweetheart from New Rochelle, N.Y. “I remember our first date in 1948 – a sleigh ride at Pelham Country Club. A friend told me he had said he was going to marry me even then,” Ginger said.

The catalyst that brought the Judges to Sarasota was a business relationship Ginger’s father-in-law had with Edith Ringling, of the Ringling circus family. Dan Gordon Judge Sr. was an attorney in New York and executor of Edith Ringling’s estate. That relationship brought him to Sarasota frequently where he bought property. One of the commercial properties turned out to be just right for the Judges’ business, Honeycomb Company of America.

The Ringling Museum bb&t perspectives

The Ringling estate and museum in Sarasota, Fla.

She has fond memories of the Northeast, but in 1964 the Judge’s moved from their home in Trumbull, Conn. to Sarasota, Fla. and sunk roots deep into the community. “One evening Dan came home and told me, ‘We’re moving to Florida’ and that was that. In the next few weeks we packed up the company, our home and the kids and off we went.” Ginger and Dan brought a thriving business to the area and a sense of responsibility to give back to the community they now called home.

Their business, started by Dan’s father, Honeycomb Company of America, is a precision manufacturer of replacement aircraft parts and was already well established in Bridgeport, Conn. Dan had been awarded patents on some of his processes and products in 1975, giving the company a new competitive edge. The move to Florida gave the company a place to expand and a new market in which to grow.

Growing The Company
Ginger Judge plane bb&t perspectives

Financial tombstone of the Honeycomb Company of America, Inc. sale.

In 1969, Honeycomb established a relationship with the U.S. Air Force. The company manufactured replacement parts for the B-52, A-10, KC-135, C-5, C-130 and many other aircraft. Its products were exceptionally precise and reliable. The Honeycomb team’s aircraft knowledge and experience with how the parts functioned proved critical in developing the appropriate replacement parts. “Our point of view was that every part had to be perfect. Our servicemen and women were relying on us, and we took our responsibility seriously,” Ginger said.

While Dan was the president and CEO, Ginger was the go-to person whenever a special project or task arose. “I remember so many times being in a meeting when something would come up and Dan would say, ‘Ginger will volunteer to do that,’ and I’d go get it done. Most of those jobs weren’t very glamorous, but I learned so much and was involved in every aspect of our business. All that hands-on experience really helped me when I became CEO.”

Not only was Ginger the go-to person for projects within the company, she also became its representative with community organizations. “I’m not sure how I started with Easter Seals, but when I saw those children and what they had to go through I knew I had to help,” she said. In typical fashion, once she committed she was in for the duration – for more than 45 years and still counting.

Supporting The Community
She has committed her time, money and leadership to many worthy organizations through the years. “Many of the organizations I’m involved in lend support to people who are less fortunate or help people who deserve appreciation, such as our veterans. And, heck, I have a good time,” she added.

GINGER_JUDGE_SCIENCE_CENTER-bb&t-perspectives

Ginger Judge Science Center at Endicott College.

Some of the organizations Ginger supports include:

When asked what drives her to manage all the work, family and community demands and still take on more she said, “I chuckle a little when you talk about what drives me. I drive myself. But, I don’t think about it that way. It’s not a conscious effort. It’s just part of me. When I looked at my company or an organization I’m involved in, I want to make it the best it can be. So I get involved, I get hands on. When I care about something I can’t just let it go. I don’t know how else you can be successful.”

Ginger Judge 2 bb&t perspectives

(From Left) Honeycomb headquarters; Ginger reads to children at Easter Seals of Southwest Florida.

Managing Through Difficult Circumstances
Ginger’s drive and commitment have helped her through difficult personal as well as professional times. Her son, Tim, died in a tragic industrial accident at Honeycomb in 1998, and Dan died in 2005. “We all shared the same work ethic. We always worked hard. You realize there are things that need to be done and you just do them – you take responsibility and do whatever needs to be done,” Ginger said.

She makes it clear, though, that getting through difficult times and succeeding were never done alone. “My success was built with lots of good people helping me. I have high expectations, but I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the team members, staff and colleagues who work just as hard as I do. And I spend time communicating – at the business, at schools, at charities. Getting to know people helps them trust and understand you and your intentions,” she said.

Making A Transition
After Dan’s death, Ginger became president and CEO and ran Honeycomb successfully for several years before deciding it was time to sell the company and exit. “I wanted an owner that could invest the capital needed to take Honeycomb to the next level. I established the parameters I wanted for the deal and picked advisors who understood me and what I wanted. They helped me get the right financial agreement and the right owner to fit the values of Honeycomb and its staff. The business is still here in Sarasota continuing to run successfully,” she said.

When you ask Ginger what she misses most about running her own company, she doesn’t need time to think about it. “I miss two things. I miss the challenge – particularly negotiating a deal for a new product. But I miss the people the most,” she said a bit wistfully.

Now after owning and running a business for 49 years, raising a family and giving countless hours to a variety of good causes, what do you think Ginger Judge has planned? Rest and relaxation? Golf at her country club? Enjoying the sun at her cabana overlooking the Gulf? “I keep getting involved in projects – I guess I just see something that needs to be done and can’t stop myself. I also love traveling. I didn’t get to do that much when I was running the business. I’m not slowing down anytime soon,” Ginger said.

For people throughout her community, those she helps lead and inspire, encourage and benefit, that’s a good thing. A very good thing.

Ginger Judge’s BB&T Wealth advisors are Karen Lane and Richard A. Penix III.
BB&T Capital Markets advised on the Honeycomb Company of America sale.