In the middle of July every year, I join my fellow Packers shareholders at the annual meeting. This year was no exception. I was at Lambeau Field a little more than a week ago, on Thursday July 23. I love this meeting.
Even though the tickets are all general admission, I always prefer to sit in my own season ticket seats (section 123, row 11, seats 15 & 16). It’s nice to just sit there and take it all in. Every time I go to Lambeau, I look at the south end zone, and imagine Bart Starr leaping over the goal line on New Years Eve in 1967 to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the Ice Bowl.
This meeting also keeps me humble. See, I have season tickets. They originally belonged to my grandfather, then to my mother, and now me. So I’ve been going to Packer games since I was 10. And now that I own the tickets, of course I go to many games each year. But I fully understand how fortunate I am. The Packers shareholder meeting is an event where many Packer fans have the opportunity to see Lambeau Field up close, fans who don’t otherwise have that opportunity. Shareholders don’t automatically get season tickets, so it’s a treat for many to take it in, get some photos, and live the Lambeau experience.
The meeting itself went well. We had the usual reports from various committees. Here’s how the meeting went:
10:00 Mark Murphy (intro)
10:02 national anthem
10:03 Carl Kuehne (share counts)
10:05 Ted Thompson (football report)
10:25 Mike McCarthy (football report)
10:40 Mark Murphy (management report)
10:55 Vicki Vannieuwenhoven (treasurer report)
10:59 Tom Arndt/Pat Quick (director affairs report)
11:03 Bob Gallagher (investment reports)
11:08 Jason Wied (management operations report)
11:15 Mike Zimmer (audit report)
11:21 Casey Cuene (Packers foundation report)
11:23 Susan Finco (community relations report)
This was the first time that the head coach spoke at this meeting. Mike Sherman used to speak, but he was also the GM at the time. The big issue was Brett Favre’s unretirement, and I think Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy all handled it well. They addressed the issues and got down to business.
One tense moment was when Bob Gallagher gave his investment report. He started by addressing Mark Murphy, telling him that he’s retiring (because he’s reached the mandatory retirement age of 70), but assured him that he won’t request a trade. This caused many “ooohs” from the crowd.
My friend JJ Simpson came with me to the meeting. He’s a Chicago Bears fan, but he’s still a great football fan, and truly appreciated the uniqueness of this opportunity that we Packer fans have.
After the meeting, Citgo was there with a crew to film a TV commercial. So we stuck around and participated as part of the crowd. We’re a bit eager to see the actual commercial and see how much of us they really used. If you happen to see a Citgo commercial this fall about a mock stockholders meeting, check out the crowd, 3rd row, right in the middle.
The Packers Pro Shop has been expanded this year so we had to check that out. I’m glad I did, because I bought a pretty cool Acme Packers shirt. Now I can’t wait for it to get cold enough outside so I can wear it.
They also allowed everyone there to visit the Packers Hall of Fame. I contributed to a rebuilding project a number of years ago and I was given a lifetime pass to the hall for that. So I’ve seen it dozens of times. But JJ had never been there and it was quite interesting to go through and see things through his eyes.
Overall, it was a great day. It was nice to be back at Lambeau, and I walked out of there thinking, “bring on the 2008 season.”