Friday, June 19, 2009

Impressions of John

Today we've got a post from Nichole, our membership coordinator, wherein she thinks back on her warm memories of our retiring CEO, John Lund.

I don’t recall the first time I met John Lund. No doubt, it had something to do with the obligatory march around the office we all take at HQ upon starting. I do remember my first impressions, though – a formidable man, somber and a little intimidating. Turns out, however, that I was quite wrong. I’m sad to be wishing my favorite Sons of Norway employee farewell.

I wanted to share a few of my impressions of John, and encourage fellow members and readers to do the same. With his long years of service as CEO and general counsel and countless visits to lodges across this organization, I’m sure that many of us have a great anecdote to share.

John has a candy dish outside his office that he graciously fills with all manner of sugary items, and many of us can be seen sneaking away from our desks to take a break, beelining straight for that dish. My trips, frequent and daily, afforded me the opportunity to take in chats with John, sometimes laughing at a cartoon in the New Yorker, or not seeing eye-to-eye on some daily news event. What these conversations revealed is the respect he shows his employees. Whether arguing about pop culture as he listens to one of his special mix CDs (to Liz’s pleasure, often at top volume, replete with sing-a-long), or politics, John has always listened to what I’ve had to say without chastising a stance. I admire that quality and think that’s why he’s been a pleasure to work for. He’s gone to bat for me on a professional level many times, and knowing that he unwaveringly supports his employees has given me a level of confidence in my job I didn’t know I could have.

Thank you, John, for all that you’ve done for us. I wish you well….and hope you’ll often stop by to replace the candy that Eivind sets out for us.

And, finally, a top five (of sorts) of John:
- The socks. So colourful, striped, checked or plaid.
- He and Eivind dressing up one Halloween as a giant, hot pink gorilla and a
- Showing us how he’d bash in the heads of would-be muggers with his cane,
with panache.
- The videos he emails, always providing a bit of wit and whimsy.
- His claims, whilst volunteering for the Draxten Lodge food booth, about the heritage of
vikings on a Stick. Did you know that’s what initially drew the vikings to America?

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