Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Longaberger Bee

It's been a difficult year for the Longaberger Co. Shipping issues, new Website and executive employment changes =unhappy sales teams. For the first time in 5 years I felt I needed to make the trek to Ohio and hear for myself first hand what is the future plans for this company I love. My friend Judi and I boarded our plane a week ago and headed east. 

We decorated our hotel room door .... Amy flew in from Wyoming and the 3 of us gathered together in Columbus ....
Director Betsy Trout was cruising down the hall and offered to take our picture ... looking quite lovely I must say ....
Amy forgot her duck pants so Judi and I smothered her in ducks and bees!!
 Whenever we're together it's always a party. After our in the hallway party we put ourselves to bed to get rested for the long busy day to follow.
Good Morning Columbus! The view of the city from our hotel room. A perfect day ... not to hot, not to cold!
The over sized Bees were out and about ...
Judi and I collected our first award baskets ... a new Khaki Check design ... Sorry for the blurr, Amy's not to good at photography!
Amy receives her Top in the State award for her sales in Wyoming ...
The 3 of us with a Bee Babe just minutes prior to the doors to the convention center opening.
The doors have finally opened and we are some of the first to enter, woo hoo!
 Within a half and hour the room was packed to the rafters with eager consultants and guests. The announcer welcomed everyone to Bee 2014 and the room went completely black and silent. Seconds passed, the room was quiet and still. A raspy voice began to speak in the dark. Difficult to hear she pressed on, within a few minutes the image of Tami Longaberger, our CEO appeared on the jumbo screens. She appeared tired and worn out from an exhausting year of turmoil. She bravely bared her soul to her sales field, we cried, she weeped and when she finished the room fell black once again and she received a standing ovation that lasted several minutes. She has always been so real, genuine, eager to speak to all of us. She was hurting and so were we.
My eyes were swollen from crying and we were only a half an hour into the meeting. Oh my, this was going to be a really looooong day.
Later we would hear from Michael Samaroff, our new president. 
Amazing man, we are blessed to have him on board. He is from New York and had that swagger that tells you he's got a plan and he's not afraid to use it! Welcome aboard Michael. We are all counting on you.

Judi and I would receive our awards for sales ....

 One final picture for this post has a story behind it. 40 plus years ago in Warren, Ohio Dave Longaberger found himself sitting at the kitchen table of Charleen Cuckovich drinking coffee and hashing over ideas on how to sell his father's handwoven baskets.
This is "the" table and chairs. Charleen still has it after all these years. 
 We left the following morning and headed for the Longaberger Homestead to do some shopping!! There were more tears to be shed, standing ovations to be given and yes a lot of laughter. For me, this was one of the most difficult, heart felt, soul searching and inspiring Bee's I have ever attended.
Watch out world ... here we come!!

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