Monday, October 12, 2009

P&G's Oktoberfest Kickoff

Wow! What a kickoff. Last Thursday I attended Proctor and Gamble’s kickoff at their office in Fayetteville.

Amy Linimon, VP of Resource Development, invited Meredith G. and me to tag along. She assured us that it would an incredible event, she was right.

P&G’s campaign theme this year is Oktoberfest. We arrived at the office a little early and I saw a few people walking around in t-shirts they had created just for the campaign.

“Neat,” I thought, “What a great idea to make up a campaign shirt. Amy was right, I had never seen a company make their own campaign shirt.”

As I made my way out to the tent, traditional German music was getting loader and I realized that the shirt was just the tip of the iceberg.

The P&G United Way campaign team and volunteers decorated the tent with hay, pumpkins, barrels, and a lovely spread of breakfast food. Each volunteer was wearing the shirt and a green alpine hat.

They had even arranged to have a special guest from Germany attend. Well, to be honest, it was Werner Geissler, Vice Charman of Global Operations for P&G who was in town from Cincinnati. Geissler was born in Hachenburg, Germany.

But it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without lederhosen, right? Right. Three of P&G’s management team members couldn’t agree more.

Being escorted in to the tent by volunteers dressed in dirndle, traditional German dresses, was Geissler, Bob Fregolle, Global Customer Business Development Officer, and Jeff Schomburger, President of P&G’s Global Wal*Mart Team, all wearing lederhosen.

Surrounded by laughter, German music blaring, the three marched to the stage and welcomed the crowd.

“Guten morgen” they said.

After the cheers and yodeling settled Werner, Fregolle, and Schomburger encouraged their employees to be leaders and continue to give, advocate and volunteer for United Way.

Proctor and Gamble related United Way’s mission to P&G’s President and CEO’s, Bob McDonald, recently developed strategy- touching lives, improving life for generations to come and inspiring purpose-driven leadership.
P&G has already proven itself to be leader in the community. Last year they raised $157,555 for United Way of Northwest Arkansas. They also conducted an employee survey and found that of the respondents, 22 percent volunteer for a United Way agency, 39 percent volunteer in the community and 21 percent serve on a board.

Even after recognizing such wonderful accomplishments, there is encouragement to do more. P&G set two goals, a 100% response rate to their annual opportunity to give and $155,000 pledged by members of the team.

It was such an honor to experience, first hand, an entire company living united. P&G’s campaign team did an outstanding job planning this unique kickoff event!

No comments: