By Derek Packard
Packard Culligan group celebrated its 70th anniversary in conjunction with its annual managers meeting at the historic St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, MN, October 18-20. Present at the meeting were all managers from the organization as well as select key leaders. The hotel was a fitting site for the meeting and anniversary, as it is the oldest operating hotel in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, the participants broke from meetings for the evening and dressed up for the 70th Anniversary Gala at the historic Landmark Center across the street from the hotel. Guests included managers, key leaders and business partners, as well as several retired, long-term employees. The attendees enjoyed each others’ company as they were greeted with cocktails and live jazz music before the program began; it was destined to be a night to remember.
The first speaker came as a surprise to nearly everyone: Governor Mark Dayton stopped in to give congratulatory remarks to all and discussed some of the water issues many of the state’s residents are facing that he is tasked with remedying before his second term ends.
He also gave a special proclamation and deemed October 19 as Culligan Water 70th Anniversary Day in the state of Minnesota. Governor Dayton delivered the well-deserved honor to John Packard on stage to a thunderous applause.
Many toasts were delivered throughout dinner and into the end of the program. Kind words, fond memories of the past and well wishes for the future were delivered by myriad speakers. It was a festive mood throughout the entire evening and the emotional toasts only made the milestone more meaningful. So many positive things have transpired in the business since F. Wayne Packard and Clayton Packard set everything in motion in 1946, but it’s the quality people who have been involved in the organization that have been the key reason for its success and longevity.
The Packard organization moves forward into a promising future in water treatment with 33 Culligan dealerships, Unco Data Systems and over 500 employees. Here’s to another 70!