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I Second that Emotion

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I second that emotion!
I've liked the stock exchange for a long time. I can remember when I was a little girl--in the days before the Internet--my dad would turn on CNN, tell me three letters to look for, and then I was to shout out the numbers that followed. He had me checking stock prices as they'd rise and fall throughout the day.

And of course, I love--or rather, LUV--Southwest Airlines. I think I really hit the jackpot when I came to work for Southwest nearly eight years ago.

Throw in a little enjoyment of Robert's Rules of Order back from my Parliamentarian days in my Camp Fire club and you can only imagine how much fun I had a few years ago when I went to my first actual Shareholders' Meeting here at Southwest! It was great to watch--voting by proxy, making motions, seconding motions, opening items for discussion, adjourning the meeting. It was by far the most formal, business-like aspect of Southwest Airlines I'd ever seen. But even with everyone in suits, making statements for the record, it still had those typical Southwest elements of fun and family.

One of the things I noticed from my first Shareholders' Meeting was that the people making the nominations were not just Shareholders, they were Employees. This shouldn't have surprised me. Southwest always puts our Employees first--that way we can take good care of our Customers--who make life good for our Shareholders. This is also interesting because Employees own about ten percent of the shares of our Company. But most of all, I thought about how really cool it would be to one day actually be part of the meeting and play a role as a Shareholder.

Well, at the recent 2008 Shareholders' Meeting, I had the distinct honor of playing a small--make that miniscule--role in the meeting by seconding Captain Dave "Bubba" Edens’ motion to nominate our Board of Directors.  A couple of months ago, when I got the e-mail from our General Counsel department asking that I serve as a nominator I was thrilled! Ahh, the joy of parliamentary procedure--there's just something great about that! I also realized that this would be a very special meeting for SWA. Herb Kelleher, our Co-Founder and Leader, would be stepping down from his title as Executive Chairman and would be handing the gavel to our CEO, Gary Kelly, who was elected the new Chairman. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Herb's final meeting was quintessential Southwest Airlines: laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, jokes, and unmatched business acumen. It was touching to watch Herb as he reveled in the adoration of Employees, Customers, and Shareholders. Colleen Barrett, our President, made a heartwarming presentation about the value of relationships.

I am seated on the far left in a sea of Pilots who came out to show support for Herb's last meeting!  My line came in six minutes into the meeting and lasted for nine whole seconds. It wasn't earth shattering, but it sure was fun! You can hear it on southwest.com. But the best part by far was when Herb started speaking about the People of Southwest. It happens around the one-hour, ten minute mark in the web cast, and wow, it's such a touching picture of how much this Company means to him. The meeting concluded with lots of presentations, more heartfelt thanks to Herb and Colleen, and the final tap of the gavel. But, to sum it up, a meeting that was intended to focus on LUV (our stock), wound up being all about love.

Thanks Herb and Colleen for all you've done for us. The song that I used for the title of this post has a line that I think is very appropriate.  "So if you feel like giving me a lifetime of devotion, I second that emotion."

 

7 Comments
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Katie, What a great and historic opportunity you had. It was a very emotional day. BTW, will you do a "reading" of your secondment for your Coworkers? Brian
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Oh of course! My official line was: MR. CHAIRMAN, MY NAME IS KATIE COLDWELL, AND, AS A PROUD HOLDER OF COMMON STOCK OF THE COMPANY ON THE RECORD DATE, I HEREBY SECOND THE MOTION. 27 words nine seconds priceless experience
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Very cool Katie! Way to make history!! You delivered your lines amazingly!
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Nothing at all common about you, Katie!
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That's wonderful! You're lucky to have been a part of that meeting. A very historical meeting, indeed. A meeting from which the Southwest Culture Department will have a terrific story to tell :-) I hope to be a part of the Southwest family soon. I'm a flight attendant who chose unwisely when it came to an airline for which to work. Southwest would be the perfect fit for me. For the better part of a year I've been waiting for Southwest to start taking resumés again for flight attendants. There are a couple hundred people in the flight attendant pool waiting for training dates. I'm hoping that since not all 22 of the older planes are being retired, that there might be a couple more training classes scheduled for later this year and that I'll be in one of them. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I believe I'd be a wonderful addition to the Southwest family. I too would LUV to show a lifetime of devotion to Southwest Airlines.
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So today marks your fifteenth year at Louisville? Awesome!! I love Louisville! Rock on...
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I haven't written in a while because I thought I'd let others speak their concerns, but this one IRKS me!!!! Both my husband and I are D list members, and I also am a companion pass member which makes it great for my husband to fly free with me anywhere I go. On our last 4 trips recently, the latest being today, we have noticed that again, your agents at the gates aren't doing what they should be doing...."Keeping numerical order in lines"...of course, a number or two out of sequence isn't an issue, its when A-30 goes ahead of A16 A 14 etc............This has happened twice coming back from Vegas, (both times) and on both ways from Houston to Corpus Christi and back. If we spend the amount of money we are spending to assure our place in line, we then "despite" the fact that Ms/Mrs. Ladeedah trying to act stupid and oblivious to the fact that she doesn't understand the system, so she just goes right up front when he calls A 1-15 and if they missed hearing that, they've been known to just fly by and cut in front of us and the Couldn't Care Less Agent just lets them through.. (after letting them know they are out of line).............On two occasions when my husband was flying business class, a person on each of these flights stood right in front of him, and the Agent just let him/her through. He saw they were out of place, but figured the "great workers who take pride in their jobs" would tell them to head right back to the end of the line where they belong, and oh yes, one was like A 57.............. This is WRONG and if they continue to allow this, it won't be long before we'll be rilght back where we were when this whole thing changed.........Angry and Ticked.......Most do follow the rules, but there are still many who don't, and we as your higher paying customers would like to encourage your respect of us, who do enjoy these perks because we've paid for them. We feel you need to address this again with your gate agents, as we caught 2 ladies the other week way out of line, and one of them was told before going straight up to the front that she was at A 30, was taken there by her boyfriend, then just left and told him it didn't matter, she was going up front............Went up front and acted innocent, and we stood behind of her and another lady and acknowledged to the agent that they needed to get back to where they belonged, he said "see, you are going to get some people mad at you"...They were sweet and pleasant I will say, but after he let both my husband and I on, he let them come on also. That isn't right or fair to the others behind of us who anxiously checked in online to get a good space in line.... Please have your agents do their jobs right, or replace them with someone who knows and will follow the rules..........I dread the thought of them becoming as awful as the TSA agents at the Las Vegas airports.............Ugh, please, I hope they don't go that route...... Thanks !