25 Years Young

November 2014

To most of this audience 25 years doesn’t look like a very long time. That is how long this Warren S. Johnson Society of Retirees has been in existence, and is doing quite well. The original Articles of Incorporation were written by Ken Voss in 1989 and had four initial directors; Norm Janisse, Bill Cain, Charlie Scruggs and Bill Keefe. Even I, as a more recent retiree, can recall that point in time and all of those individuals. They set us up quite well for the first 25 years and we are now looking into what we want to be when we grow up, and move into the next 25.

That was one of the themes for our recent reunion back in September as I’m sure you will see elsewhere in this newsletter. We collected very good input from the attendees and the board of directors will be looking into which items should be pursued, and how much can be done in a quality manner by this group of volunteers.

I’d like to thank Paul Froehling for his four years as president of this society and all the work he and the board has put into getting and keeping us in the strong position I believe we find ourselves at this time. I’m not sure I thank him quite as much for recruiting me to the board just in time to find out he planned to move on. Stay tuned for my enthusiasm level after I get the “box-o-stuff” he has promised to turn over.

To those that may not know me, I started as an engineer in Field Engineering (Controls Group) in 1971 which later combined into the Technical Support Group (TSG). After 26 years there, I moved into the Training dept. for the remaining 16 years of my career at Johnson Controls. Those positions allowed me to have one foot in the controls HQ and the other in the Field Offices (to whom we actually reported). So I recognize quite a few of the names on our membership roster.

When running TSG I was told by Accounting that we had the biggest phone bill in the company. That goes back to pre-internet days. I believe it would serve our group well to get some level of that Milwaukee – Filed Office communications channel open an active again. Certainly not to the active employee level, but even a fraction thereof would be good. Today’s Web site would probably be the communications channel of choice since I don’t expect many of you what to be tied to a phone any more that I do. (Been there – done that).

Also, since most of our activities are here in Milwaukee, and there are a lot of Power Solutions (Battery, Globe Union) and Corporate folks in the area – Why don’t you call a friend or two and meet at our quarterly luncheons? Use this gathering to fulfill those “we’ve got to do this more often “ parting words we often say, but don’t get around to. With a little persistence we should be able to get a table or two full of that contingent on a more regular basis so you’ll know some familiar faces when you get there.

That’s enough for my initial message. We’ll see where this road takes us.

Gene Strehlow – your new President