Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Continued Erosion of Loyalty

One of the reasons that I focus on the past (as it applies to Fort Wayne) is that I'm completely heartbroken over what has been deemed "progress" over the past 15 years.

Do you remember this map that was released in - oh - the mid-70's?

I only have a small version to post here - but the one I have on this person is a fantastic animated/illustration of the businesses that were a strong force - a huge contributing factor - that made Fort Wayne stand out from all of the other big-little cities.

Companies like -

Fort Wayne National Bank
Anthony Wayne Bank
Eckrich Meats
Holiday Theaters
Southtown Mall
A&W Rootbeer Stand
Falstaff Brewery
Wayne Candies

And then last - but not least was a little ole force to be wreckoned with - Lincoln National Corporation (now known - I guess as Lincoln Financial Group).

LNC was a fantastic place to work.

My mother worked there.
My aunt worked there.
My mother-in-law worked there.
My husband and I BOTH worked there.

It was just an all-around, great place to work. Why? I think much of it had to do with the leadership and grace of Ian Rolland.

I still have major hero worship for the man today. He knew how to lead people. He knew the importance of giving back to the community. He knew that although the bottomline was important - have faith in your people - and they will build up your bottom line.

I worked at Lincoln for about six years. I always thought that after I was done with Central Indiana, I would make my way back up to the Fort and LNC would be my last place of employment before I retired.

Obviously, I was deluding myself.

Ian Rolland is gone.

The leadership team high-tailed it to the East because as we all know - it's way important to have your name on the side of some sports stadium.

They outsourced IT to IBM - which is completely - well laughable because LNC had one of the best IT groups that ever walked the face of this earth and to dump them down with the likes of the Big Blue - well - what an insult.

As an aside - very ironic - isn't it? To outsource IT to a company that charges a bazillion dollars to do consulting work for large companies like LNC/LFG. It's like we sold our talent to them. And then they turned around and (most likely) charged LNC/LFG triple.

Who knows if this THING still exists - it's probably been even further outsourced.


So I'm outraged at the moment because I just read on the Fort Wayne Newspaper site that those idiots are closing down The Lincoln Museum.

"The Lincoln Museum downtown is closing, it was announced at a press conference Monday by the Lincoln Financial Foundation.

The decision came in part because of decreased student traffic. The foundation said about 12,000 students went through the museum in 1996. Only about 7,500 did in 2006. The foundation said competition from more hands-on offerings, such as those at Science Central, had hurt business.

One or more organizations will take over possession of the museum’s 79 “3-D” pieces, such as a chair in which Lincoln was photographed. It is not thought that any of it will remain in Fort Wayne. Some of the print items, such as a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln, will be digitized and may stay here."

I heartily congratulate the idiot management team of LFG (insert golf clap here). Way to show your continued loyalty to a city that you once felt a deep commitment too. Let's start the countdown on how long it will take you to dismantle everything else that was once lovingly built and nurtured in this town by your predecessors and those who stood side by side with them (aka the fine folks of The Fort).

I'm sure there's another sports arena to fund on the East Coast. (snicker)


Colleen said...

My mom retired from LNC. Actually, she was retired, after Ian (for whom she wrote speeches) retired, and JB came in and cleaned house and moved. I hate what's happened to that company, because it was one of the few non mfg places with good jobs and a little prestige. You wanna stop brain drain? You have to have companies that need brains....

Kristina said...

I haven't stayed caught up with the LNC politics but I did google to see that the man isn't there anymore (which is a good thing). I hope that one day, somebody writes a book on what REALLY happened - i.e was Ian forced out? And how did JB pull off the great move of the century....