Farewell to Borden Foods Company

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An Open Letter to Borden Foods Company
August 16, 2001
(about 45 days prior to Borden’s Last Day)
This was sent via e:Mail to every Associate in the Borden Foods Company

Friends (and Former Associates):

For some reason, I feel compelled to write at least one last message to all of my friends at Borden Foods Company, even though I have not been (officially) an employee for nearly a year now. This is, of course brought on by the recent announcements concerning Borden's fate and the sudden realization on my part that this may be the last time I have all of you "captive" as a single audience.

I spent over 31 years, and was approaching 32 when I was "downsized" by the Company back in August of last year, so Borden, and more importantly, Borden's PEOPLE were important in my life, almost as much as my family, since I considered many of you as such. With that said, it should be no surprise to any of you that I sincerely hoped that Borden would make it through those hard times once more, as they had so many times before, and wished that she would again make a "go" of it, despite the fact that I was no longer involved <BG>!

I have worked with many intelligent, dedicated people in my career. People who stayed through hard times, not because of the great pay, or wonderful benefits <another BG>, but because the times WERE hard, they were challenging, and they demanded that we use every bit of our fortitude to continue on. As a person from R&D, I can tell you all that there is no such thing as bad data, or a bad experiment or a failed project. Every negative result teaches us to change direction a little and keeps us on the path to success.

That's how I view the recent developments at Borden right now. I spent nearly 32 years helping to build a Company that kept a lot of people gainfully employed, made it's shareholders (and its ultimate owners) tidy profits, sent kids to college and generally enriched many lives. I spent nearly 32 years being educated by the people surrounding me, a cast of thousands giving me little bits and pieces of their lives and experiences; examples of positive and negative data that made me the success in life I consider myself to be right now!

So, walk away from Borden thankful for the experience, comforted by the knowledge that these data that you have gained, will strengthen you and make you better in your next endeavors. You'll remember the good things and try to recreate them, you'll remember the bad times and hopefully learn from them and never repeat them. I'm sure that you'll look back with fondness for all the times. I look at the last 147 years of Borden as a great adventure dedicated to the success of it's people, and it's worked!

One statement I made to the Polaris Site Services team in my farewell to them last year (in my opinion) applies to all of Borden Foods as well. It goes something like this: "....They may break up the team into it's individual parts, but I know that that kindred spirit we developed here will forever link us. Even if we never see each other again, that unique bond we all share will become at least a small part of our successes in the future....."

In closing, I wish all of you success in your future, and hope to meet many of you again in our journeys through this life. Forgive an old romantic for his ramblings, and for those of you closest to me (you know who you are), keep in touch, for to not do so would indeed be a negative experience even I would consider a failure.


Dennis A. Peterson

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