Winning Defined: Elevating The Human Spirit


I’ve talked before about football as community. No doubt about it, in Green Bay, football and community are inseparable. But camaraderie aside, people also want to win, right? Everyone wants their team to win the game. Even more than that, people want to feel they’ve had a part in that win with a dig-in, no-matter-what-it-takes attitude. That desire to win, that collective determination of the human spirit, is definitely present in the greater Packers community.

Think about the Green Bay Packers and how the team started. In 1919, a meat packing company in Green Bay agreed to sponsor a football team. They called it the “Packers.” The first 25 players were former winning football stars from local high schools. Curly Lambeau, a former player at one of the high schools and a recent college dropout, was working for the packing company and was elected captain. The team practiced in a field next to the packing plant and played games in an open field with no fence or bleachers. By 1921, the team became the Acme Packers of Green Bay and joined the National Football League. Green Bay was the smallest city in the league when it joined. Still is today.

Do you know how many people in this community relate to and feel a part of this humble history?

I certainly can relate to it. My husband, Tom, and I started Elevate97 out of our basement and garage almost 20 years ago. That same grit of digging deep and doing whatever you need to do to get job done for a common goal—that’s what created our success. I like to think there are other similarities between our beginning and that of the Packers. The same small hometown. Engaging family, friends and associates in the process. At the time we began, Elevate97 was a pick, pack and ship company with a secondary job of building a team to bring us into the future. The Acme Packers—they were doing their day job of packing meat and then their second job of putting together a winning football team.


Keep in mind the Green Bay Packers have not always had a winning season. There were many years when the team’s record was not something to celebrate. But still the fans remained. So I challenge you: define “winning.” What does it really mean?

Elevate97 has had the great honor of producing elements within the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. When you enter this hall of honor, you see the roots of the team and what built it. The win, in many ways, has been the journey. If you haven’t visited the Hall of Fame, I encourage you to do so. See with your own eyes the notes Vince Lombardi wrote. Listen to the voices of pivotal players who are no longer with us. Look up at children’s bicycles that have carried players from practice to locker room over the course of decades. See the results of unrelenting human spirit.

Participating in this Hall of Fame project has by far been one of the coolest experiences I have been involved in. What an immersion into emotionally telling a story for our client-partner! What proof of how the artifacts of an organization’s history can be tied into a space to tell a story.
Lambeau Field Tours

The story and the experience are set to grow with the whole Titletown District planned around Lambeau Field, to include LODGE KOHLER and Hinterland Restaurant and Brewery, Wisconsin-based businesses that are authentic in the experience they offer. And then we have another anchor being a Bellin Health Sports Medicine Clinic, striving to be best in the nation for professional athletes, with world-renowned physicians.

This growth in the Green Bay experience will be one more win for a small NFL city that is winning every single day through the hearts of players and fans.





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