On April 25, a former NFL star came to visit Tuthill Springfield's shop. Kendall Gammon, a former long snapper and now broadcaster for the Kansas City Chief's football spoke about his career and how to build emotional strength.
"When considering a person to speak at our National Sales Meeting and to our employees, I wanted a person who would find our Compass as true and real as we do," Steve Westfall, Springfield's president said. He has known Kendall for more than 25 years. "Kendall's personal story and behaviors are aligned with Tuthill and the culture we are creating."
Throughout Kendall's speech, he spoke to the power of gratitude and letting people know what they mean to you. He told a personal story about dear neighbors of his who lost their young son Will in the Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2015 that claimed 158 lives.
He explains the story on his website. "After attending Will's celebration of life, Mark (Dad) asked that I go to Will's bedroom as there was something he... wanted me to see. When I walked in, the number 83 [my number] was painted in an elegant graffiti fashion, along with a game [football] I had given Will when they attended a Chiefs game years earlier. It was such a small thing to give a game ball to a fan (something I did at nearly every game during my NFL career), and I had forgotten about it. But it really impacted Will."
Kendall explains how that experience inspired him to create The Will Wall. "When we think about it, we have all had people do things for us that has made a difference or changed our lives for the better. So, I wanted to create a simple way to just say "Thank You" to those people," he writes. "That's what the Will Wall is all about."
On his website he invited people to record a Thank You message that will be delivered immediately to the person you record it for via email or text.
“When our employees, distributors and sales reps heard his story, I could see their internal light shine brighter as he shared his story about his NFL career and the relationship he has with his sons,” Steve said.
Immediately after hearing Kendall’s story, Tuthill’s employee Kevin Mills knew what he needed to do.
"While everyone was in line to get autographs I went outside to call my mom," Kevin said. Kevin was born very premature and said he was "left for dead." His mother, despite the doctors' recommendations, kept fighting for his life. "Mom, I never thanked you for not giving up on me," Kevin said in the video to his mom.
Kendall also felt the warm reception of Tuthill Springfield group, which he said was unique from other places he's spoken. He said everyone was very gracious and grounded. He was very intrigued by Tuthill's culture.
"Tuthill is counter cultural. They have a true caring and investment in the lives of those it touches as a company- both team members, distributors and customers. Many companies espouse that as their purpose but they don't live it out. That's not the case with Tuthill.
Kendall invites each of you to record one video on The Will Wall. Expressing gratitude on the Will Wall is important because it lets others know how much you appreciate the contribution they made in your life, be it individual, family or professional," he said. He quoted Mahatma Ghandhi by saying: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."