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Perhaps the most subtle but powerful force to shape GPI over the years was a Cookie… well, more specifically, a tiny lady we all call Cookie. She’s sweet and nice; how can she not be, she’s called Cookie! And she is all that, but she is also resolute, firm and fair-minded.
Over more than 3 decades she did it all, either in the background or foreground, whatever necessary, never retreating in time of need. Even as I struggled with my wife’s health, she unselfishly delayed her retirement more than 6 months to help us out, keep it all together.
When Grant passed in 2012 she stepped in as GM to run the company. She confessed to me that this was not her cup of tea; she prefers the background, pulling the strings... kind of like the Wizard of Oz, behind the curtain—this is Kansas after all. She said, “You go stand in front and I’ll tell you what to do”... she didn’t really say that, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.
Undoubtedly, perhaps certainly, GPI’s journey would have been far less
successful without Cookie. We are indebted to her eternally for everything... her support, wisdom, dedication, objectivity, compassion the list is endless. On a personal note, I could never repay her for all the help she gave me but I can say, with the deepest sincerity, THANK YOU! We couldn’t have done it without you!
----- Vic Lukic