|By Jim Martin, Erie Times-News, Pa.|
And the one vote before the shareholders of the
When the last of the ballots had been cast, 2,525 shares had been voted unanimously to re-elect the same 13 members of the board of directors.
As usual however, the annual shareholders' meeting of the
The bottom line from the company's 87th annual meeting?
"The last few years have been very challenging ones for every player in the global economy," he said. "But in 2011, we continued to grow profits for the fourth year in a row."
This year's meeting focused heavily on the disaster claims end of the business. Shareholders watched a short video showing
Customers in the video praised the company for its quick and caring response.
The business world has also offered a favorable assessment, Cavanaugh said, noting the company's numerous awards for customer service.
But Cavanaugh, who makes frequent references to the company's catchphrase — "Above all in service" — said
"We want to be better, and we are committed to being better," he said.
Cavanaugh said the company will continue to make business decisions based on three guiding priorities: ease of doing business, service excellence and innovation.
As usual, the annual shareholders' meeting ended with a flurry of questions from shareholder
As usual, Hirt also raised questions about the company's investments in technology, suggesting that some of those investments have failed to produce results.
"Shouldn't we know how our money is being spent?" she asked.
Hirt prefaced a question about executive compensation by saying, "This is a bit of a zinger."
Asked about whether employee paychecks were keeping pace with those of the company's executives, Cavanaugh said many company employees have received significant pay raises.
If Hirt's questions have become a tradition, so too have Cavanaugh's answers. The responses, as usual, were polite and patient.
And for his part, Chairman
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|