“It’s great to partner with Wallside and support a local company,” he said. “Everything is done right here. I am excited for a chance to see everything behind the scenes. We showed up early this morning and it was just a beehive of activity.”
Business didn’t halt at The Factory during the Aug. 24 visit – but employees were encouraged to take a break and to meet Hanson and enjoy breakfast. Tom Kearns and Angie Laesser were two such employees. They often tailgate at Detroit Lions games together. In fact, Tom is famous for his tailgating skills. He’s even met Hanson once before, 10 years ago during an event at Ford Field. “He’s a Lion’s Lion,” said Kearns of Hanson.
Fans know that Hanson retired from the team in 2013. He is known as the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. He set an NFL record in 2012 when he played his 21st season with the same team. Listen for Hanson this season on WJR radio where he talks Wallside Windows.
“Many of our employees are longtime Lions fans,” said Adam Blanck, chief of staff at Wallside Windows. “Jason Hanson spent all 21 years of his professional career with the team. That really reinforces the nature of working hard at something, like we do at Wallside. Many of our employees have been with us for 20 years or more.”
Dave Ball, operations manager, said it was a great day to come to work.
“I’ve been a Lions fan all of my life,” said Ball. “I grew up in Detroit. Wallside has so many great sports fans, so it means a lot (to have him here). Otherwise I would never have the opportunity to do something like this.”
It’s not the first time something special and Detroit sports-focused has happened right inside The Factory. Ball remembered the time the Detroit Pistons brought a championship trophy to Wallside several years ago.
Field Manager Russ McQueen had a first-hand look at the activity as Hanson posed for photos and signed autographs for fans just a few feet from his desk. Employees lined up for a chance to meet the former Detroit Lion for two hours, enjoying breakfast and coffee too. “People really seemed to be enjoying this,” said McQueen. “They really appreciate it. It’s nice of Wallside to do something like this.”