By Kaity Coisman
GREEN BAY – A Green Bay native has been elected as the new president for the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
On June 12, it was announced that Don Sipes would head the non-profit organization, along with Hall of Fame Vice President Randy Brice, Treasurer Mark Higgins new executive committee members Tom Murphy, Perry Kidder and John Smits and board of director members Steve Ninham and Mike Harlan.
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. is a separate entity from the Green bay Packers that supports the preservation and education of Green Bay Packers artifacts from the duration of the team since the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame was established in 1967.
Sipes describes their mission as “…safeguarding the legacy of the Green Bay Packers by preserving, honoring and procuring, and maintaining team artifacts and memorabilia related to this great football team and its fans… but our plan is to also educate.”
The Hall of Fame can be found on the main floor of the Atrium across from 1919 Kitchen & Tap.
One of the new ideas that Sipes plans to put in place is the Legacy Series — educational experience starting at Green Bay East High School this fall to teach the students about the history, people and artifacts of the Green Bay Packers.
The Legacy Series also includes a bus painted with Curly Lambeau’s face on the side produced by local artists.
Sipes said that the goal is “… to educate them about the difference between now and then and where it started and things in that nature to teach them a little bit until they get interested. And get interested in coming to the Hall of Fame, too, to see more of the artifacts that we have.”
Sipes has been a board and executive member for Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc since 2003, but his love for Packers’ football started long before his time as a board member.
As a kid, Sipes would collect football cards with the help of his dad which turned into his love for preserving artifacts later in life.
“I met up with some of the people that are on the Hall of Fame; that were also collectors, and when I came back, I started to look at things and said, ‘Wow this is some really old stuff here.’ Which is really interesting to me, so I started to think, ‘I need to preserve this stuff for Green Bay’ because a lot of people are kind of from out of town… and time gets taken away, so you need to preserve this stuff… so when I met some of the people that were on the Hall of Fame they said, ‘Wow you should be on the Hall of Fame (board),’” said Sipes.
Now ready to start making some bigger decisions on behalf of the organization Sipes said, “I feel like I have just being on executive committee you get a vote for when we make decisions, and the president kind of brings that to you, so we have a lot of ideas out there that are going to really improve us I think both in the community and in with the Packers. We have a good relationship now with the Packers… I just thought I had a lot to give for the Hall of Fame and I guess they thought that, too.” With big plans in mind, Sipes is working to bring all of the ideas to educate and preserve to the Green Bay Community and possibly other cities as well.
Outgoing Hall of Fame President Tom Konop will serve in a past president role for one term.
To keep up with Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, donate or schedule a tour, visit packershalloffame.com.