By Kris Leonhardt
GREEN BAY – During their 52nd Hall of Fame induction banquet, held Aug. 31 in the Lambeau Field Atrium, two local leaders were recognized by the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame organization.
Ted Eisenreich was awarded with the Bob Harlan Leadership Award — presented in honor of the former Packers president/CEO — which recognizes an individual who embodies the same “dedication and leadership contributing to the success of the Green Bay Packers.”
“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Ted Eisenreich for 18 of his 40 years at the Packers. And for anybody that knows Ted, they know he never talks about himself. He’s one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. So it’s an additional pleasure to be able to say a few words about him,” said award presenter, Mark Schiefelbein.
“Ted grew up in the Seymour area… He was going to go to the Milwaukee School of Engineering after high school until a family friend who worked for the Packers told Ted’s parents that there was a job available. In 1981, Ted started here. I would certainly say that MSOE’s loss was certainly the Packers gain.”
Eisenreich spent most of his time with the Packers as the director of facility operations.
While his job started with tending to the playing field, it grew into overseeing a campus that included the Atrium, Hall of Fame, Titletown District and Tailgate Village.
“He has played a major role and had oversight of some of the most critical pieces in Green Bay Packers history. We go back 40 years things are a little different around here. The mid ‘80s and early ‘90s saw the first set of suites built. A couple of years later indoor club seats, and another level of suites [were] followed by new scoreboards, new concession stands, restrooms, additions to the administration building,” recalled Schiefelbein.
“The ‘90s saw the building of the Don Hutson Center in the 2000s, it was the initial renovation of Lambeau Field which touched everything but the seating bowl itself. The Atrium was constructed, the Hall of Fame, the restaurant, new suites, new indoor-outdoor club suites, pro shop. There remained challenges for those of us that remember it Monday through Friday this is a construction site, and that Sunday was Game Day.”
The same evening, former Hall of Fame President Tom Konop was presented with the Bart & Cherry Starr Award, which honors an individual who personifies “outstanding character and leadership” while demonstrating a conviction and commitment to the Hall of Fame.
Konop, who served with the Hall of Fame for 30 years, was presented with the award by Bart Starr, Jr. son of Bart & Cherry Starr, who shared a video clip from his mother.
“I can’t imagine anyone more qualified to receive this award,” Cherry said about Konop, adding her regrets for not being able to attend in person.
“Thank you, Bart Jr. for helping me carry on this tradition. It is an honor for us to have an award in Bart’s and my name that recognizes individuals who do so much for the Packers and the community of Green Bay.”
Konop led the efforts to secure a 25-year agreement between the Packers and the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame is a non-profit corporation independent of the Green Bay Packers.
It was established in 1967 as a temporary display in the concourse of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Nine years later, it moved into its own facility near Lambeau Field.
In 2003, it was relocated to the lower level of the Lambeau Field Atrium.
It reopened in 2015 on the main level of the Atrium.