In Search Of…An Outstanding Older Worker


Cardinal IG, a glass manufacturer in Tomah, employs more than 600 people. But none of them are quite like Norman
Gudmundson. “The son of a good man.”

Back in 2000, Norm came to the company as a temporary employee. “It didn’t take long to see Norm was going to work
out well in the Cardinal system.” “I was here four months and they asked me if I wanted to stay.” “Five years later
and here he is.”

But even before his time at Cardinal, this 78-year-old acquired quite the long list of life accomplishments, like
his more than 50 years as a master violinist. “I was playing with the Denver symphony, then I went to Milwaukee and
auditioned to play with them and got it.”

And just by looking at him, you might guess another job he regularly takes on, that of a jolly old guy in a red
suit. “It’s seasonal work. I can walk into a McDonalds and I see these kids look up at me and hear behind me,
‘mommy…santa!’ amd I’ll hear that and I’ll turn and give them a wink and oh the kid melts” “Can you give us your
best ho ho ho??? Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Norm and his colorful personality are making such an impact, that when a couple of fellow employees saw and ad in
the La Crosse Tribune looking for nominees for the Wisconsin Older Worker award, they instantly knew of a great
candidate. “And low and behold, they call me up. ‘You’re it for the state of Wisconsin.'”

“It was fantastic. How could you not be happy for Norm. Good guy, he enjoys being at work. It’s really nice to
be able to do something nice for someone like him.” “It’s fantastic. Outstanding worker??? I’m still having a hard
time realizing it.”

And don’t expect his outstanding work to end anytime soon. “Your body does what your mind tells it to do. We’re
programmed with this we’re gonna grow old, feeble, and the body does that. You want to ask me how I am, I am going to
tell you “I’m a day younger that I was yesterday. I’m youthing!” ‘Legitimatly, probably one of the most facinating
people I’ve ever met. He takes an outlook on life that I really have not seen up until this point.”

We went in search of…a hard working man who just may have found the fountain of youth…We found him.

As a result of the award, Norm spent a week in Washington D.C. with other outstanding workers from around the

Cardinal IG also tells us that Norm has come up with several time saving innovations for the production line that
have actually been incorporated…so he is definetly appreciated around the company.