The Epic Saga of Getting Your Letters to Patricia Woertz

posted by Josh Ran

When the Rainforest Ag team learned that the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, Patricia Woertz, would be attending Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit at the ultra fancy Four Seasons Aviara Resort- we knew it would be a great time to give her a special delivery of your letters and petitions.

Leila- the Ag campaign director- and I came down to Carlsbad (just north of San Diego) the day before the conference and stopped by the Aviara for dinner and to scope the scene. We looked the part in our fancy suits.

The schedule of the conference was public knowledge, so we knew that there was going to be a gala event the next night… and when Martha Stewart and Patricia Woertz are attending a gala event, you know it is going to be something special. Leila and I donned our ball gowns, and put your letters in fancy gift bags, with tissue paper on top so they wouldn’t see your letters.

Gala Attendees
Gala Attendees
Gala Ladies- RAN style
Gala Attendees- RAN style

As we walked into the gala event, I looked to my left and saw none other than Patricia Woertz- not 3 feet away. Of course, we wanted to give your letters to her in a more public forum, so we kept on walking. Now I don’t want to give away trade secrets, but it turns out our name tags were just off- a red box where there shouldn’t have been one- so we got turned away before we were able to cause a ruckus at the ball.

But that didn’t stop us. Since we had learned the secret of the name tags, we returned the next day in perfect disguise. The first event of the morning was the “big meet and greet”- a ballroom affair where everyone sat down and introduced themselves to the other conference participants. There were some notable names: Martha Stewart was there, the chairwoman of the McCain Campaign, the COO of the Gap, and (my personal favorite) a woman with the unenviable job of “reputation officer for Dow Chemical”. And of course, Pat Woertz.

Once everyone had introduced themselves, Leila raised her hand, and got the mike. She stood up and announced that she had letters from kids and adults- we had 3200 letters and petitions in total- asking Patricia to stop destroying the rainforest. All eyes of the conference were on her. The conference security (which was super tight) was on her in a minute, turning off her mike and grabbing the mike away. But the statement had been made- and I bet anything that Patricia Woertz is going to get some hard questions from her fellow conference go-ers before the end of the week.

Leila was escorted out of the conference. The conference security told us that they would deliver your letters and petitions…. but we weren’t trusting that. We sent them off to Patricia Woertz at her headquarters in Decatur, IL, to ensure that they would get there safe and sound.

Thanks so much for all your letters and petitions, which make this kind of action possible!