Will Smith Touched My Arm

I recently had the chance to attend the annual Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2011.  It’s definitely not what most of you might think. It’s actually fun, informative, and my favorite is getting to hear the stories of the associates.   Last year was absolutely inspiring and this year was super cool.

First, I want to tell you that Walmart does not pay the entertainers that come to perform.  Obviously Walmart sells their cds and dvds so perhaps this is a way for the talent to “pay it forward” if you will.  I think a lot of folks assume that they are paid…..and you’d think  so when they get Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, and Will Smith but nope.

Speaking of Will Smith…….He thought it would be fun to hop down into the audience and meet folks. He made a big circle around our section and touched my arm.  That’s right….HE TOUCHED MY ARM!!!!  He was standing next to me for a minute or so and even gave my blogging friend Tina a high five!! It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.  Okay, enough about that.

Throughout the meeting, there were financial talks, discussion about Walmart’s current initiatives, and more entertainment in-between.   I always love to hear everyone speak, including THE Mike Duke, President and CEO of Walmart, who I had the pleasure to talk with last year.   One of the things he talked about was social media.  I found the quote….

“We are right in the sweet spot of the ‘next-generation’ customer…They’re connected to the world through smart phones and social media. … They’re in charge of when they shop and how they shop. They know who has the lowest prices. But to succeed, we must also be the best at how we run our business,” Duke said.

Social media has had such a big impact and I think that knowing we can find a low price instantly, will push them to make their prices even lower.  I hope so anyways.  Social media rocks!! Me and my fellow Walmart Moms!

It’s always a learning experience when I attend these because I hear about their sustainable efforts, investments, ways their helping the communities but as I mentioned earlier, what I really love is hearing about outstanding associates. Those that go above and beyond and proud of their job, heck, of having a job and show it every single day that are at work.  Last year I cried during the actual shareholders meeting.  This year I cried during the Saturday morning meeting. I got to hear about the Joplin community and it was absolutely heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. To see what the Walmart managers did in that area just makes my heart swell.  It’s great to see everyone come together and help each other.

To break up the business aspects of the meeting, they had some more amazing talent like Alicia Keys.  WOW…her voice is so strong and amazing!!  I’d kill to have her thighs and booty too..just sayin’.

Of course the American Idol winner, Scotty McCreery made an appearance and he really worked the crowd.  I thought he went a little overboard but he was workin’ so I give him that.  He’s actually really cute too. I loved his distressed boots!!  They rocked and looked like they had been worn for a couple of years.

And then no meeting would be complete without an amazing finish right?  CAN I GET A WHOOP WHOOP FOR THE BLACK EYED PEAS!!!!!!!!

They totally worked the crowd and rocked the stage!  I really enjoyed them a great deal and Fergie looked amazing!!  LOVED this performance!

It’s always an awesome experience and not just the entertainment. I truly do enjoy learning more about the company and hope I get the opportunity to attend next year.  Just wish I could take my son!!

Part two coming soon….I’m in the Visitor’s Center!!!!

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Follow me and my fellow Walmart Moms as we share our experiences and ideas! Walmart provided our travel to the shareholders meeting in Bentoville, however, this post is not compensated. I wanted to blog about it all!! My participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own, always have been, always will be.


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  1. says

    That sounds like a pretty amazing experience Lori! When Will Smith was at the Oprah Spectacular he was hilarious but didn’t come into the audience, I probably would have fainted being that close to his awesome self. :P

    Are you able to share some of the associate stories? I’d love to hear them.

  2. says

    ROFL…I love the title of your post: Will Smith Touched My Arm. I would SO title mine that as well if I was as lucky to be so close.
    It was great seeing you again!