Speeches: Holiday Toast

          Good evening...it's great to see you...and thanks for coming.

          The Holiday season is a time for joy, and I hope that you and your families have much to be joyous about.

          We certainly do at our company. It's never been in better shape, thanks to you and many others like you.

          You've done a superb job in 1997 -- but we've only just begun, as the song says...and 1998 will be even better.

          For businesspeople like us, the Holiday season has, I think, a special meaning that goes much deeper than the obvious -- the crowded shopping malls, the gifts piled high under the tree, and so on. I'm thinking of how the spiritual qualities we celebrate at this time of year are universal -- and fundamental to every business activity.

          Think about it: economic activity is about the adding of value. And value is essentially spiritual: it's the material result of important qualities like self-discipline, honesty, order, purity, and love and respect for oneself and others.

          Without honesty and integrity, markets collapse into anarchy and distrust. Without self-discipline, greed destroys companies, products, markets, and even whole nations. Without a sense of respect and consideration for others, we have shabby work and second-rate products.

          But societies with strong spiritual values are much more likely to hold together and to generate economic value.

          So let's raise our glasses and drink a toast...
          
...to the spiritual values of the Holiday season...
          
...to the strength and health of our great company and its priceless brands...
          
...and to all the terrific people in our company.

          Skol! Salud! Cheers! and L'chaim!

          And now let's raise our glasses once more and look ahead to 1998 with the words of the writer Franklin Adams:

          Christmas is over. Uncork your ambition!
          
Back to the battle! Come on, competition!

          Cheers! Thank you again for coming...and Happy Holidays!