Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jerry Meins Terminated -- CONFIRMED & UPDATED

Word is filtering down to us that Jerry Meins, the Aeros long time trainer, and one of the original team employees, has been dismissed from his position with the Aeros. We're working on further confirmation of this -- we don't want another incident like with the scheduling from the day before. But I thought we should go ahead and get this out there.

UDPATE: We have confirmed this.

FURTHER UPDATE (8:04):

Andrew was able to get some comments from Jerry Meins and from the Aeros:

Jerry Meins: "I got the call this morning, and (Wild GM) Chuck (Fletcher) said I was being relieved of my duties," said Meins. "I sure will miss doing the job, and would like to thank the Aeros and especially the fans for 15 of the best years of my career.

"I will truly miss going to the rink every day."

From Courtney Eidman, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Aeros: "Of course we thank Jerry for his years of service...We wish him the best of luck."

As for the reasons for Meins' dismissal, Eidman said: "We do not have any additional comments right now."

Meins was the only remaining member from the original IHL incarnation of the Aeros, and had served with the team for 15 seasons. Meins and his wife have lived in Houston since 1974 when he was the head trainer for the Houston Oilers.

Feel free to post what you like, but remember our new commenting rules. Let's try and keep it somewhat civil.

46 comments:

Fred Trask said...

It's a sad day for Aeros fans. Jerry Meins personified the Aeros for me. He was a consummate professional and a joy to be around. He was always there, always doing more than his job required and doing it at the highest level. He is simply a classy guy.

We went from honoring his 15 years in a ceremony last year to hearing he was let go mid summer this season.

Jerry, you're loved by the fans as well as the players in your charge. You deserved better.

It's a sad sad day.

artsnhockey said...

OMG... this is simply unbelievable and so close to retirement age!
I am soooooo sorry.

Let's hope this is a very nasty rumor, but if true it is truly - words fail me (well not really, but they would be extremely unprintable).

I just can't believe it. Someone please, say it is NOT true...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatley its true Fred said it best. All thats left to ask is Why?

B2Bomber said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this about Jerry. He's such a classy guy. Enough can not be said of his character. I haven't been gobsmacked like this since Ken Duble was sacked.

CatTrick said...

OMG, I'm totally shocked. Fred spoke for me in his comments, and beyond that, I'm just disgusted.

AerosFan said...

reason #1254215 i am not liking this summer

aerostable said...

next in line to be fired=Joe'O Donnell

is this happening because of all the new GM's?

Anonymous said...

Well, f***, s***, YUK!!!! This really stinks.

Rob said...

Well John, I wasn't going to ask you again from this site but I can't help myself. Another request if you're willing, The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again". Thanks.

CatTrick said...

I'd like to second Rob's request ...

Anonymous said...

Let's see they fired Jerry because ...

He doesn't have as much experience as the new guy they are bringing in.

Nope.

He isn't as professional as the new guy they are bringing in.

Nope.

He can't win championships.

Nope.

He's not as qualified as the new guy.

Nope.

He's not as well liked around the league as the new guy.

Nope.

He's older than the new guy.

Ummm, maybe.

He's more expensive than the new guy.

Probably.

Cheap bastards

And just this past Wednesday he represented the Aeros well at the booster club meeting. Two days later he's on his ass.

Stay classy Aeros.

Add to this all of the signings that didn't get done and this club might as well have been moved to Des Moines.

Mr Mill and Mr Spencer, you two sure don't know ANYTHING about pleasing the fans OR anything about how to run a classy organization. May you reap what you sow and find yourselves out on your asses in much less than 15 years.

Mr. Meins, my family and I wish you the best and want you to know we are very upset about both the fact you were let go without cause and the classless way the Aeros have done things. For the first time in a long long time we are ashamed to be associated with the organization.

We are even more ashamed today than we were when they had the senior citizens doing the National Anthem in clown sunglasses with kazoo's. THAT had more class than the current Aeros management.

artsnhockey said...

ANON, you spoke for all fans. No one need say anything more.

Anonymous said...

The ego maniacal yes man culture initiated by Garrity continues, just new names and faces at the very top. The mid management is still very much Garrity driven. This organization is a disaster from the inside out yet they have the nerve to look down at others. These are very small people in very small jobs who act as though they are the end all when it comes to professionalism and intelligence. They look down at the hard workers within as well as the fans. They treat people bad coming and going. Anyone who is worth a damn is a threat to their little world. Anyone else would use these minor league management positions as a stepping stone for something bigger but the powers in charge are not capable of anything else. When they sit around their round table and ask themselves why attendance and support is shrinking not one of them will have the ability to understand and admit the truth. Congratulations to Jerry. You have been released from a pitt of arrogance and stupidity.

Forecheck said...

Makes no sense...other than new management just wanting to change things, something which also makes no sense, but is frequently done.

Anonymous said...

I want to know what intellectual pygmy thought this was a good idea.

Jerry Meins is a top tier athletic trainer, I'm sure he's compensated as such.

You release him, what do you bring in? Someone with less experience, so you can pay them less?

Do you not realize that this is the single most important link in the chain that protects your investment. That investment being the bodies of the payers you sign to a contract. Is this REALLY the place to save a buck? And even if it is, what message does that send to your players? We were too cheap to give you top quality people to work with, here's an intern, hope you don't ruin your career when he makes a mistake.

Protect your investment in young flesh, call Jerry and tell him you were just kidding.

CatTrick said...

when i saw the headlines, it felt like someone punched me in the chest! i'm just shocked. EVERYONE loves and respects Jerry!!!

artsnhockey said...

Who will be next to be axed?

Anonymous said...

Hope for Courtney Eidman artsnhockey but it'll probably be Chilly.

Anonymous said...

You know, if they're making changes, then a competent PA guy would be nice.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anyone else besides courtney & the back up PA guy. They probably know they need to bring in somebody thats at least halfway decent. I doubt it would be an intern who stayed at a holiday inn express last night. I assume it will be probably the WBS Penguin guy

Forecheck said...

Wait....they CALLED him to tell him he was fired? They didn't have the guts to tell him in person??? That's totally CLASSLESS!!

Even the worst, most narcissistic managers I have ever worked for (namely two) have at least terminated people in person!

Get with it Mill!! You're getting people ticked off at you and the season hasn't even started.

Anonymous said...

Eidman comments on behalf of the organization?!! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Is she now the leader of the three blind mice on Lamar?

Forecheck said...

Anonymous Said:

"He's older than the new guy.

Ummm, maybe.

He's more expensive than the new guy.

Probably."

Hey John, maybe you could supplement your unemployment with some EEOC type work?

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that the Sr. VP of the team is virtually unknown. One night one of the ticket attack dogs pointed him out to me at one of the games. He has been with the team a long time and appears to be the highest ranking employee in Houston but he isn't fan friendly and never speaks on behalf of the team. Reason #38739 why the Aeros fail to deliver. We aren't good enough to talk to. He sends people like Eidman to do the dirty work. I will take the free tickets when they dole them out by the thousands but I will never buy a single game ticket much less season tickets ever again.

Forecheck said...

Anonymous,

Don't you remember the three things we fans were to do under Gang Garrity?

1. Buy tickets
2. Buy merchandise, especially crappy clip art logos of Commie MiG-25s
3. Shut the hell up about anything management decides.

artsnhockey said...

Somehow, this feeling is creeping up on me... Aeros future will go the way of the Chops'?

Mark_Potter said...

I posted this, minus a few clean-ups, on the Chronicle web site last night. My hopes for the new management teams in Houston and Minnesota turning around the problrems with this franchise seem to be unwarranted. I hope I am wrong here.

=================================

As a long time season ticket holder, I wish Jerry well and thank him for his long, an often unrecognized, service as Aeros trainer. All the best to you in the future, Jerry. The last original Aero walks off into the sunset.

With regards to the Aeros/Wild's new management (Fletcher, Mill, and Spencer), I can't understand what these new, young (mid 30s to early 40s) managers were thinking, other than maybe Jerry was getting a little O-L-D, and someone a little "hipper" was needed. It certainly couldn't have been his performance, on the ice or off the ice as a team ambassador.

Also disturbing is that they apparently chose to terminate Jerry by PHONE, rather than having the professionalism (or common decency) to do it in person as just about every management book ever written says is the way to do it.

I had high hopes for the new Aeros/Wild management. Frankly, the franchise has been in slow decline since the Wild bought it from Chuck Watson in 2003, and not just in terms of less talent on the ice and won/loss record. The way people (think "CJ") and core fans have been treated in the last six years has often been problematic. The Aeros' lack of further comment on reasons for Jerry's termination is, alas, fairly typical of the organization.

Unfortunately, it looks like this sort of nonsense will continue into the 2009-10 season as well.

artsnhockey said...

In case you want icehockey in Texas (as I posted in my own blog a few days ago) there ARE 7 CHL ones in Texas, plus of course Rampage and now Stars (AHL).
From all I've read, for instance about "Ice Rays", those teams seem to a) re-sign crowd favorites year after year, and b) players do appreciate that. Yes, they are not future NHLers, but icehockey IS an exciting sport AND if fans feel connected to the team the experience becomes even better.

Alas, the Aeros old and now 'new' management seems to ignore the fans. No wonder then that a)the crowds get smaller and smaller and b)the local media deems the team so insignificant to warrant real coverage, which in turn shows in a lesser business support base which is needed to bring in $. I/We have lamented (in writing) the neglect by the media last year, but realize now that it may not have been ONLY the media's fault.

We may be saying Bye Bye "Aeros" sooner than expected.

Mark Potter said...

I'm still going to give the new management team time to learn. They have clearly stepped into it early, probably by not taking time to understand the fans before they made seemingly minor changes. The Wild made the same mistakes when they initially took the helm in 2003. Unfortunately, that crew didn't start learning until very late in their tenure.

Anonymous said...

Time to learn? Understand the fans?

Dismissing a day 1 employee who never missed a game and has all of the attributes of Jerry Meins isn't about being new, or understanding the feelings of the fans, it's about being able to analyze a situation and make the right call. This one wasn't even difficult.

It's simply greed and a mistake.

Fletcher is an ass and not much of a human being. He doesn't have the talent or class to even launder the jock of a guy like Jerry Meins.

Anonymous said...

Hold upper management responsible but I implore you to check the qualifications of the three headed management monster thats in Houston. No one knows the Sr. VP and he doesn't want to be known. What is his hockey background? Is he just a bean counter? How about the VP's? Are they really qualified or were they just Garrity yes men and women? What is Eidman's background in media? The third VP is simply a Garrity yes man who has a title but is nothing more than a glorified ticket sales man. How could any of these three make or even speak to a hockey related decision? This is the day to day leaders that past and present Wild management has given us.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Garrity but Mill, and Spencer have nothing to do with Garrity. None of this happened on Garrity's watch.

This is 100% on Leipold, Fletcher, Mill and Spencer.

Anonymous said...

True buy why is a Garrity lackey making comments about Jerry? She isn't worthy of carrying his jock. She has zero media qualifications, can not discuss anything about hockey and shouldn't be the one having the last word on Meins. All I'm pointing out is that Garrity's yes man club is destroying the organization from the inside out. The organization is a mess at the Minnesota level and here as well. Though gone Garrity's affect remains. Thats the point.

Fred Trask said...

In case anyone is wondering about the facts, I believe Jerry was employed through MN. I don't think anyone in the Houston organization had any say in this. My understanding is that it's a MN thing, not a Houston thing.

Hate all you want on Garrity or Eidman or anyone else here in our front office but to put the blame there is probably factually incorrect.

Andrew, John, Heather or anyone else who knows for a fact feel free to chime in.

Feel free to vent away again now though.

Fred Trask said...

Oh and to answer your first question (assuming you meant Eidman) Courtney was probably making comments to Andrew because he contacted her as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. She was doing her job.

alw02 said...

The Aeros have lost my loyalty. No more purchases, no more support of the advertisers, no more bringing others to the games, no more support for the charities. If things do not improve then no more season tickets.

John Royal said...

To echo, and confirm what Fred just said: Courtney Eidman answered this because she is the vice president of communications and marketing for the Aeros, i.e., she is in charge of media relations.

In the past, whenever there was a move made regarding the staff or roster, Andrew or I would contract Patrick Armstrong or Scott Henninger in their positions as media relations. Both of them have left the Aeros, and the replacement will not be arriving until next week.

Andrew and I thought that you guys would prefer to see an answer frp, the Aeros this week, however, so we went to Courtney. And in her position, she provided us with an answer, for which Andrew and I thank her.

Anonymous said...

Fred we are all employees of the mother company Minnesota Hockey Ventures. You are right this call came from Minnesota. My point is that the people who are leading the organization at the local level are running it into the ground. It makes our jobs harder. Our fans know it. The firing of Jerry adds to the self inflicted wounds we continually inflict. Leadership in Minnesota and Houston is pathetic.

artsnhockey said...

For your information: regarding Ms. Eidman's qualifications here is a quote from the Aeros Site:
Courtney Eidman
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Biography:
Courtney Eidman is in her fourth season with the Houston Aeros. As Vice President of Marketing and Communications she oversees the day-to-day operations of both the marketing and communications departments. In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of Houston Aeros Charities (HAC). Under her guidance, HAC has increased donations to local charities and played an instrumental role in the increase of Aeros player interaction in the community. Prior to joining the Aeros, the Houston native worked for the National Football League’s Houston Texans as Fundraising Coordinator and for AIM Management Group Inc. Currently she serves as a member of Junior League of Houston, Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni and Young Texans Against Cancer. Eidman attended Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and Texas Christian University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication.

Does she play hockey? Does she skate? She has a BSc in 'speech' communications and that IS her current job since both Armstrong and Henninger have left.

Anonymous said...

Who would have known that she has a degree in communication? She talks to people like crap and is the worst around here. Garrity taught her well.

Fred Trask said...

Anonymous, I hear what you are saying, I just wanted to make the distinction that the decision to terminate Jerry's employment did not come from Courtney or anyone else on Lamar. Several comments were attributing the decision to a place where it did not belong.

I can't speak to what happens or who makes the decisions on Lamar. I also know there are some employees there who work very hard and take a lot of heat for things they have no control over and do not like any better than the fans do. I Also know that every year season ticket holders are less happy and they feel less appreciated. I hear it all the time. If they are not hearing it on Lamar then they have their fingers in their ears and saying LA LA LA.

artsnhockey said...

This is a question for the legal side: Can an employer axe an employee without GOOD cause and without first given three demerit (if that is the right word) warnings? Jerry seems to have been an examplary employee.

Fred Trask said...

Yup, it happens every day.

John Royal said...

Texas is an at-will state. You can be fired for just about whatever reason -- outside of discriminatory reasons of course -- and there's nothing you can do about it. And they don't have to give you notice or any warnings.

Jerry might have had a contract with the team. But even then, people can, and are, fired and dismissed from contracts without cause all of the time.

Anonymous said...

Management hides in their offices on Lamar. When a good employee leaves the Sr. VP finally emerges to tell us that we will be better because of it. Same pathetic speech every time. The three blind mice along with past and present management from Minnesota make it very difficult for us to do our jobs. You are right Fred we end up taking all of the heat.

artsnhockey said...

Yes, we do feel for the 'peones' in the offices who have to take the heat...sorry, people..we did not mean YOU personally.

Thanks, JR for the lawyerly explanation. I guess, it is the at-will state situation in Texas. I remember studying under which circumstances one could get fired immediately - not laid off, not 'furloughed' - fired - and that had to be due to felonious or criminal actions.
For any other reason one had to be given 3 warnings and if the employee did not correct his/her attitude/behaviour then he/she got sacked - but with some pay (number of months employed decided the amount one had to be paid)... but that was in Europe.