FLORIDA To kick off the company's 2005 national sales meeting in a big, bold way, Erin P. Dunn, director of corporate services for General Mills Inc., hired PGI Orlando to take the annual event to new heights, so to speak.
At the opening reception on the grounds behind the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes Resort, the president of General Mills' consumer food sales division asked attendees to lookup into the sky, where four skydivers from the Aerial Entertainment Team were falling toward them.
The divers, who jumped out of a Cessna 182 from 5,500 feet, performed aerial acrobatics and snapped photos of the group while whizzing to earth. Sailing over the heads of the crowd, they performed 360-degree spins before dropping onto a target at the center of the resort's lake, between the main lawn and the 18th hole fairway of the golf course. Using their parachutes to stabilize on the water's surface, each diver skidded in a split at approximately 40 miles an hour, performing a stunt called toe-dragging (guiding his body through the water with the front leg while dragging the back leg to create a wake) for nearly 60 yards before coming to a stop on the other side of the lake.
The extreme entertainment lasted just five minutes; with a location only five miles from the Orlando International Airport, that's all the time the FAA would allow.
Shari Lynn Rothstein