An Open Letter to Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar

capitol_building_full_viewDear Senator:

I am writing to you as a former employee of Creative Memories and as a former participant in Creative Memories ESOP retirement plan. Creative Memories was a scrapbooking company based out of St. Cloud, MN. Creative Memories went bankrupt in 2008 and again in 2013. As a result of theses bankruptcies, many employees lost all or part of their retirement savings.

The problem with the current system is that the people with the most information, including banks and corporate executives, are able to manipulate the bankruptcy laws to their benefit at the expense of everyone else. Banks loan companies money and corporate executives can take that money with banks knowing full well that even if everyone else, including suppliers and employees lose, they will still get repaid. This system encourages irresponsibility and in some cases, deception of employees.

In the case of Creative Memories, corporate executives provided incomplete and misleading information to employees in 2003 that led to the their approval of a restructuring plan that eventually led to the company’s demise. Employees were told they had no choice and that they couldn’t lose. Employees believed corporate executives. In reality, it was the banks that couldn’t lose.

In 2008, Creative Memories was unable to pay back the loans that were taken out. The banks then took over the company and proceeded to extract all value from the company, ensuring that they got their money back, at the expense of everyone else.

In spite of filing several lawsuits against the banks and corporate executives, former employees were unable to recover their loses. Apparently, everything that was done was “legal.”

I lost my entire retirement account, but I am young enough that I will recover. Not everyone who was affected is as fortunate.

As a result of my experience, I urge you to consider revising the bankruptcy laws to place retirement accounts ahead of banks, when it comes to determining the priority for repayment. It won’t get my money back, but it might help someone else in the future.


Mark Mizen

Note: If you were also adversely affected by the Creative Memories bankruptcy, feel free to use my letter as a starting point for your letter to your representative or senator.

November 10, 2016: I received a response from Senator Al Franken.




About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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3 Responses to An Open Letter to Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar

  1. louannasite says:

    Absolutely! The banks & the Morgans great their money, but the hard working employees got nothing. Laws need changed.

  2. Nancy says:

    Well stated, Mark. Very sad that it takes robbing this many people of that much money before anything gets changed….if ever.

  3. Leesa says:

    yes laws need to be changed. My husband works for the airlines and has lost his retirement due to bankruptcy. It’s just not fair that those in power can manipulate finances to their advantage and hard working employees get screwed ! Should be illegal!

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