Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Remembrance, GXS' Larry De'ath

When Allison Tobin phoned me this week with bad news my first thought was that GXS had selected another public relations firm to represent the company.

I was wrong…the news was so much worse. Larry De’ath, GXS’ Vice President of Corporate Communications, died unexpectedly on Monday leaving behind a wife and two young daughters.

I’ve known Larry for more than five years as he held executive level PR/communications positions with a number of technology companies based in the Washington, DC area. We never had the opportunity to work together. Yet, through phone calls, lunch dates and ongoing Email exchange we established a professional relationship.

I bounced ideas off of him. We discussed industry trends. And we shared stories of dealing with challenging analysts and journalists.

Ultimately, I was a vendor trying to sell public relations services to a prospective client. Larry never viewed me that way. When I first called him to introduce myself, he called me back. Most people don’t take the time to do that.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Larry’s family and everyone at GXS.

If you’re interested in contributing to the memorial education fund set up for Larry’s daughters, please make a donation to:

The Larry De’Ath Memorial fund to benefit Olivia and Taylor De’ath
Howard R. Pressman
Bank of America
730 15th St NW
4th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

1 comment:

allison.tobin said...

Mark--thank you for such a kind tribute to Larry. Larry will be missed by so many--no one who knew Larry didn't love him. If we all could be as good at AR and PR as Larry was, the impact would be 10 fold of what it is now! The amazing thing was that he was an even better husband and father. Everyone at GXS and the industry at large will miss him.