Leslie's Omnibus

In Memoriam

Yes, my company was touched by 9/11.

Received today from our CEO, this reminder:
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, I ask you to share in remembering and honoring a former colleague, John Jenkins. In 2001, CRA (Charles River Associates) established an annual employee award in memory of John, who perished on September 11, in recognition of the talent and dedication he brought to his role as Corporate Office Services Manager and to CRA. Each year, we ask employees to nominate a colleague who displays strong corporate citizenship, has a positive attitude and can-do spirit, and contributes to the overall good of the company, which all speak to the kind of person who John was.

Bumping into John around the office was a real treat. He always had a smile and time to talk about any topic that excited you. People remember how they got a warm welcome to his office, good conversation, and great laughs. John worked for CRA for a short period of time, about 1.5 years before the 9/11 attacks. He led our facilities, office services, and travel operations, and was key to keeping our daily business needs humming along with some fun along the way. As Jim Burrows once wrote, “He was the most visible person in this firm; recognizable to employees in Boston and in each of our satellite offices to a greater degree than any other individual. He successfully managed two domestic and three international office start-ups, a data center build out in Boston, and our Washington, DC office relocation—all within a six-month period. John liked to live life at its fullest. His upbeat mood made everyone around him feel good. He accomplished a great deal in his time at CRA and left many, many friends.”

Many of John’s contributions continue to have a legacy at the company and that is a great tribute to the kind of person he was. The employee suggestion box at CRA was John’s idea. And while we have formal volunteer committees today, John supported community service years ago by bringing an internship program for underprivileged high school students to CRA. When people questioned these ideas, John smiled and made them successes.

A few colleagues have been kind enough to share what they remember about him:

Bea Fischer-Bean, Administrative Coordinator in Boston, said, “John was a very funny and caring person. He always had a smile on his face and was ready for a laugh. He loved the opera—Tosca by Puccini—and to snorkel and scuba dive. He never liked saying goodbye (to the point where he would keep an endless collection of things).”

Maria Rivera, Senior Facilities Manager in Washington, DC, said, “What was most obvious to everyone about John, who was my boss at the time, was how social he was and how he loved the opera and wine (we used to tease him about that). He was a really funny person full of laughter and he would help everyone. He used to organize volunteer activities for CRA, like planting trees at local schools.”

Marybeth Celorier, who was CRA’s Controller at the time and is now the Director of Finance at Foley Hoag LLP, shared, “John was a special person. He was full of life, even in the worst moments, and was always smiling no matter the obstacle. Every Friday night after work, a group of us would get together for drinks at a local restaurant/bar, Washington Square Tavern. We always sat in the same spot and John would stick to his staple meal—steak and potatoes. Our group had a lot of fun and laughs; the restaurant has a brass plaque in his memory. The night before John left on his flight, we were sitting in my office on the 33rd floor in the John Hancock Tower and he was trying to get me to go with him on the business trip. We both enjoyed taking photos and he was going to spend time later in the week taking pictures around Los Angeles. He said good-bye and said he would be back. He was a wonderful friend. John wouldn't like that we are so focused on him but because of him, we are more focused on those around us and their importance to us.”

This year, nominations for the John Jenkins Award will be accepted until September 30th. I hope you will participate by nominating a colleague.

To submit a nomination, click on the link below. You will be asked to provide a brief paragraph describing the contributions of the individual you are nominating (note: Officers are not eligible to receive this award). The nominations will then be presented to the Executive Committee for final decision, and the award will be presented in October.

Thank you for taking the time to remember John and to honor the contributions of our colleagues.

It is wonderful to see my company honoring the memory this special man every year. We should never forget any of those lost their lives that day.

1 comment:

diamond dave said...

Never forget.