This morning I woke up to the news that an influential friend who I have the pleasure of working with since 1999 have passed away.
He was a passionate leader driven by a bottomless source of aggressive energy. He gave me an opportunity to excel in my work and taught me what credibility actually means and how to achieve it. Although on the surface, he would project a demeanour of all work and no play. Underlying that tough surface lays a big and caring heart. Those who are close to him will know exactly what I mean.
Aside from my family, Derek is one of the few colleagues who not only influenced and defined my work ethics but also contributed greatly to how I live and think. He encouraged and supported me during my episode with cancer. He is always there professionally and his support is as formidable, and as valuable as a diamond pillar.
I write this to celebrate the difference that he has made in me, and I am forever grateful for that. My condolences to the Smyth family. He will be missed and I will continue to take my cue from his spirit of life. That is eternal.