I’m sipping a lukewarm cup of coffee while working on this post, and that seems very appropriate as Dave always had a cup of coffee in hand, usually in his GEEKmemphis mug. As long as it was filled with liquid that was remotely warm and resembled coffee he would drink it. He gave me a hard time because I like Starbucks and schedule meetings there when I can. I am admittedly a coffee snob, Dave admittedly was not.
My story with Dave started about six years ago when I met him at Social Media Expedition (now Interactive Expedition), one of the many groups Dave started. I was managing social media for a local company and wanting to connect with other social media folks in the community. Little did I know that it would eventually lead to joining the LunaWeb family. In 2011 I was looking for a new opportunity and connected with Dave since he knew everyone in Memphis. I asked him if would keep his ears open for opportunities. That conversation eventually turned into several job interviews with Dave and resulted in me coming to LunaWeb.
Since joining LunaWeb, I’ve worked with Dave on countless projects, participated in scores of brainstorming meetings, and taken numerous road trips; we were always talking about what was coming next. Working with someone day in and day out lets you learn a lot about a person. You see their strengths and weaknesses, their flaws and quirks. Part of what I really respected about Dave is that he didn’t pretend to be perfect and would admit what he wasn’t good at. But he was good at helping people. He poured into others and helped them innovate themselves. He poured into me and has helped me grow. He challenged my assumptions and encouraged me to think differently. I am a better man for having known him.
Dave’s love for tech, entrepreneurship, Memphis, and family are no secret – Twitter has been ablaze with people sharing their memories of Dave (#RememberDave) – it’s been pretty amazing. I saw his love for all these things while working with him on the GEEKmemphis board and in planning multiple TechCamps. Amazingly, he had as much energy everywhere else as he did in the office. I don’t know how he found the energy to do everything he did – maybe it was the coffee.
Dave will be sorely missed. He was a mentor and a great friend. I’m thankful for the time that I had to work with him and look forward to helping continue what he started 19 years ago. Rest in peace, friend.
-by Steve Phipps(@MemPhipps)