Colleen, Catie, and Maggie,
I can’t express how deeply saddened and upset I was to hear about Paul’s passing. I can’t imagine what you must be going through right now, but I wanted to share my heartfelt condolences and know that you are all in the thoughts and prayers of my entire family.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend the service and celebration of Paul’s life since we are in Hong Kong and traveling during that time. But since I heard the news, I’ve spent a fair bit of time reflecting on my time with Paul, and it’s made me I appreciate even more what an incredible impact he had on my life.
After I left the Army, Paul sat in on my first, last, and only adult job interview (one of our many similarities) at USI. After I joined his team, Paul was instrumental in helping me learn the skills that would lead to so many of my later successes, everything from writing proposals to working with customers to selling products and ideas. His skill in presenting to audiences and his natural leadership abilities were always amazing to watch.
When we all made the decision to start Meridian, there’s no doubt Paul was the one who had the vision and drive to take it from idle talk to reality. Over the years, we went from bumping heads in the early days to tackling new challenges together as part of an incredible team, which he ultimately led to the company’s successful acquisition. By the end of our time at Meridian, I felt that we understood each other pretty well and managed to build a strong personal and professional relationship. I know I developed an even greater sense of respect and admiration for his leadership over those years.
Even after our time at Meridian, I often relied on the knowledge and skills Paul taught me. I would often think about how Paul would handle a difficult discussion or a new opportunity and try to work through it. Those skills helped lead me to continued professional success, with many Meridian alumni continuing the journey with me.
Beyond work, Paul’s focus on all of his family and especially the three of you was always an inspiration. I know beyond a doubt that he valued the past few years more than anything because he was able to devote all of his time and attention to you. Your family’s love of the water also influenced my family, and you have all served as an inspiration to us as we also took to a love of all things boat-related. I hope we will follow in your steps to lead a life on the water soon. This is just one more way Paul is still influencing me today.
I always thought Paul and I would have more time to swap stories, trade news about the kids, and enjoy some time reminiscing about the good old days. I was hoping that we’d finally catch up with you both in Florida and enjoy the boating life, and I still hope someday the three of you will join us to tell a few more stories and drink a Guinness in his honor. I know I’ll be thinking about all of you on Friday, and every time I’m on the water in the years to come.