By Scott Pansky
“Thanks, David, you are helping us create the coolest river.”
This is a deeply personal page folks would not know unless I shared this in a presentation. This page is a tribute to a friend and business partner, David Wolf. He died March 27 from a short battle with cancer. He worked at our company for nearly a decade and helped launch Allison in China.
David was one of the most generous and kind men I have had the chance to work with in the last 30 years. I am lucky to have had the time with him that I did. He was our professor, voracious reader and sought-after sounding board and advisor. He mentored numerous employees of all levels and even started a book club, appropriately titled the “Wolf’s Den.”
We met a month before he started with our company. We talked about growing a company and what it took to have a builder’s mindset. We had both done this throughout our careers, so we moved past this part of the conversation quickly. We started talking about our personal motivations, our families and the importance of treating people well. It seemed to be a secret that if you treated people well, they would work harder. If they knew you had their backs and you had not only listened to them but helped them find solutions, they would be grateful.
As I spend more time with his family, I see these traits in everything they do. David’s legacy as a Scout, friend, father and mentor will not be forgotten. In his honor, we’ve created a mentor recognition program, recognizing a new team member every year who embodies his spirit and impact on others.
This year, we recognized Brent Diggins, a partner who has been at our company for nearly 14 years. I’d like to share a piece of his nomination here:
In the vast tapestry of Allison, certain figures stand out, not just for their professional prowess but for their ability to inspire, guide and elevate those around them. As we reflect on the spirit of mentorship epitomized by David Wolf, another name resonates with similar brilliance: Brent Diggins. Responsible for building our analytics function from the ground up, Brent’s journey is a testament to his adaptability, resourcefulness, and leadership… Brent instills in us a mindset: to be inquisitive, to challenge the status quo and to always keep learning. He’s not just preparing us for the future; he’s crafting it, one inspired mind at a time.
Brent understands mentorship is more than just imparting knowledge. It’s about being a guiding light and a voice of reason. The countless calls he receives weekly aren’t just requests for his expertise; they are testaments to his trustworthiness, his reassuring presence and his innate ability to calm the stormiest of professional tempests. Beyond sharing advice and wisdom, Brent is an unwavering advocate for personal growth. He doesn’t just see employees; he sees potential, passion and promise. He celebrates every success, no matter how big or small, fostering a culture where growth is not just encouraged but celebrated. Brent’s insatiable appetite for learning mirrors that of David’s. He devours books, consistently broadening his horizons, and in turn, enriching our organization with newfound knowledge and perspectives.
Remember, it’s never too late to be kind and help others.
We miss you, David! Your memory and impact lives on in our agency and in my heart.
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