A difficult goodbye

Garry Betty, EarthLink’s CEO and my former boss, passed away earlier this week. Many people from those EarthLink days have contacted me this week to share their feelings and to celebrate the man. Garry clearly touched many lives, in significant ways. It’s easy to lose sight of the incredible reach and impact he really had.

I personally know dozens of people who’s lives, if not their very being, were changed for the better through their opportunity to share time and space with Garry. Count me among them. Garry was a personal and business mentor, from whom I learned a great deal. He possessed patience and wisdom far beyond his years. He modeled behavior for others. He didn’t preach. He didn’t have to. He taught by action and deed. And through those actions, he gave bits of himself to many people.

He helped me become a better professional and a better executive, but he also helped me to become a better man. I’m quite sure he did the same for countless others.

Mr. Betty, Sir, your time was brief, far too brief, yet you achieved and accomplished what most of us only imagine – a legacy of good will whose impact will be felt for generations. We’ll miss you.