Right before leaving for the airport in Calgary this afternoon, I received a note from a friend that Dennie Norman had lost a six-year battle with cancer. It was a difficult trip home after that. For those who knew Dennie, not only was he passionately interested in helping companies better think through their supplier risk and performance strategies and approaches -- he was a champion for supplier responsibility, ethics and sustainability. To hear Dennie attack the practices of those suppliers who would cut corners and put end-consumers at risk -- or jeopardize the lives of children in their factories -- was to hear a preacher, not just a professional. Dennie lived everyday believing in his work and insisted on debating and trading ideas by email even when I knew it pained him to do anything but rest.
Dennie worked for SAS, a company that provided an extremely compassionate environment as he fought for his life. If we could all be so lucky to have an employer that could provide such support -- not to mention colleagues who shared a similar value system -- this world would be a better place. Tim Fairchild, a colleague, let me know that a memorial service will be held this Saturday in Apex, North Carolina. If you would like the details, please drop Tim or me a line. You can also post notes of condolences here. I'll leave you with this lasting impression of Dennie. He wrote to me in August that he was thrilled to start on a new groundbreaking project that would afford him the "opportunity to match some personal/professional goals with that of corporations, for a larger impact. Very powerful when personal and corporate goals intersect." Yes, my friend, it is. We'll miss you Dennie. In more ways than you know.
- Jason Busch