Yesterday, the world lost a great veteran metals and procurement reporter and analyst, Tom Stundza. We had met Tom on multiple occasions and always found him bounding with energy and excitement, and he had recruited one of us (Lisa) to speak at an event he pulled off with aplomb last year. Doug Smock, a former colleague of Tom's, wrote to us yesterday with the sad news but shared some inspirational history with us about his great professional career. Doug told us that, "He first met Tom in the 1970s when he was a reporter for the American Metal Market and I covered the steel industry for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." Tom had followed Doug "to Purchasing Magazine in 1983 and he covered metals and other commodities markets there for 26+ years -- until the magazine closed earlier this year. He set the bar for industrial prices -- and many procurement contract indexes were tied to Purchasing prices. We lost Tom today due to complications that occurred during surgery yesterday."
After Purchasing, Tom embarked this summer on what promised to be a very successful career as a metals analyst. But Tom was more than just a consummate professional and expert journalist and pundit in the space throughout his career. Paul Teague, who also worked with Tom at Purchasing suggested to us earlier today that above all, Tom "had a big heart ... he was very good to a lot of people. He was fun to be around. He could not sit still and was always jumping up and down and had an opinion. What he believed in, he believed in passionately. And he believed that people needed information about metals."
According to Paul, Tom would often spend "most of his day on the phone or exchanging emails with readers of the magazine who were buying metals. He had a real affinity for them, and they had an affinity for him. He was a believer in being in touch with the readers." Moreover, "He was good writer, a fast writer. He had no trouble reaching sources ... People he was interviewing would be interviewing him at the same time!"
Tom had a great reputation among colleagues for his spirit and dependability. "He brought a lot of life to the organization," Paul notes, and "at least once he was named employee of the quarter (or employee of the year) for all of Reed Business group publications in the Newton office." His spirit was infectious in the office. "He liked people. If there was ever a gathering of two or more people, somehow Tom knew about it." He also had a compass -- and office nose -- for celebrations and cake. Paul fondly remembers "if there were celebrations of any kind in the building and there was cake, Tom always found his way to the source ... and he brought it back for me and the team."
The metals and procurement communities will always remember Tom for his contributions and spirit (and willingness to share in the pie, even down to the last slice). The world lost a great professional and person this week.
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- Jason Busch and Lisa Reisman