Have you noticed a recent spike in e-mail from LinkedIn? Daily updates. Weekly updates. News about folks in your network. Postings from groups you've joined. Notifications that you've been endorsed by a connection.
Life in the age of social media means being inundated with information—some welcome, some not. But making liberal use of the delete key isn't always the answer. The messages occasionally contain useful bits of information—the kind that helps you stay abreast of market developments or stay connected to friends and colleagues. Some even cause you to pause and reflect.
Such was the case for me earlier this month. April 4, to be precise. I received a message alerting me to a friend's birthday, complete with a link I could use to send along good wishes. I had last enjoyed the friend's company over lunch at an industry conference back in June. We were joined that day by another good friend, Yossi Sheffi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the three of us spent a pleasant hour catching up.
Sadly, it turned out to be the last time Yossi and I would speak with our friend. A few weeks later, tragedy struck, taking the life of one of the most distinguished players in the logistics and supply chain world.
The friend was Jock Menzies, and as LinkedIn reminded me, he would have—make that should have—turned 70 on April 4. But on Aug. 17, 2013, Jock died suddenly at his home in the Annapolis suburb of Arnold, Md. He was descending a 300-foot hill in a private cable car when the car malfunctioned, sending Jock falling about 200 feet. He was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died of his injuries the following day.
A tragic loss, pure and simple.
Although he had a successful career as a warehouse executive, Jock will be best remembered for his accomplishments on the humanitarian front. As we noted in the obituary we published last August, Jock "co-founded the nonprofit American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. Starting with the self-evident precept that logistics services were paramount to supporting rescue and recovery efforts, Menzies helped develop a model for an online pOréal allowing relief groups and individuals to post critical supply chain needs, which would then be matched to the capabilities and resources of industry providers." In that piece, we noted that he "transformed the way the logistics community, relief organizations, and individuals respond to natural disasters around the world."
Coincidentally, around the same time the LinkedIn reminder arrived, we received word of what we think is a most appropriate and fitting tribute to Jock.
The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), an organization with which Jock worked closely in connection with ALAN, announced that it would name its most prestigious award for him. At its annual meeting, the newly named Jock Menzies IWLA Distinguished Service and Leadership Award was presented to another of Jock's many friends, Joel Anderson, IWLA's former president and CEO.
"[Jock] was a gentleman in every sense of the word and a model for us all," IWLA chairman Paul Verst said of Menzies. "His legacy will continue to live on."
Jock's brother, Scott Menzies, presented the award to Anderson, noting that his brother's work continues. "Jock would thank you for your friendship," he told Anderson, "and he would say to winners of this award 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"
We urge all who knew, or knew of, Jock to take a moment to pause, reflect, and honor the memory of Jock Menzies. We pledge to never forget how fortunate we—and indeed, the entire logistics community—were to have our lives touched by such a fine man.