Mr. Lavenson,


Upon searching for you on the internet, it is with sadness we see that you departed for greener pastures on September 19, 1998.  I was so close to speaking with you.  You inspired many and your words still span the globe.  

Tony Eldred of Eldred Training in Australia wrote to me that after having posted your speech on his web site he received a surprise letter from you, thanking him for featuring your speech.  He found it amazing that you were web connected, found him out and, instead of us thanking you, you thanking him.

I wanted to speak with you and learn from you.  I came across the following obituary.  Since a British Hospitality Management Lecturer, Kevin Fields, sent me your speech, which I posted on my web site then advertised among the newsgroups and forums I belong to or run, many managers have printed it out and distributed it throughout their company.  One said it is chockfull of lessons in customer service, management, people development, and sales;  moreover, it is full of humour.  Some newsletter quickly mentioned it and made a link to it.  

From the first words of your speech you captivate people.  They stop what they are doing and read it in its entirety.  It is so pleasant, so full of wisdom, so full of truth about what goes on in organizations.  You drive many points home with your humorous anecdotes - more than any management training program I ever encountered.  I hope you do not mind I left the English spelling since it was sent to me by Kevin Fields, who uses it to teach students aspiring to become Hotel Managers how to think creatively - how to think intelligently, how to see the comprehensive picture, how to solve problems, how to value their human resources asset, how to lead, how to improve internal communications, how to establish a personal rapport with customers and guests, how to offer them pleasure and delight while increasing sales and developing the business.

Learning of your loss is a bitter disappointment - I was looking forward to knowing you personally and so did many others.  I wanted to know how you spent your time since your retirement.  A man like you surely never retired.  From Tony Eldred I learned that you explored the world of the web.  It would have been so good if we could only have listened to your opinion about the web, about today's technology, today's economy, today's market, today's way of management, today's re-structuring and downsizing, today's loss of jobs, today's way of doing things.  I hope you have left behind some written musings of yours about how the world has changed.  You and your Think strawberries program will live perpetually.  I shall always carry your speech and will always promote it.  Goodbye, Mr. Lavenson, rest in peace



Your obituary, at http://www.centralmaine.com/092298/obitskj.html gives us some details but we want to know more.  We shall try to locate relatives who could maybe give us some more insight on the man, James Lavenson.  Thank you for being you!

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