In the year that SSPI turned 35, we lost one of our earliest members: Mr. Richard (Dick) Tauber. He left this life on April 10, 2018.

I had the privilege of working with Dick when we set out to establish a chapter in the state of Georgia. It was 2005, and I had been the membership director for 4 years – mostly in the background. I was now mandated, however, to take on this new challenge – get a chapter up and running in Georgia! According to everyone, the challenge would be best met by getting Dick Tauber on board.

There’s a colorful story about HOW we got Dick to participate (ask me, sometime – it’s not printable), but suffice to say that once he was on board, he was as valuable a team player as he had been advertised to be. He was a constant encourager, an indefatigable champion who would make things happen. Chapter start-ups are hard. They take time, dedication, resources (or the will and ability to find them) creativity, and yes, a degree of brattiness. Dick was always asking for things for which he knew I’d have to say no, at least partly because there was always the chance I’d say yes. This was a hallmark of his career as an innovator – the ability to find resources, money, spectrum, solutions – where it had previously been assumed they couldn’t be found.

The collaboration between Dick and I helped me mature in my role as the membership director. Indeed, I am sure that there’s a “before” and “after” picture to be taken: Membership Director before meeting Dick Tauber and Membership Director after. And over the years, his friendship and professional encouragement have been, for me and for so many others, one of the highlights of being in this industry. And so, I was thrilled beyond measure when, in 2008, Arnie Christianson and others submitted the winning nomination for Dick to be the SSPI Mentor of the Year. He was so deserving, and I was humbled deeply when he shared that of his many awards, he was most proud of this one. We...
see more In the year that SSPI turned 35, we lost one of our earliest members: Mr. Richard (Dick) Tauber. He left this life on April 10, 2018.

I had the privilege of working with Dick when we set out to establish a chapter in the state of Georgia. It was 2005, and I had been the membership director for 4 years – mostly in the background. I was now mandated, however, to take on this new challenge – get a chapter up and running in Georgia! According to everyone, the challenge would be best met by getting Dick Tauber on board.

There’s a colorful story about HOW we got Dick to participate (ask me, sometime – it’s not printable), but suffice to say that once he was on board, he was as valuable a team player as he had been advertised to be. He was a constant encourager, an indefatigable champion who would make things happen. Chapter start-ups are hard. They take time, dedication, resources (or the will and ability to find them) creativity, and yes, a degree of brattiness. Dick was always asking for things for which he knew I’d have to say no, at least partly because there was always the chance I’d say yes. This was a hallmark of his career as an innovator – the ability to find resources, money, spectrum, solutions – where it had previously been assumed they couldn’t be found.

The collaboration between Dick and I helped me mature in my role as the membership director. Indeed, I am sure that there’s a “before” and “after” picture to be taken: Membership Director before meeting Dick Tauber and Membership Director after. And over the years, his friendship and professional encouragement have been, for me and for so many others, one of the highlights of being in this industry. And so, I was thrilled beyond measure when, in 2008, Arnie Christianson and others submitted the winning nomination for Dick to be the SSPI Mentor of the Year. He was so deserving, and I was humbled deeply when he shared that of his many awards, he was most proud of this one. We will find our ways of honoring him, ways that go beyond words, ways that mirror the life he lived and the example he set.

I hope that we all, in this 35th year of SSPI, consider the ways in which we reach out to, support, and mentor others, as part of our remembrance of a mentor, and a friend.