Remembering Terrence Wing

The unexpected passing of ASTD (the American Society for Training & Development) colleague Terrence Wing—President-Elect of the ASTD Los Angeles Chapter—has left another void in the ASTD family. (And make no mistake about it: being actively involved in ASTD at the local, regional, and/or national level does make all of us members of an unbelievably wonderful family that shares the joy of our successes as well as the profound levels of mourning that accompany the loss of any member of that family.)

To understand what it means to many of us that Terrence succumbed to a heart attack last week, you just have to hear a little about all that he was doing or about to do. He was on ASTD’s TechKnowledge12 Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which substantially shapes the face of this influential learning conference. He was in touch with the editor of the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine to discuss the content of his next column. He was continuing to write engagingly, concisely, and inspirationally for the Liquid Learn blog at the cutting-edge learning company he founded and helped to run (far too infrequently Terrence, far too infrequently; I’d give a lot of have more of your thoughts archived online at this point). He was a month away from beginning his year-long term as president of the ASTD Los Angeles Chapter. He was actively exploring Google+ with many of us and providing glimpses of those wonderful ephemeral moments of life that so often pass unnoticed.

And, knowing how Terrence operated, I suspect he was probably in the middle of planning or bringing dozens of other activities to fruition in ways that would have made a positive difference in the face of workplace learning and performance across the country and in other parts of the world.

One of the most stunningly positive aspects of Terrence’s presence is how quickly he became a part of so many lives—including mine. After mentioning a wonderful article Terrence had written about Twitter as a learning tool, I was delighted to see a comment he posted March 1, 2011, in response to the article I wrote about Skype as a learning tool in the same publication. A few email exchanges quickly made us aware of our ASTD connections as well as our overlapping circles of colleagues via LinkedIn and Twitter, and I was gratified that he participated, as an online audience member, in a session (“Blend Me”) a few of us did for the Sacramento ASTD Chapter in May. (He joined us via Twitter during a segment dealing with Twitter in workplace learning and performance.)

When I heard, from colleagues, that he was at ASTD’s International Conference & Exposition in Orlando in May, I mentioned how much I would love to extend our online connections to a face-to-face chat. Terrence graciously went out of his way to stop by an informal dinner several of us were having, and he extended an invitation to join him later that evening for a chance to talk at greater length, over drinks, about what we were all doing (which, in retrospect, I’m even more glad that I accepted even though it led to a very late night after an exhausting day of commitments). Through his presence, he stimulated plenty of wonderful conversation. Through his absence, he evokes memories of those exchanges that make me realize even more poignantly what we have suddenly lost—as documented by the comments being posted on an ASTD Los Angeles Chapter site.

Many of us know a lot of people; Terrence was one of those rare gems who knew how to bring people together in a way that changes lives. I suspect the greatest tribute we can pay him is to try to be the sort of person he appeared to be. Creative. Witty. Curious. A listener. A catalyst. And a cherished colleague whose voice will be impossible to replace.

About these ads

4 Responses to Remembering Terrence Wing

  1. Bob Zimel says:

    Paul, So eloquently stated and shared in a heart-felt manner. Thank you. Anyone who knew Terrence lost quite a lot. That is clear from the postings on the ASTD-LA site. My heart goes out to his family, friends and colleagus.

    Especially at this sentimental time of year, it hurts even more. Terrence was clearly in the mode of giving regularly. We all received much from him.

    Yesterday I attended a brilliant rendition of “It’s A Wonderful Life” at our local high school, which has a history of award-winning productions. When Clarence Odbody came out at the end donning his wings, tears rolled down my cheeks, in part, thinking of Clarence. We have lost an amazing friend, yet many have gained an amazing angel!

  2. Ann Shea says:

    Paul, thanks for posting this tribute to Terrence. It’s so true that Terrence quickly passed the border from being an online influence to a warm friend. He was so friendly and enthusiastic about other people. I, like Bob, can’t help but feel Terrence’s presence will live on as a guiding force as we remember his spirit. My life was enriched by knowing him.

  3. Though the man already passed away over months ago, I can still remember what he used to teach before and share to people. I was one of those he really created an impact on life – though he does not know me personally, but he is simply amazing.

    e learning courses

  4. dawnjmahoney says:

    I’m having a day where I’m missing “TW” big time. I didn’t even know you’d blogged about him, Paul. Thanks for doing this! It is exactly what I needed to find when I googled our friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: