Losing A Co-Worker And A Friend

May 19 / Mark Kelly / filed under Miscellaneous

Back in 2010, Chair 10 was just starting to grow as an agency. I had moved out of the basement office in our home and rented our first real office space, a small suite that could fit two, maybe three people.


It was time to hire our first full-time employee.


So I started interviewing. Hiring your first employee can be a bit scary. Then I found Brandon. We clicked immediately. It was obvious he loved technology. He loved to be immersed in it constantly, think about it critically, talk to others about it, and work in it. Yet despite this love of all things tech, he was also clearly a people person. Someone who could quickly relate to others and build fast, long-lasting bonds.


So Brandon signed on and we started to work together. Looking back, I underestimated how tough it could be stepping into a situation where it was just you and the boss in a small office all day working away. But that didn’t bother Brandon at all. He dove in, and off we went.


After a 3-year battle with cancer, Brandon passed away peacefully this past Friday. As you would expect because of the kind of person he was, his service yesterday was standing room only, the building overflowing with love and warmth and happy memories. His close friends spoke about the incredible person Brandon was – caring, fun, intelligent, a loving husband, a great friend – a unique and special person.


It was amazing how Brandon approached cancer. He tackled it and defeated it several times, and when it came back, he was always ready to battle again. As his friends recalled, he never complained, never got down. It wasn’t his way.


As his co-worker, being with him was seeing an amazing act of courage and strength every day, but you would never know it. You would never know he was fighting cancer, because he didn’t make a big deal out of it. His relentless positivity in the face of great adversity was awe-inspiring, a life lesson that we will hold dear for the rest of our lives.


Throughout his battle, Brandon would come into the office and raise our spirits, and keep us going. Making sure we heard the latest “bad joke of the day” from Twitter, keeping us posted (without spoilers) on the latest Mad Men and Breaking Bad developments, ensuring we knew the latest Apple product news (no Windows or Android for him – he was Apple all the way). Who was this guy dealing with cancer but still brightening OUR day? That was what he did. Brandon was strength and courage personified. Working alongside you, day-in and day-out, always with a smile on his face.


Chair 10 Marketing won’t be the same without Brandon, nor should it be. The relationships and memories he built with us will last for our lifetimes and influence the decisions we make, how we look at the world, and how we live.


Throughout everything, Brandon had his rock of strength, his wife Miriam. She was with him providing support every step of the way. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Brandon, Miriam is raising money to help the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center find a cure. You can donate to the cause here.


– Mark Kelly