Every now and then you meet someone in business that makes you think it is not just about business; someone you imagine you will have the joy of working with for the rest of your career. For me, Greg Parker has been one of these people. It is with real sadness to report to our community of readers that we lost Greg last week in a tragic accident.
Most of us got to know Greg at Interchange Corp. (now Local.com). He had previously worked at Overture (now Yahoo Search Marketing). Most recently, he had been running a startup with the innovative people at GeoSign. Greg was a proud Houstonian, by birth, and a Brown University grad.
I know from working with Greg that he had total integrity and was passionately committed to innovation that would help people’s lives and businesses. He was sure to become an industry leader. Personally, he was a friend to everyone he knew.
Last year, for instance, he had gotten stuck in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Like many other vacationers, he was encamped at the W Hotel, where he was relatively safe. But after several days, the hotel’s management told everyone they had run out of food and water and had to vacate the premises.
It so happens an old lady from The French Quarter had also moved into the W. She had a car, but needed someone to drive it. Greg volunteered. “Naturally, you would think she would be kind of afraid of me,” Greg told me. (The lady was white and Greg an African American). “But you know what? By the end of the trip, we found out we had more in common with each other than anyone else we knew. We became great friends.”
I think that was pretty typical of Greg.
Greg’s partner at Interchange was industry veteran Rob Luskey. I asked Rob to share some words.
“Greg and I worked very closely for over two years. He and I started at Interchange at the same time and became good friends as we helped Interchange launch its local search offering. Greg had a highly magnetic personality and could work a room like few I’ve ever seen. It was always great fun to travel with Greg to the Kelsey and NAA conferences as we talked with others about the exciting opportunity in the local search space.
“Greg was a great partner and a wonderful friend who will not only be missed by so many here at Local.com but also, I’m sure, across the entire local search community.”
Thanks for letting me and Rob share our thoughts on a really great guy. In his spirit, let’s remember that we work to be successful, but also to help people.