On Tuesday, February 8, our colleague and our friend Joe Crofts, passed on. He was surrounded by his family at the time. Joe had been fighting cancer valiantly since being diagnosed in the fall of last year and he was actively receiving treatment, so his passing is unexpected. But rather than focusing on that I’d like to focus on the incredible individual that Joe was in the only way I really can, which is from my own personal perspective.
Joe joined our team in June of 2010. I had been with the team five years ahead of Joe and I marvelled at how quickly he became part of what was a close-knit group. He had such natural charm and charisma, instantly made people feel good about themselves and would engage everyone on such a personal level, all traits that we admired in a colleague, and also traits that made him such a standout at his job in dealing with clients. Over the years I’ve come to know many of Joe’s clients and without exception everyone that dealt with Joe would be so quick to tell me what a great guy he was, and how lucky we were to have him on our team. It was just his nature to go well beyond that extra mile for his clients, including tweeting and re-tweeting about them whenever there was something to report on. And that commitment showed up in the numbers, as Joe was always one of the top performing sales reps. Even in the teeth of a brutal bear market, Joe would always exceed his targets, something I’d marvel at with him and he would just shrug his shoulders and smile with genuine humility.
Outside of work Joe was an outstanding athlete. He was captain of his high school hockey team and won gold and silver medals at OFSSA. He was also a quarterback for his high school football team and a standout baseball player. He continued to play competitive baseball and hockey right up to his diagnosis. Most of all, however, Joe was also a strong and proud family man and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Deanna, his son, Justin, his daughter, Natalie and his son-in-law, Nolan. It’s hard to fathom their feelings of loss at this time.
Joe leaves a strong legacy here with our Group. Amongst many other initiatives he helped develop and spur on he was particularly instrumental in the strategic planning, the development and the sponsorship success of our Events business, a crucial area of growth over the last five years. He was proud to be part of this team and the mining and metals industry in general, and always had such great respect for the power of The Northern Miner brand and what it meant to be a steward of it.
His voice, his laugh and his ideas will be so missed, but we will all keep his memory strong in us and be sure that his presence remains with our team.