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Monday, May 30, 2011

Farewell to a Friend, Colleague & Mentor

It is with great sadness that I write this blog post to say farewell to Marlin Gottschalk.  On Monday, May 23, 2011 Marlin said good-bye to this world after a valiant encounter with cancer.

A great friend to Elemental Impact | Zero Waste Zones and me personally, Marlin stood strong in his support of the ZWZ program as it evolved from the Green Foodservice Alliance to Elemental Impact.  It was Marlin's unwaivering support that gave me the courage to continue this important journey and I am eternally grateful to his spirit and guidance.  As Director of the Sustainability Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Marlin ensured Roy Edwards was available to attend meetings and provide necessary professional guidance.

Marlin presenting @ Nov 2011
Ei Sponsor, AC & Board Mtg
Marlin took his position on the Ei Advisory Council seriously by attending POWER - Perishable Organics Waste to Energy Recycling - and Ei AC, Sponsor & Board meetings.  Just a month before his passing, Marlin sat next to me at the April 21 POWER meeting.  Even in pain, Marlin provided valuable insights and dialogue to the lively meeting.  This was my last time to see Marlin.

Marlin on right with a happy
group of Ei sponsors & advisors
When I think of Marlin I see him in full beard towering above me with his blue eyes sparkling with mischievous energy.  I also will always remember our update meetings every couple months.  Marlin understood me like no one else - I could update him with my logic and he understood.  Once I described my journey as living in creative chaos while bringing structure to ground the projects into this dimension - Marlin's sparkling eyes told me he understood and experienced the same types of journeys.

I rarely write blog posts in first person - this is a personal tribute to a friend, colleague and mentor I will miss tremendously.

While I will miss Marlin here in the physical, I know I have a loyal Angel assisting and guiding me on this incredible journey.  Thank you Marlin for sharing your spirit with me.  Thank you Marlin for continuing to be by my side.  I miss you and am honored you continue to inspire me.

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