Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Farewell to a Friend

We lost a dear colleague at Capitol Broadcasting this week. Ben Waters passed away Monday. He was 73. (Please read this tribute on the CBC web site.)

Ben was a corporate VP for two decades. He retired in 2003. The best of CBC’s senior executives never truly retire, and Ben was still working on various projects for the company.

For most of his career Ben was the “implementer-in-chief” for just about everything CBC did in the community. He was organizer, convener, funder and fundraiser. Jack-of-all-trades. Man for all seasons. The clich├ęs are apropos.

He was meticulous (constantly reminding our beneficiaries that Capitol is spelled with an O, not an A in that last syllable,) wise and sociable. The latter brings me to the most serious topic of “building corporate culture through golf” – Ben’s unheralded contribution to Capitol and his (slacking?) coworkers. He loved golf and used his position to spread the joy.

Every year as soon as our season ended Ben would give me a call and offer congratulations on the season, and then tell me that I need to let my staff play some golf for their hard work during the season. He would give me dates for multiple golf scrambles. Our golfers came to expect that phone call every fall.   Mike Birling, General Manager, Durham Bulls Baseball Club

I remember that Ben was very passionate about the game. He would call me every time CBC was sponsoring a foursome in a tournament. I guess he perceived me to be a “ringer,” and would invite me at every opportunity. I once joked with him that I’d never get any work done if I played in as many as these tournaments as he wanted me to. But he really loved the game, so much so that it really didn’t bother him if he was playing poorly. He just relished the opportunity to be out there. He was also very honest and a stickler for the rules. In these captain’s choice events, there are specific rules that govern how many club lengths you can move your ball to improve your lie, and I remember guys in our foursome moving their balls an inch or two beyond that limit. Ben would call them on it - and they were on his own team!    Tony Haynes, Broadcaster, Wolfpack Sports Marketing

We grieve with Martha, Kimberly and their entire family. Surely, Ben’s enjoying an adult beverage at Heaven’s 19th Hole, and we raise our glass in his honor and to his memory.