In Memoriam - 2004

Max Meindl

"Gentleman... Professional... Kind and Decent Human Being."

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There is a hole in the NSA universe. It happened last Saturday and the hole cannot be filled. Max Meindl is gone and it is very strange to write of him in the past tense. He should be here still, as he always was. 

While he and I were friendly, I didnít know Max Meindl as a friend. I knew him as a peer. I traveled with Max for three and a half years, over one hundred and fifty shows or more than almost eight hundred hours on the road. In some months, I spent more time with Max than my family. While I knew his wife, Kathleen and his grandchildren, I knew him hardly at all.

Max was a man who did more than just show up for every morning. He was a professional who put up the same difficult booth each and every day as if it were the only day he would do this. He did it right, and he always did it right. He presented his line as though it was the most important thing a distributor would see that entire day.

I remember Max as an even-tempered man. He was not a man who tolerated fools gladly and was often exasperated when I would be apoplectic. He was a steady professional who seldom let the frustrations of the job get to him, as I often do. I find myself trying to emulate his steady demeanor on the job at every show.  Every job has its heroes and most heroes are quietly competent. Every job has its superstars and most are judged by their steadiness. Where sports had Jack Buck, Curt Goudy and Pat Summerall, the NSA Showcase had Max Meindl.

As the unofficial chronicler of the NSA Showcase, I realized that I had very few pictures of Max because he didnít do things that made him comical or stand out. My photos are of the people on Showcase who do things to stand out. Because of his qualities, Max flew under the photographic radar. He appears in every group photo of the last four years and you donít have to look far to find him in the middle of group that seldom took him for granted.

At the end of the day, Max Meindl was a man who mattered. He didnít do extraordinary thingsÖ he simply did ordinary things extraordinarily well. Even in jeans and a tie at breakdown, he was a solid professional. Everyone who knew him will miss him. He went too soon and it is our loss.

April 4, 2004

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"In our combined 30yrs in the Promotional Products Industry, Max exhibited the best qualities of what we all seek to accomplish: He was: a Gentleman; a Professional; and a Kind and Decent human being....he will be missed...."

Ray & Lorrayne Mancari


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To You... Max.
(At your favorite road retreat... the Embassy Suites manager's reception.)