Page 44 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 44

Ladies and Gentleman, without getting into too much detail, I’d like to share a few special memories of Joe:
• In 2008, Joe and I met in Chicago at my cousin’s house.
• Over the next two years, Joe and Duane Doll, Joe’s partner in life and in business, introduced me to the dog show world. I attended a few shows during this time and they blew my mind. I knew right then and there that I wanted to be part of this community.
• On November 17, 2010, I received a call from Duane who asked if I’d be interested to take over Show- Sight Magazine’s Sales Department and help with their other dog show brands. At the same time, he told me that Joe’s health was in decline. (Joe weighed approximately 130 pounds at the time.) It was tough for Duane to take care of Joe alone, and so he asked if I would be willing to come to their home in Lakeland, Florida so that I could help Joe get better while working for their publications. Forty-eight hours later, I left everything back home in Chicago and flew to Florida.
• During the next five months, an unbreakable bond was formed between me and Joe. I slept by his bed many nights and I got him out of the house and to the gym when he was barely walking. I kept doing this to the point that he started bothering me to go to the gym every morning at 5am. Again, we forged an unbreakable bond that made anything and everything possible. We became brothers in life and big teammates at work.
• We vowed to one another that we would become a large media company, but first there was a lot of work to be done to improve every aspect of the existing magazines.
• Before I jump ahead, I would like to share two very special moments: When both of my daughters were born (Iryna, April, 20, 2014, and Adrianna, August 15th, 2016), Joe was in the delivery room with my wife, doctor, nurse and me. Not my dad or my mom or anyone else. It was Joe who was there with my family. My wife and daughters will never forget you, Joe. We will miss you so much!
• After Duane’s passing in 2016, Joe expressed on multiple occasions how much he wanted to attend dog shows again, hang out with his friends, make new friends, get his judge’s license, work with AKC on Meet the Breeds, and so much more. He wanted to do all these things and still be in charge of the magazines’ editorial.
• In 2017, we proposed the idea for me to take 100% ownership of the company. Literally days into our negotiation, we finalized everything. A deal was struck as quickly as buying groceries. This was due to the trust and friendship we had forged with one another. After all, we were family.
Joe spent most of his life caring for someone else. Everyone who knew Joe knew that about him. Those who didn’t know him might have thought that the man was more about himself than others just because he was always so dapper, so confident. But that simply wasn’t true. Joe would have given a stranger the last crumb off his plate even if it meant that he would go hungry. Zero selfishness existed in the man’s soul.
I love you, Joe! Please know that I will continue to build on what you started 38 years ago. You have been my boss (and I your boss), my mentor and even my gym partner, but no matter how our relationship was defined we were always one thing and that is brothers! And since you were always worried about others, especially family, please know that I have reached out to those closest to you to let them know that I am here to help.
Although the real moments may have disappeared, I will always have our memories to remind me of you.

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