Without my mentor – thank you Chris Stark

As they often say, one never knows when their time will come and this is how I feel about my mentor, friend, and teacher.

Chris Stark was all of this to me and so much more.  I met Chris in 2010 when we had our very first phone conversation.  He had called to tell me how pleased he was with the work I had done on our charter challenge against the Canadian Government over their inaccessible websites.

From that memorable moment until his passing in early June; Chris coached, mentored, taught, and lead me from pillar to post in the world of advocacy.

He taught me never to give up!  He taught me to always take the high road!  He taught me how to develop and grow a thick skin!  He taught me professionalism, to look before I leapt, and how to analyze carefully before making a decision.  Most of all, he taught me how to pick and choose my battles.

Chris never said no to my calls for help.  He was always there and he never shied away from an important battle.  Above all, and despite him being often in physical pain, he was always there to offer his help.  I shall always remember his opening words anytime I called him.  “How can I help you!”

We as Canadians owe Chris a tremendous and unforgettable debt of gratitude for all that he did!  Just to mention a few, for having helped to bring the talking ATM to Canada, for his tireless work with advocating for guide dogs and their users, for all of his efforts re transportation, the CRTC, and Elections Canada and Elections Ontario.

Thank you Chris for having come into my life!  You came for a reason and now you are up in the deep blue still coaching me.  I promise to never let you down and all I ask is that you save a place at your table for me when I finally join you!  I’ll never forget you and I hope you do the same for me!

Just my two cents for today.

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