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TMB Celebrates the Life of Tommy Stephenson, 1963 – 2017
USA - On the day of his passing, TMB fondly remembers its first employee, Tommy Stephenson, the loudest man in show business.
After a record breaking stint as personal for Greg Lake (of ELP fame) Tommy joined TMB around 1984. He transformed the fledgling organisation from 'Two Men in a Bedroom' to 'Three Men and a Dog'. Tommy’s primary role then was, and always remained, confusion analyst, but his early duties also included cable coiler, driver, shipping/receiving expert, and ace booth builder (specialising in the afternoon shift). Later, in the spare time between his ongoing confusion analysis, he grew to become TMB’s sales manager. His heavy focus on confusion was the origin of TMB’s famous Rule Three: “Do Not Believe a Word Tommy Tells You.” In 2013 Tommy sadly retired from TMB for health reasons.
Tommy was infamous for not listening – ever! Known far and wide as “Large and Loud,” his blustery voice carried like a foghorn, irrespective of the environment or situation, or the choice language he was also known for. A demure patron in a London Indian restaurant put it succinctly: “I want to thank you for sharing your entire evening with the entire restaurant.” Once, during one of many long flights over the Pacific, a passenger asked Tommy’s frequent and long-suffering travel companion, Colin Waters, “Does your friend know his voice projects really far?” It is almost impossible to believe that voice is now silent.
Tommy’s humour was renowned, whether intended or not. Comments such as,:“Does the sea flow into the river, or does the river flow into the sea?,” and the immortal: “What’s a Vivaldi?” are legendary.
Tommy will always be a part of TMB in so many ways, and we fondly remember him with gratitude. Thank you Tommy, for teaching us that there’s more to selling than knowing what you’re talking about. Thank you for making sales meetings fun and for embodying TMB’s motto, “Fun is Profitable, Profitable is Fun.” Thank you for making it as funny the 30th time you told a story as it was the first time. Thank you for all you gave, for always giving, for the care you showed for everyone. Thank you for always being yourself.
TMB will be hosting a toast for Tommy at its USITT booth at the end of opening day, Thursday, 9th March. TMB will also be arranging a Memorial Story Telling, Friday night at LDI 2017. Price of admission for two will be a personal Tommy story. Tommy’s family will be there and, as he would famously say, “at the end of the day,” they need to hear all those stories! Further details to come.
23rd February 2017
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