Tribute to Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell, GeoAid International

I have another post that is not exactly Higher Ed Tech Talk but it is worthy of this audience. I am the Chairman of the Board for the humanitarian aid organization, GeoAid. This all came about because of Bill Mitchell, the Executive Director of GeoAid who recruited me about 3 years ago. GeoAid was created to provide humanitarian aid typically in the form of community development to the community affected by the Geovic mining operations near Lomie, Cameroon, Africa. Lot’s more to the story but basically we were given enough funding to setup programs to help the Cameroonian people that would be affected by this Cobalt mining operation. So we were allowed to do “Good” as “God” would lead us. And we have, shipping 3 large containers full of medical equipment and numerous shipments of medicine delivered with health fairs and clinics. We have laid the foundation for many successful micro enterprises with an effective Cameroonian presence. We have earned the loyalty of the people and the Cameroonian government. This year we plan to expand into New Caledonia and Papa New Guinea. All of this because of the leadership and drive of Bill Mitchell. 

Unfortunately this post now turns to a tribute to Bill since he died last Friday. But how he died exemplifies how one gets the most out of their life. Six years ago Bill, then 65, experienced a mild heart attack wake-up call that has forced him to deal with an at risk heart condition. Many people would have backed off an active lifestyle in order to live longer. But Bill jumped into GeoAid, travelled many times to Africa, worked long hours, etc. Bill also loved to play golf and his ideal script for how he would exit his physical body would be while playing golf. Last friday this is how the script played out in the form of a massive heart attack at the 9th tee. And he could not have been happier, not because of dying while playing golf but because as a Christian he looked forward to this day with great anticipation. Bill packed more into those six years then some of us do in a lifetime. While working with Bill on world humanitarian development issues he instilled in me his slogan: “Change is Inevitable, Growth is a Choice“.  We at GeoAid are definitely dealing with change now and I am confident that it will lead to Growth. It was an honor to know and support Bill’s efforts. The world will miss you him.

Obituary Link

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith has retired. His last position was the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education comes from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on September 27, 2011, in Cameroon, GeoAid, Humanitarian Aid and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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