I first met Blake in 2011 as an intern. I was told I would get to shake his hand and ask a question at the first Rec meeting I went to. I was so nervous, as a college student I was still discovering my professional self. I shook his hand and remember him saying “Wow! That’s an excellent handshake. Nice to meet you Caitlin.” That comment always makes me smile, because at age 12 I decided I would always have a “business handshake”. I got to ask my question, and Blake said it was the best of the group. He answered everyone’s questions that day, and made extra time for the interns so they felt special. It worked. I left that meeting feeling so much better than when I arrived.

I met Blake on 2 seperate occasions after that. Both times were later in my career, and once I was in management. He was always nice and genuine. Most of all he was inspiring. He was a stickler about dust, he wanted the best for our customers, but no matter the day he was kind to employees. He made people laugh. He made sure everyone knew customers came first. In my over 7 years with the company, everyone has had a kind or funny Blake story to tell. He was a great leader, and he inspired loyalty to a company that works for it’s customers.

Blake’s passing was such a hard loss. But, he left behind a great legacy. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones.

Caitlin Saylor