It is with the greatest of sorrow that I am sharing our admired TopRank Marketing team member, Brian Larson, has passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Our condolences to Brian’s wife Erin and his family for such a tragic loss.
Brian started with TopRank about 3 years ago after having worked for over 6 years with PR Newswire. As Account Manager of Strategic Accounts at TopRank, Brian was one of the most humble, giving and professional people I’ve ever worked with. We will miss him dearly.
I can’t count how many times clients would approach me at industry conferences to say what a great guy he was to work with. He really cared about his team, clients and doing great work.
What I endorsed him for on LinkedIn a year ago is even more true now: “Brian’s approach to account management was very customer focused and led to successful, long term relationships with many high profile clients. As a team player and emerging leader at our agency, his thoughtful perspective about integrated marketing and PR was a positive influence on our team and the client accounts he led.”
Recently, Brian presented at his first SES conference at SES Chicago and as you’d expect, the room was packed and people loved his humorous, practical and engaging personality. Brian helped Eliza Steely at that event with liveblogging, resulting in some of the best conference coverage we’ve ever had of an event. Brian touched all the people he worked with at TopRank and summing that experience up is very difficult.
There are so many memorable moments working with Brian over the past few years and I know the thing I remember most is that he would go out of his way to publicly and in detail, to recognize his co-workers for the great work they did. At TopRank we call them “flames” and as busy as Brian was managing major client accounts, he kept the “heat on” by consistently recognizing the awesome in others and supporting that recognition with specifics. He empowered his team members and that is one of the greatest gifts one can give I think. He will be remembered as someone who gave selflessly and generously.
Brian truly was the epitome of a “good person”.
What this means for TopRank Marketing: The way our agency is structured, Account Managers like Brian are mentored and also mentor others on their team – working cross functionally in many cases. That means Brian worked closely with just about all of our staff at one point or another. Brian’s past immediate supervisor, Jolina Pettice, will be taking on Brian’s accounts with support from the same team that has worked with him over the past few years. I am thankful for such an amazing team at TopRank that is quick to adapt and support each other in times like these.
Brian is survived by his wonderful wife Erin and their three dogs Harvey, Norman, and Justice. Details on the funeral can be found here, which takes place on Wednesday this week.
Brian cared deeply about animals, especially his dogs and his wife Erin has expressed that any memorials be given to mnsnap.org - an animal protection organization.
There is so much more I could share here. If you know, worked with or were affected by Brian, please share your experiences so others in our community can see what a special guy he was.