Rest in peace, Watkins.

I have always wanted to do a series on the business cards I have collected over the years, but it is with a heavy heart that I make Dave Watkins the first person I profile.  He passed away on Friday, October 28, five days after his 44th birthday.

It’s not that Dave and I were best friends – we hadn’t spoken in a bit, but we stayed in contact via Facebook.  I met him 20 years ago, in 1991.  He was atThe Source and I was at Tommy Boy.  We clicked immediately. When he left and started Da Streets, he hooked me up with gear – those incredibly popular HBCU hoodies.  When I lost my job at Jive in 1996, he let me know about an event he was handling for 100 Black Men, in which they were honoring Oprah Winfrey and they needed ushers.  It was easy cash money and a great place to rub noses with movers and shakers.  That little gig meant a great deal to me, since I was very humbled at that moment, and no one else made a real offer to put money in my pocket.  The biz card above was for Icon Lifestyle Marketing, which became such a success, Crain’s put Watkins in their coveted 40 Under 40 in 2000.

He was good people.  And in this industry, that’s the highest compliment you can give.  When you heard him laugh, you immediately wanted to hear him do that again.

If you would like to see how many people he touched, go to his Facebook page. His funeral service brought everyone out, and it was a reunion that he would have been proud to see.

I know Dave will keep the folks up there busting their stitches and slapping their knees.   Rest in peace to a true networker.