7 August 2014
Chris Stoddart, who died yesterday, was one of the kindest and most generous men I have ever had the pleasure to deal with.
You'll read elsewhere of his many professional achievements within facilities management, but speaking personally he was one of those rare, kindly souls who was never less than ready and willing to help when I had a question or two to ask of him.
Over the years I've worked with people in a variety of professions - but none had Chris's gift of being able to put you immediately at ease in his presence. Here was a man with immense experience who was always thinking about how others might benefit from it.
When Chris won his Facilities Manager of the Year award in 2011 - itself testimony to both his professionalism and character - I spent an agonising hour with him as he stood patiently to have his photograph taken for the magazine. Did he complain? Not a bit of it. Indeed, he was more interested in discussing the relative merits of our shared motor racing and football interests than the time he might be losing to the job.
While manager of the Heron Tower, Chris ensured that we had access to the building for our Rising Stars of FM event - just one of any number of generous gestures to help the BIFM, an institute of which he was a proud and dedicated member.
I have plenty of memories of Chris, but two stand out - the first his genuine elation at having won FM of the Year at the BIFM Awards and then, just last year, the smile on his face as he rushed to congratulate Anne Lennox-Martin on her lifetime achievement award at the same event. I know Anne, one of Chris's BIFM fellow colleagues, will be devastated at this news.
As a member of FM World's editorial advisory board, as a professional and as one of the friendliest faces in FM, I will miss Chris terribly. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.