This is the saddest post that has ever been published on this blog, and it is hopefully the saddest that we will ever have to post: we are writing today to say goodbye to our colleague, our teammate, and our friend, Joel Marín.
Joel passed away on June 10, 2017, from unknown causes.
There is no right way to handle grief - just as there is no way to fully heal from such a tragedy. But we wanted to do something here to show how important Joel was to us and how much we will miss him.
This post is our tribute to one of the nicest, friendliest, hardest-working people you could ever have met. And it is being said in the words of all of the people who got to work with him everyday:
"Joel didn't work in the IT department. That wasn't his background. It wasn't in his job description. But on the first day that I started here, he was the one who set up my computer - in fact, many of my programs were under his name, so everyday when I turned on my computer it reminded me of his kindness, even when I didn't get to see him.
When we went to his desk on that first day and asked him to get me set up on a few more things, he didn't say, 'If I have time, I'll get to it.' or 'That's not my job, but I guess.' He said, 'I'm already working on it.' And that is the type of attitude I saw him have about everything.
He was my teammate at our murder mystery dinner. He was my tour-buddy when the two of us got an exclusive look into the new Braves stadium. He was my rival when it came to competitions like salsa making contests. He was the guy who would always ask me about my weekend when we ran into each other in the break room, and then remember my plans on Monday so that he could ask, 'How was the concert/show/game?'
I'm sorry that on June 12th I couldn't come into the office and ask him how his game was last weekend. Or if he did anything fun after. But since I can't ask him, I want him to know that I hope he was having fun. I hope he ended on a high note, doing something he loved with good friends by his side. And I want him to know that I'll always think of him when I make salsa, go to SunTrust Park, or even turn on my computer."
"Joel and I were in offices that are over 1,500 miles apart and we only had the opportunity to meet in person once. Despite the distance we quickly became friends and I knew immediately what an amazing person he was. His personality was contagious and was always fun to talk with over the phone. He had such a positive and passionate outlook on life and work. Sending healing prayers to his family, friends and co-workers."
"Joel was like a big teddy bear. Every time I made the trip to Atlanta Joel was always there with a huge smile to greet me. He will be missed."
"Joel was one of the greatest human beings I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He never passed up an opportunity to share wisdom, kind words, or a hilarious story. The GiveSmart HQ team will never be the same without the bright smile and contagious laugh of Joel Marin, and I'll miss him dearly."
"'How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.' -- Winnie the Pooh
I think Joel would like this quote very much.
He was my workplace morning hello, my shout out over the cubicles in the office and go-to for many topics. He was an easy person to be around, share a laugh with or help solve a problem. I enjoyed him as a person, a joyful person because he always made you feel better after you walked away. I respected his opinion and his desire to give every situation the benefit of the doubt.
I will miss him, and I will miss the joy he brought to my day and his cheerfulness that was contagious.
How lucky are we to have known him."
"Joel was truly my brother from another mother.
He always had something positive to say no matter how negative the situation was.
I would often vent to Joel about various things and always leave the conversation with a different perspective and understanding.
It’s not going to be easy coming into work and not having his booming voice, infectious laugh and random bursts of Spanish speaking behind me everyday.
I am going to miss the everyday chitchat about what we had going on in our lives and mostly him trying to explain sports to me and how they work.
One of my most vivid memories of Joel happened when my name was incorrect on an event-staffing document. Someone had put in Nana Robins instead of Hana Robins. For the remainder of the day Joel kept calling me “Nana Puddin’” and cracking everyone up with it.
He will be beyond missed and no one will ever be able to replace his spirit and energy."
"This world was blessed to have Joel in it for the time we did. I am grateful to have known him and wish peace for him and his family."
"Joel's positivity rubbed off on all of us. His happy demeanor was infectious. Joel was an integral part of the CSM team and he was always the first to offer his help or opinion. When I met him in Atlanta, he was very warm and I noticed his office space reflected his personality and the things that mattered most to him in life. He was truly one of the nicest people I knew and will be missed."
"The world will be a little more quiet without Joel. His personality was one for the books; he was very passionate, energetic and genuinely cared about everyone. The excitement he had talking about both his clients and his family and friends, really revealed how much compassion he had for everyone. He had an outlook of not taking anything for granted and continual learning and growth from his day to day, which was invaluable. Joel truly had a heart of gold and will be missed by so many."
"I loved how Joel always connected our heritage when we spoke or wrote to each other. I will miss his “Buenos Dias Geri!” Descansa en paz querido Joel..."
"Joel was more than just an employee here at GiveSmart; he was a friend and will be deeply missed. When I first interviewed Joel, immediately after the meeting, I said to our HR Manager, “We need to get this guy. I want him on our team!” Joel lit up the room and left a lasting impression on me within minutes. He did the same with the team the moment he walked into the office on his first day. From the second I met him; I knew this was a person who can truly change the world.
Joel did change the world!
I am so lucky to have known Joel. He was someone who was passionate, loving, caring and selfless. He always placed others first and lived his life in support of something even bigger than himself. He spent his life serving others, whether it was in Boy Scouts, or at GiveSmart helping nonprofits. He was loyal, had integrity, and a positive mental attitude that was infectious.
Joel led by example, and people followed, because they trusted him. He always made us laugh, and has touched each and every one of us in a different way.
Joel’s contributions to this company, and this world, will never be forgotten."
"One of the more memorable things about Joel was that he took his job very seriously, but never took himself too seriously. This really was a rare combination that made him a very effective customer success manager and an enjoyable co-worker. He had such a positive attitude about everything in life that I’m not sure he ever had a bad day."
"Joel was a true innovator and brought so much life and laughter to GiveSmart. He will be greatly missed by everyone here."
"Joel. For the short period of time I was lucky enough to work with you, I am thankful. I knew from day one that we would become close friends - I am deeply saddened that this was cut short. Your personality - addictive, your laugh spread joy throughout the office. Rest in peace my friend and colleague. P.s. Already missing your advice on health drinks and coffee sweetener!"
"Joel was such a positive spirit in our office. He had a booming voice that carried across the whole floor and an infectious laugh. And he could talk! My mind drifts off to thoughts of him several times a day! We miss you Joel! You will always be a part of the TEAM!"
"Joel is one of a kind, I can't even type "was" because his boisterous, joyful spirit is still here with us. I will always remember how he kept us abreast of the newest eateries and how we loved to share a friendly banter about our latest Pinterest finds. I can truly say he is one of the best people I have ever met/worked with and I will miss him dearly."
"Joel, "what a guy" as he was never afraid to tackle a new task or jump into a new role to support our clients. He was a real valued team member that brought an infectious joy for life to the GiveSmart family. Joel will be missed!"
"Joel was what we want GiveSmart to be known as... light-hearted, loving, positive, inspirational, uplifting, and most of all lived every day to it's fullest. Joel was my "Early-Bird Buddy" who would sit and talk with me in the office nearly every morning, before business hours, about baseball - the Cubs and Braves - and best of all the ocean, and how much he missed it from growing up in Puerto Rico... and how we both dreamt about living on the beach someday and hearing the ocean crash against the shore. As I experienced the grieving process of a beloved teammate... I was reminded throughout his memorial of my favorite poem that I believe sums up Joel's thirst for life and his accomplishment of creating a "dash" that many will never forget!!!"
"Although I work in Indiana, and only met Joel once in person, I had interactions with him weekly that often left me belly laughing! His personality was larger than life, he had a way of really making someone feel like they were truly important to him and the only thing that mattered at that present time.
"Joel was sunshine. First one here in the mornings... arriving before expected.... this allowed for each person to be greeted with a smile and cheerful "hello" from Joel. You couldn’t help but feel happy when you were with him. He took every situation and worked to put his positive mark on it. I love that he was always striving to improve GiveSmart and to improve his clients’ experience by always putting an extra foot forward. I love that he put 100% into our culture at the workplace by dressing up and participating in our activities. Joel is already very missed and will continue to be missed!"
"Joel was a very bright and wonderful spirit. I always found it impossible to not smile and be in a better mood whenever I was talking to him. Joel was beyond helpful in my early days at GiveSmart and I am beyond grateful to have gotten the chance to know him. I'm still not quite sure how to process this immense loss or how to tell if I have even started to. I mostly just feel anger and disbelief.
I will miss you, Joel. We will all miss you. I hope beyond hope that you are in a much better place and are still rocking that amazingly contagious smile wherever you are."
"It was such an honor getting to work with Joel over the past few years. He taught me so much through his positive spirit and how he would embrace each learning experience with determination and gratitude. Thank you, Joel for bringing so much joy to our world. You are truly one in a million!"
"Joel could make me laugh within seconds, His personality was infectious and his passion for life insatiable. I miss him more with very day that passes.
Joel, You Will Be Missed