Today, we begin the monumental task of carrying on the legacy of Walter Ohlmann, who passed away last Friday and was laid to rest yesterday in his beloved hometown of Dayton, Ohio.
The impact this man made on this world, this community, this business and every one of its employees can not be overstated. He was a giant – an honest, fair leader; a kind-hearted soul with a tireless work ethic; a man driven to make the world a better place through his words and deeds.
No single one of us can replace him, but the truth of the matter is that all of us who were fortunate enough to know Walter, have been prepared for what to do next because day by day, little by little, his example equipped us to carry on the timeless principles he embodied in life. He built a culture that values people, that understands the virtue of hard work, that believes in integrity, and that is bigger than any one of us.
I share with you the following words that he kindly shared with us:
“Any successful company must aspire to a certain standard of excellence – its own code of ethics. To that end, there are no shortcuts. The badge of integrity is hard-earned and sometimes even harder kept. Integrity is the touchstone by which we measure ourselves, our people, our achievements and our relationships with clients and suppliers. Fairness, honesty, commitment, excellence. A set of principles by which we live, work, and hire. Inviolate. We believe in integrity and place it above all else.”
– Walter Ohlmann
So this morning as we open for business once again, Walter lives on in all of us. We will miss him deeply. We will remember him always. We will honor him daily with our own words and deeds of integrity as long as “we’re on this side of the grass.”
Thank you to all who have expressed such love for the man whose name we are proud and fortunate to represent, the one and only Walter Ohlmann.