Originally, I planned to write this editor’s letter about curb appeal, branding and the “image” this industry presents to customers—highlighting the great facilities and operations we featured in our 2019 Best Looking Lube story.That idea changed drastically when we received some terrible news at our office. There’s no easy way to say it, but longtime NOLN columnist Kit Sullivan passed away.
Now, I say “NOLN columnist” as a simple moniker to denote his connection to this publication (he wrote for us for more than 11 years). A father, husband, entrepreneur, industry advocate, mentor, teacher, trainer, friend, colleague—Kit had a tremendous impact on many people in many different ways. His reach went far beyond the pages of this magazine, and was far more deep and meaningful to those who truly knew him. I’m not going to pretend I fall into that category.
I wish I did, but I knew Kit for just eight months, since beginning my own work on NOLN back in February. And that relationship was mostly straight forward and professional. The outpouring of response we have received and heard, though, speak to Kit’s reputation as a thoughtful, caring and motivated leader, and his loss will be greatly felt by many.
The passing of anyone we know tends to open up a rabbit hole of introspective thought and contemplation—sometimes healthy, sometimes not. But when it’s someone as motivated, driven and impactful as Kit, it can help inspire a desire to do more ourselves. I’m always honored and humbled by the selflessness of all the folks who willingly contribute not just to our magazine but also the industry as a whole, giving back for no other reason than to pay it forward for the opportunities and good fortune they received.
Kit’s passing will leave a void in the pages of NOLN and in the lives of all who knew him, but the lessons he shared over the past 11 years will continue to drive others forward. Here’s to Kit.