The news about Jim was devastating.
I was a relatively new addition to the Demeter fold, having entered around June of last year if memory serves me correctly, but Jim, in his insightful and caring way, quickly made a huge difference in my life.
To be truthful, my co-founder (Nigel, another Demeterite) and I didn't have much of a business on our hands when we entered Demeter. We were essentially very talented grant writers running an NGO masquerading as a business, but with aspirations to building a business that delivered meaningful social impact. We only graduated to truly running a business after benefiting from Jim's time and attention. He made himself available day or night---and often on very short notice---to guide us through the twists and turns of building a company, including calming me down and talking me through during my periodic mental breakdowns.
I felt his caring and love intensely. I know that it's expected to hear platitudes on the occasion of someone's passing, but I mean this with every ounce of authenticity inside me: my life will forever be different and better because of Jim. He took an inchoate passion for doing good in the world, strengthened it, and gave it a definition that made it actionable. I'm grateful for having the privilege of receiving his guidance.
There is a small group of people who have touched my life so profoundly, in such positive ways, that I go forward in life hoping that I can honor in my actions their memory, energy, and love. Jim quickly joined those ranks. I will be forever grateful for having known him. I will always owe Jim a great debt.
He was an extraordinary man.