ITB Berlin 2010Berlin, Germany — 10-14 March 2010
Obituary – John Fleming
It is with great sadness that we must inform you of the passing of John Fleming. John was the Director of Compass Benefits since 2003, and a long-time member of WYSE Travel Confederation. Many of you will remember having met John at WETM and WYSTC over the years. John will be remembered by his friends and colleagues as an extremely warm and generous person, whose true joy came from helping others. His soft Bostonian accent will be sorely missed; the world has lost one of the good guys. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dianne his wife, his children and grandchildren, family and friends.
“My first meeting with John Fleming was to characterise most of our future meetings. We were introduced at an insurance pub in Leadenhall Market, London in November of 2008, drank a great deal of beer and discussed politics (Bush Jr) sports (how does cricket work?) and a little bit of insurance on the side.
Two months later I joined WYSE as IASIS manager and John became my client, my mentor, my confidante and my friend. He was the most astonishingly open, friendly, generous and thoughtful person I met in all my professional life. John always had time for everyone, time for advice, time for a kind word and time to help and time to socialise.
John was always the first person I’d call upon arriving at a conference, whether it be Barcelona, Berlin or Beijing and his presence was always reassuring; if John was doing business, you knew that things were as they should be.
John was a raconteur, a bon vivant, a great storyteller, an entrepreneur, a teacher and a great example to all of us in the industry, but he was always a father first.
I was lucky enough to stay with him at his home in Massachusetts more than once, and, true to form, his hospitality was legendary. Dianne and the kids were always fabulous company, and incredibly welcoming; I never left chez Fleming with less than a couple of extra pounds under my belt and I know I’m not the only one to have that particular experience.
John didn’t talk much about his illness; he was very much a man of the old school; he didn’t want sympathy and he didn’t ask for it.
I know if he was with us now, he’d want us to have a colossal drink, to laugh and sing and to remember the good times we all shared with him.
I’m going to miss my friend.”
James Clarke – Former IASIS Association Manager
“I had the pleasure of meeting John on many occasions and his warmth and kind spirit always shone forth. From invitations to dinner or to stay at his house when in the US, through to his gentlemanly business negotiations, it was always a delight to talk and work with him. He will be missed by the industry as a whole.”
David Chapman – Director General WYSE Travel Confederation
“John was a valued insurance partner of IASIS. With his warm, friendly personality and decades of experience, he always showed willingness to find the best insurance solutions for the benefit of student and young people travellers. We extend our deepest sympathises and condolences to his family and friends.”
Dieter Raith – IASIS Association Board Chairman