The AV industry is full of great people, dedicated to and in love with technology and its possibilities. But every now and then you come across someone even more special. Someone like Ben Kislich-Lemyre.

The AV industry was shocked last month when Ben, the general manager of DataVisual, passed unexpectedly at the age of 47.

Draper’s relationship with Ben and DataVisual goes back to 2007 when we first partnered with them as a Canadian distributor for Draper products. Our partnership has flourished for many reasons, not least of all because we’re both family-owned and -operated companies. It’s been such a good partnership that three years ago, at InfoComm 2015, we established Draper Canada with DataVisual to be our primary business representative in Canada.

Celebrating Draper Canada at InfoComm 2015.

Draper field sales manager Lee Denhart remembers Ben as more than just a business partner:

“Ben was a very close business associate. He was a trusted resource. We often discussed strategies and how we would approach the marketplace. He was a visionary, making DataVisual a very solid value-added distributor. But to us he was more than a valuable business asset. He was also a friend, a well-regarded member of the Draper family, and we’ll miss him.”

As regional sales manager for New England and eastern Canada, Eric Guffey, LEED®AP, CTS, also worked with Ben quite a bit.

“He was always so upbeat and in a good mood, regardless of the time of morning or night we were working. It could be 10 p.m. setting up a show or 6 a.m. Nothing phased him. He was always a pleasure to work with regardless of the situation,” Eric said. “InfoComm and other trade shows just won’t be the same without him. He was a lot of fun on the golf course too!”

Perhaps the best possible tribute was in this message posted by DataVisual not long after Ben’s passing:

“In Ben’s memory, we ask that you please do something kind for someone. It was with his big heart that he attempted to help everyone that he cared about and there were so many. Through kindness to others, Ben’s memory will live on.”

We will miss Ben and we offer our heartfelt condolences to the DataVisual family. Meanwhile, DataVisual remains a strong company and a key partner. Like all families, we will remember while we move ahead together. Ben and his wife, Lisa, have built a strong team and under her leadership, DataVisual’s future is extremely bright.