Somerset Maugham once said, “It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” As the head of this company, I have tried to live by this motto, always expecting the best from myself and from everyone who works here. Over the years, some have not seen the value of this thinking and left. Others did value it and left anyway. And then there's Charlie Ryan, who stayed. Charlie stayed for thirty-five years! And each and every day he's been here, he's not only strived to do his best, but inspired everyone around him, myself included, to do so as well.
Charlie, nobody deserves to take it easy more than you do. In your thirty-five years here, you have put so much into this company that it's impossible to imagine what it would have been like had you never walked through our doors. And now, it's impossible to imagine Clearview Industries without your commitment, your energy, your passion. I have never lost a night's sleep over the fate of this company knowing you were around. Charlie, you have been a rock for me and for all of us.
You've been a shining example to so many people here. So many people approached me this week to share a story about you and talk about how much they will miss you. As a tribute to you, I'd like to single a few of them out and share with all of you what they told me about how much Charlie has meant to them.
First, I'd like to ask Brad Green to stand up. Brad came to Clearview fresh from Indiana University. His only practical work experience was a part-time cold call sales job for Mertin Lyle. Charlie, you took Brad under your wing and taught him how to sell. You shared your own work ethic and experience with him, telling him stories of the good old days. And Brad tells me that you made him lists of