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Homage Episode 35: Chaz Kauffman

Chaz, my friend. Today is your Homage. I feel extraordinarily blessed to have been introduced to you two years ago by our mutual compadre Mary Lynne. All started with a simple meal as you became indoctrinated into “The Lunch Bunch”…who knew that it would grow into the bond it has today? I value our family conversations and am always thankful for the wisdom you drop when we’re together. There is a special camaraderie that you, ML, Uncle Gary and I share (mostly aptly shared around good wine) that I’ve really never found with another group of folks during my 17 years at DSM. This is something that I cherish and genuinely look forward to when we get to spend time in person together.

From day one Chaz, you have been a treasure trove of fantastic stories – both professionally as well as familial. You’ve never been short on quick wit and for that I thank you. Many a time we’ve been together and not been having the greatest of days. 10 minutes into lunch and I’m laughing my ass off because “you’ve been there or done that” and it leaves me with the feeling of…we’re going to get through this. You probably don’t even know you’re doing it because you’re just sharing your experience with a friend…in that sharing though, you’ve helped me so much with seeing things through a different lens. Something so simple can usually have a great deal of impact…and you’ve delivered in spades, my friend. You’ve made an impact just by helping me talk (and work) through things happening in my life and helping me to frame them in another way…ALWAYS WITH A MORE POSITIVE OUTCOME.

Personally, we’ve had multiple conversations about family and kids and to me, your greatest asset is just BEING THERE. Your kids have a few years on mine and you’ve always been able to provide awesome advice at different stages of our conversations… through some of our toughest moments, you’ve added immense insight and clarity. This generosity and kindness is something that I will not forget…and I hope to pay it forward to others. For those watching this without kids…it’s a journey. Each and every day brings challenges and rewards. Find people in your life who are willing to share their experiences – both positive and negative. Find them and hold onto them tight. These folks are your tribe. They’re willing to share their struggles and wins. This is so important to “the game of life”…it’s more than your profession and family comes in many shapes and forms. Chaz, appreciate you so much, brother.

In closing, as I sit here and write this about you, my friend, I am eternally grateful. I look up the page and see episode 35 and I am grounded in appreciation. I never thought this series would get this far. It’s a testament to all of the amazing people in my life. People who have taken time to pour themselves into me and weave themselves into my journey. I will admit that I have a penchant for “looking at the glass half empty” and the purpose of this series was solely to ensure that every episode left me more thankful because the journey is what it’s all about. That…and I realize that there are so many amazing folks who have made a lasting and venerable impression on me. This has helped shape me and crystallized my resolve to continue to share these stories and humans. I am thankful for you Chaz. Keep up the epic work and know that you’re building a legacy that is second to none, my friend.


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