Saying goodbye to my friend and mentor: “Whatever Thing You Are, Be That!”

The cartography world lost a wonderful human yesterday. Clint Loveman, a man who led the mapping team of which I am lucky to be a part, passed yesterday. He built a diverse, fun, and excellent development team. Together with them, I mourn. To be honest, I’m trying to do right by Clint in what I say here, but it is challenging to feel this heartbroken and write clearly. This will be a short post, so I will do the best I can in this moment for Clint. Please have patience with me.

I work at a place called Esri. Clint hired me and has been my manager for the entire 6.5 years that I have been there. For that reason, in many ways Clint is Esri to me, and he is a huge part of the reason I love my job. Just like he has done for so many, he fostered and amplified my skills with his encouragement and trust. He always went to bat for each one of us, and created an atmosphere where we were respected, and as a result, we were able to work together confidently and effectively. I cannot imagine a better way to manage a dev team than the way that he managed ours.

Esri User Conference, 2019. Most (but not all) of the Maps for Adobe Team.
L to R: Steven Moore, Manuel Lopez, Konstantin Yakovenko, Clint Loveman, me, Mahdura Phaterpekar, Xingdong Zhang, and Javier Angel.

Clint had a real skill for making up sayings on the spot. They were certainly hilarious, sincere, and illuminated his enthusiastic open spirit. This particular example is so quintessentially Clint, that we made an inspirational poster out of it, which he put on display in our daily meeting room: As we shifted from our prototype phase to software releases for our product, we needed to start making “What’s New” videos highlighting features and making tutorials. Clint wanted to make sure that we all had an opportunity to make these videos – He didn’t want there to be only one person or voice that represented our work. He aimed for diversity, and he wanted us all to have ownership in our product. One day, as we were intensely discussing these videos, and asking several questions: “What should we say, do, be, read…?” In the middle of the discussion, Clint just exclaimed:

“Whatever thing you are, be that!”

It might be a you-had-to-be-there type of moment. Like I said, it is hard to write very well right now. If you knew Clint, you would laugh at this (so at least some of you are laughing, which is good right now, right?). But to summarize it, Clint reeled us in when we needed it, never letting us veer off a productive track. He always did this with humor and respect. Also, he really wanted us to truly be whatever we are.

Photo credit: Madhura Phaterpekar & Javier Angel. This photo includes Anna Breton in addition to the folks in the previous photo.

Clint loved his family, his homeland (Canada), hockey, and was a great designer as well. I, along with so many people, am better for knowing him.

NACIS 2017 Fun Run, Montreal.
Esri User Conference, San Diego, 2016.
Adobe Max, 2017 I think! Back row: Jordan Cullen, Wes Jones, Dominik Tarolli, Madhura Phaterpekar. Front row: Clint Loveman, me.
After work social time.

Comments (6)

  1. Tracy

    Reply

    Well said, Sarah. That’s a lovely tribute. My condolences from the DCRO.

  2. Jeff boyd

    Reply

    Sorry for you loss, Sarah. Clint seems like he was a wonderful person. 🙏

  3. Craig MacLachlan

    Reply

    Great post Sarah. I’m so sorry to hear about Clint’s passing. I worked with Clint between 2001 and 2005 before leaving to come back to Canada. Thank you for the great message.
    Craig.

  4. Makram Murad-al-shaikh

    Reply

    This is SO SAD…
    May God grant him everlasting peace and grant his family and friends the strength in this time of mourning

  5. Reply

    Well, Sarah Bell, you done him good. This is the way I want to remember him, too. He and I shared a light table back in 2001. We got our work. When we played ultimate frisbee after work or on Saturday mornings at fields in Redlands schools, I called him the rabbit, cause he was sneaky fast and could leap deftly.
    Go long, rabbit, here comes the long arc.

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