SATW Joins the Travel Industry in Remembering Stuart Newman
Written by Bob Jenkins
Stuart Newman, an SATW colleague said, belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of P.R. pros. Newwman, a Society member since 1960 and a Marco Polo member, passed away March 24 at the age of 96. Praise for his professionalism and generosity has poured in from Actives and Associates.
“My favorite recent memory of Stu is from the SATW Media Marketplace during the Portland convention,’’ said Deborah Wakefield, chair of the event. “Stu entered the room with a huge smile, and as I glanced at his schedule, I noticed that he was one of the few exhibiting Associates to have a full schedule of appointments. While P.R. reps 50 to 60 years his junior were taking appointments here and there, Stu was working that full schedule. He was the ultimate role model into his 90s.’’
Indeed, Stuart stayed involved with SATW activities, attending an Eastern Chapter meet-and-greet in December that was hundreds of miles from his Miami agency. Even as time slowed him down, he continued to offer lessons.
“A long dine-around walk at the Reykjavik convention with a slow-moving Stu was a lesson in patience and appreciation,” Tom Adkinson said. “We had gotten off the bus together, and I felt obligated to stay with him. I chafed, but in a split-second I recognized the privilege of escorting and conversing again with a really nice guy. “Dinner could wait.’’
He always shared his gifts. “He was a creative trailblazer, a mentor to many,” recalled Mary Lu Abbott. “I think Stu was a newsman at heart, and that in part is what made him an excellent P.R. professional … He also was a people person.’’
Former Associate member Tim Gallagher was a P.R. vice president of Carnival Corp. when he retained Stuart’s agency more than 30 years ago. “One of the many things Stuart reinforced in me was that as a media relations pro, your most important attribute is credibility,” Gallagher said. “Lose that and you are toast.’’
Bill Hensley, a 50-year Society member, summed up Stuart: “If there is someone out there who didn’t like Stu, that person has a serious problem. He was a winner.”