I got a very sad note this morning from George Michie, the Co-Founder and CEO of RKG, the search engine marketing firm that Alan Rimm Kaufman started several years ago. Alan died this past Saturday from Leukemia.
I met Alan a few years ago at a Shop.org conference. As a result of the meeting, subsequent conversations, and stellar references, I moved Musician's Friend's paid search business to RKG where they did (and still do) great work.
This is such terrible news for Alan's family and friends, but also a huge loss for the online marketing community. I'm posting this so that people who know him will know what happened, how much he will be missed, and celebrate his life.
Alan once interviewed Harry Joiner on the subject of hiring online marketing talent and he mentioned me. I remember how pleased I was, because I respected Alan so much.
RKG will, no doubt, continue to prosper, but Alan, you will be sorely missed.
His obituary is below.
Alan Philip Rimm-Kaufman, 41, of Charlottesville, died from Leukemia on Saturday, July 18, 2009.
Alan was born in 1968 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Essie and Norman Kaufman. After growing up in Newton, Massachusetts, Alan graduated with a degree in Applied Mathematics from Yale University in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, in 1996.
Alan moved to Virginia in 1996, beginning with a job at Signet Bank in Richmond and then working as Vice President of Marketing at Crutchfield Corporation. Alan began his own company, the Rimm-Kaufman Group, in 2003 and served as President and CEO until his death. Alan held a national reputation in web marketing and he wrote and blogged prolifically about paid search and web marketing. Alan's company, the Rimm-Kaufman Group was named to the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, in 2008.
Alan also held an appointment as Visiting Professor in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and as Fellow at the Center for Management of Information Technology at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
Those who knew Alan well appreciated his wide range of interests and his energy and enthusiasm for life. Alan was a 14 year survivor of lymphoma, and this reality fueled his philosophy to live fast and fully. Alan loved to build. Every day brought new project opportunities and he crafted structures, sculptures and costumes from cardboard, plaster, wood, metal, legos, toothpicks, straws, paint, sticks, and cloth. Alan read constantly and his book choices included classic literature, spy novels, computer code manuals, business books, books about the web, and non-fiction "how-to" guides. When not building or reading, Alan spent hours in the kitchen, cooking for the family, trying new exotic fruits, preparing homemade foods like kim chee or pickles, and generating new hot sauce recipes. Alan held a deep affection for the woods, having spent thousands of hours hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Alan loved family life, most likely because it gave him an excuse to play. He, his wife, and two children, called themselves the RK4s and created new family traditions together. Alan was a great dad, always telling stories and doing projects that would land on the border between creative and ridiculous. Alan aspired to give his children a true Jewish upbringing with Jewish ethics and sensibilities, and he left each child with a compass within to guide them in the years ahead. Alan offered his wife complete love and support during their 14 years of marriage. Alan will be remembered as a fantastic uncle, too. He often led packs of nieces and nephews in Thanksgiving plays, potato canon building, art with coconuts, storytelling, and sand dinosaur building. His family always appreciated his deep thinking mind-Alan was a great problem solver and a walking dictionary.
Alan is survived by his loving wife, Sara; his two children, Sam and Davida of Charlottesville; his mother, Essie Kaufman of Del Ray, Florida; as well as his sisters, Nina Weld of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Susan Kaufman-Una of Palmer, Washington.
Alan's father, Norman Lewis Kaufman, died in 2001. Alan was a loving son, brother, husband, cousin, uncle, nephew, and friend. His family and friends will miss him dearly.
The Rimm-Kaufman, Kaufman, and Rimm families are tremendously grateful for the many people who participated in Alan's medical care, especially Doctor Mike Williams of the University of Virginia Cancer Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alan P. Rimm-Kaufman Legacy Fund at CBI Preschool, 501 East Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, VA, 22902.
We also ask that people consider a regular commitment to blood donation and/or join the national bone marrow registry (www.marrow.org).
A funeral service will be held for Alan at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2009, at Hill and Wood Funeral Service, 201 North First Street, Charlottesville, Virginia. Burial at the Hebrew Cemetery on First Street Southeast will follow. Alan's family will receive friends from 10 until 11 a.m. at the funeral home.