The meeting planning community lost a favourite son this past week with the sudden passing of Filipe Nepomuceno, President/Owner of Altima Concept, a Montreal Destination Management Company (DMC).
I came to know Filipe in 2010 when I spoke at the MPI Montreal Chapter Biennial Conference, Convivium, at the Chateau Cartier in Gatineau. (That's Filipe in the argyle sweater in the picture I snapped for this Convivium blog).
Though I did not know him well, Filipe was a likeable fellow and we shared both a love of the meetings industry, and an entrepreneurial obsession. We kept in touch ever since, chatting a few times a year about business and life in general.
I saw Filipe again just five days before his death, at the Ignite Business Expo. He looked great, and he was his usually friendly, outgoing self. We hugged and he was telling me he would be re-doing his company website soon. I offered to help when he was ready.
The sad news of his demise came to me from a mutual friend, Roni Feldman, also a DMC owner in Toronto. I truly believe Filipe personified Abraham Lincoln's words, "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
On behalf of the Canadian meetings community, our deepest condolences to the Nepomuceno family. Donations may be made to the Quebec Heart & Stroke Foundation. Rest in peace, Filipe.
As for the rest of us on this Canada Day long weekend, take time to smell the flowers and enjoy life with your loved ones. Because it may be over before you know it.