I knew Dick Testa for more than 12 years. He was one of those rare individuals who touched lives in so many ways and made you feel as if you were the only person important to him. He was instrumental in shaping the careers and businesses of so many. He gave me a lot of career and business advice during my tenure at Venture Economics. He was always a wonderful touchstone to get to the truth of any matter.
He was a man of few words, but those words were always insightful and always dead-on accurate. While I rely on our vast database and statistics to analyze what is going on in the industry, Dick always knew what the trends were without having to resort to technology. If there was such a thing as an oracle for the industry, he was that.
Never one to claim credit or the limelight for himself, Dick was probably one of the most important behind-the-scenes influencers that have made the industry what it is now. He left his mark on this industry and he will be missed.
I had the great privilege to know Dick Testa for nearly 25 years. He was not a big man physically but he was larger than life as a human being. There are many of us who can say that Dick Testa changed our lives. Maybe he saved our company or gave us the advice we needed to make a life-changing decision or supported us when others did not. His wise counsel and assistance changed my professional career twice. Without Dick, there would be no Veritage Group.
Dick was a man of vision and clarity. When he spoke you listened because every word was a pearl. You followed his counsel without hesitation because there was never any doubt that he was right. His ability to analyze a situation and then quickly get to the heart of the matter in only a few words or sentences (sometimes with great humor) is legendary among those of us who knew him. He was our fountain of wisdom that never ran dry and was always available. In a world where everyone is busy and too much falls off our plates, Dick returned phone calls the day they were received and never failed to take the time to listen and help.
Our loss is huge and our sadness is profound. But our memories of our interactions with Dick will continue to enrich our lives and bring smiles to our faces.