By Jerry Lips
A little over four years ago, two gentlemen came into my office unannounced; the younger of the two introduced himself and then introduced his older friend as Mark Upton, retired CEO of Proctor and Gamble. The young man presented himself in a very self-assured, yet respectful manner. He explained that Mr. Upton was a mentor and that they had just come from the Perfect Landing Restaurant where they were perusing an Airport Journal over breakfast, when Mr. Upton suggested that they drive over to our office. Mr. Upton explained that his young friend, Brett Derosier, was an exceptional young man with remarkable talent. He told how a major New York firm had taken the brightest of the bright from across the country and had sent them to special wealth management training in Boca Raton for one year, and that Brett had not only outperformed everyone else in the class, but had built solid relationships with many very successful people.
They had decided at breakfast that Brett needed to come to Airport Journals and discuss how he might help get some interesting stories and interviews for our paper and help us build our circulation among very powerful business leaders. Here was a young man, 24 years old, telling me how he could help me be more successful. And I believed him! Over the next four years, Brett helped Airport Journals in countless ways. He helped with the Jet Previews, covered events like Barrett Jackson, wrote articles, interviewed interesting and successful people and introduced me to quality people that introduced me to other quality people. People like Dr. Bird, Harry Mathews, Clive Cussler, Charlie Johnson and many others.
His first interview with Dr. Bird, the inventor of the heart-lung machine, was published in Airport Journals within a few weeks of that first meeting. Last Thursday, Brett called me to tell me he was going back to Sandpoint, Idaho, to do a four-year follow-up with Dr. Bird and wanted to know if I had any message for him to relay. After spending the day with Dr. Bird on Saturday, the Cessna Conquest jet in which Brett was a passenger crashed on final about two miles south of the Centennial Airport runway. Brett left a beautiful bride, mother, father and sister, and his Airport Journals’ family. Brett was often mistaken for one of the five Lips boys and was like a son to me. We all miss him so very much.
Last month I reported the near-fatal motorcycle accident of our son Jesse. The young man that had recently taken emergency medical training that just happened to be at the intersection at the time of the accident did in fact save Jesse’s life. The paramedics, police and firemen arriving at the scene left 21-year-old Kris Hickman in charge, as he worked to save Jesse’s life. Only after he got Jesse breathing on his own did others take over to transport Jesse to a “Level One Trauma Center.” Saturday, Jesse was given a pass from Craig Hospital to meet Kris for lunch; Jesse told Kris of an old Indian tradition that obligated the one whose life was saved to do the other’s hunting for life. Kris liked the idea that Jesse will hunt for game while Kris stays in the tepee and plays video games! Seriously, Kris would like a career in law enforcement and we hope that he can get a job where he actually gets paid for saving lives.