Tim Mason, ISACA Chief Experience Officer and SVP, Operations, and a six-year member of ISACA’s executive leadership, passed away unexpectedly on 31 October. As members of ISACA’s professional community, we extend our condolences to Tim’s family.
Tim’s leadership and his commitment to incredible member and customer experiences are the cornerstone of his very successful professional career. What I will recall as his most high-impact contribution to ISACA is Tim’s work with me in 2015 to define our organizational Values as well as our Purpose and Promise, centered on helping practitioners and their enterprises realize the positive potential of technology. Both were unanimously approved by the ISACA Board of Directors, and together with our Values they form the foundation for our ongoing transformation to an organizational culture of ONE. These are not just words on a wall. From this foundation, and driven by Tim’s leadership experience and energy, the ISACA community has benefitted from a wellspring of new capabilities and offerings. These include sophisticated digital marketing and analytics, an accredited training organization program, online learning and webinars, a heightened focus on product management, and a customer experience center, to name only a few. Our members and customers have seen, felt and experienced the incredible difference Tim brought to the workplace, and around the world, every day.
I walked the office floor last week following the announcement of Tim’s passing to comfort our employees during this difficult time. I was struck by many the comments I heard about Tim, including how he always said hi to everyone he passed in the hallways, his regular check-ins and counseling of staff on their career development, how his sense of humor, sarcastic at times, often helped to get through the most stressful of times, and that “he was the best boss I ever had.” Tim recognized that accomplishing great things not only requires hiring great people, but also supporting and nurturing them.
What I will remember beyond Tim’s professional accomplishments and contributions is the person Tim was outside of work. He had a real love for the outdoors, with a relentless passion for spending time on his Wisconsin farm (where he spent his final days) working the fields, hunting and fly fishing. Tim had an incredible knack for woodworking, and my wife and I will cherish forever a serving tray he made for us for no other reason than “just because.”
Most of all, he was a family man and father. Tim’s wife Brenda was, and will always be, his rock and the love of his life. His children, Nicholas and Caitlyn, were always top of mind, and his stories of what they have accomplished showed how proud he was of them. And then there’s Makenna—his granddaughter, and the apple of his eye. Yes, she had “Papaw” wrapped tightly around her little finger, and the vignettes Tim would share about her quips and antics, with this gleam in his eye, grin on his face, and warmth in his heart will remain with me forever. This was the real Tim.
Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Tim, we’re doing a lot of smiling in your memory, and we’re going to miss you a whole lot. Godspeed, my friend.
Editor’s note: Memorial donations in Tim’s honor will benefit the Epilepsy Foundation.