I've been really sad for the past few weeks because I just found out that a good friend and one of my business advisors, Bruce Strzelczyk, passed away just before the holidays last year.
Bruce was one of those men who was so very approachable and friendly with an open face and smile. And then he'd listen to me, or any number of young pipsqueaks all fired up about their business, and offer such golden nuggets of wisdom. He wouldn't tell you what to do. He'd make observations. Like all good teachers, he helped me find my path on my own, and was just always there when I needed to bounce an idea around or to just touch base and catch up. In fact, he was the one who, just a few months ago, encouraged me to get back involved as a "scout" for VCs and work my database at a matchmaker.
Normally articulate, today I just don't have a lot of words to express my sadness that this great man, thinker, leader and businessman is no longer with us. May he rest in peace.
I found out this news because when I had emailed Bruce to discuss some "matchmaking" I was working on, I got an email back from his colleague, Bill Sprague, Head of Investment Banking at Sanders Morris Harris. His email said,
"I am very sorry to inform you, but unfortunately Bruce passed away just
before the holidays. He had a sudden heart attack and never recovered. While Bruce was a member of the SMH family for less than six months, Bruce's energy and enthusiasm for life and work had an immediate impact on all of us. He will be sorely missed.
"Bruce, who was 53 years old, leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Maria, and five children.
"On behalf of Bruce, SMH is creating a Strzelczyk Education Fund for Bruce's children, two of whom are in college and one in high school. Any donations can be sent to me or Julie Houston at the address below.
Head of Investment Banking
Sanders Morris Harris
320 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10022
If you knew Bruce, or would just like to donate to the Education Fund for his children, let Bill or Julie know.
He was a stellar member of the Silicon Alley Community. He generously gave his time by serving on the WWWAC board, helping many young entrepreneurs with new endeavors, and being a good friend. Bruce was very dedicated and committed to helping grow Silicon Alley Community as well as helping it through the tough times. Most recently he was a Managing Director at Sanders Morris Harris. He was a partner at Eisner, LLP (formerly Richard A. Eisner & Company) and founder and co-chair of their Internet and Technology Practice.
Here are some snippets from other websites (credit given)
From: New York Business
Bruce Strzelczyk's "introduction to Internet companies came in 1994, when he convinced his firm to invest in a rising Silicon Alley start-up called fashionmall.com Inc. Eisner's involvement with the e-tailer proved to be an excellent primer in learning the ways of the new economy.
"My role is to bring our expertise into the game," Mr. Strzelczyk says. "We have the knowledge of the techniques and the rhythms of the industry."
Today, Eisner's Internet and technology practice has grown to 14 full-time partners and 250 clients, including on-line accounting service Virtual Growth Inc."
-- From: New York Times Published: December 10, 2005
STRZELCZYK -- Bruce Joseph, on December 7, 2005. Devoted husband of Maria for 28 years. Loving father of Christine (Joseph), Paul, Catherine, Karen & Susan. Also survived by his parents Joseph & Grace & brother James. Alumni of Xavier HS Class of '70 and Pace University Class of '73. Bruce was a former partner of accounting firms E & Y, Anderson, Eisner LLP and recently joined Sanders Morris Harris as Managing Director. Born in Brooklyn and long time resident of Glen Rock, NJ. Bruce will be deeply missed by his family and friends. For information Plaat Colonial Home Inc. Fairlawn, NJ 201-797-3500
STRZELCZYK -- Bruce. We express our deep sympathy and condolences to the Strzelczyk family on the untimely passing of our friend and former partner. The Partners of Eisner LLP
-- From: HBSCNY
Bruce Strzelczyk, Partner Eisner LLP www.eisnerllp.com Bruce has extensive experience in representing growing technology companies, particularly in strategic development, in SEC matters, the purchase and sale of companies, restructuring, strategic planning, structuring joint ventures and strategic alliances, and due diligence. He served as a key business partner in the firm's joint venture with Fashionmall.com, which has led to his active role in providing financing and strategic planning assistance to new media companies. The author of "The Ten Commandments of Attractive Venture Capital" and co-author of "The Ten Commandments of Going Public," Bruce was also recently elected President of the World Wide Web Artists Consortium and selected as one of Crain's New York Business Technology 100 leaders.