I once had a professor that would always tell us how we each cast a sphere of influence. "You touch people’s lives all around you, no matter if you’re aware of it or not” he’d say. From your closest loved ones, to the guy that works in the cubical next to you, even the stranger you accidentally bumped into at the grocery store. He would always tell us, do your best to make sure your sphere is a positive one. That every human you come into contact with, for even a moment or years - you improve their life.
I would always nod along and say of course, of course. But this week those words have weighed heavy on my heart.
Chad Smith was one of those people. He was the person my teacher was trying to get us all to aspire to be.
He was radiantly positive, endlessly generous and wonderfully kind. If you were a person in Chad’s sphere you know it, you’ll never forget it and the impression his personality made is something that will stick to your heart forever.
I moved to Cincinnati 1.5 years ago for my 1st post grad job. My boyfriend, Danny, had to stay back in Columbus until he could find work down in Cincinnati to join me. Not an easy task. For months, Danny applied applied applied - nothing. I was starting to think, “Maybe this was a mistake! I don’t know if I can do this.”
Chad saw something in Danny, and that’s all it took. Chad went out of his way to help us. He gave his time to us when he had none to give. He generously shared work opportunities. He welcomed us into the creative community of Cincinnati and treated us like old friends.
Chad and his wife opened their home to us. Who knew a simple night of burgers and board games could leave such an impression. But anyone who got to watch first hand, the love Chad displayed for his wife and children. I mean, common. No woman would ever settle again. We left their home feeling overwhelmed with kindness, happy to call Cincinnati our home.
Chad, I will be forever grateful that I had the honor of knowing you. Forever thankful for the amazing mentor, friend and colleague you were to my Danny. And forever challenged to be better. I promise to walk straight up to creative speakers at design events and introduce myself, to smile at others as I walk down the street and to do my best to have as much of a positive sphere as you did.
Thank you Chad for all you gave us.