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In Memoriam: Gene Hellar

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Gene Hellar passed away in July in California and I think many of his friends and business acquaintances in Europe may not know.

Below is a link where you can add your thoughts so that his family will know how many friends Gene made in Europe.

Gene Hellar and I go way back...but that's because Gene was an industry pioneer. He was one of the very, very first to bring Silicon Valley's computer products to Europe. He and his partner, Dick Walker, brought some of the first storage products to European distributors. And many European distributors made a lot of money buying from PRIMA INTERNATIONAL in those days.

Perhaps you can remember Gene from his stands on the USA Pavilion back in the early days of CeBIT. Gene had a charm about him, a natural grace and a kind heart. The sort of man that if you had to be stranded on a desert island with another man, this would be about as good as you could get for company.

Gene Hellar
Gene (left) in a meeting with a Dutch executive at SanDisk HQ

I met Gene when we shared a stage at a conference in USA promoting CeBIT. We became good friends, although we lived thousands of kilometers apart. Whenever I visited Silicon Valley, Gene would take me around and introduce me to other industry pioneers. We had a great time, Gene!

Now a lot of Americans want to tell you they were one of the first to bring computer products from Silicon Valley to Europe, but Gene (and Dick) ran one of the original models for Silicon Valley distributors who began to export across the world.

You'll see some photos of Gene on his memorial website...with his wife, his family...Gene at rest, Gene at play.

I chose to place here a photo of Gene (on the left) at work, in the middle of a meeting at SanDisk. No doubt he was telling a story because Gene had enough experience for several lifetimes. I can still hear his voice... the dignified tones of a gentle, intelligent man you don't want to forget.

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