When Harry S. Dennis III walked into the room, more times than not, he was the smartest guy in that room.
So it is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that I inform OnMilwaukee.com readers that Harry passed away on Sunday, April 27, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.
One of Harry’s greatest loves and the legacy he leaves behind is TEC –The Executive Committee. Harry was hired as a TEC chairman in 1974 by TEC’s founder, Bob Nourse. It was then that Harry formed his first TEC Group - TEC IV - which remains in existence 40 years later.
"Harry was best known for his intellectual brilliance and superb business savvy. All of us, TEC staff and chairmen, loved Harry for his unwavering adherence to TEC’s values, his absolute fairness and his huge heart. He always treated us like family," said Priscilla Kemp, who has succeeded Harry as president and CEO of TEC.
Harry began writing business insight columns for BizTimes and its predecessor, Small Business Times, long before I joined the company in 2002. Harry was a significant element of our company's brand. I cannot count the times over the years that readers remarked to me about how much they learned from and respected Harry.
Once a year, Harry booked a prominent guest author or consultant to come to Milwaukee to share their wisdom and knowledge about business or leadership. However, I always learned more during the dinner with Harry on the night before than from any of the so-called hot-shot experts he brought to town.
Soft-spoken and humble, Harry always tended to let others hold the spotlight. Over the years, he declined many offers to be THE keynote speaker at various events.
When Harry wasn't building TEC or sharing his wisdom with other CEOs, he could often be found flying his twin-engine Beechcraft Duke. Harry served in the Vietnam War, where he often flew bodies out of battlefields.
"He was a scrapper who backed down to no one. He affected so many - so much more than he ever realized…Read more...