The National Biodiversity Network is devastated to announce the untimely death of its CEO, John Sawyer, who died of a heart attack on Friday 6th November. He was at his “spiritual” home, the Isle of Mull, when it happened.
Our deepest condolences to John’s family, in particular his partner Karlene, with whom he was expecting their first child.
John had been CEO since May 2014 and in that short time he has had a huge impact on the organisation, with his vision, his enthusiasm and energy as well as his hugely motivational leadership of his team at the Secretariat, his work alongside the Board of Trustees and all colleagues across the NBN.
John was making a difference. In 18 months he had started to revolutionise the Network and its way of thinking and working. He was the driving force behind our new Strategy and he was enthusing our partners to be part of the exciting new direction in which we were heading.
We are approaching the annual NBN Conference and the inaugural Awards for biological recording, two events he was so excited about. The sad timing of his death means that he won’t see these take place, but we will continue with them, with the enthusiasm that he would have wanted. It will be a fitting time for us to remember John and to honour him.
The NBN Trust would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your support, your kind words and offers of help at this difficult time.
The condolences and sentiments you have all expressed show only too well, how respected, admired and truly liked John was.
We will continue John’s work with the drive and passion that he has instilled in us all. To see his ideas for the NBN through to fruition is the most fitting tribute we can pay him.