By Lynn R. Mitchell
Grace. That’s the way to describe Garren Shipley’s untimely departure from the Republican Party of Virginia. Communications Director extraordinaire, Garren has been a helpful and informational member of RPV throughout the years, coming on board while I was still on state central committee, and remaining for almost three years after I left. He was organized and prompt with media “technical advisories” concerning RPV events, always timely in notifying of upcoming media opportunities and helpful in providing updates and follow-up leading to the event.
Oh — and he always answered my emails. Always. Anyone who has had trouble communicating with communications people understands what I’m saying.
One thing to remember about Garren was the ever-present smile on his face. Even in the frantic media moments leaving up to a big event, he was the happy warrior. Need credentials? He was on it. Change of schedule? He accommodated it. Interrupted internet access? He tracked it down.
Garren’s email last week notifying that he was leaving was not unexpected — we knew he was out the door at the end of the month along with executive director Shaun Kenny — as new management clears the deck, removes the deck chairs, and scrubs of previous administrations. His email was bittersweet, just the same, in its theme: It’s time, he wrote, to be more involved with family and young children.
In these types of positions most never know the impact they have on those around them. This is a little like an obituary, unfortunately — sorry, Garren — but at least now you know. You made an impact, and we are appreciative. Wherever you land, let us know. You have groupies, you know.
Norm Leahy at Bearing Drift says goodbye (Shipley leaving RPV).
See you down the media road.
Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell