As I write this I am still in shock and so disappointed that I did not get to have another conversation with someone I truly and rarely consider a real friend in AND out of the industry. I have learned tonight that industry vet Elise Wright-Maharaj has passed. I have known her for several years. Rarely have I met a person in the industry who was so kind-hearted, full of joy, laughter and concern for others. You just KNEW that Elise was that rare industry person who would take your call if you were not working even just to offer a few words of encouragement.
I knew she was challenged with an illness but I never pried during our many phone and email conversations. She told me she had to take some time off because she was sick and I left it at that. I figured if she wanted to tell me she would but I did not feel it was my place to ask. We often talked about our love for dogs, especially Bulldogs. I was determined to get one and she always encouraged me to do it because she truly loved her own bulldog so much. She told me she was devastated when her Bulldog died of cancer very early because the dog was like her baby. She often went into detail about funny things the dog did and how much she adored coming home to the dog after a long day at work.
She supported my industry site RFFocus with advertising and she always told me how much she enjoyed reading it when she was at Universal and even when she was independent. There is no greater compliment than someone who believes in you and what you do as an entrepreneur and I never take that lightly. Whenever she called I ALWAYS stopped whatever I was doing to have a great conversation with her about various things. It was inevitable, she was such a joy to be around. During one of our last conversations a few months back, she informed me that she was desperately trying to exit the industry to do something else but the industry kept calling her back. Even after she did leave for a couple of years not long before. God rest this wonderful woman’s soul. She was so incredibly deserving and she will be missed. In honor of her I’m posting a picture of a Bulldog she always liked whenever I posted it on FaceBook. RIP Elise. To send a donation to support Elise’s cause please go here