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Founder of Wake Media Passes Away Unexpectedly

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Image courtesy Wake Media

By Brett Keil 06-09-2020 02:38:00

The maritime industry lost a great person last week. Steve Parks, the founder and managing director of Wake Media, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack at the age of 45. 

I first got to know Steve as a formidable competitor in 2004. Though we competed in selling advertising and marketing to several of the same global accounts, we always had mutual respect for each other based on tenacity and professionalism.  

Through the years I became personal friends with Steve, and he and I would regularly share stories about our families, maritime-related topics, global politics and entrepreneurialism. We would always make it a point to meet up at maritime events around the world and have a night on the town.

Steve was a gregarious and intelligent man, quick-witted and the life of the party. I was always impressed by his ability to generate new and creative ideas and put them into action. This resonates in all the people he hired to run Wake Media and all they have accomplished since the company's inception in 2014.

Steve loved his boys and was always in a good mood when talking about them. He loved taking them to football games and being involved in their sports. He was a family man and always held his parents in high regard.  He would often give credit his knowledge of all things maritime to his father, who was an accomplished marine engineer. Steve said his dad taught him all about ships and spent a lot of time on the waterfront, which immersed him in the industry at a young age.

I will always remember Steve being surrounded by friends: either people knew and loved him or wanted to get to know him. There was definitely something special about him. He was loyal to his friends, and he had many.

Steve will be missed greatly, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Brett Keil is the Senior Vice President of the publication.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.