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Godspeed, Trey Pennington
Social media guru and father of six commits suicide in church car park

The internet is abuzz with the shocking and tragic death of Trey Pennington. I don’t claim to know him, but did enjoy a couple of conversations with him about his articles on the ROI of social media. In each case, he was magnanimous, intelligent, kind, and wrote back quickly despite the hundreds of thousands who probably commanded his attention. I am attuned to how people behave when the crowds are gone and they don’t believe others are looking. Trey was quite impressive in that regard, and my brief experience of him immediately aligned with everything I’ve read about by those who knew him well.

While difficult to know what ultimately led to his decision to take his own life, it has been reported Trey was battling depression. I can actually imagine what it’s like to have thousands of “friends” yet still feel alone in the crunch, particularly when compounded by such a condition. Trey placed himself in the position of true giver, presumably without any expectation of reciprocity. One can only hope he had a close inner circle which replenished and balanced all the taking, though perhaps in the end it wasn’t enough.

I’ve read many touching articles since his untimely death, and the most poignant take-away is that none of what we’re doing here matters if we don’t have compassion for one another, or remember to at least “Do No Harm” when interacting with them. We can’t always know what’s affecting a person or why they may be behaving a certain way, but reaching in with genuine caring can perhaps go a much longer way than ignoring or castigating them.

My sincere thoughts are with Trey and his loved ones during this difficult time.


Doña Keating is President and CEO of Professional Options, a prominent innovator in the policy and consulting industry which provides solutions for businesses, organisations and governmental agencies. She is also a principal in K2 Strategic Solutions, a partnership between Professional Options and Keating Consulting Service which has a combined 50 year history of providing technology and management consulting.

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