Kenneth "Ken" Eugene Murray, age 53, passed away on Monday, June 18, 2012 in Plano, TX. He was born October 17, 1958 in Cookeville, TN to Donn Malcolm Murray and Patricia Ruth Murray. Ken graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi (B.A.) and Harvard Business School (OPM-Owner/President Management).
The employees of VanillaSoft said that Ken was not only a great leader but also a great father and friend. He was dedicated to the companies he served and to his wife and children, never losing sight of the importance of a balanced life for both himself and his employees. His generosity extended to everyone, as he felt that we all share a responsibility to help those in need. In particular he was very passionate about helping entrepreneurs in the developing world through the micro-lending site Kiva, which he actively promoted personally and through VanillaSoft.
A 30-year veteran of the Inside Sales space, Ken designed and executed Inside Sales campaigns for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. In 2003, Ken tried to find a good software solution for one of his companies doing outbound calling and was frustrated with the functionality and cost of what was available. That was all that was needed to get Ken’s entrepreneurial blood flowing and, in the few short years since, he built VanillaSoft into a recognized leader in its space.
Ken was a long-time supporter of the SLMA. Yes, he was a sponsor and an advertiser, but Ken gave something more valuable; he took the time to give us advice. He never volunteered advice unless asked, but he was there to chat and explore ways to help the SLMA grow its membership and footprint in the field of Sales Lead Management. A week or so before he passed away, Ken agreed to be on a new SLMA executive committee. Sadly we will miss his contributions.
Several members of the SLMA have contacted us with the news of Ken’s passing and asked that we say a few words. I for one will miss his sage and steady advice, and his cheerful voice (even whilst hiding out from the storms that hit Texas a few months back).
“I’ll call you back Jim,” he said. “We’re a little busy now with trucks and cows flying through the air.” And of course he did call back. Good-bye Ken, and thank you for your advice and friendship for me and the SLMA.
David Hood has taken over as president of VanillaSoft. David is a successful software entrepreneur with extensive experience in finance, business development, and marketing. As co-founder and CEO of Hemera Technologies, David grew a firm from a basement start-up to a world-class player in the digital image content space in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to Hemera, David held several positions at Corel Corporation, including responsibility for the Eastern U.S. Seaboard, the South Pacific, India, France and the UK. He has experience working with businesses on four continents. David holds a Bachelor in Biochemistry , a Masters Degree in International Affairs, and graduated from the Owner-President Management program (OPM) of Harvard Business School.