Wed
Mar 14 2007
12:38 pm

We just got word that someone important who you probably never heard of died suddenly at his home in Winter Park, FL last night at the age of 72.

Ken Kirchman founded Florida Software back in 1968, basically on his kitchen table, to provide software for banks. He was a pioneer in the industry, and practically invented the packaged banking software business. The company grew and later became The Kirchman Corporation. If you write a check or make a deposit, especially at a community bank, chances are good that your transaction gets handled at some point by software created by his company or one of the many other independent companies it spawned.

He had only recently sold his company and retired. (He made a solemn vow that he would never take it public.) He kept his Citation corporate jet and private lake retreat, but only got to enjoy the fruits of his labor for three short years.

I worked for him off and on for eleven years. It was hard work, and he was a tough SOB. But he had a profound influence on me, and the Mrs., in the business world and personally, and is responsible, indirectly and directly in many ways, for bizgrrl and me starting our own successful company.

Everyone in the industry has a Ken Kirchman story, some not so flattering (he was known by some in the business as the "George Steinbrenner of software"). I've got stories I could tell, too. But I would rather remember him as a self-made, brilliant businessman who did everything his way, and also his generosity that helped make plenty of millionaires along the way.

I remember flying with him in first-class to Tokyo for a tough negotiation with the head of a huge Japanese computer company. He brought along a bunch of fishing supply catalogs, and we compared notes on our favorite bass lures as he put together an order. He got into a heated discussion with another executive about the best way to sharpen knives, axes, and saws. He quoted books he owned on the subject.

(He was the quintessential Florida Cracker when he wasn't attending "Pioneer" meetings with the first President Bush at the White House or meeting with heads of state in the Czech Republic to work out a deal to modernize their banking system in the post-Soviet era.)

Then there were the many trips on the gilded corporate jet -- the only way to fly. One time he let us grubby programmers use it to fly some tapes directly to a beta user site at 2:00 AM on a Saturday morning so they could get their bank open on Monday. Another time, he let the president of a customer bank use his jet to fly to the Mayo Clinic for cancer treatments.

I will also remember the awesome user conferences he held in Orlando for our customers. Year after year we had speakers like Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence) and entertainment like Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick. All employees and their families were invited to attend.

Then there were the legendary annual company picnics at his private lake retreat. He brought in an entire county fair with midway rides and carnival games. Every kid was guaranteed to win as many huge stuffed animal prizes as they could carry home. He had a runway there, and he would have his pilot, a Korean War veteran fighter pilot, buzz the venue in his jet and put on a little air show for the kids. Then there was the Orlando Arena skybox, where every employee got a chance to attend Orlando Magic NBA basketball games in open-bar, catered luxury. And so on.

But mostly I remember the hard work, the long, 24 hour days, the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating a groundbreaking new system for community banks that eventually matured enough to run some of the biggest regional banks in the country, and everything I learned from him and all the talented people he employed.

One of my prized possessions is a Rolex watch given to me by Mr. Kirchman in March of 1984 on completion of that project, my first with the company. On the back, the engraving says "Dreams Can Be Reality".

Thanks for everything, Mr. Kirchman. Rest in peace.

Topics:
talidapali's picture

...

So sorry to hear of your loss.

________________________________________________________

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

bizgrrl's picture

We were talking about Ken

We were talking about Ken Kirchman just the other day. We did that every now and then. He had a permanent impact on both of our lives.

I never worked for Ken Kirchman. I met him many times. I was there in the midst of all these hard working people. It is inexplicable as to how much I learned from him, from R.Neal while working for him, from the many other people I met that worked for him or with him. There were so many fun, motivated, hard-working, intelligient techno geeks in one place -- who wouldn't have loved the atmosphere and the knowledge?

I remember R.Neal barricading his cubicle to get some work done. I remember programmers sleeping on the floor waiting on the next project to finish the job. I remember attending conferences and tradeshows, visiting banks where I would almost always encounter someone who had a Ken Kirchman story to tell.

He was one of the most determined, demanding men I have ever met. I remember Ken Kirchman fondly.
May he rest in peace.

R. Neal's picture

I remember programmers

I remember programmers sleeping on the floor waiting on the next project to finish the job.

And you bringing us pizza and beer...

bizgrrl's picture

Then there were the

Then there were the legendary annual company picnics at his private lake retreat.

Workergirlflorida007's picture

I worked for Kirchman as

I worked for Kirchman as well. He was a horrible, racist, anti-Semitic man who fired people on a whim. The corporate flag should have been a skull and crossbones the way that he overran the competition. It was the worst year of my working life when I worked for that jerk.

CBT's picture

Sorry to hear Randy and

Sorry to hear Randy and bizgrrl. Mrs. CBT is a bank consultant, doing internal audit, loan review, SOX, etc. She is very familiar with Kirchman programs. The bank she's at this week uses Kirchman. I passed along your post, which she is taking with her to the bank tomorrow.

R. Neal's picture

She is very familiar with

She is very familiar with Kirchman programs. The bank she's at this week uses Kirchman.

Thanks for your note, CBT. It's a small world, huh?

CBT's picture

Yep, it sure is. The

Yep, it sure is.

The Chairman and others at the bank in Johnson City, where the Mrs. was this week, made copies of your post and were passing them out. They were sad to hear, but glad someone told them.

ronmerrell's picture

Ken's Passing

Hi Randy (and bizgirl?),

Long time no see! Hope you and M are doing great. I'm working on contract currently in the 701 building and still in contact with a bunch of our old friends and work partners. Someone here found your write-up on Ken and passed it around to most everyone (isn't Google great?). Everyone agrees is was fantastically written (didn't know you had such talents beyond programming). I passed your write-up on to Steve W, as I'm sure he'll enjoy reading it along with memories we all had developing Midas/Kencom/Dimension. By the way, did you know about Ed W's passing away last year? If I should have known that you knew that, please remember I'm much older than you :-) Take care and say "hey" to M!

R. Neal's picture

Wow, Ron. A blast from the

Wow, Ron. A blast from the past. Good to hear from you, wish it was happier circumstances. I did not know about Ed W. This is more shocking and sad news. It was his fault we came down there in the first place. I am sending a separate e-mail...

BDuncan's picture

Ken Kirchman

Randy,

I could not echo every comment you made about Ken more strongly. As the years pass and I look back on the lessons learned from him, my admiration and respect only grows. I often tell Ken stories to people on my teams and many times they are funny, crazy, or even odd. But I always end them with the fact that he was the smartest man I ever met and that his ability to motivate and generate results from extremely talented people (like us) was masterful. I use skills and experiences learned from years working for and with him every single day. I owe him so much and often thought of calling him to tell him how much he taught me and if my admiration for his accomplishments. Unfortunately, it is too late for that now.

He will be missed, in different ways by different people, but the mark he leaves on society, is enormous.

Bob D.

R. Neal's picture

Bob, wow, another blast from

Bob, wow, another blast from the past. Where you at these days? (Looks like you are back in FL?)

I concur with everything you said. We had some good times, eh?

Ken will be missed. There's a huge family of people out there who were brought together and whose live's were touched in some way or another by KK.

Regardless of what issues folks may have had with him, everyone respected him in the end for the very reasons you stated.

Great to hear from you.

bparr's picture

Randy, Pam Phillips

Randy, Pam Phillips foreworded your commentary on Ken's passing. Certainly a shock although he certainly put living to the test. As with the comments of others, we tend to recall the bizzare/unpleasant, but I owe him and the old FSS organization for the opportunity and for the knowledge I gained. We did some pretty incredible things that contributed to the industry as we know it today.

Regards to you and Michelle.

Bob

jcain4uk2's picture

Back in 1978

When I first moved away from Kentucky to Orlando and found a job at FSS, they were just in a big hiring phase, bringing in such people as Dave Reed, Rocky Stout, Buzz Sawyer and many others. Wow, the friendships that were made then and still endure over all of these years. And oh do we have some stories from those days! We learned so much - the rewards of hard work, how to enjoy the fruits of such work, etc. Work hard, play hard, fire Lane!

I remember my first company meeting where we first said the pledge of allegiance. I was quite surprised, having worked for the Federal Home Loan Bank in Cincy and never having done such at their meetings! When I told my father about it, he was proud that I worked for such a patriotic company.

Of course the company I've been with for many years was one of the many spawned by Kirchmanites and I will be forever thankful to Ken for having created such an economic engine for our community that runs strong today and for many years to come.
-Jim Cain

R. Neal's picture

Jim, thanks for the

Jim, thanks for the memories.

I remember Dave Reed and Buzz. And Rocky Stout's name, but I'm not sure I ever met him. Didn't Rocky and Buzz go off and start a hospital software company, maybe named Compuserve or something like that (not to be confused with the online service Compuserve)? Wasn't Lemoine Allison also involved in that somehow?

I met Buzz a couple of times. He was already gone but notorious by the time I got there at FSS/KC. Don't recall if you and I ever met, but it wouldn't surprise me. (Too many beers since then.)

mkoltnow's picture

Reminiscing with old buddies about working for Ken

Hey Randy! Thanks for using this sad occasion to convene a reunion! Amazing what you can find through Google. Good to hear from Ron and Bob, and sad to learn about Ed. And to hear about Dave and Rocky, whom I worked with on an FSS project in 1981-82, with Mike Landsman, sitting next door to Buzz.

Amazing too how much our recollections reinforce each other. I learned more working there than anywhere else. Learned way more about bank operations there than I did when I worked at a bank.

Others have written of his quirky generosity. I remember good pay, unexpected bonuses, sabbaticals (I enjoyed 3!!), Magic games, picnics at Lake X, and admiring other people's company Cadillacs. And the Rolex, which I still wear every day. But I am most grateful for one thing. In 1995, my wife was ill with cancer, dying as it turned out. The company changed its medical insurance plan, but Ken took the initiative to grandfather me into the old plan, to be sure the huge (huge!) medical bills would be covered.

Rest in peace, Ken.

R. Neal's picture

Mike, it is great to hear

Mike, it is great to hear from you again! Long time. It is turning into a reunion, eh?

Your story about your wife has the Mrs. and me getting choked up all over again. (I had heard a different speculation about that, so thanks for setting the record straight.)

Another of the many reasons he will be missed, some of them not so public and well known.

(For others who don't know what Mike is talking about re. sabbaticals, Ken Kirchman had a policy that after five years you got one month off with pay plus an extra month's pay to do whatever you wanted. After ten years, you got two months, after fifteen you got three months, and so on. This was in addition the generous vacation policy. P.S. if you want to know anything about preparing or reading bank financial statements, regulatory call reports, cost center accounting, asset/liability management and runoff projections and all that kind of stuff, Mike's your man. In fact, all these folks showing up here for the reunion are the best banking software developers in the business, or else they wouldn't have been working for Ken Kirchman.)

Djnorth's picture

Ken

Hi everyone. Isn't it strange that weddings and funerals are life events which bring people together?

I worked for Ken for 21 years. The last few of which were reporting directly to him. There are far too many things that I have learned from him to even imagine trying to articulate them in writing.

Truly a one of a kind visionary that lived life to the fullest. Absolutely the most generous man that I have ever had the pleasure to know. His impact on this world is far more than can be imagined.

He will surely be missed. But keep in mind we will all see him again, at the right time, in the right place.

As we have all heard him say many times, "Better than the last time, but not as good as the next".

We will see him "next time" and it WILL be "better than the last time".

D North

R. Neal's picture

Hey, Dennis: Good to hear

Hey, Dennis: Good to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and for your note. Guess you are still there, too?

Djnorth's picture

Still here

Yes, still with Kirchman (now Metavante Banking Solutions). Metavante is a good company, growing very fast. Primary growth is through acquisition. I head up the International development, professional services and client care. Been traveling the world for the last two years.

It is tough to keep in touch with everyone. I see Russ for lunch from time to time, but that too has been a while.

Has anyone seen Robert D lately? I saw he had an entry in the blog. Give me a call some time. Would like to catch up with anyone interested. C ya.

me

R. Neal's picture

RAD called the other night

RAD called the other night when he saw this. He's out in Colorado working for a company that provides "everything but the cameras" for the broadcast/cable industry. They got acquired by Harris Corp. and he's a division GM. Said Amanda is 21 now, which is also hard to believe. Said Bobby B. was working for him until recently.

So let's see, who else. Heard from CC and JET by e-mail, Heard that Aspy was there and Tom K was back. Ralph R. is who sent me the news via e-mail. What about Hal?

P.S. Some others. Heard Dave M. and Kevin H. are there, that Maurice and Phil S. had retired. Wondering about Paul K., Bob R., Judy W., Sid, Bert M., Jim N., too many others, too many to remember. We should have had yearbooks.

Anybody heard from Jeff S. or Ed B.?

Djnorth's picture

Paul K, Bob R, Bert M, Jim

Paul K, Bob R, Bert M, Jim N, still here. Judy also still here. Bruce, Judy's boyfriend passed away last year :-(

Sid left several years ago.

Have not seen or heard from Jeff or Ed in years.

Hal is doing good.

Brittany my oldest is 20 and a Jr at Florida State on academic scholarship and Megan 17 is as high school sr and was just accepted into the University of Florida Honors College on scholarship also. All doing well.

RW's picture

KPK

Randy

What a well written memorial for Ken.
I believe that he inspired many of us to do better that we ever thought we could. We all worked very hard and then we played hard. He gave us the opportunity to travel around the country and around the world. At the end of the day, he was always Ken, the guy that never forgot his roots.

Rest in Peace Ken.

Russ Wade

mkoltnow's picture

Randy, Russ, Dennis and

Randy, Russ, Dennis and others ... it's good to hear your voices again.

I did not say enough to thank Randy for his down-to-earth eloquence in remembering Ken. You nailed it, friend.

Randy, you're the guy who first taught me the difference between single click and double click. Who had the foresight to get us to develop a new analysis module on Windows and Excel when our whole client base could not see beyond DOS and Lotus 1-2-3. Who built a program on your dining room table at 2AM to help you do some testing, that you then expanded into the Kirchman teller system, replacing the expensive and obscure piece of junk we peddled before.

I looked into more of your blog entries and it made me wish we had stayed more in touch over the years. I like the way your mind works.

For the last 5 years I've worked for a Maitland software company from my home in Davis, CA. Sharing custody of Max Kim Koltnow, the great joy of my life, who will be 9 in a month. Other son, Matthew, who is nearly 34, is a Tournament Director for the American Contract Bridge League, and is cuurrently in St. Louis for the Spring Nationals.

Peace, brothers and sisters.

Michael

R. Neal's picture

Mike, thanks again. Stick

Mike, thanks again. Stick around and join in the conversation whenever you like. Didn't know you were in CA. Beautiful country. I remember Matt, hard to believe he is 34.

R. Neal's picture

Hey, Russ: Good to hear from

Hey, Russ: Good to hear from you and thanks for the note and remembrances. Hope you and yours are doing well. Thanks to you, too, for showing me the ropes as my first project manager there, and for all your patience. Ken hired a lot of great people.

jspalding's picture

More memories from the past

Well, it looks like practically the entire KENCOM team has found this site!

Looks like everything I could have said has already been said. Let me just add that working for Ken (and with so many of you out there) was definitely an amazing time in my life and I am certain I will never again work with such an outstanding group of people, and Ken is the reason we all got that opportunity.

Has anyone heard any updates on when and where a service will be held?

By the way, I am currently sitting in the living room of another "old comrade" - Mr R. Cameron. He lives in St. Pete, FL and has the enviable job of working from home.

Ed B's picture

Old Times

Jeff S called me to pass on the news and how to find the messages. I have not thought of Ken in a long time but I should have. It's over 10 years since I "retired" and the fact I could do so was because of Ken (and Hal S geting me back for Dimension). I also have and use a Rolex, drove a Cady for 2 years, had 2 sabbaticals, rode a corp jet, and got paid a lot. Only at KC could I have had such great things happen in my life, and as you all said, met a super group of programers. Twelve years of very hard work and wonderful times. Sad that it's Ken's passing that gets us talking again.

R. Neal's picture

Ed and Jeff, great to hear

Ed and Jeff, great to hear from you guys. That's almost everybody. Had heard a while back that Howard was no longer there, but I'm not clear on the cirumstances. We ran in to Pizzano a couple of times over the years. Same with Bob P., saw him at a trade show a while back. And J. Bagdon.

Jeff, say hi to RAC for us.

Have not heard anything about services, arrangements, etc. There hasn't even been an obit in the Orlando paper that I could find. Strange...

jspalding's picture

Howard P and more...

RAC told me he called Howard and told me about the situation. He had been unaware until then. Howard apparently sold the last of his Orange groves and is officially retired. He sold to some developer, so expect even more housing and traffic in the Orlando area.

As far as circumstances of his departure, you will find this amusing. I heard he was let go because they didn't need any more COBOL programmers! (I have to assume something was lost in translation.)

I also find it very strange that there is no obit, no story in the media, etc.

Maybe one of the sources still working 701/711 can provide insight.

BDuncan's picture

Services

Related to services for Ken, I understand from Rachel that they are targeting the 27th and that it will be at Lake X. She indicated that it had not been determined yet how public the service would be.

I also heard from a friend in Maitland that Ken was cremated and his ashes will be spread at Lake X. Their daughter goes to school with Victoria, Deanna's neice, who has been living and being raised by Ken and Deanna.

I also suspect, knowing Ken, that the lack of obituary or public reference might have been his wish to keep things very private. For all the great things he did to serve the community and the country, he never seemed to want or desire any public recognition. It is too bad, since his contributions have been so generous and many people may not recognize just how great they were.

These threads sure bring back many memories of all the good times we had working together. It is so nice to see everyone remembers Ken in much the same way and that everyone seems to be doing well. I particularly like Dennis's comment on 'Better than the last time, not as good as the next'. Very Ken, and very appropriate.

Bob D.

R. Neal's picture

his ashes will be spread at

his ashes will be spread at Lake X.

That sounds about right. Perfect, in fact. Thanks for the update.

These threads sure bring back many memories of all the good times we had working together.

Not to get all maudlin, but isn't it interesting how all these people found each other upon learning the news. It was obviously a special time and place for a lot of special people.

jcpjag's picture

How about Wednesday's Off

Along with running into Pizzano (me!) I have run into this great blog of information. Remember all those meetings at Crane's Roost and the seclusion of it all. Like others, I am not sure you can say anymore than what has been said. For me, Ken's memory has many high points and other challenging points. It was hard work but good work. The people he allowed me to meet forever changed my life. Russ, Randy, and I were on the ole TPS team and so the journey began. The rolex watch, those fantastic sabaticals which allowed me and my family to travel all over the world would not have happened if not fro Ken. Lake X, the cabins, the pontoon boats, even the alligators make you smile when you think of it. Everyone has a story about Ken and some have not had the pleasure to meet anyone like him For all his unique characteristics the man knew what he wanted to get done and just plain did.

I would echo the other comments that it is a shame this is when the group gets back together. I was always kind of hoping for a reunion as we have always joked about what stadium we would have to rent to hold everyone. He touched many peoples lives and my success is owed to him. Rest in relaxation and peace Ken. You may have passed but your memory and stories will continue.

JPowell's picture

News about Ken - hello from another former co-worker

Pam Phillips also passed the news to me at Phoenix. Ken was such a "larger than life" individual that it seems very strange that he is gone. It was nostalgic to read the list of comments and remember people I haven't seen for so long. Although Ken was certainly unique, he was never anything but wonderful to me and I agree with all of you that I learned a lot working for him (two years reporting directly to him). I always say I "grew up" in business at KC because I was only 23 when I started.

Lake "X" seems a fitting resting place for him since that is where his heart was even when his mind was at work.

I am glad to hear that everyone seems to be doing well!

Jayne Powell

R. Neal's picture

UPDATE: Art Gillis weighs

UPDATE: Art Gillis weighs in:

(link...)

R. Neal's picture

UPDATE: Orlando Sentinel

D Reed's picture

Remembering Ken

It's great hearing from all the old timers. I really can't believe Ken is gone. He was also a great influence in my life. I worked for Ken for 8 years off and on and have many good and bad memories of the man. It's very sad knowing he is gone. RIP Ken.

D Reed

Aspy's picture

Mr. Kirchman's Memorial Service

Randy great job getting all of these people on one place and all I heard these past years that you were good for nothing. Please say hello to Michelle if not for her accounting skills I would still be trying to get my books straight.
Ken had the power to get together world class talent in life and as we see also in death.
Good to hear from Bob D. Russ W. Jeff S. Reid, Ron, Jim C. Mike K. Dennis N. Pam P. Bob Parr, Jayne P, Dave R and the retiree Ed B and Howard P.
Amazing as it seems I am still working here and enjoying every minute of it. Life and Ken were both good to me and I am glad that I met him for Lunch about 1 year ago and we sat and discussed various issues, he was also able to guide me in some decisions that I had to make and as usual his recommendations were right on target me and my family owe him a wealth of debt. He will be greatly missed.
KEN REST IN PEACE
This was passed out by Rachel for those that do not know or want to attend
“The Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Mr. Ken Kirchman is planned for Tuesday, March 27th, 11:00 a.m. at Lake "X".
Deanna has requested that I invite those of you who were employed by Kirchman Corporation at any point and shared a relationship with Ken.”

R. Neal's picture

JCP and Aspy, great to hear

JCP and Aspy, great to hear from y'all. And Dave R., too. Sorry it isn't under happier circumstances.

Aspy, thanks for passing along the info re. the service. (And I'm glad to see you are still the same smart... uh, smart guy you always were.)

(And for readers not familiar with all this, the TPS Pizzano refers to has nothing to do with cover sheets or Office Space, although Crane's Roost was a pretty great office space, and so was Maitland. But I guess we were having too much fun and Ken had to move us all back over to 701 where he could keep an eye on us. I recall that whenever he would show up at any of these venues, the word would spread... "Captain's on the bridge".)

davidjames's picture

Ken

Randy, thanks for starting this and giving us an opportunity to catch up with what is going on with everyone. That was a nice tribute that you wrote.

We all have our Ken stories. I first met him in 1978 when I was a customer. I remember Ken driving me over to Cranes Roost in the Rolls back in 1982 to meet you guys.

I left TKC back in early 1993 and been doing contract work ever since. Actually, starting Jan 2005, I have been back at TKC doing some work. Great to hear from everyone. Too bad it is under these circumstances.

Rest in peace Ken. You left this world too soon.

R. Neal's picture

David, another voice from

David, another voice from the past. Good to hear from you.

I remember one Ken story that involves you. When we were designing standards for the international systems and multi-currency, we found that currencies for some countries required huge numbers because of their value as compared to the dollar.

But, there was some limit on the size of a decimal number in COBOL and the 370 decimal instruction set that wouldn't allow enough decimal places for daily accruals out to our standard of four or eight decimals or whatever it was.

So we proposed to use binary floating point numbers for interest accruals.

Ken, being the mathematician and perfectionist that he was, got wind of this (more proof that he knew everything that was going on all the time) and was adamant that this just would not do because, by definition, conversion of binary floating point back to decimal cannot be precise.

Technically, he was of course correct. But based on IBM manuals about the floating point instruction set we figured that it would be precise out to about eighteen decimals (or whatever it was, don't recall), well beyond any precision needed and that this was "close enough."

Of course, that made him even more, uh, adamant. Close enough wasn't good enough, especially in banking.

Anyway, I remember that you wrote a test program that exercised every interest accrual in the deposit systems using packed decimal v. floating point, and proved that floating point produced exactly the same results out to the limit of the 370 decimal instruction set. I don't recall the results for really huge numbers beyond that, but I seem to recall that nobody had a calculator that could verify it.

I don't remember the final outcome of that debate or if that convinced Ken. I doubt it.

hqueener's picture

Just heard yesterday about Ken -

Randy - as many have said, thanks for bringing so many folks from the past together even at this sad time. I can truly say - my experiences at TKC were turning points in my life and for that I'm eternally grateful. The environment was electric and always fast moving. I probably learned more about banking during my stint in Orlando than any other time in my career. I even had the priviledge of working directly for KK for a time - what a ride that was! Even after moving back to TN - when visiting Orlando I would stop by for lunch - he was always gracious and accomodating (LaScala was wonderful). His memory lives on for so many of us - indeed we have lost a true pioneer and visonary in our business.

hq

reality's picture

amazing

Wow. I remember you guys dreading the annual Lake "X" extravaganza. I guess you've found this new internet thing and are "positioning" yourselves.

In retrospect, I do admire Ken. He gave me great opportunity. It's the brown nosers that screwed things up.

R. Neal's picture

The picnics were great for

The picnics were great for people with kids. And there was free beer so there was that. Attendance as a requirement of employment didn't sit well with some. There were lots of things people didn't like about working there. Which is why I quit at least three times, was convinced to stay or in one case came back (like many others) until it stuck after the fourth time. The occasion of someone's passing, though, is not the time to dwell on such things. Better to remember the positives about the person and be thankful to them for the opportunity. I understand there are a lot of bitter people, though.

Joanne L Guy-Cicora's picture

Ken Kirchman

Not sure if any of you remember me from the from desk, but I remember all of you. Ken was and still is a great memory.

R. Neal's picture

"Serving people through

"Serving people through excellence and creativity."

That was the company motto when I went to work there.

Ken Kirchman demanded excellence and inspired creativity. That was the deal. And it was a pretty good deal. I'll forever be grateful.

J Browne's picture

Way back...

I worked at FSS from 1977 to 1980. Yeah, that was a long time ago. During that time we went from punch cards to 3270 terminals for coding. Everybody (except the keypunch ladies) had a private office--it was customary on Monday morning to see if your name was still on your office door--that's how you found out whether you had been fired over the weekend. It was a famous revolving door.

My favorite memory of Ken was this: the company had gone through a growth spurt in the late 70s and filled up the office building on SR 436 in Altamonte Springs. Parking was brutal--there was literally no place to park all the employees. People were forever griping about having to park far away and find a way to get into the office.

One day we come into work to find 3 precious parking spaces have been combined into one so that Ken can park his new Rolls Corniche under a canopy right in view of the front door. He took three spots and made one sideways one so the car could be admired by all the pissed-off employees who just saw a net of -2 precious spaces.

One thing about Ken: he really didn't give a hoot what other people thought. For better or worse he was his own man.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives