John Richard Steiner 1961-2012
Here are some words from our CEO Tim Johnson about the passing of our friend and co-worker John Steiner:
John was a great employee and a good friend. This morning, perceptively noticing that my thoughts were elsewhere, my wife asked: “What will you miss most about John?” My mind immediately went two directions. One, I’ll greatly miss John as a wonderful, long-term employee at Impact. Two, I’ll miss him as a friend.
As an employee, John beautifully embodied our company purpose and values. He knew who we are; he understood how we want to work together. He believed in making individual strengths productive and individual weaknesses relatively harmless. Some of you may have heard me say: “Sometimes I wonder if, for our own good, God designed tension between Production and Sales.” John gracefully personified living with that tension and calmly went with the ebb and flow of a busy organization. Production will miss him; Sales will miss him; Account Management will miss him; Accounting will miss him; DP/IS/IT and the Total Quality Management will all miss him. Anyone who interacted with John at Impact, no matter how briefly, will remember and miss him. He was a man who understood and appreciated the contributions of others; his gentle, well-informed manner was greatly appreciated by many. He treated people like they are our strength and our #1 value. He treated people like they are of immeasurable worth and capable of rising to high ideals because they are created in God’s image and God has ‘crowned them with glory and majesty!’ (Psalm 8:5) He spoke kind words. He performed kind acts.
John lived our second value: “Positive Attitudes and Building Each Other Up.” He knew that in life and in our business, unanticipated things happen that affect our plans. John consistently had a generous, hopeful attitude in response to the unexpected. He knew that: ‘What’s done is done. We cannot change it; our next action is before us.’ It was John’s goal to help build each other up. I believe John lived that way because he took seriously the directive in the Bible found in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
John was dedicated to “Operational Excellence and to Constant and Never-Ending Progress” (value #3). He knew that, as a company, we compete and survive based on steady small improvement in the way we perform our jobs. If I had ten bucks for every time I heard John say: “It does not matter how long I’m in this crazy business, I keep learning every day,” I’d definitely be more concerned about the pending big tax increase in January. John seemed to approach life from the perspective of: let’s try to live First Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God.”
In addition to being an employee, John was a friend who cared. He was interested and happy for me when happy things were happening in my life and in my family. John had remarkable musical talent. I’m not musical. One of my boys is particularly gifted musically. John, at a cost with no benefit to himself, took an interest in my son. John mentored him and introduced him to the world of professional music. I thank God for friends like John. The challenges of being a father are great. John and I shared many of our fathering struggles and joys. I heard about tattoos, big phone bills and tough decisions. John really loved his kids. I learned a few things about loving my kids from John.
John recognized that we are a small piece of God’s creation and he liked that we choose Psalm 46:10 to fly like a banner over all that we do at Impact and to serve as a reminder of who we are before God. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Let’s ponder that as we think about the sad loss of our beloved co-worker and good friend.