If Not For …

This post is from my wife and business partner, Pam:

Yesterday, Jack Lindquist, former President of Disneyland, passed away peacefully in his sleep.

In 1982, honored to be a Disneyland Ambassador finalist, I was one of many profoundly impacted by Jack’s many rewarding programs.

If not for …  my 1970’s Main Street candy maker buddies, I wouldn’t have been asked to return in 1982 to help out in the candy kitchen, working 15 hours a week “just for fun.”  When I saw posts for the Ambassador interviews, I decided to give it a whirl – “why not?”

If not for … that “why not” moment, I wouldn’t have been led down a life-transforming path.  The Disneyland Ambassador program exposed me to all aspects of the company. In the final step, in Orlando, I interviewed directly with Jack at Walt Disney World.

If not for … not being chosen, I wouldn’t have been invited to join the Disney University at the corporate headquarters.

If not for … the Disney University job, I wouldn’t have met my husband, Doug. He joined our team 3 days later, after repatriating from Japan’s Tokyo Disneyland launch team.

If not for … marrying Doug, we wouldn’t have our 3 beautiful adult children, making our world a better place in education, philanthropy and mental health services.

If not for … the many wonderful Disney years, we wouldn’t have started our business, DougLipp.com, in 1993.  This full-circle led to Doug writing Disney U in 2012, reconnecting us to, guess who? …

… Jack Lindquist.  During the research for the book, Doug and Jack had in-depth discussions about Disney, “then and now.” Jack’s marketing brilliance directly influenced the message in, and style of, Disney U, which is now available in five additional languages. Indirectly, Jack continues to touch the lives of millions of people around the world.

If not for … living in Northern California, we wouldn’t be able to continue enjoying our passion for Disney values as members of The Walt Disney Family Museum.  As volunteers, we sparked the idea for a public program … bringing Jack Lindquist and decades of Disneyland Ambassadors to the WDFM.  This was in late November and Jack—having recovered from a recent fall—was in rock star form, sharing hysterical stories with a theater of WDFM fans.  It was a day to remember;  couldn’t help but think, “would this would be one of his last presentations?”  Perhaps it was.

If not for Jack …  I might not be able to say “I love everything about my life – what I’m doing, where I am, and who I’m with.”  Many of us, ultimately, can account for where we are now because of Jack’s influence.

Rest in peace Jack.

Consider sharing your own story of, “If not for …”