Home Opinion-Free 203 Gleason St: Amy Kinnaird was a one-of-a-kind mentor and friend

203 Gleason St: Amy Kinnaird was a one-of-a-kind mentor and friend

I read a few newspapers each morning. I like to be informed of what’s taking place in the world around me. The most shocking news I find, however, is often in the obituaries. Such a “shocking” moment took place earlier this week.

DAVID SPECHT JR.

As I read the Shreveport newspaper, I came across the obituary of a long-time friend. Amy Kinnaird’s photo was staring me in the face and I audibly gasped. Amy and I were friends, close friends about eight years ago, as we shared some similar interests and aspirations.

Amy was a woman who was ahead of her time, at least for Shreveport-Bossier. She was widely known as a social media guru in those circles, although her influence spread far beyond northwest Louisiana.

According to her obituary, Amy moved to Shreveport in 1978 to work for IBM as a systems engineer for fifteen years. She continued her professional career at SCA before becoming an entrepreneur when she opened her own marketing consulting business in the mid-2000’s. In more recent years she grew her speaking and training business which led to national speaking opportunities.

I knew Amy as the person who once read a fledgling business magazine and reached out to its 30-something publisher and offered to write a column on marketing. I was that publisher and Amy was more than a columnist, she was an evangelist for the publication and the dream behind it. We both wanted to educate the business community and give them the tools to tackle the coming shifts in culture, leadership, marketing and a plethora of other challenges.

When I launched my first podcast, Amy took note and interviewed me for her online academy about the steps to start a podcast. I was humbled and honored. 

But, Amy’s knowledge and ability were only small parts of who she was. Amy was funny, direct, and professional. She truly wanted to see others succeed.

AMY KINNAIRD

Amy and I would have amazing conversations about the changing business climate, marketing and personalities in general. She was a great friend.

Over the years, we lost touch to some degree. I passed the reins of that business magazine, now known as BIZ., to Sean Green and returned to Minden to help my community and, by extension, the newspaper. 

Amy continued to write for BIZ. until health concerns brought a conclusion to that endeavor. Little did I know how much of a conclusion would come. Her obituary said she passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 62. 

I cannot know how long “lengthy” is, but I can say that time can get away from all of us. Time got away and now there will be no more conversations with Amy. However, the impact she had on me, and countless others, will be felt for many years to come.

David Specht Jr. is President of Specht Newspapers Inc.