Past president (I took over for him) Mike Richards, he lead our local for 17 years, through some of the worst times our local ever had. He kept our local moving forward, kept everyone focused on "taking the high road," and left us in great shape.
He just retired in May. His last contract saw so many improvements for us including an increase of daily staffing minimum of 50% more staff on shift (went from 2 man engines to 3 man engines), and secured us a captain at each station. While our generational and personality differences caused us to clash at times, I learnt everything I know thanks to his leadership.
He gave me a clean slate with a great working relationship to start and encouraged and supported me daily to take it and make it my own. Mike served our local with honour and class. Our members lives will be positively affected by his contributions for decades to come leaving a legacy that we can only hope to match!