We lost an invaluable leader in our Social Media Club community yesterday. We lost a friend. We lost a good man of faith. Yesterday, we received the devastating news that Trey Pennington took his own life after battling depression and other personal difficulties. It’s a tragedy that is nearly impossible to process, made all the more difficult by having known him and seeing first hand the positive impact he has had on the lives of so many people, not only in Greenville, SC, but across the US and around the world.
“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
I first met Trey in December of 2008 when he contacted us to start a local chapter of Social Media Club in Greenville, South Carolina. I was immediately drawn to his enthusiasm, his desire to connect people and his willingness to invest the time needed to educate people in his local community on how to get connected and make the most of emerging social media technologies in the fast changing world in which we live.
Trey was the embodiment of our mantra ‘If you get it, share it’ – and share it he did.
The Greenville Chapter quickly became a thriving hub for education and networking. Seeing the positive impact it was making on his local community, Trey was soon launching chapters in Spartanburg, SC and Augusta, GA. We hope that the existing communities he has long supported and the new ones he has begun to inspire will be able to continue to serve their broader communities in honor of his life and the spirit with which he sought to help others. Of course, we know it will be difficult to fill the void that this loss creates, and our prayers are with his friends and community members at this difficult time.
Trey Pennington’s passion to connect people was infectious and his ability to help others feel empowered was inspiring. His impact on the Social Media Club community ran deep, and he will be missed by myself and the entire global leadership. Today our hearts are heavy with sadness, but our memories are full of the kindness he gave over the years. Thank you for that Trey.
Thanks to the efforts of Jay Handler, there will be a candlelight ceremony this Wednesday (September 7th) at the Liberty Bridge from 7:30pm-9:00pm to remember Trey. Bring a candle. Share a story. Whether you know them or not, give someone near you a hug. We can all use one.
UPDATED: Trey’s brother, Erick Pennington, has posted details on the memorial service that will be held on Tuesday at 11am at the Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. As noted, there will be a candlelight ceremony on Wednesday and he will be laid to rest on Thursday in Pensacola, FL.