Rick Nashleanas, the founder of Monarch Digital and a staple in the Colorado Drupal community, passed away unexpectedly in the morning on August 24, 2016. He will be remembered as much more than an employer, friend, and mentor. For everyone who knew him, he was family.
I first met Rick when I responded to an internship posting for Monarch Digital. I could never have imagined at the time how big an influence he would have on my life. Over the next 7 years, every interaction with him changed me for the better. Rick and his wife, Pat, attended my wedding and celebrated with us after the birth of both my kids. My 3 year old son, Robert, loved Rick. In the morning, as I prepared to leave for the day, he would often ask:
“Are you going to work with Grandpa Rick?”
When my wife, Becky, brought the kids by the office, Robert and Rick would stage small gun battles while ducking and dashing between the desks.
Rick had a way of building confidence and encouragement through any challenge. A real-life Yoda, he was! There was a story or “dad” joke for every occasion. One of his favorite stories to tell was about the time his German distributors for Eden Systems insisted he take them to Hooters:
“Vee vant to go to Hooters!”
Rick never did anything half-way. He was a savvy businessman who valued personal relationships and “bringing up” the next generation. When Monarch Digital began working with Drupal, it provided Rick with both a successful business opportunity and a chance to mentor new developers. Rick invested heavily in all his “guys” at Monarch Digital. Rick was constantly involved in the Drupal community. He founded the Southern Colorado Drupal User Group, was a regular volunteer for Drupalcamp Colorado, and served as the content manager for several international Drupal conferences.
Rick will be greatly missed at Monarch Digital and throughout the Drupal community but his memory will live on in the many lives he touched.
RIP @RickNashleanas. You were a kind, funny, and overall amazing person. You will be greatly missed, especially in the Drupal community.— Rick Manelius, PhD (@rickmanelius) August 26, 2016