As I See It

by Joe D. Jones

Published: February 2,2004

Several years ago I was in the ditch. I had suffered some business and personal setbacks and was limping through a real low point in my life. My business had been unprofitable and the future was iffy. A group of investors had shown an interest in buying the business and, even though the price was lower than I thought fair, I was seriously considering selling the company to them.

I was commiserating with a friend about my problems and what I intended to do about my situation. He strongly advised against selling the business. He said that if I sold out I would likely go back to practicing accounting and do pretty well but I would forfeit the opportunity to let my creative juices flow and really grow the business to its potential. He refused to let me quietly sell out and walk away a loser. Please note that he “refused” to let me sell out!

In hindsight I realize now that I needed that kind of forceful intervention to shore up my nerve and my will to keep going. And, to help me keep going, he offered and gave me the financial support I needed to keep the business alive.

The year was 1997, the friend was Connely Plunkett, and the business was the Mississippi Business Journal. Mr. Plunkett died on Jan. 23, 2004, at age 75.

He had enjoyed a very successful career as an architect and engineer. He, along with his long-time partner Charles Barlow, designed and built some of the landmark buildings in Mississippi. For many years, he and Mr. Barlow were the founders and owners of both Barlow and Plunkett, an architecture and engineering firm, and BarCon, a general contractor.

During his later years, Mr. Plunkett continued to develop residential real estate in Madison and was a committed volunteer at Stewpot.

Everyone should be blessed with a friend such as Connely Plunkett who unselfishly steps up to the plate when strong support is needed. One who can help us keep the bigger picture in mind and is not hesitant to forcefully voice an opinion different from our own.

And, perhaps more importantly, a man who enjoyed the reputation of always keeping his word.

The Mississippi Business Journal family is mourning the loss of our friend and supporter, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family. Needless to say, my personal flag is flying at half-mast today.

Thought for the Moment – Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. Contact him at cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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