In Memory of Mike Sullivan

By Mark Roberti

Friends of one of the pioneers of RFID use in the consumer packaged goods supply chain have set up a fund in his memory.

  • TAGS

Over the past four years, I’ve had the privilege of writing about an emerging technology I’m convinced will bring companies and consumers enormous benefits. During that time, I’ve seen the early adopters—those who spend excruciating hours in committee meetings fussing over an air interface protocol or data format—forge a bond. They are like a band of brothers, their shared mission trumping the fierce competition between their companies. Together, these brothers pioneered the use of radio frequency identification in the supply chain and helped to create the standards that businesses will need to leverage RFID technologies.

Back in May, one member of this band of brothers was felled suddenly by a heart attack. Mike Sullivan worked with the team at Gillette and was active in EPCglobal‘s standards work. Mike was a Canadian, raised in Montreal. He graduated from City and Gill College in Cork, Ireland, and spent the past 21 years of his life in Northborough, Mass., where he enjoyed an illustrious technical career at Digital Semiconductor and Intel.

During the past five years, Mike became a successful entrepreneur, first as a co-founder and CTO of Idealogix, later as an independent technology consultant. He helped to design a handheld RFID analyzer. In 2003, he was contracted by Gillette to provide technical consulting on their RFID initiatives. A year later, he co-founded SKUmatics, LLC, an RFID consulting and product company.

I didn’t know Mike personally, but I know a number of guys who worked closely with him at Gillette, including Dick Cantwell, Jamshed Dubash and Paul Hennebury, and they all speak of Mike in warm, glowing terms. They cared enough about him, in fact, to launch the Mike Sullivan Memorial Scholarship, developed in partnership with the Boston Scholars Program.

The Boston Scholars Program opens doors for disadvantaged youths by providing high-school scholarships to deserving Boston-area students with pressing financial needs. The program also pairs these students with mentors from the Boston professional community who share similar academic and professional interests.

On Sept. 28, friends of Mike Sullivan held the first Mike Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament at the Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston, Mass. Money raised at the event will go to the scholarship fund. Those of you who were unable to participate can still contribute to the fund by writing a check payable to “Boston Scholar—Mike Sullivan Memorial Scholarship” and sending it to:

Boston Scholars Program, Inc.

75 Federal Street, 5th Floor

Boston, MA 02110

I hope you will give to this most worthy fund. The money goes to a great cause in memory of an honorable man who contributed much to the RFID industry.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below.

Editor’s Note: I often get e-mail from students at universities around the world, looking for internships that will give them an opportunity to get hands-on RFID experience. Therefore, I’ve created a bulletin board where readers can post anonymous requests for interns or internships (see Internships). I hope many of you will take advantage of this resource.