Until We Meet Again - A Tribute to Justin Walsh
On August 16th, 2018, I took a hike that would change my life forever.
The goal was the summit of the Peak above the Nubble (PATN) which is on the New England Hundred Highest list. The hike is not particularly challenging from a White Mountains perspective. Though it is a bush-whack, the route is fairly clear for much of the hike - especially when you are traveling with an experienced guide.
Not just an experienced guide, but at that time a local business owner, property owner, and part-time real estate agent by the name of Justin Walsh. I shared with him my vision of founding a company that made a positive impact economically, environmentally, and socially in The White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Justin listened intently and asked some pretty good questions. During our hours together, we established a good rapport, so much that I wanted to hire him as a guide again. Yes he was an excellent guide, but he was an even better source of knowledge about all things The White Mountains, and especially Lincoln, NH.
About a month later, we were hiking Scar Ridge and the conversation continued – except he was even more engaging. He asked deeper questions and the conversation was lively and challenging at the same time. He had clearly thought about the idea and done some homework.
On February 21st, 2021, we hiked Liberty. Another great trip into the mountains and another hours long discussion on what would become Burgeon. Later that day, we visited potential sites for Burgeon, including the Village Shops where we are located.
Without Justin, Burgeon would not exist. As you already know, he helped find our location. Prior to that he convinced me that Lincoln was the right location for Burgeon - and that he was the right person to be Burgeon’s first employee and Operations Manager.
Once I agreed to hire him, Justin then set out to show just how valuable he was in building the foundation of Burgeon. He was there for the lease negotiation, he helped find the contractors who did the demolition work on the space, he contracted with painters, Lincoln Sign Corp, and more to get our space in tip top shape.
In addition to the contracting, he painted the ductwork himself, laid the floor and built all of our shelving, display stands, and counter. He literally did it all. The gratitude Burgeon has for him will last a lifetime.
Justin then took to the tasks of interviewing and hiring our staff, which went great. I then appointed him the leader of our stitching team even though he did not know how to sew. I do not think our stitching team would give him high marks across the board, but they would most certainly give him an “A” for effort and determination.
During the initial stages of COVID-19, Justin continually stressed the importance of us converting to making masks. He not only shipped thousands of masks to individuals (he made a couple hundred too!), but he sorted through the hundreds of requests we received from organizations for free masks - and did the work to make sure they had the most impact. He showed up everyday during this stressful time and made a difference. For that I, and thousands of others will be eternally grateful.
In the time since he has tirelessly worked to further Burgeon’s mission. He has helped us partner with local organizations, manned the studio most weekends, provided amazing customer service, and even served as our fit and field tester for new products. He was more than a model employee, he was the mold.
Today is Justin’s last day at Burgeon.
The first law of thermodynamics states that “that no energy is created in the universe and none is destroyed.”
Justin, all the energy you put into Burgeon is not only still there, but it continues to resonate through each brush of paint, hammering of a nail, placement of flooring tile, the counters you built, and the graphics you created. The care and craftsmanship you put into each one of these will forever reflect your impact and serve as a monument to your time at Burgeon.
More importantly, every customer you welcomed into our studio was forever changed by your passion for Burgeon and the White Mountains.
The enthusiasm in your voice, the smile on your face, the joy in your heart, all of these will bounce around the Village Shops and in the minds of everyone you helped – whether with a product, ideas for a hike, assistance finding a local business, or just the key to the restroom.
The kindness and understanding you displayed to those in need during COVID-19 will forever echo through the mountains you love with all your heart.
Justin, we hope your journey is a success. We are forever grateful that you lent us three years of your life. We thank you for your dedication to our mission and to our team. Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for making an impact – both at Burgeon and in the community. You made Burgeon and the White Mountains a better place, and though our collective light will dim when you leave, it will grow stronger with time as we remember all the things you taught us.
We hope to see you again soon.
~ Rudy Glocker
Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019. Burgeon’s mission is to help mountain communities flourish. Burgeon proudly manufactures premium outdoor apparel in Lincoln, NH. By manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year round jobs in the White Mountains. 5% of Burgeon’s sales support its community and environment efforts. To learn more, please visit our studio at the Village Shops in Lincoln, our website burgeonoutdoor.com or call us at 603-745-7123