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
Marlies Holmes said:
When you cleaned off your desk I fought back tears as I realized that it was indeed happening. Later , as I watched you patiently coach a youngster printing his own T-shirt graphic , the tears welled up once again .
I am incredibly grateful that you and Rudy connected , and consequently created a new beginning for many of us . What a team ! What a journey !
From floor to ceiling , your talent and innovation will shine through for a very long time to come . You’re an impressive human being and it shows in everything you do . It’s been an honor to have worked so closely with you for the last two and a quarter years !
Audrey Ball said:
That is such a lovely tribute—brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I’m sure Justin will remain a good ambassador for Burgeon, sharing his enthusiasm and spreading the good word with family, friends, new acquaintances.
Best wishes always,
Audrey (Justin’s Grammy)
Rita K Thieme said:
What a lovely story and a terrific man.
As a Lincoln transplant, I noticed when Burgeon opened in the old mill. I also noticed how astutely your little start-up generously gave masks to area residents and others. I requested 2 of them and still have them.
Regretfully as a retiree I am not your target customer; I have many items of ourtood clothing that continue to perform well. But I have an admiration for your company and am so pleased to see you in Lincoln.
May DeGeorge said:
People come into our lives and leave such an impact. I was saddened as I read the tribute that you were losing such a valuable employee and special friend. Hopefully he will flourish in his next position and you will fill the void with another special person.
Gary Casinghino said:
What a great post, Rudy. It’s great to hear the whole history and all of the other details. Justin has always been a great help to us at the store. Sorry to hear he is moving on, but I am sure he will find continued success with whatever comes next. Best of luck to you, Justin.