My friend Allen Stern passed away earlier this week, unexpectedly. Many people I know also knew him, and I could not be more saddened to be sharing this news.
I don’t have any details — his sister Sari posted an announcement about an hour ago on his Facebook page — except that this all came as a shock to all of us who have spoken with him recently. I’ve kept in touch with Allen primarily via IM since his move to Austin about two or so years ago, and he had incredibly reinvented his life. Less than a month ago, he posted a pair of pictures of himself, one from December 2011 and another from March 2013 — he had lost 125+ pounds.
Allen’s transformation was bigger than that, though. Last year, he sold CenterNetworks and now, was working on selling his startup CloudContacts. He was re-dedicating his life to help people learn to live a healthy life, and had focused his energies on LetsTalkFitness. He was reaching thousand and thousands of people each week via the site, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and had 3,000 people signed up for his Smoothie a Day email newsletter. (It was a growing success story; he was at 93 people on September 30th!) He took incredible pride in this, crafting images that would make a professional photographer nod in agreement, all to spread the message of the value and importance of good health. He was having an impact, too; he regularly shared with me the wonderful comments people emailed him and left him on Facebook, thanking him for inspiring them.
I last spoke to him (via IM) on April 1st. He was working on a green smoothie e-book and looking at ways to monetize LetsTalkFitness better — he truly wanted to make this, his life’s calling, his trademark business. The last thing of substance that he said to me best summarizes his dedication. He had found an ad network which could monetize his image views, but he didn’t want to use it. He was concerned that, if he posted an image of a smoothie, and someone got an ad for “some garbage food” on it, that would be bad — he only wanted to promote healthful options.
I don’t know what’s going on regarding funeral arraignments nor how to best pass one’s condolences on to his sister. My best guess is to post a comment on her Facebook post.
RIP, Allen. You’ve made the world a better place, and you will most certainly be missed.Originally published on April 6, 2013