Reflecting on what I’ve learned from a friendship with Roger.
Captain Roger Gildersleeve gave me the support and confidence to live the life I lead. He was my first marketing client on Maui, where I help promote his beautiful vessel the Kai Kanani. He gave me a shot, and his confidence in me was priceless. I now have 70 clients, support a family of four, and am positively growing every day thanks to his inspiration.
His loss is being felt throughout the islands, but his absence is not what this article is about. It’s important we share what he left behind.
I’ll never forget my first meeting with Roger. He’d seemed to have figured things out. Having had been through a life threatening illness (physically evident from a scar on his head.) He admitted to looking at the future with a positive nature and love for life. He was taking advantage of the gift of second chance.
For those not on Maui, it would seem that running a successful luxury catamaran in paradise would leave very little room for negativity. Those that live on Maui know that life’s challenges follow anywhere you go. But for Roger, even during a particularly stressful time in his life, he remained positive, celebrating each small success he managed during the turmoil. At least to me, he always seemed to be living with that 2nd lease on life mentality. Each additional breath was a blessing. Can you imagine our world if we all had that gift?
Over the near decade that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him, he’s increased his dependency on his Kai Kanani ohana. He treated his captains and crew like family–he’s given his trust to great people like Captains Cary and Anthony–in order to spend his valuable time doing what he loved (even more than being on the water): time with his kids and grand kids. He’d also spent countless patient hours taking the most beautiful photos of birds I’ve ever seen. He dove into photography like a boy in love. His passion was infectious. Read More