I did not get to know Al that well, but running into him at head office, NMS, or just out and about was always a pleasure. He always seemed to have a smile on his face and was happy to share some wisdom in the form of a story, an idea, or a tidbit of knowledge. The first time I met Al was a short 8.5-9 years ago, working at GP Reload when he came into the facility to meet with Gord. Al had shown up early while Gord was at a meeting or lunch and was wandering the building, saying “Hello!” to everyone and introducing himself to new faces. It always stuck with me that when I (with only a few months at the company) walked over to see who this man was that was wandering through the warehouse, he introduced himself by name only, with no fancy titles, and only after a few minutes of polite, casual conversation he said: “I’m here to meet with Gord, I’m his business partner.”
That was who Al was; he was friendly and cheerful, and despite how important he was to so many people, businesses, and employees, he was still just Al when he talked to you. I will always remember that.