It’s never easy to say goodbye to someone in your life. Unfortunately, for the Beverage Industry family, we have been forced to do so with the recent passing of trucks and transportation columnist Tom Kelley.

Tom officially joined the Beverage Industry team in 2013 following the departure of previous trucking and transportation columnist David Kolman. Tom’s passion and expertise about the trucking market, specifically the needs of beverage fleets, was evident from the moment we spoke. He showcased an ability to balance the historical challenges of beverage fleets with today’s modern marvels.

Yet, Tom’s knowledge about the industry was not just about the technology or regulations that were changing the market. He also understood the importance of human interest pieces. This past year, he proposed adding Top Fleet Profiles to the editorial calendar because he thought it would be a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the distributors who are making a difference in the wholesale market based on their fleet practices and procedures. Given Tom’s strong connections throughout the beverage distributor market, he was able to produce profile pieces that our readers embraced.

Tom also had the ability to forecast where the market was heading, including the all-important tradeshows. It was his idea to cover the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle show this year. Tom’s intuition told him that this was going to an important show for truck and trailer manufacturers as well as parts suppliers. He was right, as the article he provided highlighted the important new product and technology news for which our readers yearn.

Unfortunately, that report was his last with the publication. Although Tom’s work will not be part of Beverage Industry’s publication anymore, his legacy will be remembered by the staff and readers as a man who truly was passionate about his work.