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In Memoriam: Jen Riedel

by Melissa Withers

How do you remember someone who shouldn't yet need to be remembered? How do you honor someone in death who should be HERE, in life, to accept the accolades? Since her tragic passing April 9, people from far and wide have united in shared grief, shocked and profoundly saddened by the unexpected passing of Jen Riedel. Together we ask, over and again, how?

Whether you knew Jen from her work in Boston or beyond, she was a shining star in the global entrepreneurial community. Her joy was effervescent. Her compassion immense. Her many contributions to the startup ecosystem had more impact than I thought to tell her when I had the chance. I know many share my regret.

Jen was passionately committed to making people feel welcome, safe and included. Without fail, Jen made Boston's entrepreneurial spaces more inclusive, collaborative, and welcoming.  Without ego, she brought honesty and ease to that work, giving many of us great hope that a new generation of leaders will change the game for good. 

Jen built bridges, mended fences, and dreamed big dreams for Boston’s entrepreneurial future. Her life was a “master class” in kindness.  Like so many others, I have only begun to process the gravity of our collective loss.

May she be remembered today and for many years to come, through our work but also in how we treat each other: with love, respect and gratitude. XO


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