In Memoriam: Andrew S. Harris

07.08.2019 | HMMH |

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller

When I became president of HMMH, Nick Miller presented me with a beautiful box, which contains within it two glass plates, which have etched upon them guidance from HMMH’s two previous presidents, Andy Harris and Nick Miller. Andy’s contribution has the Helen Keller quote shown above, which I think is an excellent summary of his life.

From my perspective, I am most grateful that one of Andy’s daring adventures was the founding of HMMH in 1981. Together with Nick, Bob Miller, and Carl Hanson, HMMH’s founders set out to create a company that would do good work and be good to work for/at/with. Above all, that company would be principled. That may not be such a novel idea today, but those corporate values continue to be a North Star to HMMH, and to me.

A few days before Andy died, several (former) colleagues were gathered in Andy’s hospital room, reminiscing about projects, clients, and most importantly, colleagues. How Andy had in various ways served as a mentor to us all, and how many of those life lessons had nothing to do with acoustics. Mostly we talked about how great it had been to work together “back in the day”. I will acknowledge that Andy’s storytelling was a bit more circuitous than the rest of ours, and I was kind of wondering where he was going, but then he abruptly stopped to say, “What we created was magic, wasn’t it?”

Every day I walk into work (or more likely get on a plane) and wonder if the decisions we’re making now, and the directions HMMH takes, are consistent with those values. And hope that it’s still a little bit magical.

Rest in peace, Andy.