In Memoriam: Remembering Dominic Pannell (1968-2023)

Dominic Pannell

The analyst relations community is in shock and mourning over the sudden and tragic passing of Dominic Pannell. Known as a generous and influential figure in influencer relations and a passionate advocate for charitable causes, Dominic’s untimely death has left a void that will be difficult to fill.

Dominic was a co-founder of the IIAR> in 2006, helping set up our first bank account, and served on the 2016 board of the IIAR>, He held a succession of pioneering roles spanning analyst relations and advisor relations at Hill & Knowlton, SageCircle, Sunesis, Unisys and his own firms, Buzz Method and Serendipp. He was one of the first AR leaders to cross over into focussing in sourcing advisors, a transition reflected in his well-regarded Gartner presentation. His work was influenced by the experience of working with national IT associations, including Egypt’s ITIDA, which needed to target the full spectrum of B2B influencers.

He was a polyglot, bon vivant, MBA, and was qualified at the highest level for translating from French, Spanish and Swedish. From 2000 to 2015, he volunteered with Crisis at Christmas homeless centres, often coordinating over 100 volunteers to run an open-access centre for around 300 homeless and vulnerable guests over Christmas week. He would have been 55 in October.

Many of Dominic’s colleagues and friends have expressed their disbelief and sorrow at his passing. Jonathan Yarmis, an AR leader at Amazon Web Services, commented “I’ve known him for over 20 years now and he is truly one of a kind. Our conversations were wide-ranging, passionate, and never ever boring. I always felt challenged to live up to his impression of me. I should only be that person and will redouble my efforts to do so. I’ll miss him terribly.”

The news of Dominic’s passing has left a profound impact on the AR world. Colleagues such as Tristram Clark, Fionnula “Finn” Fitzsimons, and Anne Holmbaeck expressed their shock and sadness, highlighting Dominic’s unique qualities and the gap he leaves behind. Finn said “Dom’s passing is something that I have been thinking about a lot over the past few days. He was a lively, often vivacious character; however, the more I got to know Dom in later years, he was a soft, gentle and very caring person. Even in our Agency Days many years ago – there was never that “agency competitiveness edge” between us – we just got along well together. Often there were gaps in contact as we were both busy, but we always stayed in touch and caught up when I visited London. I am going to miss him.”

Duncan Chapple, another IIAR> co-founder, reminisced about the early years of what was then called the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR), and a time in 2011 when they were both based in Barcelona. He mentioned that Dominic had been in touch just last week, making it even harder to comprehend his loss. Sally Elliott, a senior strategist, remembered Dominic as someone who was kind and supportive, particularly during her early days in analyst relations.

Naomi Higgins, who had managed AR at Microsoft, Oracle and PeopleSoft, struggled to come to terms with the loss of Dominic, describing him as a force of nature whose unique light has now gone out. Agnieszka Donnithorne, a global analyst relations professional, fondly remembered Dominic as her first mentor in the industry. Ludovic Leforestier, another IIAR> co-founder, remembered how Dom’s support was instrumental in the early days, hosting many meetings at H&K offices in Soho square a leading many best practice conversations and authoring several seminal blog posts.

Barbara French, who led AR at Juniper Networks, appreciated his refusal to conform to societal molds. She admired his colorful personality and professionalism, raising a toast to him in remembrance. Joshua Reynolds, a marketing strategy advisor, praised Dominic as a brilliant, funny, and kind human being—a beacon of decency and compassion.

While Dominic’s passing is a devastating loss, his memory will live on through the positive influence he had on those who knew him. Colleagues, friends, and acquaintances from various backgrounds and roles all shared their condolences and fond memories of Dominic. His energy, ideas, and generosity touched the lives of many, making his absence deeply felt.

The team at SageCircle, where Dominic was an advisor and valuable team member in recent years, also expressed their shock and sympathies, having been in contact with him just a few days prior. They recognized his leading role mapping third-party advisors globally, and extended their condolences to his family and friends. Catherine Lorah, SageCircle’s senior project manager, described Dominic as fiercely unique, bringing authenticity and originality to everything he did. She emphasized his zest for life and generosity of spirit, traits that will always be remembered. Her colleague Jasmine Richards recalled Dominic’s kindness and encouragement as she navigated the professional world as a new graduate.

Dominic Pannell’s passing is a reminder of the fragility of life and the impact one person can have on others. He will be remembered as a true thought leader, a passionate advocate for the homeless, and a kind and generous soul. The IIAR> mourns the loss of Dominic and sends heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones. May his memory be a blessing to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

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