Tributes have poured in over the weekend for Richard Hudson, one of the best-known faces on the Manchester digital scene, who lost his battle with cancer on Friday.
Hudson, 43, was the owner of web design agency Vanilla Storm, which he had run with wife Jenny since 2004.
His influence extended far wider however having been a member of the Manchester Digital council since 2006 and a director of Manchester Digital since 2010.
He was also one of the founders of SAScon, the successful digital marketing conference now in its seventh year.
Katie Gallagher, managing director of Manchester Digital, said he was a “true champion of the digital industry in Manchester” and a “a passionate and vocal supporter of the great work and the great digital businesses that sprung up across Manchester”.
She added: “Richard was a great friend and a popular figure on the business scene. His positivity and boundless enthusiasm was infectious, he will be sorely missed by all at Manchester Digital and the many people who benefitted from his advice and friendship.”
Maxine Skelton said she had first encountered Hudson at SAScon 2013 as she was attempting to engineer a career change into digital marketing.
“Throughout the following 12 months Richard encouraged me along,” she said. “The knowledge I learnt, and the people I met, helped me to step out of my comfort zone and take the decision to change my career.
“Richard inspired me, helped me to get where I am today, and I am very grateful for the guidance and care he showed. I am very saddened by his loss, the loss to our industry, and he’s certainly a person I will never forget.”
Steve Kuncewicz, who specialises in social media law, called Hudson “a man of rare intelligence, genuine warmth and humour and profound generosity”.
“Manchester owes Richard a debt it won’t soon repay and when we spend much of our time remembering the likes of Tony Wilson, it’s right that we celebrate the life and many accomplishments of Richard Hudson as the sector to which he contributed so much continues to flourish.
“Our thoughts should be with Jenny and his family, whose loss is far greater than our own.”
Below are some of the other tributes paid on Twitter:
Very sad to hear of @RichardHudson‘s death. Someone who gave so much time, attention and passion to Manchester’s digital sector. RIP.
— Martin Bryant (@MartinSFP) January 31, 2015
— Dan Donald (@hereinthehive) January 31, 2015
— Steve Gale (@cybermag) January 31, 2015
— René Power (@renepower) January 31, 2015
If you hadn’t heard, Richard Hudson of Vanilla Storm died this morning. Did a huge amount for the digital community in Manchester
— Simon Wharton (@Psychobel) January 30, 2015
Our friend @RichardHudson was a good man who put his community and friends up front. The world is a poorer place without him tonight
— David Edmundson-Bird (@groovegenerator) January 30, 2015
— Nick Rhind (@NickRhind) January 30, 2015
— Peter Young (@peteyoung) January 30, 2015