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November 1, 2013

He Made A Difference

By

John McCormick

Tom Steinert-Threlkeld, the former editor of SourceMedia's Traders Magazine and editorial director of the media company's Money Management Group, was hit and killed by a car while cycling on a country road near his home in Connecticut on Sunday, October 20.

The world has lost a great journalist and even greater man.

Tom, 59, was an avid biker who regularly peddled 50-plus miles on weekend afternoons. "Our only consolation," Tom's wife Kayte wrote on his Facebook page, "was that Tom was doing what he loved to do - riding his bike on a beautiful day and taking photos."

Tom Steinert-Threlkeld

In addition to his wife and friend, Kayte, Tom leaves behind two sons, Zackary, 26, and Shane, 23. Tom always put family first and he was incredibly proud of his boys' academic and professional achievements.

[Read Tom Steinert-Threlkeld Stories]

The day after his death, his many friends recalled his soft heart, kindness, generosity, sense of humor and his laugh - which could carry across a room.

His co-workers, past and present, remembered a man of character and integrity, a brilliant and talented journalist, a mentor, and an inspiration to others - someone who made everyone around him better than they thought they could ever be.

Tom could have done anything with his life. But his calling was to be a business editor. He received a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. In a letter to Harvard's admissions board he said that he wasn't interested in a high-paying job on Wall Street or in a Fortune 500 company. He said he wanted to attend so he could be a better business journalist.

He went on to stints on the business desks of The Fort-Worth Telegram and The Dallas Morning News. Then became editor of Inter@ctiveWeek and other B2B brands.

An entrepreneur at heart, Tom loved new ideas and embraced change.

In 2001, he came up with an idea for a new kind of information technology publication, one that would assign teams of investigative journalists to explore large corporate I.T. projects to find out why some succeeded while other floundered. The result was Baseline, one of the most acclaimed B2B brands of the last decade. Baseline won the highly coveted Grand Neal and was one of the few trade publications ever to be named a finalist for a General Excellence award from the American Society of Magazine Editors.

He joined SourceMedia in 2009 and left just this past June to launch a line of online B2B brands at IBT Media.

Tom believed good journalism could change peoples' mind and, in turn, change the world. The stories he wrote and edited were read by executives during board meetings, entered into court records during trials, and were often cited by movers-and-shakers in corporate America. He received more editorial awards than he had places to put them.

But Tom also believed each day was a gift. That all anyone had was one day - this day - to make a difference. And whether it was reporting a big story, trying to right the world's wrongs, helping a stranger, or simply being a friend, Tom made a huge difference each and every day of his life.

He will be greatly missed.

 

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