Reardon Smith

Reardon Smith

Reardon Smith

Reardon was curious about everything; he wanted to know how things worked, why they worked and how he could make them work better.

He was a great-handy-man and do-it-yourselfer. At home, if some gadget broke down, or something electronic was not working well, he would cover the kitchen table with newspaper (if Joan caught him in time) and would take it apart, diagnose the problem, and miraculously put it back together again. Often, surgery was required, which sometimes involved boiling greasy, oily parts in a saucepan on the kitchen stove (Joan did not catch him in time).

Reardon was born and educated in the U.K. He was a brilliant, intuitive engineer, earning a B.Sc. (Honors) in Cybernetics and Instrument Physics from the University of Reading, near London. After graduating, he immediately went to work for EMI Electronics in London, working on missile projects for the British Defense Department.

After a few years, he and Joan decided they wanted to see the world, so Reardon visited several Embassies in London, looking for engineering jobs in exotic places. Eventually, he was hired as a computer engineer by Geophysical Services International, the parent company of Texas Instruments, and at the ripe old age of 23, he and Joan set out for Dallas, the first stop on their 41-year voyage to ‘see the world.’ Along the way, sons Paul and Neil were born and they happily traveled the world with their parents. The family lived in Calgary, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Singapore and visited many more countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, South America and China.

Reardon had 31 years in the upstream energy industry, 25 of those in management positions. When he left to start his own business, he had progressed from computer engineer to worldwide seismic software marketing manager, which included a very successful sales campaign in Mainland China. He viewed each career change as a challenge, but used the same ‘kitchen-table’ philosophy; study it, figure out how it works, and make it work better.

Reardon started Business Vectors in 2001. He was excited about starting his own business but a bit scared too, about the huge challenge ahead of him. He networked and networked, read all kinds of professional How-To books, joined professional groups and invariably volunteered to be on all sorts of committees, was past- president if the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC), VP of Public Relations for the Houston Chapter of Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) ran a Career Transition SIG for the local chapter of the American Society for Trainers and Developers (ASTD) and was also a past-president of one of the West Houston chapters of Toastmasters International. He proved to be a natural at giving wonderful, witty speeches.

Client’s comments:

When we could not think of one idea …who could imagine that you would lead us to 101 ideas? The process energized the employees, making them feel they were instrumental in shaping their future. My heartfelt thanks for the gentle way in which you guided us to our present course.”

Reardon conducted interviews with employees to help us determine what issues we had regarding morale. These interviews were conducted in a professional, empathetic and sensitive way. His extensive business experience is evident in the depth and detail of his analysis, which is as honest and objective as it can be.”

In Memoriam:

Reardon will be remembered as a mentor, a friend and a genuinely warm human being who touched the lives of those around him in so many ways.”

I worked with Reardon in GSI in the 80’s. I have nothing but fond memories of him. He was truly a great guy, always had a smile.”

Reardon, you were a great guy at Reading University – even though you were never out of that terrible brown cord jacket! You had a wicked sense of humor and we all had some great laughs together.”

Reardon was a kind and gentle man, a warm and wonderful person and a trusted friend.”

What a loss. Reardon was an absolute professional and one of the most curious and open-to-learning individuals I have ever known. He was instrumental in developing classes and course work that benefited the management consultant profession. He was a classy human being who will be sorely missed.”

The mischievous smile. The twinkle in the eye. When I recall Reardon, the vivid image that comes to mind is one of this kind, generous, intelligent man, honest and dependable – but perhaps not above pulling your leg a bit from time to time. That and the Scotch eggs – back to those in a minute.

Smith-Phares Memorial Scholarship FundI first met Reardon in November of 2001 when he joined the Talking Heads Toastmasters club looking for a venue to hone his public speaking skills to support his new business. Reardon clearly brought some experience with him but he was such a fast learner, I can hardly remember a time when he wasn’t one of the “old” pillars of the club, helping new aspiring speakers improve their skills and grow their confidence. He had a great gift for explaining complicated things in a very humorous and entertaining way and for giving others encouraging but helpful, specific feedback. He used vocal variety, gestures and facial expressions so effectively to dramatize his material and capivate his audiences – his remarks at the club’s Twentieth Anniversary party come to mind.

Speaking of parties, the club always used to host a Christmas pot luck lunch and Reardon, not one to miss an educational opportunity availed himself of the chance to expand the culinary horizons of his fellow club members by sharing a recipe from back home – Scotch Eggs! (Highly recommended. I’d describe them but I think Reardon would rather have you experience them for yourselves.) That was Reardon right there – eager to learn and eager to share his knowledge and experiences with others, eager to take on volunteer and leadership roles. There to encourage and support others. I learned a lot from Reardon and I’m glad to count him as a friend. Unforgetable. Here’s to Reardon Smith – Outstanding Toastmaster!”

Scott Holman

We were both brought up in working class families in Wales. Our careers were very similar and we worked together on many occasions. Our families became friends. Reardon was intelligent, extremely brave and very quiet. He was the best listener I ever met and this was the secret of his great success with people. Thanks for the introduction to Geocaching!!!!!! Thanks for always catching the first fish!!!! Thanks for deserting me in my hour of need on that “raft” in Malaysia!!! Thanks for listening, Reardon. Thanks for being there for Terri Ann. Thanks for being a good friend to Margaret and Me.”

Terry Denning