In 1986 I was 17 when I started working part-time in the accounting department, which then was across the street from the old roasting plant at 2010 Airport Way South. When Howard purchased the company a year later, my desk was right next to our only large conference room. The board meetings were held there and when they happened, this stream of distinguished gentlemen would walk past my desk. Some would smile or say hi, but one guy would always come and lean on the corner of my desk and ask me how I was doing. We’d chat for a bit before he headed into the conference room for the meeting. Such a nice guy! One day, I got up the nerve to ask Howard S., “Who is that guy?”. Howard laughed. ”You don’t know who that is?”. I stared at him wide-eyed and blankly. Silence. He finally responded, “That’s Jeff Brotman. He’s the CEO of Costco.” He might as well have told me it was Rick Springfield! (LOL, showing my age here for sure!). While I remained star-struck, it always made an impression on me that Jeff took the time to converse with a lowly accounting clerk like me (or I might have been an assistant buyer to Gay Niven by then, but my memory is playing tricks on me!), just like two regular folks having a conversation.
I was so sad to hear of his passing...gone too soon.