Bruce Stewart, one of Pinchin’s first employees shares some of his memories of Don Pinchin.
My name is Bruce Stewart. As one of the first Pinchin employees, I’d like to share some of my memories of Don Pinchin. In the early 1980s, Don wrote a research paper for an interior royal commission that laid the foundation for understanding the risks and control of asbestos in buildings.
It is fair to say that Don Pinchin wrote the book on asbestos control for Canada and perhaps for all of North America. His courses were instrumental in training the first generation of Canadian asbestos assessors and remediation contractors. He truly was a pioneer.
While asbestos control was Don’s area of expertise, it was really his honesty and integrity both with clients and with the staff at Pinchin and its sister firms that defined him in the business community.
From our very beginning in 1981, Don set the tone at Pinchin as a founding company. To his staff and to many of his clients and contractors, he was just Don or Dr. Don, not Doctor or Mister Pinchin. He was a mentor and professional father figure, but never a figurehead.
Even after his diagnosis, Don was actively involved in the business preferring to keep productive and engaged.
As part of the culture at Pinchin, Don established a number of traditions with personal touches. The first Christmas parties were in his home. He and his wife selected presents for the children’s Christmas parties and they hosted Summer picnics at their family cottage.
Even the apples that have become our signature client appreciation gift each fall have a personal connection. Don grew up on an apple farm in Streetsville and for the first few years, the apples came from his dad’s farm.
Don’s door was always open to offer advice, share an anecdote, or to tell a usually bad joke. He once stood on a table at a golf tournament to recite Lord Byron and held a best mustache contest at the annual holiday party.
Throughout all of this, Don remained an ethical and professional business man who put quality of service at the forefront of everything we do at Pinchin. He led by example and expected the same accountability from his staff.
Over time, Don transitioned Pinchin into an employee owned firm, which today we believe enjoys a loyalty and dedication from its staff that is unrivaled in our business. You don’t meet people like Don every day. He built such a fine place to work that I am confident the Pinchin companies will maintain his legacy for a very long time to come.
We want to thank you all for your kind thoughts during this time. We have received so many heartfelt condolences and well-wishes. Don Pinchin died too early. I along with his staff, associates, and clients have always considered him a friend. We will miss him dearly.