A Note from Laurel Strategies CEO Alan Fleischmann

I have admired Gershon Kekst since I was 13 years old. In it’s heyday, Gershon’s firm, Kekst & Co., was iconic. Throughout his career, Gershon was the trusted adviser to many of the world’s greatest leaders. But far more than the “man behind the man,” he was a true leader and visionary in his own right who profoundly changed his industry. He was also an extraordinary community leader.

I had the great privilege to count him as a mentor and dear friend. He never shared who is clients were. He was as discreet as he was brilliant.

Gershon was a tough man. He was “old-school” — a man of valor and virtue. Early in my career, he took me under his wing, and I have modeled much of the firm I’ve built and the life I lead after his example. I am blessed that his son David Kekst is family to me and a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies.

Gershon’s photo is framed in my living room and in my office. For years, his strength has inspired and challenged me every day. For the rest of my life, his memory will do the same.

My thoughts are on Gershon. I will be reminded of him every day. I am saddened by his loss, but warmed by the bright light his life provided.

He is missed but he cast a giant shadow. I am so lucky for his life and leadership. We all are.

– Alan