Tributes have been pouring in on social media for Glen Crossland, who passed away on Thursday 10 June.
Glen was a hugely popular and well-known figure in the catering equipment world, running Walnut Creative, a PR and marketing agency that he founded six years ago.
After leaving Sheffield Hallam University with a BA (Hons) in Business & Marketing in the summer of 2010, Glen got his big break in the industry with Dawson Foodservice Equipment, serving as its marketing manager for more than four years.
He was given full control of the Ali Group company’s marketing activities and website, and was instrumental in planning and organising its appearances at industry exhibitions.
Catering Insight was launched shortly after Glen joined Dawson and he welcomed us up to Barnsley to tell us all about the business and share his plans for growing the visibility of brands such as Comenda and Lainox in the UK.
Despite been fairly new to the industry at the time, his hunger to play a part in the company’s growth and desire to do things differently shone out.
Indeed, he took time to learn about what Catering Insight was seeking to achieve and was full of ideas about how to promote Dawson’s business to dealers. He became the first advertiser to take a double-page spread which, instead of being all about the equipment it sold, focused exclusively on its relationships with key dealers to mark a key Dawson anniversary in the UK.
When Catering Insight launched the Hot 100 initiative in 2012, Glen was among those who featured and our photographer travelled up to Yorkshire for a memorable photoshoot that captured his love for mixed martial arts (below).
Over the years, he became a friendly face at exhibitions, industry conferences and press events, as well as overseas trips to visit manufacturing facilities, where he would go out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed.
Glen spent a year with C&C Catering Equipment in 2015, where he led the company’s marketing and social media strategy, before deciding the time was right to go it alone and set up his own business, Walnut Creative.
His aim was to create a friendly, hands-on marketing service that, in his words, “challenged the norms and traditions the industry has settled for in the past”.
Over the last six years, the team has grown to more than a dozen staff and works with numerous brands from the catering equipment industry, as well as businesses from other sectors that Glen had close links to, including motorcycling.
On Friday, Glen’s fellow director Liam Gilroy posted a short message on LinkedIn, expressing how heartbroken everyone was by the devastating news.
He wrote: “Yesterday we all lost a leader and more importantly a close friend. Glen – time has flown by so quickly and we achieved so much together because of your energy and your vision. You couldn’t have done more for me as a friend, which is everyone’s shared experience. I owe so much to you and I wish I could let you know one last time that I love you brother and how much you affected everyone around you for the better.”
Mr Gilroy’s post has received dozens of messages from industry people who knew Glen and whose lives he touched. The thread can be viewed here.
The thoughts of everyone at Catering Insight and Foodservice Equipment Journal are with Glen’s family and friends at this incredibly sad and difficult time.