Charlie Help Us Celebrate Charlie's Life, Love & Accomplishments
As difficult as it may be, Charlie would not want us to mourn his death. Rather, he would want us to celebrate his tremendous life and further his passion and vision for improving the way companies do business. His courage, determination, humility, and his love of life have undoubtedly touched all of our lives.

Please log in with your ECRM user name/password to share your feelings, stories or pictures.

Person
Al Kraus of ECRM says:
Miss you my friend two years gone. so very sad

Monday, August 05, 2013

Person
Al Kraus of ECRM says:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHUCK. BIG HUGS. LOVE YOU. AL

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Person
Stephanie Nicklos of ECRM says:
I really miss you...xoxo, frankie

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Person
Becky Verner of ECRM says:
Hi Charlie, I just wanted to let you know I still miss you and wish you were here almost every day. I think about you often and try to live your memory through actions you'd be proud of. I feel a sense of comfort in you being gone, like the power and influence you had here on Earth has transcended and multiplied up in heaven. I know you're up there looking down on us all and making sure we get as many curve balls as home runs and teaching us to learn the method to the madness and that life really is something to smile about. Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. -Mary Elizabeth Frye Say hi to my mom for me, please :) love Becky

Monday, March 19, 2012

Person
Lesley Seelye of ECRM says:
CB-- Up until now, it was very difficult for me to actually let all of this sink in & believe that it was actually true. It wasn't until I was in the final stages of wedding planning that the reality of this had hit me. Jeff & I were sitting around doing some wedding stuff & what started out as typical wedding planning, ended in a night of us reminiscing about all the amazing times with you that helped shape not only our relationship, but our lives... Starting with when you figured out that Jeff & I were together & you offered us a hotel room at this crazy expensive hotel in Monte Carlo & then promised paid college tuition if we made ECRM babies.... or the Marriage bet that you made for Tree & I. (poor John & Jeff--- all we cared about were those shoes :) ha!) But, you made us both winners... b/c that's the generous man that you are... Thinking about all these times with Jeff that night had me both laughing & crying... & then, for a minute, it felt as if nothing has changed. Because, most conversations with you involved some laughing & probably some crying... & because of that, I felt at peace. I Miss you, CB. Lots of Love, Lesley

Friday, November 11, 2011

Person
Sharon Findley-Tussy of The Nielsen Company says:

Sharon Findley-Tussy of Nielsen
So sorry to hear this news. I attended one of Charlie's first shows many years ago, I believe it was in Texas. He was a generous man to all the people he worked with at Longs Drugs. My heart goes out to his family.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Person
John Evanthes of Welcom Products says:
A visionary and a person that made you feel better when he was around. You were one of a kind, Charlie - thanks for just being you. You made a difference.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Person
Roger Buoy of The Somerset Toiletry Company says:
Charlie, I didn't know you that well. We first me in Barcelona you were looking really down, I think there had been some catering glitch or something of that nature. I reminded you of what a great accomplishment the ECRM events were for both the supplier and genuine buyers. A really revolutionary way for sellers to meet buyers that worked and saved time. Truly sensational. You thought about my words then a broad smile evolved. Thank you Charlie you contributed.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Person
Jackie Cummings of ECRM says:
Charlie, It’s been over a month and I still think about you every single day. I still can’t quite find the words to express to you how much you meant to all of us. The other day in training we were doing this awful drill where we had to get all of our shipmates across this river. After about an hour of fighting and getting beat, they gave us a hint: They said, ‘you will not get through this without your shipmates. You cannot get across without each other. This is your family, if one of you fails, you all fail’. The whole time I kept thinking about how when you left, I pushed my whole ECRM family away and tried to get through it alone. Turns out I couldn’t, I needed them. ECRM truly is my family. I cannot thank you enough for giving me that. For introducing me to this crazy group of people (staff and clients) that have been there for me through every major event in my life thus far. For believing in me enough to allow me to lead your little angels, for the guidance you gave me to become a good leader, and for that final hug I waited 5 years for. I love you Charlie. You were such an inspiration and such an amazing person. I am lucky to have known you. Like I told you before, I promise I won’t let you down. See you soon darling.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Person
William Gillispie of Guest says:
Charlie was a generous man who treated everyone the same regardless of title. He was willing to help anyone and everyone both in the business and on the personal side. He has taught many how to live life!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Anonymous of Guest says:
I remember one of the early School & Office conferences. Charlie had gotten one of those mini computers (before multi-app phones made them obsolete). After Mike Kennedy walked him through the feathers, he started to walk away, stopped, and turned around, "You realize I'm going to put this in my back pocket, forget about it, and sit on it." Which happened a week later. I was told he went through two more the same way in less than a month.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Barb of Guest says:
Charlie always made me feel like part of the family. He was extremely generous and loving. I will never forget him. Thank you Charlie for always making me feel welcome!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Barb Hartman of Guest says:
Charlie lived more in his 64 years than most could in a century! I am so thrilled to have known him & learned so much from him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Carol Van Blarcom of Guest says:
I remember Charlie… Whenever I think of you I see your smile. It still warms my heart. Thank you for that memory and your friendship. I still have my "Charlie's Angel" yellow tee-shirt from the 90's. Until we meet again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Diane Trivison of Guest says:
I will always remember Charlie with a big smile on my face. He was our guardian angel keeping us crazy teenagers safe in one place. Many memories of the great parties and great times that we had. I will miss him dearly!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Frances and Ralph Zarzycki of Guest says:
When I think about Charlie, I think about someone larger than life, full of intensity, and love of life -- he made such an impact on everyone he knew -- including me!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Hill - aka "The Bitch" of Guest says:
Grandpa, Thanks for giving me an awesome friend & sister. You gave me wonderful times on the cruise & in Hotlanta! I will take care of Mel!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Judy Sillman of Guest says:
Charlie -- My first memory was when I met you in Miami. I was a buyer for Target and some people saw you come out of a limo and we had a blast that evening. Thank you for the memories and great times. I already miss you so much… cannot believe you are gone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Ryan of Guest says:
Dear Charlie, Thank you for 51 years of wonderful times. Hope to see you sometime but not too soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Sue Knight of Guest says:
Charlie -- you are my mentor, inspiration, & part of my family. Thank you for making me part of yours. Our lives have been forever touched by you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
The Dolyk's of Guest says:
Charlie -- I know you were here on 8/22/11. Did you enjoy seeing friends from the past, as we all did? You will be missed. You are loved by all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Tiffany, Tegan and Travis Classen of Guest says:
Uncle Charlie, You are one of a kind. We will always think of you as family since no one else has as many crazy stories of our dad then you do. We love you and miss you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Tori MaCarthy of Guest says:
I remember when I first started working with ECRM and your father came, introduced himself, and made me feel very welcome and part of the team! Rest in peace, Charlie! You shall be missed!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Carey Beck of ECRM says:
Charlie -- Being part of the ECRM family has been an incredible journey so far -- more to come! Thanks for welcoming me & cheering me on!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Carrie North of ECRM says:
I serenaded you w/ Schmielowicz the beach back in Ft. Lauderdale & showered you w/ beer. You used to tell me that Swiz and I were in competition for the biggest partier at ECRM. You used to make me redo Cosmetics every year -- BOO YOU -- Ha! But remember the time you looked at my grid and you stopped and said -- "This is fuckin good!" We were in the conference room and I was so mad at you because you kept telling me I could have done better... but when I actually printed out the grid and put it together your face was priceless --- like this blonde can really pull it off and well =). I used to pick you up in Chicago in my P-O-S car w/ no air conditioning and you complained the whole way there because it was either talk on the phone w/ no windows or actually have a convo w/ windows down. The time we were in Walgreens lobby preparing for a meeting (that went horrible) with the PL team. I had some rash on my face that you kept antagonizing me about... like "Carrie take care of your zit." Finally after repeated rumblings, I had to admit that it was a rash from a weekend makeout (he had scruff) session. Your response -- "NO SHIT... Who was the guy... do I need to tell him to put a ring on it!" Then you proceeded to tell all the Walgreens peeps how I knew how to party

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Dawn Gaster of ECRM says:
I will never forget the amazing life lessons I learned from Charlie. I will also never forget Charlie politely letting me know, during a meeting in Costa Rica, that "He had to go and take a shit." No other CEO in the world would have been as open and amazing as CB. He will forever be a part of my life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Katie Reed of ECRM says:
CB -- your kind heart & contagious smile have left a lasting impact on my life. I could never thank you enough for the opportunities you gave me or lasting relationships I have made. Yes -- we are hurting because you are gone but you gave us each other. Thank you for the laughs, life lessons, friendships and the hugs that will stay with me for a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Lana Jones of ECRM says:
CB -- I will forever be remembered as the girl that farted in front of the entire Chain Drug Consortium -- even though I didn't actually fart & You and Scott Emerson made fart noises with your phones while I was talking during my first "professional" presentation. You made me eat black beans for breakfast that day & told me how you "passed gas" during your first presentation @ Boston Dist. You also bet me $1,000 that day that I wouldn't follow in your footsteps -- lessoned learned from this day forward I'll always take a bet on a sure thing -- like a fart after a breakfast of beans. Love you CB!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Lisa Wren of ECRM says:
I've Worked for ECRM for 6 years now. It was my first "real" job and I couldn't have picked a better place to start. I have learned so much from Charlie and the family he let me be a part of. I can never thank him enough for the experience, the lessons, the insight & the people I've met along the way. I will always admire Charlie and loop up to him for what he has taught me and accomplished in his time here. Thank you for the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. Charlie I will always remember you and miss you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Michael Naso of ECRM says:
My first job out of college… taught me so much and I've yet to meet anyone with the drive & passion you possess. Thank you for the opportunity, thank you for the friendships, thank you for the memories!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Person
Delight Slotemaker-de-Bruine of Guest says:
I am shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Bowlus. I offer my deepest expressions of empathy to each of Charlie's immediate family, and to all of his extended ECRM family, as well. Charlie created a “Brand”, in ECRM, which manifested itself and flourished within a forward-thinking platform. For his accomplishments, he and his family may be very proud and fulfilled! I know that the dreams and passions, given birth through Charlie's innovative and visionary creative thinking, will continue to flourish under the guidance of his son, Mitch, and through the efforts of the entire ECRM team. It is clearly evident, indeed, that Charlie helped many companies do business better. Moreover, with certainty, his courage, determination, sense of humor, humility, and his love of life have undoubtedly touched so many individuals. I am one of those individuals, and I am forever grateful to Charlie for his having always been such a supporter of mine over all of these years! I share in your loss from this earth, of a great man, rich in vision, humble in spirit and deep in love and character, with room in his heart for so many. I am blessed to be counted in that family. Many thanks, Charlie

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Person
Maureen Birmingham of Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. says:
To the ECRM family, I offer you my condolences. It has been a few years since I have been back to the ECRM show. I was looking forward to returning and seeing all the familar faces, especially Charlie. Charlie is an amazing person. He always had a smile on his face and something to say to make you laugh. Charlie's accomplishments in this life was incredible. Think of what he is doing up in heaven.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Person
Russ Todd of Russ Todd Sales Associates, Inc says:
Hey Charlie! I will never forget you and all of the many ways you have helped me over the years. When you approached me before your first (I think) ECRM at Palm Aire (Fort Lauderdale for the uninitiated) I thought you were either nuts or brilliant. My mindset at the time was that trade shows HAD to be a bunch of booths in an auditorium all hoping that Walmart would come by. I thought it was worth a try and will never forget arriving and trying to find my room. I walked by the outdoor bar and was asked if I could be helped. The bartender pointed the way, then asked, "are you with ECRM?" When I said yes, she said "Well, come on and have a drink!" as I got waves and handshakes from all these vendors and retailers I had never seen before, and after the event, was totally hooked on the ECRM concept. Charlie, you have helped me so many ways and at so many levels, I just want to say thanks and...I love ya, man.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Person
Marian Bossard of Toy Industry Association, Inc. says:
When I met Charlie for the first time, I knew I was in the presence of an exceptional man who was as kind and compassionate as he was ambitious. You came away from a meeting with Charlie believing in the unlikely and with fresh passion for life and work. I am honored to have known him and will remember him with renewed commitment to treat people well and to do the right thing in all matters personal and professional.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Person
Jeff Kletter of Kinesys Pharmaceutical says:
Our most sincere condolences to Melissa, Mitch and the rest of the family. In 1999, Josie and I had the pleasure of meeting and being treated with such great kindness by Charlie and his team of intelligent capable angels. We were proud to say we knew you and we saddened that we won't be able to see you again. Jeff & Josie Kletter, KINeSYS Inc.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Person
Alfonso Castillo of Grupo Casa, S.A. says:
On behalf of our company, our most sincere condolences to Charlie’s family and the ECRM team, we’ll miss you Charlie.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Person
Rich Caplan of NameStar, LLC says:

Perhaps my oldest and fondest memory of Charlie is that now infamous bar hopping scavenger hunt by water taxi at one of the earlier shows in Ft Lauderdale. Charlie led us boldly thru the canals of Ft Lauderdale, while we laughed and screamed all the way. By the time it was over, we were all soaked and happy as could be. Several friendships that I made that day endure to today. Charlie had a vision of how to bring people together in a new way and the result was so much good for so many. I can honestly say that if not for ECRM and all of the opportunity that it generated over the years, I would not be in the same place career wise as I am today. My sincere condolences to Charlie’s family, friends and the entire ECRM family. Charlie - we will all miss you dearly...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Person
Nick Fagan of Pharmacy Choice, Inc. says:
Charlie encouraged innovation, forward thinking and compassion. I credit his influence, and the great team of people he assembled, at ECRM for much of the foundation that was laid down early in my professional career. His commitment to evolving on both a personal and professional level is reflected in the comments on this page and we are all lucky to have know such a great guy. There are so many hilarious memories that come to mind when I think of CB (eating anything that I had on my desk, telling me I should be paying him to work at ECRM, amazing x-mas parties, etc.) but what I think he will be remembered most for is the impact he had on others and the way he gave 110 percent to everything. We will miss you Charlie! Thank you for everything.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Person
Amanda Tomsik of ECRM says:
I was nervous to write on this wall of wonderful memories... because then it would become real to me... Real that the man who had a vision, had a dream, had passion.. is no longer with us. But I had to bring myself to reality and think about how wonderful it is to be a part of what I call the "ECRM Family." Straight out of college I joined ECRM and couldn't of been happier with the decision I made. You being a boss, the founder of the company and a friend... most people can't put all of those words together in 1 sentence.... I will never forget the time you call me about a project while I was working with the vendor Mars. You wanted me to get them on the Promotional Planning site, get with Joanne, talk to Kurt, create a demo site... I was so confused... and then for the first time ever... you yelled at me... and it made me so happy. It made me happy because I knew when Charlie cussed people out and yelled at them.. he believed in them and cared about them. I knew you trusted me with this huge account just a few months into the company. I will never forget the day Charlie yelled at me. It was one of the best days of my life :-) It encouraged me and made me a stronger person. It made me "man up." Thank you so much for believing in me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Person
Tom Tanner of Volume Brands International says:
My first show with Charlie was one of those 4 day events back around '99 where the buyer was there for all four days and the vendors were there for two days. Saw 84 vendors and back then we did not have 10 minute meetings. I was always amazed that he had a smile on his face, always remembered my name and over the years his philosophy was passed along to all staff members who are the GREATEST! I give Charlie credit for me meeting my wife. Whink Products attended a show in 2001, my wife Bonny was the Sales Mgr but the VP and owner handled the 20 minutes. A year later Bonny came into our offices with her rep for a presentation and I handled the meeting. Bonny remembered me but I did not remember her but by the time meeting and then lunch was over I was hooked. We were both single and had a long distance romance until we got married and I moved to Colorado. We celebrate 10 years in December. THANKS CHARLIE!!!!!!!! tOM

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Person
Alexander Provda of The Pencil Grip, Inc. says:
I would like to express my condolences for the loss of Charlie to all those affected. I would like to wish his children strength and extended family comfort through this sad time. He was a great man who will be remembered as much for his courage as for his huge heart. RIP Charlie.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Person
Frank Palmer of Gamut Inc. says:
First of all I wish to send my deepest thoughts and prayers to Mitch and the entire Bowlus/ECRM family. I sit here on my IPad in China about to send Mitch and all at ECRM my condolences when I saw this memorial. Normally I shy away from public forums and large group setting in general, but I felt compelled to share a few thoughts. I knew Charlie to be a open, and engaging man with a passion for enjoying life encluding his work. Very few people get to touch and impact people the way Charlie did. Not only did he change lives but he revolutionized an industry in the way of bringing buyers and sellers together... As for me, Charlie/ECRM has not only made a huge impact on our business going from a small family business serving Long' Drugs to a national player selling to Walgreen's, CVS, Ace Hardware, Bartell's, Kinney Drug, just to name a few... CB/ECRM gave us a forum to reach buyers that otherwise would have been logistically impossible to possible. Our company most likely would not be enjoying the growth we have had over the years if not for the exposure we got through Charlie's show. On a personal level, I used to dread big group gatherings especially with people I don't know. But with a few pep talks and introductions from Charlie and staff at those first few group settings has helped me to override my anxieties and enjoy myself in group settings... In closing again I wish to send my heart felt wishes to Mitch and the extended Bowlus family. Charlie was loved by all and will truly be missed but his legacy will continue through ECRM and all the people he has touched.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Person
Hal Burke of Xttrium Laboratories, Inc says:
I first met Charlie, when he was the Hair Care buyer at Target in the mid 70's. See Charlie's picture at the bottom of the memorials-"What Would Charlie Do?" That's what Charlie looked like, when I called on him at Target. Charlie didn't buy my Pro Brush hair brushes and I reminded him of that in 1999, when I attended my first ECRM Generic Rx Conference. I teased Charlie he would still have his hair if he would have bought Pro Brushes. He laughed, hugged me and thanked me for participating in my first ECRM Conference. Charlie was very special in my life's journey over the past 12 years that I've attended ECRM Conferences. In fact, Charlie always had time to visit and listen. I would always experience Charlie's energy and joy at ECRM conferences. I'm going to miss Charlie. Charlie's legacy and ECRM will continue to help suppliers and retailers "Create Sales," and honor his desire for us to have fun in our jobs! Thank you Charlie for the great memories and fun times! May God hold Charlie, his family, and all ECRM team members in the palm of his hand and lovingly shine upon them, while we continue to celebrate Charlie's life journey. God Bless you Charlie, Hal Burke National Sales Manager Xttrium Laboratories

Monday, August 22, 2011

Person
Shea Ron Daniels of ECRM says:
CB was the type of man that made you want to work harder than you have ever worked before. He could give you one look and instantly you would have the courage to go above and beyond. Charlie made you feel at home and at ease at all times. I have always wanted to work for a company that made you feel like a family instead of just another employee and CB did this in the blink of an eye. Most employees at any company would lose their minds when they knew that the owner was comimg to the office, but when we knew CB was on his way we would all get excited! We wanted to see him! We all wanted to hear him call us by name and get the loving hugs that he always gave. Charlie embraced everyone, and this is one thing I will always cherish about him. I feel so blessed to have had such an intelligent, kind, and generous man in my life. My condolences go out to the Bowlus family. Charlie, you will forever be in our hearts! We all know, that CB never stops, and that he will be watching over us and continuing to enrich our lives with his spirit!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Person
Kandi Webster of ECRM says:
As I am getting ready to attend the celebration of the life of my friend, boss and founder of my ECRM family, I thought it is time to post on this wall. Charlie hired me at Boston Distributors before I could drink…..legally that is. Right from the start we became fast friends because we both loved to joke around. He was the King of practical jokes and I was his Queen. My job for those five years was the best any 20-something could dream to have. Back in that warehouse were a small family bound together by work, fun and Charlie. Years later, I ran into Al Krause at the Winking Lizard and we spent the evening reminiscing about those old Boston days. The very next day Charlie called me. I still have no idea how he found my phone number. He said he started a new company and wanted me to work with him. All I had to do was sit in a hallway all day and yell, “three minutes!” At night my job was to pass out Jell-O shots, drink and keep the men entertained. Easy enough! Three days later plane tickets to West Palm for the following week arrived in the mail. Not exactly sure what I was getting into but I got on that plane. I was picked up by a limo at the airport and whisked to the Marriott Del Ray Beach. I walked out to the pool area and saw Charlie holding court. As I got closer he stood up and yelled, “CANDANCE!! SHOW US YOUR TITS!!!!” Of course couldn’t say no to the new boss. At that moment I knew I would be forever linked with Charlie and ECRM. Now, 14 years later, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have a job I love and work with people whom I consider my family….all thanks to you, Charlie. I will continue to work hard and play harder and with a little mischief thrown in. I will miss you my friend…love ya! I hold my martini glass in the air to you...Cheers!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Person
Ed Reilly of ECRM says:
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — That myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts — That hope always triumphs over experience — That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. ~ Robert Fulghum

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Person
John Allen of ECRM says:

The man we all came to know as Charlie Bowlus has forever changed our lives. Remembering Charlie and how he made each of us feel we had a separate and special relationship with him gives us all comfort. These stories are beautiful and unique and we will wrap ourselves in them like blankets to keep us warm when we gather in his name. The virtues that Charlie Bowlus possessed were virtues of action. To serve, is one of God's greatest virtues. His life was one of service. In each and every action that Charlie undertook his focus was on serving others. The ECRM business model is cast in servicing areas of business and each attendee as if they were guests in Charlie's home. They are Charlie's guests and in answering the endless questions that are in front of us as we propel ECRM on its path of service the answer should always be Yes. To love, is not only one of God's greatest virtues but also one of God's absolutes. Charlie Bowlus was more of a mythological figure when it came to his passion and taking action to love. His love was not of this world and could only emanate from the celestial plane. So is Charlie Bowlus a Super Hero or A Mythological figure? Each of us can decide for ourselves. Tights' and a cape? or Wing's and a halo? I Love You Charlie John

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Person
Robert Allen of ECRM says:
It is 4:00 in the morning and once again I have been wide awake since 2:00am. I have to say that the sudden passing of Charlie has really rocked my boat. I have that same empty feeling similar to what I felt when the shuttle exploded, 9-11 or when my parents died. WWCD? exactly what is going on. He would start a memorial page so that everyone would be able to write down their feelings and help each other heal. Charlie would have rallied the cry “The Show Must Go On” and we deliver the first show since his passing, with 5 separate segments, across 3 teams with more reviews than I could count, without missing a beat. What a Life! What a Love Story! Charlie operated from a position of Love and Truth. His reality and sense of knowing gave him confidence and an elevated opportunity for success. Charlie wanted that knowing of confidence for everyone around him and he wanted you to experience fearless like him. Bobby he said, “You Got to Grow Grapefruits to experience life with no boundaries”. My relationship with Charlie started as he entered my baby sisters life and started a love affair with her and our family. Our lessons of limitless life started one weekend my wife and I needed to attend a 2 hour function and Charlie volunteered to babysit our 4 year old daughter. Actually, he said John and he would take her to the movies and they would have a ball. Picking up Faith after the function things seemed to have gone well besides the obvious lost shoes, lost favorite “Lizzy Maguire Doll” and chocolate ice cream from head to toe. Charlie was a little quiet but we thanked him and started up the road when my wife asked Faith about her visit with Uncle Charlie and Uncle John. Well she said Mommy, we didn’t go to the movies but we had so much fun! We fed the ducks at the lake four loaves of bread Uncle Charlie bought at the grocery store. Then we went to the Ice Cream Store and I had cotton candy, Ice Cream and Real Soda. I know I am not supposed to have real soda Mommy but Uncle Charlie told me “No Mom’s No Rules”! Also, Mom we have to stop by the Pet Store and pick up my puppy he is real cute. Faith will never forget that limitless lesson or that poor Maltese that never got picked up. I consider myself fortunate to have experienced the force we so lovingly called Charlie. His life exemplified that family, friends, integrity and truth is all that matters in life. A marvelous man, husband, father, brother, friend and boss who would bend over the balcony, reach down and pull you up to where he resided. “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love make.” Love You and Miss You…….

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Person
Cheryl Gherlone of ECRM says:
CB, When you and I talked about me joining the ECRM sales team, you were very up front about the difficulty many former buyers had making the transition to sales. That concern alone made me nervous but when our face to face interview in Atlanta consisted of you showing me pictures on your i-phone of Oliver's and Boey's poop, I was more than a lttle leary of what I might be getting into. You were so proud of the size of Oliver's pile, We "tried each other on" for a couple of months and I am happy and grateful to say that you took a chance on me and welcomed me into your ECRM family. The transition for me was simple. How could it not be with someone so supportive and willing to teach? I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with you, experience your run with it approach and be part of an amazing organization, your brainchild. I especially appreciated and loved that you let mistakes be learning experiences ("It will make you strong") and never forgot the wins! I miss you Charlie.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Person
Lisa Jordan of ECRM says:
Charlie. Talk about someone unique in every way and so very funny! Never a dull moment. It is hard to remember all of the many memories in the decade I’ve been privileged to know you. It has taken some time here for all of this to sink in for me. We’ve all been enriched by you in so many different ways. I can remember early days when you would visit the Emery office and you’d stop by my desk “so what good stuff we get today?” and you’d read my notebook. Of course that was in the days before we ever had a family portal of reports to automatically tell everyone what was going on and we hand wrote it out for you or emailed it. Early on, one of the hardest tasks to do was to also help you draft letters…mostly to folks overseas for our 1st European shows. I mean you’d call or stop over if in town & I’d try to keep up & translate your handwriting . Sometimes I would sneak & show the documents to Mikey and he’d tell me what you meant lol. Later down the road, I can remember moments at the shows with you…Starbucks was a must! I remember an incident (not in our control) that occurred at a hotel and I was so nervous to tell you what the hotel wanted us to do (i.e. stay off our radios for a short time) while they resolved the problem. I remember approaching you there at the show and breaking the news to you and all you said was “ok no problem…keep me posted/call my cell.” And you moved on to the next meeting because you had confidence that all would be OK & taken care of! I recall you on the after party buses in the early days with us at the shows (good times!), you smiling & watching the dances we’d do out on the dance floor to help entertain the crowd at so many events lol, gosh. All of the cars ….I can’t remember how many drivers I waited with or talked to then ….just to see you off. I can’t count how many times we’ve all had to search for things you’d accidentally forget somewhere and we’d all laugh together about it. I can’t count how many guests we’ve booked to come see you at your request…all the people who wanted to meet with you to gain a glimpse of the incredible vision you had to help their business! But, I know you’re watching over us all & that your generous & charismatic spirit will always be with us no matter where we are or what we’re doing. We will all miss you terribly. Thank you for all you’ve ever done!! Love, L J

Friday, August 19, 2011

Person
Lisa Stern of Infinity Sales says:
Sid & I were extremely addened to hear about the passing of Charlie. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. It was 10 years ago that we first met. Charlie was always very supportive & encouriging especially as were were battleing through some very tough situations. Charlie brought to us a new way of doing business and for that we will be forever greatful. Charlie will always hold a special place in our hearts..... he will be miseed... rest in peace our dear friend.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Person
Les Haughton of Business Leadership Group says:
I'm not embarrassed to say that I've cried everyday for the past ten days thinking about how much I will miss Charlie. When I first heard the news about Charlie I went downstairs in my basement and cried.My 19 year grandson came downstairs and asked me what was wrong and I told him about Charlie and how much I loved him. My grandson looked at me and said something to me that I think was magical....... he said give me a HUG! I know Charlies wonderful spirit was talking to me because as we all know a hug from Charlie was wonderful experience. I've never been a big hugger but Charlie I promise to HUG more and to treat people the way you did! Thank-you for being my friend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Person
Eric Guard of Guest says:
I am shocked and saddened with Charlie's passing. I haven't seen Charlie in 8 years. I may be attending an ECRM show for the first time soon since I last saw Charlie back in 2003/2004. He was a wonderful guy and always looked out for me. I wish the Bowlus family all the best in celebrating Charlie's great life. I hate that I will not be seeing Charlie again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Person
Mac Ritchie of Plaid Enterprises says:
If there was one person who celebrated living by building longstanding friendships and business relationships, it was Charlie....he simply loved people. Despite his and ECRM’s enormous success, he always remained accessible, encouraging, and a friend to so many people in the CPG industry. I don’t think I could have cultivated the depth of business relationships I have today, had it not been for the vision that Charlie engineered through ECRM. In addition to creating the best industry forum for bringing buyers and sellers together, I am relatively certain that Charlie invented the art of networking through the use of Jello shots and the party boat. I will always remember him for his ever-present smile and the twinkle in his eye. His family should be very proud of the indelible imprint and legacy Charlie left on this planet, and I am extremely honored to have known him. While we will all miss him, I am sure the Lord must be happy to have one of the great guys with Him in Heaven…..

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Person
Liz Lantz of ECRM says:
Charlie.. You truly have taught me to be the person I am today. I would never be this strong without you. You have taught me to take on the world LITERALLY! I would of never had the confidence to travel around the world meeting with top guys from huge retail chains. I have gotten to see sooo much and do soo much because of you. I remember one of the first times we were traveling across the UK together and I had a note pad to take the notes during our meetings and you asked me what the hell that was and why I wasn’t using my computer.. from there we spent the 2 hr train ride home with you teaching me how to properly take notes and organizing my inbox.. I am going to miss seeing your name pop up on caller id and freaking out about what I did now. I am going to miss you telling everyone that the way I get buyers to the shows is getting them drunk. You will be missed so much and every day I will try a little harder in your honor.. I just hope that I still continue to make you proud. Thank you for everything you have done for me. Love Liz

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Person
Gail Hekkema of Belcam Inc., Delagar Div., Denco Div. says:
WOW! It has been a week since I heard the news about you, Charlie, and I'm still having trouble digesting it. I didn't know you as well as your ECRM family did, obviously, but I too have fond memories of you surprising me with big backwards bear hugs! The highlight of our shows would always be you dropping by our room, asking how it was going, and what ideas we had for improvements, asking me how we could put together a profesisonal Beauty show, or if it was even feasible, our back and forth phone calls trying figure out a way to do it.... Charlie, you left a legacy that has touched everyone in the retail industry profoundly, and then some! Without you, there would be no ECRM.... However! Your legacy carries on in the enormous talents of your family and staff, who care deeply about ECRM and want to see it continue to flourish. And Charlie, only YOU would go out the way you lived life- with a party! What a FITTING way to go! God bless you- I will always, always miss you! Gail

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Person
Christina Fallon of ECRM says:
Charlie…its been a week since I got the news and I still can’t process all of this. Words can’t do you enough justice on the impact you have had on the retail industry, ECRM, and MYSELF. I came into ECRM as this timid, quiet, perfectionist and YOU helped me break out of my shell and grow into the person I am today. I am no longer scared to ask questions, speak up, or make mistakes. You have taught me so many lessons that I will carry on for the rest of my life. I have sooooo many amazing memories of you that I will forever hold in my heart! The last email I received from you just shows how much love you had for your ECRM family . When I was on Maternity leave, you emailed me asking for a picture of the baby. I sent one over to you and you gushed over her and told me to call you whenever I needed a babysitter and that you would fly into Cleveland. I wish I could have taken you up on that offer! Brynn would have loved those bear hugs and to listen to your stories. I will be sure to pass them along to her and tell her about the amazing man that inspired her Mommy. I will miss you so much CB!!! xoxo MAGS

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Person
Dan Steiber of D2 Pharma Consulting, LLC says:
I got to know Charlie back in 1995 or so and he came to me about supporting him with his pharmacy event he had a vision for. It was visionary! From my first meeting I formed a kinship with Charlie and over the course of the last 15 years we would confide on industry matters and as we got to know eachother on life issues. We build a relationship of trust and he made me a part of his ECRM family. When I came to a cross roads in my career it was Charlie to extended his hand to me and was generous with his time and his organization. Professionally Charlie was a pioneer but more importantly he leaves a legacy with his immediate family, his ECRM family and a minion of people that he touched and influenced. What Charlie taught me was to Pay if Forward, look what you can do for others and ask little in return. That the rewards of giving far outweight the cost. We owe it to him to continue his legacy and my personal commitment is to support his ECRM family however I and our D2 organization can. Dan Steiber

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Person
Melinda Young of ECRM says:
Charlie…it was taking me so long to think of what to say that I almost went out and bought a roll of static sheets to put up around my office in your honor…..but instead I just paced back and forth wondering when the fog in my head was going to clear so I could make sense of ECRM without you…..Its incredible to stop and take a minute to realize how much of an impact you have had on my life. I think that’s what’s been the hardest….I’ve known you for a third of my life and in that time SO much has happened to me…to say I’ve grown doesn’t even scratch the surface…to say I’ve transformed seems much more fitting..….personally and professionally. And I owe so much of that to you….even meeting my husband…..maybe even him proposing…..i remember being at CVS with you and you called mike and left him a 5 minute message claiming to be God and telling him he must propose or else…..he proposed 2 weeks later and you will always take credit! I looked at my 1 yr old son the other day and thought, I can’t believe you are never going to get the chance to meet Charlie….this man that has meant so much to me….but then I realized how much of what I have learned from you, I can now instill in him and ya know what, that seems just as important…..so many life lessons that will stay with me forever……I learned to work hard, but play harder and laugh at yourself…..I learned that you had to be uncomfortable to get to the next level……I learned that making mistakes was ok as long as you owned them…I learned not to be scared to fail b/c if you never failed you weren’t thinking big or taking chances….i learned that passion was a virtue that could drive anyone…I learned you could teach me much more than a Masters ever could…..I learned that hierarchies didn’t need to exist to get things done and more importantly, if they did, everything would take weeks longer……I learned that hbc timing strategy sessions needed adult beverages…I learned that beyond that crazy man was a guy that would give his left arm for anyone in this industry that asked him for help. He had a heart of gold and beyond his brilliance and contributions to the industry, I hope people remember that….ill miss you chuck……xoxo Mel ”Do not go where the path may lead... Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Person
Linda Streitmarter of ECRM says:
ON BEHALF OF MICHELLE STREITMARTER: When I think of Charlie, so many memories come to mind. I first started working for Charlie when I was in high school, working as a "Knocker" (which I believe now has a much more sophisticated name). He had just come out of a meeting with a manufacturer and was walking down my hall...I could tell his head was spinning in a million different directions, and at that time I was slightly scared of him! Anyways, a $100 bill fell out of his back pocket. I yelled down the hall "Charlie you just dropped $100 bucks" and he turned around and yelled back "Keep it"! I could go on with the memories from the "Call Me" emails, to the crazy voice mails, to traveling with Charlie being booked on 5 flights just to make sure we made one of them, to the Sunday morning emails "Are you working today" (which I translated into "You are working today"), the time I picked him up in a burnt orange PT Cruiser rental car and he refused to get into "something so ******* ugly" and told me to take it back and exchange it....it goes on!! About a month ago or so, I emailed Charlie with a lead I had for him. He emailed me back thanking me, asking "How the heck are you" and telling me to call him. I never called him and I can't tell you how much I regret that now - to be able to have one more talk with Chuck - to be able to learn one more lesson in life & business - I don't have many regrets in life, but that is definitely one of them. Lesson learned - never assume there is a tomorrow. Miss you Charlie - thanks for making me into the business woman I am today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Person
Soni Tolani of Simba Global LLC says:
I have never had the oppurtunoty to meet Charlie Bowlus, but he sure was a great personality and much loved by everyone as reading the many messages shared by his colleagues/friends/associates. May this great soul rest in peace and the legacy and vision created be carried on. As they say The Show Must Go On...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Person
David Horvat of Guest says:
If Charlie were a ballplayer, you’d easily say he left it all on the field of life. I’m not sure I know another person who got as much out of 60 some odd years as Charlie. I met Charlie during the final years of Boston Distributers when I was an IT consultant doing some work for them. A year later, I got a call out of the blue from him to come to his house and talk about an idea he had for a new type of promotional planning show – and it was going to take a lot of technology to pull it off. What an amazing human being. To say Charlie had vision would be an understatement. He knew how he was going to leverage the Internet back in 1993 and it was in his plans. I am actually embarrassed to say I was in the IT field and didn’t see what he saw. ECRM success speaks to how brilliant a man he was as a businessman – but reading all that is in these tribute messages speaks volumes as to who he was as a human being. Quite simply, he might be the most dynamic, life loving person I’ve ever met. Anita mentioned a car story in her tribute. I have one that sums Charlie up as well. Chuck and I traveled to San Diego for NACDS one year in the mid 90s. We were driving our rental car from the airport to the hotel (this was obviously pre-GPS). We could see our hotel across the way – but we knew we were obviously on a wrong road. Chuck spotted a parking lot to cut through that would get us aimed at the hotel. He went the wrong way into the lot and over the spikes and punctured all four tires. We limped into the hotel valet on rims, and upon approaching the car, the bell hop exclaimed to Charlie as he was getting out of the car “Sir, you have 2 flat tires…” – Chuck flipped him the keys, and said “No I don’t, I have 4…take care of this for me will you” and gave him a C-note and we checked in..(the hundred was crumpled and I think a few more and probably some business notes fell from his jeans pocket as he dug it out) Primal Screams in the middle of the day – playing more than 400 games of pool one year interspersed into 14 hour work days at his house and KEEPING A TALLY to see who was better only to wind up nearly dead even – Yanni being played way too many decibels higher that it should ever be played – watching Charlie drop to the floor leg wrestle any on comers (at the shows, at home, or ANYWHERE) – these are only a few of the lovable eccentrics of Charlie Bowlus. It was impossible not to love life if you were in his presence. Charlie worked hard, and Charlie played hard. And if you could keep up – he loved you and made sure you knew it. Al Kraus speaks of the first EPPS show. It was at Palm Air. To be there when Charlie started – and to see what it is today – could be an entire college semester long course. I got more education from Charlie in those early years than any masters course could ever provide. Charlie - you have influenced my life more than you will ever know. I am an entrepreneur because of you. I will miss you. Your friends, colleagues, and this world will miss you. I hope I see you again someday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Person
Jackie Combs of Guest says:
Charlie, I am so unbelievably saddened and shocked over the news. I remember experiencing my first ECRM event and thinking what a wonderful venue you had created. Throughout the years we had numerous conversations regarding the efficiency of the show and your incredibly accommodating team. I looked forward to each show and knew if you were going to be there I would get a big hug, be asked how were things going and what could you do to make the show better. I will fondly remember our conversations that we strived to “keep under a half an hour”. When I had the privilege to work for you at ECRM you had sent me a “WHOOOORAH – that didn’t take long” email after making my first sale. When I experienced a personal loss, you called me to offer your condolences, inquired how I was doing, and had asked if there was anything I needed or if there was anything you could do for me. Your actions are a true reminder that we were all part of your extended family. I will never forget your kindness or how thoughtful you were. After making the extremely difficult decision to move on from ECRM, you had called again – It meant so much to me when you said how much you had appreciated what I had accomplished, that I was a kick a$$ sales person, and to let you know if ever I wanted to come back. You had asked that we keep in touch and I am so fortunate we did – I just wish it was for a much longer period of time! I will miss you Charlie, your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bowlus/Allen families and to your wonderful ECRM Family.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Person
Allan Lever of Hollywood Alliance Canada, Inc. says:
Charile- You changed the world of business for all of us forever. Your knoweledge, humour and gnerosity were unmatched. The world needs more CB's. We will miss you. From all of your Friends in Canada We will miss you and never forget you. Al

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Rick Price of Kiss Products, Inc. says:
Rick Price of Kiss Products I've been extremely lucky to know Charlie for the past 31 years, dating back to my first meetting with Charlie and Al Kraus at Boston Distributors ( I was 30 years old at the time) . We had some times together actually way tooo many to mention. However a few that come to mind. Field trips to reset stores (Hills) in the Northeast for Boston Distributors that turned into week long adventures . The scavenger hunt by boat - the one that Charlie said "Rick I am never taking this group off site again" special thanks to Greg! The memories go and on, from the Boston Distributor Shows to the ECRM's. On a serious note, I will truly miss Charlie, but will always have the memories. He was a true friend and business associate. As Al Kraus said "especially the HUG"! Love Ya Charile!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Jeanna Washko of ECRM says:
I've been lucky enough to have worked for ECRM on and off for several years- Charlie always let me come back,and somehow always remembered who I was. Probably because as he always told me after giving me a big hug whenever he saw me, he'd "see me at the chirstmas party"! Needless to say I haven't missed one in a long time, even if I was at ECRM at the time or not. Haha. Charlie was such an inspiring person, and following his dreams was able to create the wonderful company/family that we are all proud to be a part of. Everyday I get to come to work knowing that I work with not only my 2 best friends and sister, but everyone else who over the years who have created some amazing and hilarious memories of mine. So thank you Charlie, for giving me the chance to work and learn from all of these wonderful people you have put together over the years. I think it's apparent how much everyone misses you, admires you, and wants to continue to make you proud. xoxo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Carl Grassi of Majestic Sales says:
My very deep and sincere condolences to the Bowlus family. Charlie was a rare gem who one only comes across so very few times in one's life. I will miss him immensely. I worked with him and for him thru my 30 years in the business. From Fazio's grocery stores to Boston Dist and now attending his shows with Majestic Sales Corp. He was a true man a vision, a great employer, and an irreplaceable friend. Carl Grassi

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Steve Rosenfeld of The F.C. Sturtevant Company says:
Aug 11, 2011 - 22:41 Steven Rosenfeld of The F.C. Sturtevant Company says: Charlie Bowlus leaves behind a giant footprint. His vision, wisdom, intuition, focus and passion for his work served as an inspiration for all who had the good fortune to know or work with him. Charlie's impact on our industry is significant. I will always remember and be greatful for the courtesies he extended to me, for the time he took to hear my thoughts and for his sincerity and friendship.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Karen Evancheck of Closeout Group says:
Charlie was a true pioneer in this business with his ECRM show format, and a man deserving of great respect for his creativity, passion, intelligence and integrity. As a buyer, his shows were my most productive and most enjoyable. Charlie was a friend and mentor to me. I will remember Charlie mostly for his kind-hearted, caring, and out-going personality. I first met Charlie while attending an ECRM show in the mid-1990's as a buyer. As soon as he discovered I was attending alone, he took me under his wing. I was generally made to feel at home by Charlie and his wonderful ECRM staff. I formed strong business partnerships that are still meaningful today. Years later, my career changed, but it did not discontinue his friendship. Charlie was generous and genuine with his help. He took time to talk with me and offer help, and logical suggestions. He never forgot me and I will never forget him. Thank you Charlie- it was an honor to know you! My thoughts and sincere sympathy go out to the Bowlus and ECRM families. It is a huge loss for all of us, and I will miss him greatly, but the memories are sweet.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
David Woolf of American International Industries says:
I believe I was the first manufacturer Charlie described & solicited with his vision of this “new” type of trade show. I bought his story. For certain, our participation in his ECRM events assisted us in growing our business. And the bonus was that I made a new and incredible friend in Charlie. We participated in Charlie’s first event and in every Cosmetics event that followed. Charlie, AII and I will miss you. David Woolf American International Industries

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Mei Noguchi of Teledex Inc says:
Charlie has created a community for us to work and share friendship with. He makes Buying and Selling fun for all of us. We shall miss him. Mei Noguchi Teledex Inc.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Sharen Michael of Sharen M. Michael & Associates says:
Sharen Michael RIP Charlie, my heart goes out to his family and his extended ECRM family. I like so many others have special memories of Charlie and numerous stories to tell of his friendship and help. This was a wonderful man and a wonderful friend who always picked up the phone. I'm sure he is helping Saint Peter with his software right now. Love to you all at this very sad time. Here's to you Charlie and a life well lived.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Rosemery Elguedo of Donnamax, Inc. says:
I think many will agree with me when I say how fortunate we all are to have met Charlie. It is rare to meet a person that can influence our careers in the positive way that Charlie did. I have always believed that we surround ourselves with people that are a reflection of who we are. All we have to do is look at the staff that represents ECRM to remind us of Charlie Bowlus today and always. Thank you, Charlie! For letting me be part of ECRM or “The Charlie Show”. Rosemery Elguedo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
John O'Maley of John O'Maley & Associates National Sales & Marketing Consultant says:
I just attended my 185th ECRM event in Phoenix. I have known Charlie for 30 years. I would not be in business if it were not for Charlie and ECRM. I consider it my greatest honor and privilege to have had Charlie as a close, dear and cherished friend, mentor and business associate. He always had time for me, to counsel me, provide guidance and suggestions. He always asked how I was doing, how was my business, how could ECRM help me? He supported me more than anyone else in business. I will miss so many things about Charlie but mostly our spirited debates. I loved telling him “he was full of it” and his reactions were always so unpredictable…it was great! I loved him, too! John O'Maley

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Erin Minger of ECRM says:
Charlie, I know we didn't get to work together on a daily basis, but your impact on my life, my work and vision is beyond words. I remember our last conversation, it was right after I got promoted and you told me it was great and it was time and I would do great, it meant so much to me. I wish I could have proven more to you. I would always hear every body talk about the "call me" emails and I would always say " God, if I got that email I would be so scared." Now looking back on I wish I could have had a moment like that with you. Thinking of everything now, there is one thing that comes to mind, the man, the myth, the legend. Charlie we will all miss you so much, more than words can explain, but we will always carry on your vision. I miss you CB!! XO Mings

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Person
Eddie Frisch of Chain Drug Consortium, LLC says:
On behalf of CDC and all of our Members, we will see Charlie everyday, whenever we look at our website, as Charlie was to CDC, what our website is to us- our most trusted source of information, guidance, and strategy. To all of us, Charlie was: "A man of passion and compassion. A visionary yet lived in the day. A leader, mentor and friend to anyone who has known him for years or just met him for the first time. We will miss him." Thank you. Ed

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Lorraine Winterink of Redex Industries, Inc says:
On behalf of the Udderly Smooth family to Charlie's family, friends and associates; please accept our deepest condolances. Charlie was a visionary and created a magnificent business model in which we have all come together to do business. Through the years, we've not only earned new business but friends in the industry. Thank you Charlie ~ It has been a great time with you! William Kennedy family

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Dana Fox of ECRM says:
Charlie was a visionary—more of a genius, actually! His ideas went far beyond anything anyone else could possibly imagine, yet his personality was so down to earth. The first time I met him he was wearing jeans, a wrinkle lavender button down and flip flops. He came to my desk, after saying a few chummy words to my colleagues. I turned to greet him with a hand shake and instead he went in for a hug :O). Whenever he was in the Solon office, there was a certain buzz in the air and pep in everyone’s step. He just filled the place with energy. I had a baby a little less than two years ago and remember the conversation he had with me when deciding what position I should move into in the near future. There were existing positions my colleagues and he thought were suitable for my work ethic and skill base, but his concern was the fact that I was going to be a new mommy. Although he respected my ‘Work-a-holic’ tendencies, he told me that my family should always be my number one priority, especially when my new baby comes. Not the typical ‘how's this going to affect my bottom line’ conversation you’d expect from a CEO. But that was just Charlie. He cared for us and truly wanted us to be happy at work and in life. He will truly be missed by all who had the privileged to know him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Rich Goldschmidt of Guest says:
From time to time we all need a friend in this business. Charlie was there as a businessman ... but, more importantly as a friend. I attended the ECRM Shows for over 15 years. I learned more about the business with every ECRM Show. More importantly, I learned from Charlie in ways that I can never repay. THANK YOU, Charlie! Rich Goldschmidt G-Force International

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Denis Cronin of Integrated Beverage Group, LTD says:
I knew Charlie since the Boston distributor days. He was a fabulous businessman and good friend. He transformed the entire CPG industry with his ECRM shows and made it possible for so many companies to do business in a pleasant professional setting. He was innovative and had a profoundly positive impact on the industry. My condolences go out to his entire family. He will be greatly missed. Denis Cronin Manchester, NH

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Maia Hirsch of ECRM says:
Charlie, you are the most visionary man I ever met. I'll never forget your smile, your speeches so full of enthusiasm, your strength, your optimism, your motivation, and specially your hugs; having a boss that knows the name of each employee is not common: it is remarkable and it is something that can only come from a great man; a man that can make you feel part of his family. My last conversation with you was exactly a month before you left; I can still hear the sound of your voice. It is sad, but it is also great to have that memory, because that means you are still here. Charlie, all of us in ECRM are part of your dream and it is because of that dream that we all met. So THANK YOU. Thank you for being part of our lives and for allowing us to be part of yours. You will be in our hearts forever.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Al Kraus of ECRM says:
I LOVE CHARLIE BOWLUS! I am proud to say it. If you were around Chuck for any time at all you probably just said the same thing in your head or under your breath or out loud. If you met Charlie you have had a hug. If you ever met someone who has not, pass it on. A hug from Charlie will stay with you forever. How do you discribe Charlie: stubborn, headstrong, uncomromizing, oppinionated, Those thst worked with him know these traitts . These words discribe, Charlie he business man. Kind,gernerous,caring, creative, understanding, forgiving, fun loving,witty, successful, crude, and my favorite slovenly. Hundreds more positive words discribe Charlie the person. We all know Charlie was no fashion trend setter.Did he even own socks or a tie?? He never wanted the spotlight. He would rather be in a cheap tavern with friends than a banquet for business. His first show for ECRM had maybe 80 people. when it came time to pay the restaurant tab, Chuck came to my table and asked me to stay close because he was afraid his credit card was maxed out. Later that night we were drinking in a bar and I asked him if he made any money on the show. He said, "I don't know but a lot of people did business, and it was a hell of a party". ECRM is in good hands and will continue to be the dominent trade shows in the retail trade. But for all he did for retail, he did more for the human spirit. Charlie's ability to leave a life time impressiom on all he met was his real skill. So everyone take with you, on your life's quest, the teaching of Charlie. And when you reach a crossroad of indecision ask yourself, "WHAT WOULD CHARLIE DO" Judy and I have had Charlie in our hearts for 35 years and he's not going anywhere. Charlie Bowlus will always be "A HELL OF A PARTY"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Bob Rohl of Morgan & Sampson USA says:
I attended Charlie's first show and from there I witnessed a business explode - there was no looking back. Not only was Charlie relevant but he was also a revolutionary.. In this business world we operate in, Charlie was the quintessential "common denominator." His vision became our way to do business. He will be missed but never replaced. His vision ECRM will live on as Charlie would have wanted it to. My prayers and condolences to Charlie's loving family and to his extended ECRM family. Goodbye friend and thank you for making this business both fun and productive. It was an honor to know you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Jen Williams of ECRM says:
Where do I begin??? I vividly remember the day I interviewed at ECRM. I walked in the front door feeling very overdressed – watching everyone walk back and forth in shorts, t-shirts, halter tops, short skirts and flip flops. I thought…people are working at folding tables…am I in the right place??? I literally, walked back out to check the address on the door. Everyone was laughing, joking and having a great time. I looked up from my application and noticed a gentleman kicking and slamming the printer next to the receptionist…mumbling various obscenities (one guess). I giggled to myself and thought…ok, no one is looking…you still have time to bail! Too late! Kim Burkey and Sarah Chmielowicz walked up, introduced themselves and whisked me away for my interview. Before I made it home that morning my cell rang, Kim offered me the job and told me to dress casual. I never worked for a company so laid back, so I ignored the obvious dress code policy. Charlie happened to be in town the week I started…he walked up to Sci-Fi, congratulated him on his recent nuptials, turned and gave me the biggest bear hug. “This must be Jen. I’m Charlie…welcome to the family, kid. Please wear some jeans tomorrow”. I laughed…stunned and impressed he knew my name! I traveled a lot that first year and looked forward to my CB hugs, challenges and advice. My move to Logistics…pure fate. I remember Mikey telling me once “this is the just the beginning…ECRM is going to be a phenomenon!!”. CB, Mikey and I worked on tons of EPPS events and special projects over these last 7 years – just when you thought you were over the hurdle, one step ahead and complete…the phone would ring and Charlie would say he changed his mind!! I admire him for his vision, dedication and profound passion! I admire him for his ALL OR NOTHING work ethic! I cherish my last conversation with Charlie: NACDS Annual prep. Italo’s FedEx box wasn’t delivered yet, CB was freaking out and calling me every hour. “Keep calling and light a fire under their ass!!!” I was here until 8 pm that night…as he instructed to re-create and ship again. Just as Italo confirmed delivery, Charlie called me. “Hey! He got the box. FedEx sucks! Thanks for staying late…I appreciate all you do. Go home!” Thank YOU Charlie!!! Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your vision and your ECRM family. You have touched my life in so many ways and given me the gift of amazing, life-long friendships. Mitch, Melissa, Liz, Sharon, Bowlus/Allen Families…my heart goes out to you! I love you and miss you Charlie! xoxo Jen

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Kevin Consolo of ECRM says:
Charlie, CB, Chuck – you were a mastermind and a genius. You had an uncanny way of getting people to reach their fullest potential, even without actually being present in the office. I have a feeling that every ECRM employee had the same feeling I did as they clicked through the software, logged a call, made a sales note, crossed off a benchmark, finished a task, sent an internal email, wrote a note to a client – whatever it was, it always begged the question: “Is this how Charlie would want me to do it? What would he do here? What would he want me to do here?” And that’s pretty amazing with the fact that I only really had a personal connection and relationship with you for only about a year, and you have had such a lasting effect on me. I immediately gained complete respect for you for speaking your mind, making bold moves – and the fact that you built this company and family from your basement to the global, living, breathing beast that it is now…it’s the intangible that automatically calls for complete respect and admiration. Even though you wore flip flops, used profanities (and wrote profanities on a certain colleague’s head with a sharpie during my first strategy meeting with you), you were a role model for me and everyone in the ECRM Family. You were the constant person on my shoulder (inspiring me and sometimes yelling at me) for everything I do in an effort to make this company better, and that will never change. You made it seem so effortless for myself and for my colleagues to embody your passion and undoubtedly care about their role in the company, because that’s just the way you were, and one of your best qualities. And I second a comment below about how my parents felt that they knew you, even though they never met you, because I talked about you all the time. Just like you, I left the buttoned-up corporate world, and I was so incredibly lucky to find your company and to get that call from Tree that I was going to be some part of your dream and your company. Even though I didn’t know what that was at the time, I’m so grateful fate brought me to work with you and to know you. I had a dream about you a week or two ago, and I wanted to call you to hear your voice, but I know your voice will be with me each and every day, saying to me, “What would I do?” “Go with your gut.” “Love the idea.” “Thanks for all that you’re doing.” And of course, “Love you man.” I’m unbelievably fortunate to say that I shared a connection with you that will never falter, and I know I will undoubtedly miss you, your hugs and your inspiring words, but you’ll still in some way be with me forever. I know I, and this company, will continue to make you proud. I miss you and I love YOU, man. ...........My hearts, thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Mitch, Melissa, Sharon, Liz and the Bowlus/Allen family.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Steven Chaiken of Alliance Sales Upstate NY-Upstate Sales Alliance says:
Charlie was a great man. He had the visions of the future, and the ability to change an industry. He always looked to help individuals. He will be missed for a very long time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Johanne Castagan of ECRM says:
While I didn’t see you every day, we sure did talk often. You always had a way of knowing exactly when I might be away from my desk…even if it was just for a second…the message light would be blinking and it was sure to be a voicemail from you asking if I’m at the bar, watching my soaps or why I never have time for you. I saved the best one…just can’t share it with everyone because it does contain profanity. Every year you would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up and every year I would tell you I loved my job. You always said there was something wrong with me. Whatever that is allowed me to work so closely with you for a lot longer than some people thought possible. I never felt like an assistant, you trusted me with projects I was so proud to be a part of and I know sometimes you would make me want to scream… will I ever have a boss who it’s ok to argue with again? To watch you work was fascinating, there were times you would tell me to do something and even after I’d write it down, walk away for a minute (you would most likely call at that point and ask if I was done yet) and come back to it, I’d still have no idea what it was you really wanted. Somehow, after a draft or five, it would make complete sense. One of my favorite Charlie quotes – “You did exactly what I said, but that’s not what I meant.” I’m so sad that you are gone but feel so very lucky to have worked for such a brilliant man.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Marc Hubbard of Planet Retail says:
On behalf of myself and Planet Retail, i wanted to pass on our condolences to the Bowlus Family and ECRM. Charlie was a great person and inspiration. His energy will be missed. However I am sure company he founded will continue to go from strength to strength in memory of his sprit and passion.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Brian Richards of ECRM says:
I'm not the best at expressing these kinds of emotions. But Charlie you truly were an amazing leader, and I learned a great deal from you from dealing with you on different projects and just watching you work. I remember the first time meeting Charlie, I was a bit nervous finally meeting the CEO of the company of my first ever big kid job. I went in for the handshake and Charlie grabbed me and gave me a big hug. I knew from that day forward it was going to be very special working for him. My last time seeing Charlie in person was in May and he made me feel very blessed that I was apart of ECRM and told me he was proud of me, I really appreciated that. Sometimes he would call me and talk to me about different scheduling issues, but by the end of the call I would have no idea what we were talking about haha, but he would end it with later dude...will miss you CB!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Maria Childs of ECRM says:
I still remember the first time I met Charlie. He was wearing jeans, had a big smile and gave me a hug. Not what I expected from the CEO. You are lucky to meet someone like Charlie once in a lifetime and you are even luckier to work for someone like him. I respected his criticism because he knew what he was talking about. He was always honest. When he told me something was good, I knew it really was and it felt so good to hear that from him. It is amazing to see how many lives he touched and how many people he inspired. Charlie will be alive in the lives he touched, whether you become more passionate, more determined, more generous, more of a leader, you are being Charlie. I will miss those “call me” emails. Are you mad? Did you like what I sent you? It’s 10 pm on Saturday night, does he want me to call him now? It makes me laugh thinking about all the thoughts that raced through my head, but I will sincerely miss that feeling. I am so grateful to have met Charlie and to be a part of this amazing family he created. I don’t think I ever thanked him as I should have, but I hope he knows how much he and this experience have taught me. My prayers are with the Bowlus family. I know Charlie is looking down at the legacy he created, smiling, as it continues to grow. Love, Maria

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Stevi Schmidt of ECRM says:
Charlie, I have sat here for the last ten minutes staring at this empty screen trying to think of how I can describe you, the memories I have, and how I feel now that you are no longer on this earth...........the only words I can think of are "thank you". From the bottom of my heart..........THANK YOU. You have taught me so much about life and what is important. No matter how much "stuff" you have.....it is all nothing if you have noone to share it with. Loving people was your greatest impression on me and I will never forget that. You have given me so much and taught me even more in the time I have known you. You are the most giving person I know.....sometimes to a fault...... I have admired that and aspired to be like that ever since you've come in to my life. You told me a long time ago that the best investment one can make that will pay off a million times over no matter what....is the investment we make in people. That is what life is about and you demonstrated that by living yours that way..........thank you. I will never forget that. I am going to miss you terribly. Family get togethers will not be the same without you there making us all laugh. You were that person to talk to about anything from international business to how funny Will Ferrel is. You are a treasure that we will forever hold dear and near to our hearts. I cannot even begin to explain how much of a blessing you have been to me and my family. I do regret not telling you that enough........I hope the way I live my life will show you the impact you have had on me. I love you and cannot wait to see you again. -Stevi Dee

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Becky Verner of ECRM says:
A great man is missing from the world because you're gone now, Charlie. I feel so lucky to have been able to spend the time I did working (and playing) closely with you these last couple years. I remember Cony telling me how lucky I was, that I'll "never have a CEO who walks into the room and hugs everyone, greeting them each by name." When I first started Shea explained to me the sense of family at the company, something I nevery fully realized until now. The last time we spoke you told me that you loved my attitude, my work ethic and that you were so happy to have me working here. You told me it's important to find something to do each day that makes you happy. I told you I loved you too. I will cherish that conversation forever. My heart and all my love goes to Mitch, Melissa, Liz, Johnny and everyone else in CB's immediate family - although I'm sure he would have opened that title up to all of us. Let us remember the good times, the bad times and the times you pushed us to succeed beyond any possibility we thought ourselves could achieve. Cheers to you, CB, love you and until we meet again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Robert Conway of Guest says:
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of such a wonderful man and Industry leader, but blessed to have known him and to call him a friend. I will be forever grateful to him for all the times he was there to reach out and help me. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family. Charlie truly has left a great legacy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Cliff Kimball of Guest says:
Charlie - everyone loved Charlie! Having participated in Charlie's first venture with the Candy Industry - It took only one meeting for him to realize that this segment would be a growing trend in the industry and with his knowledge it did indeed develop into a Key presentation cycle of not only everyday confection items but seasonal and other opportunities. We all are going to miss you but will continue to feel your presence because of your vision and what you were able to accomplish with an idea and turn it into a successful business which allowed so many opportunities for maufactureres to partner with retailers - RIP Charlie, you will be missed! Thank you! Cliff Kimball - Sherwood Brands, E.RosenCompany

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
David Klingbeil of ECRM says:
I first met Charlie 15 years ago when he needed part-time help in the summer in the early years of the company (when it was still run out of his house). I'd only been there 3 days when I got my first big clue about what sort of man I was working for. Bob Beifuss was on the phone with a client when Charlie walked up without a word, took the phone out of Bob's hand, belched into the receiver, and handed it back to Bob. And the person on the other end knew that was Charlie without having to be told. I have so very many memories. *I remember getting the nickname "Sci-Fi", because were were all working in the same area, and there were two Daves. *I remember the day no one could find a pen, and someone thought to look in Charlie's bedside nightstand; they were all there, because Charlie had absent-mindedly walked off with every single pen in the house. *I remember the primal screams he led when stress levels got too high. *I remember when the company was still small enough Charlie did all our year-end reviews personally, and they included a thank-you hug. *I remember the many times Charlie told people I was an alien from another world, because humans can't type that fast. He added more details each time. *I remember the Cosmetics event in Pittsburgh where we had to evacuate the convention center area (which was the majority of the meeting rooms) because of an accident in the parking garage. Charlie supervised the complete reorganization of the entire remainder of the conference...and made it work. *And many, many more memories, too. Mostly, I remember a man with a huge sense of humor who cared deeply about other people. I miss him.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Mike Rainey of Liberty Orchards Co Inc says:
What an unexpectted and terrible loss. Even though we had limited contact, I always thought of Charlie as a friend and am truly saddened by his departure.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Person
Judy Sillman of Sparboe Farms says:
Charlie loved and lived life to the fullest.  He was an inspiration to me and changed my life.  I will always be in awe of all the people he similarily inspired.  I enjoyed working for Charlie and more importantly his friendship was very special to me.  I remember when the ECRM business was out of his home and the big pieces of paper along the basement walls recapping the attendees for each show.  He had a passion and drive like no one else I know.  My thoughts and prayers go out to The Bowlus and ECRM family.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Judy Ard of ECRM says:
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal~Charlie, you are loved and will be missed by all who knew you. Thank you for making me a part of your extended ECRM family. I will always be grateful for the opportunity you gave me to be a part of something so great.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Sarah Sweitzer of ECRM says:
CB- here it is four days after I got the news, and I still am having a hard time coming up with everything I want to say. I know you have touched so many people’s lives, and I guess the first thing I want to say, is what an amazing impact you will forever have on mine. What you created here is so much more than a Job, a show, a process. You created happiness… You taught us the true meaning of “work hard, play hard.” You’d say to me- “Swiz, you’re not getting the big picture, or think about the big picture” you always got the big picture, and helped me to get there too. You were an inspiration to us all. You motivated me more than anything has in my entire life. You would say to me, “you have to tell me when I’m pushing you too hard, or asking for too much, you have to tell me no.” I never did, how could I, you are my role model, I want to be like you, and you took everything on and then some… To see what you have created, the passion you have, and lives you touched, is unbelievable. I loved going to meetings with you and watching everyone listen intently to every word you said, everyone knew you were something special. I feel so lucky to have got the pleasure to work so closely with you the past couple years. If I wrote everything I’ve learned from you in this note, you would still be reading it next month. My favorite time of year is the end of the year meetings. It sounds cheesy but, it’s the only time of year we see everyone in the company-together- and we get to hear about all the accomplishments the company had, our future goals and seeing your passion always got me excited and motivated for what was to come. At the end of the meeting, when you would always give your heartfelt thanks to all of us, and tear up- I did too. Because we feel the same way back to you, we are so thankful for you, your passion, your inspiration, your leadership, your silly jokes, and comical conversations. I’m gonna miss you CB, don’t worry about a thing down here- We’ll stay happy, work hard, and have fun. Love you & thank you a million times over! Swizzle…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Lori Pesa of Advantage Sales & Marketing says:
It is with tears of sadness to lose such a wonderful person and tears of joy at the pleasure to have known CB that I write this. Thanks to Charlie I left Phar Mor as a Buyer to join Boston Distributors. What a terrific career move as Phar Mor ended and Charlie's vision for the shows pursued. I was lucky enough to work and meet all of the wonderful people in Cleveland as well as work the early shows as a "Charlies Girl "5 minute door knocker. He was a wonderful friend, boss, mentor. Thanks to Charlie's referral, I worked for Joe Millin and Woodridge Labs and stayed in this most bizarre and interesting yet ever so challenging retail industry. The stories, trips, and memories of good times and great experiences will forever be shared. My deepest sympathy goes out to the ECRM family, Mitch, Melissa and her family, and Charlie's wife and children.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
David Del Ponte of Armandel Enterprises says:
It was with shock and sadness that I learned of Charlie's passing. I have been attending "Charlie's" shows from the very beginning when his personality, humor and drive for success permeated every facet of every show and every event! I'll never forget visiting with Charlie and the original ECRM staff when they worked out of Charlie's home, the early EPPS events (enough said!) and every helpful thought and consideration that Charlie has given me over these past two decades! Not only was Charlie a real personality in the industry -- he was a great guy! My sincerest condolences to the ECRM staff and to his family -- especially Mitch. There will be no replacing a Charlie Bowlus.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Ved Singh of New Windsor Brands, LLC says:
I am glad I have had an opportunity to meet and to get to know Charlie. I am certain that his vision for our industry will stay with us for a very long time to come. I wish the Bowlus family and the ECRM family our best wishes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Barry Ross of Acta Marketing Group says:
Charlie was one of a handful of people, who had a vision, a spirt, postive attitude, that he could make a difference in our world and in our Industry. Charlie was truly a great person in every sense of the world. He was always there to help any one who needed a helping hand, or advce. I met Charlie in the very begining, when he had just the vision of what ECRM could be..our frienship grew throught the years... He was an amazing human being whose, spirt will live on in all of us in this industry. He truly reshapes, revolutionized, our industry, and hence we are all that much better because he saw the possibilites of what could be. We all miss miss hime, and I will miss a truly great friend God loves you Charlie..

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Kristen Trivisonno of ECRM says:
Charlie’s determination and passion was something all of us strived to have more of within moments of meeting him. In the 10+ years that I have know and worked with him he was the type of person that I was proud to call my boss, but more importantly my friend. He had a way to touch the hearts of everyone he came in contact with, making them feel more empowered and wanting to be a better person. He had the uncanny ability to draw out our fears and then work with us to overcome them. I am a better person for knowing him and am more determined than ever to honor the values that he has challenged all of us with. To always do better for ourselves and each other with integrity, passion, quality and hard work. I will truly miss him. All of his family will be in my families’ thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Person
Stephanie Van Brocklin of ECRM says:
Charlie…..when I think of you and ECRM and the past 10 years that I have spent working here, the memories are overwhelming. The first show I attended, I worked as a “runner”….. I traveled to Palm Beach, knocked on doors during the day, enjoyed fancy dinners at night, the martinis and jello shots were endless, and night events consisted of scavenger hunts with clients and karaoke on top of the Shula Steakhouse piano. For a “kid” only a year out of college, life couldn’t get better…….or could it?! I then entered the world of scheduling……. lots of sleepless nights, getting called into the office on Saturdays and Sundays because you were in town and wanted to look over my work, grids, grids, and more grids……I will never forget wanting to throw in the towel after about my 3rd show as a scheduler and then you appeared in front of me with $500 in cash telling me “thanks” for all my hard work . I thought wow, is this guy for real??!!! I quickly learned how very real you were and how you would do anything for your ECRM “family. It was during my 5 years as a scheduler that I learned the most from you. I learned to strive for excellence at all times, to be a leader, to think outside the box, that it was ok to make mistakes but learn from them and don’t make the same one twice, and most of all I learned that even if I WAS listening to every word you said, I still “wasn’t listening”…. Lol Once I moved out of scheduling and became a part of the hospitality team, I no longer talked to you on a daily basis like I did in my early years…..most of our conversations now happened when I saw you at shows…… I will miss hearing someone call out over the radio, “Charlie’s here” and right at that moment, you would be power walking towards hospitality, rolly laptop bag in tow, earphones attached in both ears, phone in hand, talking out loud……Donna and I would look at each other wondering if you were talking to us as you approached or the person on the other end of the phone. You just never knew…but it made us laugh everytime. You would then hand us your laptop to be plugged in, ask us for the keys to your hotel room, but before we could even turn to grab them, you were off….….sometimes you would park yourself at our hospitality desk for the rest of the show catching up on calls and emails and sometimes we wouldn’t see you at all…..regardless, when it was time for you to catch your flight, somehow your laptop bag was always missing…..you would frantically be asking one of us where you put it…..we were always on our toes and had it to you within seconds. As you power walked out, the same way you entered, rolly laptop bag in tow, cellphone connected to your ear, without fail, minutes later, we would look down at the floor and see your laptop battery left behind and knew to get the fed-ex package ready……my phone would soon be ringing with instructions to send it back to your house. I will miss these little things more than you know…… And now as I sit here writing, I only wish I could have thanked you one more time……..for everything……the extended family I now have, the years of travel, all the new places Ive seen, the lessons Ive learned, the people Ive met…..and most of all for contributing to the person Ive become! Your passion became my passion and drove me to be the best I could possibly be….and will continue to do so in the years to come. XOXO Steph (Too Tall Hall)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Hugh Scollins of Pacific World Cosmetics says:
So many shows, so many conversations, so many ways he changed our world. Charlie has effected so many of us not only here but worldwide. We will all miss him. I remenber so many things with so much fun. In 1994 when it began I was at the first beauty show. Many of the top retailers dropped out and I went to Charlie and told him " I feel like I orderred a 27 inch Sony Trinitron and when I got home it was a 16 inch Black and White TV" ( For the younger folks we did not have 72 inch flat screens at the time ). I followed with attending about 90 shows since that time and at each one he would tell the story. Several years ago as the shows expanded to year round I remember meeting him and saying " Charlie I looked at the calander and you have one week open. It is between Christmas and New Year." In a second he responded, Thanks Kosher Food Show coming! Mitch, You and your Dad have put together a great team. We look forward to the future. Wherever his soul is now I am sure he is starting from the begining. I see the Jell-O shots lined up at the boat.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Christopher Preston of ECRM says:
I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden loss of Charlie. My family and I send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Bowlus family. I first met Charlie through a mutual bsuiness contact just 6 months ago, and from the first (lengthy) phone conversations to an interview at the H&B event in Rome, I knew I had met a very special person with a unique business proposition. His personality, knowledge, experience amd influence (plus large numbers of text messages!) have had a profound impact on my perspective of how we can do business in Europe by extending the ECRM business model. I feel honoured to have worked for Charlie and will strive to deliver the vision he had for the UK and European business over the coming months and years..

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Al Kraus of ECRM says:
Charlie and I were buyers together in the late 70's. We both worked for cook united. charlie was my wholesale division i was the buyer for cook. Once a week we would leave the office go down to the river and decide on new items. Charlie knew I did not want a new dental product but he wanted it for his other customers. In order to break the dead lock he suggested we wade into the river, each would release our box of product and the one that floated the longest would win. Down they went into the water, within a couple feet my box took on water and sunk. Charlie's floated down river like a boat and disappeared. It was then he told me he knew I did not want the item so he taped the ends closed on the box, Visionary, thinking ahead, planning for the right outcome, brillient. Charlie wasn't a winner because of luck. He studied every option to win. Life will change for all of us, but when I read the employee comments I know Charlie is alive and well in everyone at ECRM. His influence will spread around the world as ECRM and the employees carry Charlies idea's and zeal for life rest in peace old friend, I love you. al kraus

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Ted Williams of ECRM says:
Something I’ve learned over the years is that there are very few “Idea Men” in this world. Charlie was one of those rare creatures. Not only did he love technology, he embraced it (although sometimes his embrace was a bit rough, haha). I’ll always remember the way Charlie paced back and forth while I worked on his computer until finally I would just have to give it back to him and let the lion loose to hunt. Later on in the day he would point out how I “saved the day,” but honestly, I always felt like I could’ve made it run even better if I’d just had a few more minutes with it. See, that was the thing about Charlie, just being around him made you WANT to do better, be better. His drive for perfection was contagious. My hope is that those of us who knew him can pass that drive on to the future members of our ECRM family. We owe it to Charlie to continue to strive for innovation, superlative service, and that ever elusive thing called perfection.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Amanda Lange of ECRM says:
Charlie, in the time that I have spent with ECRM (just under a year) I have been blessed enough to work with you on a few small projects. I have always admired the personal touch that you had in all aspects of the company: that each time you were in the office you would come to every single account manager's desk to greet them with a hug, that you took the time to get to know everyone. The fact that you took an idea and your passions, began to grow it with a small staff in your home and turned it into a company employing over 200 people across the world just blows my mind. I thank you for believing in me, and in all of us at ECRM. You have surrounded yourself with hard working, intelligent people that will be able to continue to make your ideas and dream a reality. You were a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word, and you have not only impacted the lives of your ECRM family, but the way that entire industries do business. You will be missed. I regret that as I continue to grow with the company that you will not be there to send more "call me" emails or pop onto conference calls with us. I wish I could have had more opportunities to learn from you, but know that you have taught so many along the way so your beliefs and knolwedge will not be lost. Goodbye Charlie, I know you will be up there watching over all of us, our ECRM angel.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Cathy Tuthill of A C I Inc says:
I will always remember Charlie as the most brilliant of business men who had an innovative vision which he carried out and created into a vast network of long lasting friendships. Charlie was one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known. He was always willing to accomodate your needs and was fair minded and loyal. I will always remember his casual demeanor, warm smile, clever wit, and our mutual love of massages. I will miss him dearly. I only regret not telling him what I great guy I think he was. I hope somehow he knew that.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Ken Nicolai of ECRM says:
I go back a long way with Charlie, we worked together at Target in Minneaplois & Cook United here in Cleveland -- spanning over 30 years. I enjoyed the passion that Charlie brought to the business -- he was clever, driven & knew how to help everyone along the way. He did not forget how he got to be where he was. A quick story, Charlie & I had just completed a great meeting with Morrison's & Asda in Leeds England. Charlie was taking the train to London, I was taking the train to Manchester. It was a Friday afternoon with hundreds of travlers in the Leeds tain station -- in front of everyone Charlie Kissed me on the cheek and said "see you at home Honey" -- and walked off to his train. This was the Charlie I knew! Charlie -- well done! Ken Nicolai . Ken Nicolai Ken Nicolai

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Teresa Norris of ECRM says:
Charlie, as the news sank in so many thoughts ran through my head…the thought that hit me the hardest was that I didn’t say thank you enough to you…So here it goes…thank you for believing in me..thank you for providing me a foundation in which to grow confidently into the person I am today…thank you for telling me when I “f’d” something up..but thank you more for letting me “f” something up so that I could learn from it…thank you for pushing me to be an A player at all times…thank you for helping me get over my fears……thank you for teaching me how to think outside the box.…thank you for teaching me the lyrics to “Short People” by Randy Newman…thank you for listening to me and valuing my opinion…thank you for my appreciation of caller id…although I would give anything to see your number pop up right now (I promised I always answered when you called)….thank you for teaching me the sky is NOT the limit…really there is no limit when you have the drive…thank you for giving me freedom to grow and create my path at ECRM…thank you for sharing your passion and vision with me and more so allowing me to be a part of it. Most important…thank you for the genuine feeling of love that I felt from you for the past 9 years. ECRM is a family because of you….We all love and miss you so much! Love, Tree

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Carl LaBianco of Kinray, Inc. says:
Charlie and his staff always made everyone feel welcome, and we became a community, a "family" of sorts, not just a collection of buyers and sellers. Whenever I saw him, I always made sure to thank him for everything that went on at the event we were attending at the time. I thank him again. His vision will live on, as will the great work he and his wonderful staff has done, and now will continue to do in his memory. My condolences to the Bowlus family, and all of my friends at ECRM.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Sandra Dodd of American Retailers’ Marketplace says:
Rob and I launched our company a few years ago and one of the 1st calls we made was to Paul Wendling at ECRM and with Charlie's approval & support from both we were allowed to attend ECRM events to help us in sourcing product for our monthly ad program. Charlie always made time to offer advise, support, ECRM support staff and anything he thought could help us succeed. He certainly helped our growth and to become more productive offering our customers the best and most current in product trends/selection. We owe so much to Charlie & ECRM family..so willing to share his knowledge, success and heart. We will miss seeing him, his smile and his friendship. We are honored to have known Charlie, glad to know he touched so many lives and how he has helped mold so many young members of the ECRM family to become pillar of the communities......

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Frank Bruno of Harmon Stores, Inc. says:
Charlie, I met you almost 20 years ago as a young and inexperienced buyer on the job for only a few months, you showed me a better way to do business and taught me so much. Over the years we would sit and talk about business, the shows, what was going well and any ideas to help make it even better. I will miss those chats and miss you very much my friend. Love you and miss you. My condolences to the Bowlus family and the entire ECRM family

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Person
Lisa Osgood of ECRM says:
Charlie, I’ve worked with you for nearly 13 years and to say ‘I’ve grown’ is an colossal understatement…to say ‘I’ve changed’ would somehow be more appropriate. You have forever shattered my perception of what is “possible” and how far reaching one person’s impact can actually be. As a part of the ECRM Family, I’ve just been so very blessed. You’ve been a consummate mentor, caregiver, motivator, hell-raiser, ass-kicker, joker, prophet and relentless believer in me. You’ve pushed me far beyond the limits of what I thought I was capable of - and I totally blame you for about a year’s worth of lost sleep and my work-place potty mouth - but you make us all want to exceed your expectations every day. You’ve cultivated a wonderfully talented, insanely passionate, truly supportive and genuine group of people, beginning with your own son & daughter, which I am privileged to work alongside and learn from everyday. I’ll never forget what you have done for me and my family, and how you valued me as a person and employee. You asked me all the time ‘Are you having fun?’ and you sincerely wanted the answer to always be yes. Because of you, I will always strive to radically change…Often. Always have fun. Listen a lot. Make fearless decisions. Make everything that’s worth doing a high priority. Sometimes shoot first & aim later. Laugh it off and then do it bigger and better. Surround myself with people who are smarter than me. Always remember what really matters. I miss you so much. XO Lisa

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Michelle Wisniewski of ECRM says:
Charlie……….the man, the myth, the legend! It’s hard to believe that 28 years ago you took me under your wing and molded me into the person that I am today (this explains a lot!). I am one of the lucky ones that watched your dream which started while running Boston Distributors turn into this mega reality ECRM. You have been my mentor, my friend/confidant and many, many times my personal cheering section. You have not only taught me about this crazy industry that I love, but you also taught me to “change the channel” when things weren’t making me happy. During my years with you, I had always said you had a knack for hiring unique employees. You have always made us all feel like family (dysfunctional, but still family), which has made us all work, play and fight with the passion that you showed us. For this, I am extremely grateful. I can truly say that I love the people I work with. Right now, I would give anything to get a “call me” email, have you ask about my daily bowel movements or in you stern voice say “Michelle you’re not listening to me”. I will thank God everyday for blessing me with the honor of having the paths in our lives cross! You are one of the most amazing people that I will ever know and my life is full because you were a huge part of it! You have left footprints on my heart! Until we meet again, I love you Charlie!!! Michelle………..aka, your favorite Bitch

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Anita Fontana of Guest says:

Cosmoprof 2003, Bologna, Italy
There are no words to express the deep gratitude I feel for what you shared with me, Charlie – your time, your patience, your love, your zest of life and most of all your passion. I am the businesswoman I am today because you took me under your wing and taught me what it was to have tenacity, courage and confidence. You taught me that without risk you have no gain, without passion you have no drive and no idea is ever too crazy to become a reality. For the 12 years I worked with you at ECRM, regardless of the situation, we always had a mutual respect for each others opinions – and for that I thank you! But the one thing I learned NEVER to do was to leave your rental car with the keys in it at the airport terminal where there is a sign for “no parking” and run like hell…figuring someone would eventually figure out it needed to be returned to the rental car place. I don’t think I ever ran so fast or laughed so hard…we made our flight though! You are forever in my heart, Charlie! Godspeed through your next journey! Love ya!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Laura Marcelletti of ECRM says:
Thank you. That is the what I would say to Charlie if I had known the last time I saw him, would be the last moment I’d get to have with him. (Even though that last moment he was making fun of me). I would have said; thank you for inspiring me. For making me feel appreciated. For loving us the way you did. For all the hugs, and for letting me be a footprint in the foundation that you ever so passionately created. Being with ECRM for the short time that I have, I haven’t had as much time with Charlie as I had envisioned. I imagined myself working more with Charlie, making him proud, because that is what he did to me, he made me want to be the best since the day I met him. I don’t know anyone that had a greater leader in a company than we at ECRM do. Charlie, even though you have left us physically, your inspiration will never go away. From this day forward, I vow one day to make you proud. So, with my deepest gratitude, I give Charlie my final thank you… Thank you for bringing me into this family. I will forever be grateful to have met you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Melissa Fontanella of ECRM says:

Until we meet again I hope you rest in peace....
Dad, I never thought I would have to say Goodbye -somehow you were indestructible. You were the one person i could always talk to with no judgement just a friendly ear and some good advice. I will miss you more than you will ever know and always remember the good times we shared and lessons you taught me. You taught me how to dream and to have courage. I still remember when you took Hillary and i on that cruise, we partied our asses off and every morning you would wake up with the shakes and tell us you would never go vacationing with us again. you sat at the pool every day with that legal pad making notes only you and God knew what. Little did we know you were developing ECRM and a concept/vision you had that would change the way buyers and suppliers do business forever. You also taught me how to love. Real love is unconditional and no matter how many times i made a mistake or thought i could dissappoint you that never happened. I can pass that on to my own children and again i am forever greatful. Lastly you taught me to enjoy life. You can't change the past, you don't know what tomorrow holds all you have is this moment. You taught me to live and enjoy the moment you are in as you never get it back. When i am sad i think of a happy memory or time that we have shared and that will always get me through.. i am grateful we have so many of them and i will hold them close to my heart forever.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Jessica Kovalski of ECRM says:
Charlie, as CSR's we've always been called Charlie's Angels. It's you who is our Angel. You've taught us all so much about hard work, family and love. We will continue to do the work for you. We love you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Steve Fortgang of North America Duty Free says:
Well Charlie - I know how you didn’t want anyone to fuss over your leaving. You now have me expressing some kind words about you. So what does one say about my very own part-time (greek) consigliore and best marketing friend to manufacturers and retailers? I know you’re in a peaceful place looking down on your family, friends and ERCM family. I know you taught many the lessons of mutuality, spoke with me numerous times that we met on the pains of growing my business and learning from life’s everyday happenings. You couldn’t have been a better extended member of North America Duty Free, close trade associate and friend and I will miss you for that. My associate Alan Tannebaum called to have me to say his good-bye to a wonderful man whose warm heart and big smile have touched our lives too. As someone once said of my grandfather during his funeral; He was a good man, and now he’s on a great trip. Charlie . . . You were a good and wonderful man and a good person who is now on his own great trip. May God Bless You and Keep You Always Steve Fortgang & Alan Tannebaum North America Duty Free

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Emilio Smeke of Industrias T.TAIO USA says:
Charlie always wanted that everyone could be part of ECRM and part of his family, since day one that I participated in an ECRM he made me feel welcome and always positive helping me and my company to become better and make always the right decisions. Thanks for helping me and my company enter to your world Charlie, you will be in all of our hearts!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Mariana Siry of ECRM says:
Please click on the link below to read more heartfelt comments from industry leaders that were immenselyimpacted by Charlie. http://www.drugstorenews.com/article/ecrm-founder-ceo-charlie-bowlus-passes-awa y?utm_source=GoogleNews&utm_medium=Syndication&utm_campaign=ManualSitemap

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
John Dioguardi of MMR says:
From the moment I first met Charlie, I felt a kinship unfelt in business today. We hit it off from day 1! He was a great business partner and more importantly a great friend. I loved singing at ECRM shows because I knew Charlie got a kick out of it. He was my biggest fan and I was his biggest fan as well. My kids still ask about him and the wonderful ECRM people that they met in Barcelona. I will always look back on our friendship and business relationship with a smile. He knew how to conduct business and enjoy life at the same time. My condolences to the entire ECRM Family and let's raise a glass to Charlie!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Chris Chiera of ECRM says:
always had a smile on your face! : )

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Sarah Chmielowicz of ECRM says:
I came to ECRM over 10 years ago with a background in Elementary Education, and I thought I would give the business world a try as the shows seemed fun. Little did I know how ECRM and Charlie would change my life. I went to my first event ans there was a wild scavenger hunt and I thought I hope I don't get in trouble but when we told Charlie about it he said that is awesome. If you listened to Charlie or had the pleasure of sitting in on one of his presentations you learned so much about the industry. You did have to brace yourself and hope that his passion for what we do did not rub anyone the wrong way, but he could say and get away with so much as he was so respected. His drive and passion made you want to work even harder and push yourself to the limit. He gave me not only knowledge of the industry, but the will that you could accomplish anything you wanted to and Nothing is impossible. We would sit in meetings and he would say just tell us what you want and we will do it and with all of the wonderful staff we have it would get accomplished. Often we lost sleep, but we would do it with a smile on our faces and laugh a lot. Many people questioned how our company could work so well with the often loose hierarchy we had, but it was becasue of the type of people Charlie brought on we good, hard-working people. Charlie, I thank you so much for all that you have given and done for me, and if an outpouring of love could bring someone back it certainly would in your case. I miss you more than you could ever know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Jill Ferrara of ECRM says:
Charlie- You were such a great man, a great friend and a huge influence in my life. From the moment I met you some 20 years ago, I knew you were someone special, someone that people were drawn to. I feel so blessed to have gotten to work with you, learn from you and just be part of this amazing company. The word impossible was not part of your vocabulary- you always found a way to make it all happen. Your huge heart was full enough to make everyone feel the same way about you that I do. I will cherish all the memories of the great times we had thru the years. You always found time in your busy schedule to call me from time to time to thank me for “kicking ass” as you would put it- that meant so much to me. You will always have a special place in my heart- and I am a better person for knowing you. I miss you already…..

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Mark Schumacher of Boiron USA says:
Everyone will miss Charlie. He was a friend a mentor and a man who changed the way the HBC industry did business. Charlie was a true visionary.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Carlos Alfaras of AHP Group says:
Charlie we are all a product of your legacy... you will be tremendously missed buy us all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Nina Brackeen of Goodmark Inc. says:
I remember first meeting Charlie when he was with Boston Distributors in the dinosaur days of our industry. Then in the mid 90's I attended one of the first ECRM shows at the Houstonian. I even celebrated my 40th Birthday at an ECRM show in Florida in 1996. We met again a few years ago when I was looking for a solid website to park the National Web RLUG and there was really only one man in the industry whose talent, vision and ethics fit with our needs..No surprise that this organization has almost 3000 members today. I always though of Charlie as a humble, ordinary man with truly extraordinary determination and vision. Very few members of our industry have made as unique and lasting a contribution, or translated their passion into reality with such far reaching impact for good. I've read "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and the will to carry on." This will be part of his legacy. My deepest sympathies to the Bowlus family and everyone at ECRM.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Scott Davis of Trends International says:
We will all miss your Charlie. You have touched the lives of many and your concept for ECRM can only be viewed as Visionary. The heavens gained a great man in you. Thanks for everything

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Brian Macauley of ECRM says:
... the demo will always be the latest and greatest and on the downloader for you CB.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Amy Zettlemoyer-Lazar of Sam's Club says:
I am sorry for your personal loss and ECRM’s loss. I was honored to have been able to work with Charlie. Charlie Bowlus was instrumental in helping Walmart create the Sustainable Packaging Scorecard and elevated our Sustainable Packaging Expo to best in class. ECRM and Charlie continued to improve our Merchandising capabilities by serving our Supplier Diversity community and helping us connect with Women and Minority owned businesses each year. While each of these accomplishments took a lot of work from associates within Walmart and ECRM, they would not have been possible without Charlie’s leadership and drive to do the right thing for his company, our company , the industry but most of all Society. Charlie was a visionary in supporting the Retail Industry and committed to Sustainability. He was an individual with amazing integrity that I’m sure will continue to live within ECRM, Walmart and the industries he improved.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Jennifer Speicher of ECRM says:
"When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him lies on the paths of men." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Charlie, thank you for believing in me, and for loving your ECRM family so passionately. You will be missed more than words can express.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Brittany Laws of ECRM says:
Charlie, I finished my first show as a scheduler this week. When I saw you in May you gave me a big Charlie hug and said "schedulers walk on water, make me proud kid", I hope I did just that. Working on the show side of the business, although you weren't at every show, we still felt your presence. That feeling will continue for us in the future as you guide us in our everyday. We will continue to keep your dream, vision and passion alive and keep ECRM's heart beating loud and strong. You are dearly loved and dearly missed. Xoxox britt

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Samuel Gutierrez of Turin Chocolates LLC says:
I am truly sad about this terrible news, Charly was truly a nice person, he was an innovator and a customer service guru. With his ideas he shake the way we do business and for that we have to say "THANKS CHARLIE" we will never forget you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Brian Ortopan of ECRM says:
Charlie, thank you for opening your arms to all of us and treating us as members of your extended family. I feel privileged to work for a great man and a wonderful business. Everything you taught us will continue to shine in all of us. You will be greatly missed but will always be with us.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Neil Van Eerden of Redex Industries, Inc says:
Charlie, Thanks for your friendship over the years. ECRM was the first event I suggested to UDDERCREAM to get involved with. Thats many years and they are still happily involved. You have been a gentleman and friend. Thanks for that. My deepest sympathy to your family personal and at ECRM. NEIL VAN EERDEN

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Anne-Laure Borde of ECRM says:
The first time I met Charlie, he came down on his knees and kissed my feet… That was his way of thanking me for helping ECRM out at a tradeshow in Brazil. Right away I understood that he was one of a kind. I will miss everything about him: his passion, his inspiration, his guidance, his generosity, his hugs, the road trips, the teasing (especially about how much I ate)… I will even miss his “call me” emails. With him, there was never a dull moment. On our first retailer trip together in Europe, we had breakfast in France, lunch in the Netherlands and dinner in the UK one day, followed by breakfast in the UK, lunch in Belgium and dinner in Germany the next. So much energy, so much love for his family and for ECRM… It is hard to know that he is gone. He is the soul of ECRM and I have no doubt that we will all do our best to carry on his legacy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Michelle McGreer of ECRM says:
I worked for ECRM for about 2 years before I had the opportunity to have a real conversation (other than the usual "Hi Charlie! Yep, I'm collecting that money!" as you made your way through the office) with you. When I finally talked to you about business I was terrified that I'd say something wrong and embarrass myself , so I got a notebook out and proceeded to write down every single thing you said. Occasionally I would lag in response to a question you asked as I hurried to write things down. You finally asked, "Are you listening to me, or what?" to which I replied "Yes, I'm just taking notes to make sure I have everything down for you". From that point on every time I talked to you, you asked me no fewer than 3 times if I was taking notes and the first time I said no, you told me I'd better start. To this day, I take notes on everything....I mean everything. I know if I go back through my steno pads I'll find little nuggets of wisdom from you over the years, and the ones that didn't make sense at the time will by now, or a few years from now - because you were always 80 steps ahead of everyone else's thought process. So although you're gone, your words and ideas are stacked neatly in my desk drawer waiting to remind me of how brilliant, funny, and kind you were. I'll miss you, and I'll miss asking you "but why are we doing this" because no one could give me an answer that created twice as many questions as the one it answers like you did. To use the old quote - We shouldn't say "goodbye", we should say "see you later". I'll see you later, and I'm sure when I do, you'll have figured out a better way for St. Pete to admit people into heaven.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Craig Arnold of Cutex Brands says:
Charlie, Thanks for all the love you shared, all the joy you brought to our lives and all the possibilities you opened our eyes to while you were here. Thank you for thinking outside the box. You are, and forever shall be a true friend in every sense of the word. Never did we think we would be saying so long, so soon. We will keep you in our hearts and in our prayers. So long for now, friend . . . you're gonna be missed!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Stephanie Nicklos of ECRM says:
Charlie, I had a dream last night that you sent me a package. Inside was a stack of papers—my personal file I guess. On top was a chicken scratch note of ideas. You were telling me what you wanted me to do. I only wish I could remember what that note said, but if I listen to my heart I think it said to never give up. To always believe in myself. That it’s ok to make mistakes and that I should make at least 20 mistakes every day. Learn from my mistakes. To think outside of the box—to think bigger, push the limits of my imagination. To laugh at myself. Ask a lot of questions. Talk to as many people as I can. Have an opinion. Ask for help. Be persistent. Pay attention. Have fun. Don’t be afraid. Charlie—you always believed in me. No one has ever pushed me so hard. When I was scared or nervous or feeling a lack of confidence, you always knew how to bring me up to where I needed be. You always had my back. I wish that package was real. I wish I was holding it in my hands right now. I will forever hold your spirit in my heart. I miss you. xoxo frankie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Cony Glaeser of ECRM says:
Charlie, I will never forget the first time that I talked to you and met you. Our discussions were unlike any that I had ever had during an interview process. I immediatley liked you and when I finally met you in Solon started what developed to be a deep respect for you. Never in my life had I been around a person who was so loved as I witnessed at the Solon office. I was blown away! You were always open to a call for advise and quick to share words of wisdom ( "If it were me ......" and "Beat it up and get back to me") always making sure that I ended up answering my own question---what a gift! In our last conversation you closed with " I miss you too and I love you" . I miss you too Charlie and thank you for sharing the past year year with me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Kate Rentas of ECRM says:

Monaco
Charlie, I started working for you when I was 22 years old. Being almost 30 now, I can honestly say you helped shape me into the person I am today. Our last conversation brings tears to my eyes because I know it applies to everyone who works at ECRM. You said Kate, you work hard and people who work hard deserve good things in life. I always admired that you appreciated a strong work ethic. We all believe in you and your vision. It is what has pushed us to come together as a family over the years. Companies at events could never believe the faith we had in each other as co-workers. Everyone commented on how it was more than just a team, it was a family. As I visited home last night, my family sat and cried with me bc they know what you, the company and the people mean to me. You gave me a chance, you taught me a lot, you were a mentor and I will never forget it. Much love CB - You had a huge heart and you always kept your word. Kate

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Shannon Holland of ECRM says:
I just wanted to say that I am really sad and I am going to miss Charlie so very much. He was an amazing person and I learned so much from him. My parents are even sad about this and they do not even know him, but my sister and I talked so much and so highly about Charlie they felt like they knew him in some way. I feel so very blessed to be with ECRM and thank God every day for me working for a company like this, thank you so much Charlie. Charlie was the best! He would always listen, and no matter how busy he was he always would take the time to talk to me if I needed to talk to him about my goals. Thank you for believing in me Charlie. And thank you for all the laughs, you were such a funny man. I will miss you and I will never forget you. I will continue to work very hard for you. Love you Charlie!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Nikki Baynes of ECRM says:
I have worked for ECRM for almost 4 years now. I started off in ads and moved up front where I got to know Charlie as well as everyone else in this company much better! I loved my job once I got to know more about the company and the people in it. Sometimes, working in Ads you tend to sit back there and type and rarely get to witness the people and magic that really makes ECRM a family. I have developed friendships that I adore to this day because of my opportunities here. I will miss answering his calls, his long pauses and his thinking outloud while on the phone. Charlie and I developed our own relationship and understanding as well as LANGUAGE, as odd as it was, everytime he called. I knew if he said "no thats ok" that it was "ok" to hang up the phone at that point. Im sure you are all aware of his very long pauses while calling in! Ill never forget being afraid to tell him I was pregnant, only because I assumed he would get stressed about me being out on maternity leave. After all who else would be able decode Charlies multiple numbers and reasons for calling. :) He was not stressed at all...he made me feel so safe and ok about everything. He instructed me to take off whenever I needed to for whatever reason and if Brian and Mitch gave me any trouble about it to make sure to go in thier office next time my "morning sickness" hit!! HAHA..still makes me laugh to this day. I miss his hugs when he comes in...Ill miss the way he paces and talks on his cell phone with earplugs...Ill miss his pink and purple shirts and his excitment for life!! Charlie you will always be missed! We love you!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Zak Gebler of ECRM says:
I constantly told people who asked about my company how much I loved working with our leader, Charlie Bowlus. I believe it was in my third week, first conversation, that Charlie told me he loved me. I am proud to say that in my last conversation with Charlie, he chewed me out, then professed his love of my work. It is this kind of caring that will be missed. Your memory will live on more than you know, I am truly blessed to have worked with a man of your knowledge, expertise, love and caring. "Love you dude."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Person
Kurt Repola of ECRM says:

Words To Live By
Charlie, This is the letter I’ve always wanted to give you, but never wanted to write. It has been said that “true leadership lies in guiding others to success”. Your leadership has proven this true in me and countless others. I would not be in the position I am today without your guidance, expertise and love. You pushed me harder than anyone has in my life; made me confront fears of public speaking; and taught me to think outside the box. For the past 9 years I have had the pure privilege of working with you on a daily basis and cannot begin to thank you. Not a day goes by where your vision, your passion, your wisdom, idiosyncrasies, or quirky little sayings don’t play a part in my life. Charlie, you were like a father to me, guiding me through the ins and outs of the business and I am deeply sadden by your passing. Your passion and vision was, and will forever be, an inspiration to me and a constant reminder to try harder, work harder, think differently…and most of all, to continue the work we started. You will never be forgotten.

Friday, August 12, 2011