Advanced Automation, Greenville, SC

To: Rhiannon Daugherty's family and friends from the crew at Advanced Automation -

We are all stunned and saddened by the loss of Rhiannon. She was a special person, and we will miss her dearly. We have compiled some thoughts about our experiences working with Rhiannon that we would like to share with you.

In September of 2002, a friend told us about someone that had moved to SC and that her experience may be applicable to Advanced Automation. Rhiannon sent in a resume and we asked her to come for an interview.

For someone that had just turned 22 years old, Rhiannon showed a lot of ambition. That was very impressive, and we decided to make her an offer on a contractor basis, which she accepted. She continued to push the envelope. She accepted any challenge we threw at her. She did not have the experience to be a full blown machine designer but she proved to be valuable in other areas. She was so confident in herself, and we in her, that we decided to make her a direct employee in March of 2003. She was flexible with any task we assigned and was not afraid to step out of her responsible area to get it done. She probably stepped on a few toes along the way, but she always did what she felt she needed to do. This drive led her to ask to be considered for Project Management. On her own, Rhiannon had investigated courses at local universities in Project Management, and she had actually completed two on-line courses. We were working with her to develop some of these management skills in an effort to help her further advance in our company.

Rhiannon was passionate about doing her job, and was constantly seeking ways to improve both herself, and the company. In a recent email to Rhiannon, we told her that we could always count on her to challenge our decisions, but we appreciated and respected her challenges. In any assignment we gave to Rhiannon, we had confidence that she would thoroughly address every aspect of the task. She was very inquisitive, and analyzed everything.

On a personal basis, we admired her self-confidence and her independence. To some, she was just as much a little sister as she was a friend. Knowing that she did not have any family here, a few of us took her "under our wing" to help whenever she needed it; fixing things she managed to break, giving brotherly advice, helping her move, playing pool (getting beat in pool), and just hanging out. She came to depend on us as her extended family and we welcomed her with open arms. We were all protective of Rhiannon and will always miss the part she played in our lives.

A few of our "older" managers would often treat her as if she were a daughter, telling her to stop smoking, drive more conservatively, etc. But as we all know, she was her own person. We would like to think that she learned from us, but in reality, we probably learned more from her. Rhiannon, we will miss you.

One of our employees wrote the following which best describes all of our thoughts:
     Her light brightened all our lives
     Her absence has created a void
     But her smile and spirit will be a permanent memory in our hearts