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  • A Great Loss

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2009
Thomas F. Laurin & Teddi C. Laurin

Diane2.jpgDiane M. Laurin, group publisher for Laurin Publishing’s slate of international trade magazines, died unexpectedly Aug. 3. She was 57.

Diane’s mother, Teddi C. Laurin, founded Optical Spectra, later Photonics Spectra, magazine in 1967, and Diane began her career with Laurin Publishing shortly after graduating from Russell Sage College in 1973. Diane left the company in July 1991, becoming vice president of public relations for Winstanley Associates, an advertising/marketing communications agency based in Lenox, Mass.

Diane returned to Laurin Publishing in early 2008 to assist me, her brother, in managing the business. As group publisher, she spearheaded a rebranding and refocusing of the company’s three magazines – the flagship publication Photonics Spectra, BioPhotonics and EuroPhotonics – and a completely new online Photonics Directory. Her ambitious goal was to reinvigorate industry pride and to position Laurin Publishing for the 21st century, and one of her first accomplishments was giving the company a new identity: “Photonics Media – The pulse of the industry,” to describe its full suite of print and online media. She embraced new media ventures and led Laurin’s foray into social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Diane was happy to reconnect with her many friends and colleagues in the photonics industry by attending several trade shows over the past two years. She also was instrumental in founding the world-class Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, which recognize the most innovative photonic products, conceived in partnership with SPIE and awarded for the first time in January 2009.

Diane also re-energized the staff of all three magazines, who considered her both a mentor and a dear friend.

On a personal note, I would like to add that I worked with Diane in her early years at Laurin and when she came back in the spring of last year. She was more than a colleague, she was a dear friend, whom I – and everyone else here – will miss greatly. Diane was one of the brightest and most versatile people I’ve ever met. She worked and played hard, and enjoyed life to its fullest. Her passing leaves a huge void – professionally and personally.

Thomas F. Laurin

Although I grieve as only a mother can when losing a child, I am confident that the company will continue the thoughts and dreams that have been put into place. And though it was only for a short year and half, I know that Tom was excited to work hand in hand with his sister to grow the company and make efforts to head it in the right direction. For Diane, I am proud of my staff because it embraced her efforts and followed her passion.

At this time, we may have to pause and reflect upon our loss, but in the next moment, we know that we must still go forward. This is what we have been doing for more than 50 years as a family business. When Diane left the company 17 years ago to join a marketing firm, the company continued to grow and prosper. And while she is no longer with us today, her spirit is. And with her spirit alive, we will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.

Teddi C. Laurin

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