IN MEMORY OF HAGAY SHEFI
As soon as I heard about the disaster of the Twin Towers in New York I sent two e-mails: One to Hagay and the second to Ezra. I was expecting to receive from Hagay, as usual, an answer within few minutes saying :
We are O.K. Instead I received a phone call from Ezra saying that Hagay was in one on the Towers and the situation seems to be bad. I could not believe it and thought : Hagay will get out safely.
I met Hagay the first time in December 1997 during one of his visits in Israel. Ezra, who knew him since they served togethedr in the Finance Dept. of the Israel Defense Forces, thought that Hagay who was working fo Sungard will be competent to assist in joint venture with the company. After meeting, the first time, with Hagay I learned that the idea of having Hagay as cooperator was not sufficient .
I wanted to have Hagay in o u r company, Mint, much more than to have him as cooperator. Hagay was, as alwais, charming, full of confidence, public relation minded and wise. I knew that it will not be easy to get Hagay, so I decided to ask Shlomo Dovrat (the then President and CEO of Oshap-( The Mother company of Mint to get involved and to join me in pressing over Hagay to join Mint.
Needless to say that Shlomo also was deeply impressed from the personality of Hagay upon his first meeting with him. After a month Hagay was in Mint and was appointed as Head of Operations for North America. Since Hagay arrived in Mint and during the last three years, I spoke with Hagay dayly, more than once a day. We met every month several times and I learned to appreciate Hagay as a manager, as a calegue and, more important, as a human being.
Since the unfortunate and sudden death of Hagay I tried to think what was in Hagay that made me love him so much. I could not find o n e reason. I found m a n y. Hagay was the most efficient person whom I ever met. Since 5 am dayly he used to be connected to the phone and to his PC and at midnight he still continued to work. In addition, his unlimited energy and intelligence and the enourmeuos dayly output could fit what others are doing in 7 days.
Hagay would never take No as an answer. He used to sit with a client or with an employee that wanted to say No and alwais in a pleasant spirit changed it to Yes. Moreover he converted every one that wanted to say No to become his friend.
Hagay was a multy- challange personality. He knew and was familiar in any subject. In case he would be faced with a new unknown issue, he would learn it
In the most fast way, so no one could feel that a short time before he would not not know it.
The characteristics mentioned above are sufficient to many more than one person, however I shall remember Hagay for three:
The phenomenical capabilty of reading complex situations, the extraordinary skill to communicate with people and above all as a person of family.
Even I am older than Hagay, I was left, more than once, completely surprised how the young Hagay could read complex situations immediately, before I could do it. I shall never forget how fast Hagay reacted accurately without any delay. I saw in my life many Calibers but I have never seen such as Hagay.
It became quite known that in each meeting that Hagay was participating he was the best to establish contacts and to be the center. Hagay behaved every where naturaly, directly and with integrity. Therefore he made excellent impression on every one.At any time there was a need to make breakthrough to a new environement, Hagay was a Champion.
Hagay was eager to achieve and succeded in young age to fullfil what other people do not achieve in very long life. Beyond any successful person there is a suppoting wife. So was Sigal for Hagay. When I visited Sigal, after the disaster, I found a family in its entirety. Sigal used to be a full partner to the thoughts and difficult decisions that Hagay was facing along his career. Without her Hagay would not be able to achieve his goals. Hagay appreciated that. He would communicate with Sigal from every where on the Globe and shared with her his thoughts. It is obvious and natural that his last conversation, after the attack on WTC and before the collapse of the Towers was with Sigal.
Hagay was full of pride with his son Roy and every one could observe how much Hagay was amaised by the first creep, the first step and the first word of Roy.He considered Roy as a wonder of creation, was very proud and was sure that Roy does any thing excellent. It so happenned that I did not know Naomi as much as I knew Roy, since my visits to the US became less frequent. However I remember well how happy Naomi made Hagay, since he used to send photograps of his young Princess to all through the web, especially to Grandfather and Grandmother.
When I left Mint, it was only obvious and natural that Hagay will replace me. I was very glad that he was ready to undertake the job, since I knew that I deposited the keys in better hands. After Hagay left Mint I wanted very much that he will work in an environment close to me, but Hagay had much higher strives.
Finally, a human being passes away like a blowing wind and like a dream. However in the case of Hagay, what a pity, it occurred too early.
As I told Sigal: I love you Hagay. I shall miss you.
Asher Kutner, former President and CEO, Mint Communication Systems
Herzlia, Israel, September 2001