• Sarah Luiz

Remembering Damien

Updated: Aug 1

I had set-out to write a post on why I have such a passion for working with entrepreneurs in the lifestyle sectors. Then sadly I received the news that one of my good friends had passed away after a six year battle with cancer.

As I was writing a tribute to him, my WHY became ever so more apparent, so I thought it would make sense to post it here too.

To Damien Lee, my number 1 Positive Impact Entrepreneur...

Mr Lee's Pure Foods

I have always been passionate about the importance of eating well. After graduating from University I began my career in the advertising industry. From a CV point of view, I had made it, working for big global brands at top media agencies. Then throughout the years, I started to battle more with my purpose. One day I was given the Coca-Cola account, and after a few weeks, working all the hours, I remember thinking to myself - hang on a minute, my job is to encourage kids to consume more sugar. No one is questioning this - the only thing they care about is whether we can double the value of the account - that means more sugar consumption - and we are going about our lives as if this is ok, being promoted and winning awards at glamorous events for the best marketing campaign. Really - is this my purpose? I didn't like myself or feel proud of my work.

Then after a period of feeling deluded by consumer culture and capitalism, I finally had enough of being part of the problem and started searching for ways I could be the solution.

It was in 2016 that I had the pleasure of meeting Damien. He told me his story and after many deep chats, he installed faith in me that if you dream big, you can achieve anything. To me, he was the best example of an entrepreneur - smart, ambitious, and using his talented business acumen for the wellbeing of people, and the planet.

Damien became a good friend and a mentor. I watched the film 'The Founder' with him - the story about how the McDonald's empire was built and I remember loving our chats - 'So if this is how a company like McDonald's rose to have so much power, then why can't we apply the same strategy to achieve success like this with a healthy food brand?'

Damien, I'm so sorry that your journey has come to an end. I will never understand why you were taken away so soon, especially now the world is in so much more need of people like you. Thank you for everything. I will continue to use my skills to work with more entrepreneurial businesses like Mr Lee's Pure Foods, and I have every confidence that your team will be racing at the speed of your Harley Davidson to complete our mission to help people eat more healthily. Between us, you can rest in peace to know, we've got this!

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