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  • Writer's pictureJaya Koilpillai Bohlmann

Reg Gilliam: Friend and mentor, champion of doing the right thing

Reginald E. Gilliam, Jr., a trailblazing lobbyist, commissioner of the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission during the Carter Administration and senior executive at Sodexo, Inc,. died on March 28 of lymphoma at the age of 67.

In his passing, the DC area lost a brilliant strategist, a true Capitol Hill insider, a big picture thinker, a courageous leader and a champion for all the right causes. And I, with many others, lost a friend.

In world where corporations and organizations still don’t always do the right thing for rising executives, especially minorities and women, Reg was an untiring mentor, cheerleader and champion. For individuals and groups alike, he, in his unassuming way, made sure the right people knew about your skills and strengths, and if you were being treated fairly or not. Quick to spot a phony or an egotist, he was selective about whom he took under his wing, but once you were there, he never tired of putting you in the right places at the right time – so you could shine. He never wanted the spotlight for himself – but he earned it, time and time again.

Those of us who were close to Reg agree that we’ve “lost one of the good ones.” We will keep your spirit and your ideals alive and fresh, Reg. Thank you for all you’ve meant to us.

(Read The Washington Post and Roll Call coverage.)

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