Dec. 19, 1955-Oct. 30, 2018
Jill Dewitt, customer service manager for San Fernando, Calif.-based Abex, passed away on October 30 following a prolonged battle with cancer.
“Jill was our go-to person,” says Robbie Blumenfeld, President, Abex Exhibit Systems. “Jill knew everything there was to know about Abex products. You could be sure the first person you would see every day at Abex was Jill’s smiling face, always happy and ready to go, each morning.”
Abex was founded in 1964 when Danish architect Poul Cadovius, designed and patented a breakthrough modular system for tradeshows and retail environments and named it Abstracta. The home office and factory was in Tonder, Denmark, and in 1990, Robbie Blumenfeld acquired the worldwide rights and manufacturing facilities of Abstracta in Denmark and moved production to a new facility in the L.A. area.
Lisa King, national sales mgr. for Abex, hired Dewitt in 1995 as VP of sales, a position in which she did a spectacular job. She dealt handily with growing pains of the company in its early years, in part because her desire was to treat others as she wished to be treated herself.
“In retrospect, while her job was never easy, she maintained the same high standards of professionalism and integrity over those many years,” says Nick Drance who served as VP of Abex from 1988-2000. “Whatever challenges presented themselves in her personal life never affected the consistency of maintaining high professional standards. Not only that, Jill Dewitt maintained bona fide personal relationships and the loyalty that goes with that. Jill was not only an amazing employee of Abex Exhibit Systems but she is a role model for all of us in many ways.”
“Although Jill had been ill for some time she continued to work through her illness,” says Blumenfeld. “Jill was strong, and she was a fighter. Our team is devastated, as I am as well, Jill will be missed beyond words.”
“Over these last 28 years we came to know Jill as a coworker, client and friend,” says King and Drance, now with of Image, Design and Communications. “We respected her as an honest, dedicated professional person with the highest standards of integrity and devotion to her daughter. Jill’s spirit will live on forever through of the very many people she came in contact with. Our dear friend will be missed.”
Condolences poured in from Abex’s many clients who worked closely with her. “Jill was always more than happy to help us and we loved working with her,” says Gina M. Euell, president and owner of Exhibit Solutions of New Mexico Inc. “I could tell she had a smile on her face no matter what the circumstance. In this crazy industry, she was always calm. Even when turnaround times were tight and the pressure was on, Jill always had an answer or found a solution. She was our rock star.”
“Jill was the consumate Abex employee,” says James Deady, president of Showstopper Exhibits. “She was knowledgeable, loyal and regarded your deadlines as her own. She will be sorely missed.”
“Jill’s kindness and patience made even the most stressful tradeshow situations bearable,” says Lauren Jayne, president and co-owner of Xibeo. “I can’t count how many times we laughed at some of the ridiculousness of some of the situations we found ourselves in. I relied on her from my very first day in this industry, more than 20 years ago. She was a colleague and a friend.”
Jill was the best customer service person I had ever seen; she was funny, loving and always made everything right. She will be greatly missed, may she rest in peace,” says Rita Saoud from BG&R.
“Upper Case Design worked with Jill for as long as she was with Abex,” says Robert Downes, president of Upper Case Design. “She was such an amazing customer service person and so easy to work with. She made the impossible possible. To say she will be missed is an understatement.”
Jill is survived by her daughter, Dayna DeWitt, and her mother. A celebration of life get together took place at Abex on Nov. 15.
This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 70. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_janfeb2019web?e=16962537/66750078