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In Memoriam: Stanley Hyams

January 2, 1938-Dec. 5, 2017

Stanley Hyams, VP sales/senior account executive for Syma Systems Div. Art Guild Inc. for more than 22 years, and a past president of EDPA Systems Division, passed away on December 5 in New Jersey.

He started as a carpenter in the tradeshow industry in 1963 and moved into a sales position with Display Craft in 1965. In the 1980s, he began working for the company that brought the Syma System to the U.S. and became a vice president of the company. In 1996 his company was acquired by Art Guild Inc. where he spent the remainder of his career until his passing.

His son, Brett, remembers, “When we think of Stan it’s natural to picture SYMA, but I think you will all agree that his passion was people. He was involved in providing rental exhibit programs for the jewelry industry shows JCK and JA for 30 years. He traveled to 54 Countries around this amazing world and shared that experience and many of them with his best friend, his wife Joan.  We had a little competition that I’ve only been to 23 and I’m not sure I will ever catch up to him.  He gave me the opportunity at a young age to live in Switzerland for six months and that helped changed my perspective and view on people from around this world.  He was a man of the world and knew how to say hello to everyone in their native language. When you walked the floors of many international jewelry shows with Stan, you witnessed how he knew every client’s name and found a way to greet them in their own language. And if their showcase lights were working you could see the joy on clients’ faces when they spoke with him. He was an ambassador for SYMA and an amazing friend to all those he served.”

Doug Zegel, the owner of Art Guild, remembers, “Stan first called on me in 1974 when I was working in the design department at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. He was selling a fabulous extruded aluminum “system” called SYMA Systems. We bought a bunch. Little did I know that day that a decade later we would purchase the Syma franchise for the U.S. And little did I know then, that I would have a great friend for life.”

Zegel continues, “Stan had an easy smile, a hearty laugh, a wonderful sense of humor, and an incredible appetite for life, and food! He adored his wife Joan, his children, and he was over the moon for his grandchildren. And he enthusiastically loved his second family which were SYMA folks, Art Guild people, his fellow EDPA members, and his amazing cadre of clients around the world. Stan remembered everyone’s name, their families, and found a way to say hello, goodbye, and ‘go pound sand’ in their native language. He traveled the world repeatedly to meet with his jewelry clients in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East to close a deal and have a meal. His relationship with his clients invariably turned into lifelong friendships. Everyone loved Stanley. In the jewelry show business, one of the most important things is lighting. Especially the “Diamond Light.” We fondly remember Stanley knowing that his Diamond Light will shine the brightest with all who had the privilege to know him.”

Fellow EDPA member, Michael Boone, director of international business at Coastal International, says,I met Stan 26 years ago. I met him at my first EDPA meeting in Rancho Mirage/Palm Springs soon after I entered the business in ’91. He was involved himself for a while already, and knew everyone there. Cool guy, big mustache. I didn’t know him well, but I liked him. Usually at our annual meeting, and at TS2 or at Exhibitor shows there would be a moment to catch a drink. Then, 20 plus years later I met his son Brett Hyams and made the connection due to last names. Brett is working in the AV rental business, so I have been able to refer a lot of work his way. Paying it back to his Dad, so to speak, for his efforts before me. I also then gave my time to EDPA, and the board, where it all started for me in 1992 when we first met. Another cycle to continue. RIP Stan.”

His friend Brian Egan, wrote in his guest book, “Not everyone we meet in our lifetime leaves us with a lasting impression, Stan was one of those people who did. While I didn’t know him very well, I knew him well enough to know that he was engaging, likeable, had a great sense of humor, and as he showed in the last years of his life, he also had great courage and strength of spirit. My condolences to his family and friends. I know he will be greatly missed, but I also know it’s a life worth celebrating.”

At his memorial service, his son Brett said, “We should all be as lucky as my father was to have many people that he called his friends. Childhood friends for 70 plus years also known as “The Group” like Phil. He makes new friends everywhere that he goes and has friends from other countries all around the world and let me tell you there are many. He has family that he calls his friends like my Uncle.  And his best friend my mother…..his Joannie. He was a special man. Anyone that has ever crossed paths with him from anywhere around the world remembers his presence, his laugh, his voice, and yes his stories of which we have all heard many, many times. And he would tell them to us often like it was for the first time and that we never heard them before. But we all listened intently time and time again. He loved all his grandchildren. He had four granddaughters Shayna and Harlie. And my three beautiful children, Rachel and Lindsey and his only grandson Jacob or “Jakey” as he so affectionately he called him. I received calls from many of my childhood friends over the past couple of days and one thing they all had in common were sharing all the great memories they had of my father.  How funny he was, how he made them all laugh, and how he would bust their chops and tell them they were ugly. As we grow older we often forget about these times and I’m so thankful for all my friends who shared their memories of him with me.

In closing, Brett said, “Among other qualities…Strength and courage defines my father. As we all struggle with adversity and challenges in our daily lives. My father struggled with the most difficult one: a disease that would one day take his life. But, anyone who ever knew him would never know, as he always had a smile on his face. He lived every day with a smile. He lived every day like it was his last. And he lived every day of his life for his Joannie.”

He is survived by his wife, Joan, son, Brett, daughter Cindy Hyams Pietrangelo, grandchildren Shayna, Harlie, Rachel, Lindsey and Jacob. Donations in his memory may be made to the Simon Wiesenthal Center at www.wiesenthal.com. To leave a photo or message in his online guest book, visit https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/stanley-hyams-obituary?pid=187437716&view=guestbook

This story originally appeared in the July/August issue of Exhibit City News, p. 75. For more pictures and original layout, visit http://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecnflipbook_julyaugust2018_web?e=16962537/62860459. If you know someone in the industry who has passed away and would like ECN to write a memorial story, please email us at newsdesk@ExhibitCityNews.com with his/her name and where they worked (and, if you’d like, a quote or two for the story).

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