Opinion: The Gift That Keeps on Giving, Thanks To Eddie Johnston

Jeff Share, Contributing Editor
Eddie Johnston

Around the turn of this century, the looming cutoff of federal funding forced Des Plaines, Ill.-based GRI to rebrand itself into an organization that would have to be as equally focused on marketing as it was in developing new technologies. No sense in building something on pure spec. At the same time, GRI merged with Chicago-based Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) to launch an even stronger company with additional services, products and brainpower.

Still, many in the industry questioned whether GTI could manage to survive on its own. They failed to appreciate the dedication and talent of GTI’s executives and staff, who represent some of the most innovative minds in the world. One of those great minds, Eddie Johnston, GTI’s senior vice president of research and technology development, died shortly before Christmas after a year-long battle with a rare form of cancer. 20. The native of Jackson, Miss., was just 54, leaving his wife, Pam, son Terry and mother Virginia. His loss is keenly felt both at GTI and throughout the industry, where he was both well-liked and immensely respected. It is to Eddie’s everlasting legacy and life that this column is dedicated.

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