An Amazing Leader
Dear Dastmalchian Family,
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of Ali. Words can't express how saddened for your loss. I work at the Beedie School of Business and was employed when Ali started. The first thing that stood out to me was his kind spirit and authenticity. His passion for education and wanting what was best for students was evident from day 1. Ali was a leader who would take the time to listen to your ideas, provide valuable insights and suggestions, and support you 100%. He has been a mentor and friend to many within the Beedie family. He will truly be missed, but his spirit will remain with us always. My prayers and thoughts are with all of your family during this difficult time.
Dear Ann and Family,
I was extremely distressed to hear about Ali’s passing. Although I did not work directly with him in the same department, our path crossed in many areas of work and life as we worked together with many students and projects. Positive, helpful, kind, and generous are only some of the words I connect with him. I will miss him a great deal but I will always carry his gentle smile with me as I remember him. This is the smile I see in his remembrance picture. My thoughts and spirit are with Ann and family and friends. His life touched so many of us.
Bart and Donna Cunningham
Dear Ann and Family,
Ali was not only an amazing Dean and leader, but truly a caring and incredibly warm human being. He seemed to have more energy than just about anyone I have ever met – and an incredible ability to fly around the world several times a year and never seem to suffer from jet-lag. He was truly a citizen of the world and we would joke; ‘is there anyone in the world who doesn’t know Ali.’
Ali was a joy to work with and had a fantastic sense of humour. As others have said, I never felt he was the boss, but more of the champion and chief cheerleader. He was also incredibly able to see the big picture, but also understand the details and nuances needed to move things forward. Before he became Dean of Beedie, I had heard that Ali was great to work with but that I would likely work harder than ever before. That was definitely my experience and I was willing to work harder because he motivated me to think bigger about what was possible and stay excited about the journey.
Ali always spoke warmly about his family and Ann was frequently by his side at various events – a true partnership and a joy to be around. He will not just be remembered for all his amazing accomplishments as an educator and researcher, but most of all for being a husband, dad, friend and supporter of so many people.
I did not know him well, yet he made an impression on my quickly. He inspired me to be more daring and fearless in my teaching and interactions with students and colleagues. I will miss his funny videos that he released to inspire us at SFU. Take solace in the fact that he made an impression on so many and by effecting so many lives he helped shape the world for his kids and grand-kids!
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