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Rarely do we encounter a human as selfless, considerate and capable as Ali; he had a way of conveying the most complex of ideas in ways that enthused and bonded people. He generated and supported the biggest of ideas, had such a unique way of navigating the politics and practicalities of projects and always delivered on his promises.

He was a man in perpetual motion and the only way I could get him to slow down was to talk soccer.

When I met Ali in 2002 I was struggling to come up with the second act of my career and he simply handed me keys to an office at UVic, told me to make myself available when I could and to use the office to launch my next venture. That was 18 years, and 5 or 6 companies, ago and my relationship with Ali only strengthened over the years. (I have often said that I’ve been riding Ali’s coattails for nearly twenty years.) The guy I would follow into a burning building may be gone, but he leaves a vision and a legacy behind that will be there for generations of friends, students and colleagues..