Join OD Network   |   Member Search   |   Site Search   |   Print Page   |   Sign In
Latest News
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

View all (24) posts »

In Memory – Tony Petrella

Posted By Brian Fewell, Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Updated: Friday, May 18, 2018

Tony Petrella It is with great sadness that we pass along the news that Tony Petrella died this weekend.

He was in his native Minnesota, doing what he truly loved —  sailing. He apparently was getting into a boat, slipped, broke some ribs, and never recovered.

Tony was the second executive director of the OD Network, from 1975 to 1985, and his guidance was instrumental in creating the association we have today. He was a founding partners in the first OD consulting firm, Block Petrella and Weisbord. He joined the Network immediately after graduating from Pepperdine's MSOD program in 1975. He returned to the school for a talk, which you can see on their website.

He also contributed a number of articles to the OD Practitioner during his tenure as executive director. Samples of his writing are available below.

Tony was a friend and mentor to many, and touched the lives of countless clients, students, associates, and fans. He will be remembered fondly for his impact on our organzation and our profession.

Read his obituary.

This post has not been tagged.

Permalink | Comments (14)
 

Comments on this post...

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Matt Minahan here. I'm posting here comments from members of the ODNet and gODparents odnet email discussion lists relating to Tony's passing:

John Scherer via Odnet
May 14 (2 days ago)
to ODNet

It’s hard to be the one to bring this sad news to ODNet: Our beloved Tony Petrella died tragically Saturday morning in a boating accident.

What a light. . . More later, I am sure, from many of us who knew him.

John
Dr. John J. Scherer
High-Engagement Performance-Improvement™
www.SchererCenter.com
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Roland Sullivan
11:44 PM (17 hours ago)
to godparents, Matt, Denniase, Enrique, Vijayakumar, T, Lee, Perla, allison, MAJA, irham.dilmy, Roby



Subject: Re: [Godparents] On the Passing of Tony Petrella

I will respond as soon as I can find a moment. Tony and I had just spoke recently. He was going to Keynote the upcoming Asia OD network in the Philippines, the fall of 2018

I believe that Tony was among the first or second change professionals to start up and lead one of the first OD functions. This occurred at Esso Where Peter Block reported to him. Many of the Guru’s from NTL like Sheppard and Argyris and Bennis and Gibb came and consulted with the Esso group


Tony and his wife Linda we’re so very close to Barb Tannenbaum and his wife. They met regularly in Carmel.

As I will say about anyone who is a good person. I have no sadness whatsoever as their physical life ends here on earth. Call me insensitive if you like but I stand my ground.

I only have joy as I celebrate Tony’s pioneer life is a change agent. At pepperdine he helped me build my classic team building process that I have not changed since 1978. Why?

Because it always works. It always works better in the original form then if I experiment and try new mini activities.
I thank Tony for such wonderful guidance.

Tony’s work in building the OD national organization network in the early days of our field was absolutely phenomenal.



Truly
Roland Sullivan
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Denny Gallagher via Godparents wrote:


Matt,

What a loss. He was one of the first to visit the initial OD Program started by Herb Shepard at Case Western Reserve University in the late 60’s. His knowledge, personality, insight and courage was inspiration to all of us. Just a great human being! What a loss!!!!


Denny Gallagher
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Sharon Thorne
1:22 AM (15 hours ago)
to Matt, Odnet

Oh no ... I am so sorry to hear about Tony. Takes my breath away to know I will never see him again or talk with him. Tony was actually the second Executive Director of ODN ... Warner Burke was the first. (March 1985 issue of the ODP has a great article about the history of ODN written by Warner.) When Tony took over after Warner, he transformed the fledgling organization into the professional association that all of us now remember. He was unassuming and introverted and never liked the "celebrity" aspect of being in the role. Tony was ED when I joined the Board in '78. He was a mentor who became a good friend. I followed him as ED of the Network and when I assumed the job Tony was a solid source of wisdom and support. I asked him early on in my tenure how he had handled the barrage of people coming up with impossible suggestions and unfair complaints about aspects of ODN. He told me that I did not need to respond in any particular way ... just to "listen" to them ... deeply listen. He was a solid and competent contributor and a wise leader to the early development of the field and the ODN. And he was fun ... and nice too. One of the good ones.


Sharon Thorne
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
John Scherer
3:47 AM (13 hours ago)
to Denniase, Matthew, Odnet
I’m with you, Denny. . .

Marv reminded me that he died doing what he loved: sailing. In fact, he had just received his new sailboat and was taking it out for its maiden voyage when he fell getting on board. Such a beautiful and sad irony. . .

John
Be a lamp, or a lifeboat or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.
— Rumi
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
John D. Carter
6:27 AM (10 hours ago)
to matthew, godparents
Tony made a difference with his presence and touched many of our lives with his work in the field.
I will hold his family werin my heart and prayers.

Sharon, thank you fwwor your continued effort to inform us about the history of ODN. I always appreciate your comments.

Your view is important as the numbers of the former ledership in the field dwindles.

Thanking you again, John Carter





John D. Carter
GestaltOSD
Heartfulness
Make a difference with
your presence
www.gestaltosd.org
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
John Adams
11:15 AM (6 hours ago)
to Matt
Thank you Matt

Such hard to digest news! Bon Voyage Tony.

Tony was such a beautiful being. When I was putting together and managing the Learning Communities in Bethel each summer 71-75, Tony was always a joy to work with — and beyond this, always committed to making each session better than the last.

I was greatly influenced by his writing and ODN presentations as I moved into my own practice. And he was always happy to answer questions and provide nentoring to me and so many others.

John
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Jamieson, David W.
11:56 AM (5 hours ago)
to Matt, godparents
Tony was a great role model as he was very good about his use of self, extremely practical in his application of theory and a caring mentor. His leadership was grounded and insightful and never looked like the types we are trying to change! He also had a clear lens on much of our early history and often shared when we were together teaching at Pepperdine or meeting with Bob Tannenbaum. His practice side was stellar and he always showed concern around many of the developments in the field, with "whatever happened to the O!" And being concerned about how many people were becoming technique junkies. He always reminded me of how important our work with change and intervention DESIGN was one of our core contributions.

Will miss another great person in the field. So sad!

Dave
David W. Jamieson, Ph.D.
Professor & Director
Doctorate in Organization Development & Change
College of Education, Leadership & Counseling
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
H. Randall Webb
2:08 PM (3 hours ago)
to David, Matt, gODparents
I came to my first ODN conferences just about the time Tony became the ED. I don’t remember seeing him in SF at the Conference on Fisherman Wharf—where I first met John Adams—but I do remember him in Philadelphia, a conference a mutual friend, Steve Brogan, was an organizer for. What I remember most was his delightful sense of humor about just about everything including the work and himself. He seemed to bring a special kind of energy to everything he was engaged with. He was a great successor to Warner Burke.

Randy Webb
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Patrick Trottier via Odnet
May 14 (2 days ago)
to John
This message has been deleted. Restore message

Thanks for sharing John. Tony is a good man... and will be thought of as such in the hearts of many.

I only knew him through his work: 'In 1968 he co-founded the internationally acclaimed Organizational Development Consulting firm Block, Petrella and Weisbord.'

Tony stood and walked with the giants...

My thoughts and prayers to his friends and family.

Patrick
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
John Scherer via Odnet
May 15 (1 day ago)
to Julie, Terrence
This message has been deleted. Restore message

Guess I also need tp say that Tony (and his colleagues Peter Block and Marv Weisbord) played a major role—maybe THE key role—in the creation of our ODN. . .

John
Dr. John J. Scherer
High-Engagement Performance-Improvement™
www.SchererCenter.com
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Maggie Shreve
10:38 PM (18 hours ago)
to Matt

Oh thank you Matt. I'm so saddened to hear this. I met him when I attended one of the Flying Starship workshops. Great guy!

Maggie Shreve, Kenfield|Shreve: Human + Work Systems
Consulting
and OD Network of Chicago administrator
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Diane Carter
6:35 AM (10 hours ago)
to John, matthew, godparents

Stokes and I are heartbroken.

Diane Carter
Permalink to this Comment }

Matt Minahan Ed.D., The Minahan Group says...
Posted Thursday, May 17, 2018
Kurt Motamedi
11:27 PM (18 hours ago)
to Denny, Matt, Odnet
Tony lived a great life of caring and giving. His contributions to OD Network are beyond par.​
Herb Shepard, Warner Burke, Bob Tannenbaum, Warren Schmidt, Frank Friedlander, Tony Raia, Newt Margolis, Pat Williams, and so many friends helped build a great movement in the spirit of Kurt Lewin and humanitarians values.
Tony's energy and his vision propelled the movement. He is with us in values and our zeal to make the
world a better place than we find --- more humane, caring, honest, productive and fulfilling... Thanks Tony ... Blessing bestowed upon you.
Kurt

Kurt Motamedi, Ph.D., MBA, MSEE • Professor of Strategy and Leadership
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY • Graziadio School of Business and Management
6100 Center Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90045• P: 310.568.5577, C: 310.666.9966
https://bschool.pepperdine.edu/about/people/faculty/kurt-motamedi-professor-of-strategy/
Permalink to this Comment }

OD Network logo

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252
Saint Paul, MN 55114
Phone: +1.651.379.7292
Fax: +1.651.290.2266
odnetwork@odnetwork.org

Copyright © 2018 Organization Development Network. All rights reserved.

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal