Tuesday Buzz: A Simpsons Creator’s Wide-Reaching Generosity

Sam Simon, the co-creator of one of the most popular shows in television history, will be missed by many, but his donations to nonprofits will help keep his memory alive. Plus: Do that event debrief—it's important.

Sam Simon, the cocreator of The Simpsons and a writer and director of numerous other classic TV shows, was 59 when he died Sunday of colorectal cancer, but he never let his health battle keep him down. Instead, he became more generous than ever.

Simon’s work on The Simpsons contributed to its long-lasting success and global reach, as well as to his own personal wealth.

He ultimately put much of that wealth into the Sam Simon Foundation—which rescues dogs, trains them, and gives them to veterans and the deaf—and began giving much of his estimated $100 million fortune away, accelerating his generosity after discovering his illness. A number of animal-rights nonprofits benefited from his work over the years, including:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which made him an honorary director and named its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters after him.

Mercy for Animals, which recognized his significant contributions by giving him its Compassionate Leadership Award in 2013.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a global marine-wildlife conservation group, which named one of its vessels after him.

Simon is also known for two particular animal-rights actions: his purchase and rescue of an overworked racehorse and his rescue from slaughter of an Irish bull whose owner believed it to be gay.

“We are going to expand all this stuff,” he said in an interview in 2013, the year after his cancer diagnosis. He added that the foundation “is going to be very well endowed, and there’s a lot of stuff I want them to do.”

Tweets of the Day: On Event Debriefs

“What one thing do event planners time and time again avoid to do properly after their events?” William Thomson of Gallus Events asks. “The debrief.”

Thomson, inspired by a session at this month’s Event Buyers Live, wrote a blog post highlighting comments from Mission Excellence’s Jas Hawker.

“Jas’s key point was a simple one: Ditch the debrief at your peril,” Thomson wrote.

Many skip it, not realizing its importance, because they’re ready to move on to the next event. The key is to finish off a strong (or weak) event and review how it went—in a short, honest, and detailed debrief—to ensure a stronger one in the future.

Other Links of Note

What’s hurting associations today? Researcher and marketer Amanda Kaiser has two answers: low attendance at events and growth in on-demand help. Perhaps it’s time to look at these issues.

Curious about the future of conferences? According to an infographic by Warick Conferences, the industry is likely to see 1.2 percent growth in the number of meetings this year, along with further emphasis on sustainability, online content, and better rates.

Make work fun. A new project entails stress, expectations, and perhaps some anxiety. Max Milhan of The Muse suggests turning it into an adventure.

Simon, shown in 2013 offering a check to the Canadian Sealers Association in an effort to end the commercial seal trade. (PETA Handout photo)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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