If you came to our conference last week, you almost certainly noticed that Ben Locker, the other co-founder of PCN, wasn’t there, as he had been for the 2013 and 2014 events. Several members remarked on his absence, and it wasn’t the same without him.
Ben has suffered from depression for many years. Maybe you’ve read the brave, moving and widely shared piece he wrote at the Guardian about his condition. If you haven’t, you should.
Like me, Ben is a full-time working copywriter for whom running PCN is a ‘night job’. And the bigger PCN gets, the more attention it needs.
For the last 18 months, we’ve been hoping Ben’s condition would improve so he could play a full part in PCN once more. Unfortunately, despite several changes of direction in his treatment, he’s still having a tough time.
So, by mutual consent, Ben’s decided to step back from the day-to-day running of PCN, leaving me to manage it as Director.
However, I want to emphasise that Ben is still our co-founder, and always will be. He’s hoping to come to our 2016 conference and he may well play an active role in future PCN activities.
Ben’s contribution to PCN over the last five years has been immense. Without his vision, optimism and commitment, not to mention his formidable technical skills, it would never have got off the ground. He was the first to see that a conference was the right next step for us, and he used his hustle to create a fantastic first-year line-up inside a ludicrous timescale. His hard work in the early years continues to benefit us today.
Ben is now exploring new directions outside copywriting and is considering retraining as a lawyer. I’m sure all PCN members will join me in wishing him good luck in whatever he does next.
Thanks, Ben – and all the very best for the future. We’re all thinking of you.