HJ246: Celebrating the life of John W. Gerdelman.


Offered February 18, 2020
Celebrating the life of John W. Gerdelman.
Patron-- Batten

WHEREAS, John W. Gerdelman, a successful businessman, pioneering telecommunications entrepreneur, and honorable veteran, died on January 4, 2020; and

WHEREAS, before graduating from The College of William & Mary with a degree in chemistry in 1975, John Gerdelman distinguished himself as a three-year letterman on the football team and an Academic All-American in 1974; and

WHEREAS, shortly after graduation, John Gerdelman enlisted in the United States Navy, earning his aviator wings and flying an EA-6B Prowler, the United States Navy’s primary carrier-based electronic warfare jet, on active duty for six years; and

WHEREAS, beginning his professional career at Baxter-Travenol, John Gerdelman would become an early proponent of the power of telecommunications technology and internet services and later hold many prominent executive positions during the industry’s meteoric rise; and

WHEREAS, John Gerdelman was president of Pioneer TeleTechnologies/MCI Services and later networkMCI, a leading telemarketing, sales, and service company; he also had leadership roles with USA.NET, Long Lines, Ltd., and Intelliden, which he cofounded in 2000 and sold to IBM in 2010; and

WHEREAS, valued for his business acumen and expertise, John Gerdelman served on many corporate boards, including those of Brocade Communications Systems, Owens & Minor, and Local Voice, and assisted several technology companies and start-ups as both a turnaround specialist and an investor; and

WHEREAS, a proud alumni of The College of William & Mary, John Gerdelman gave considerably in many ways to his alma mater; he was appointed to two terms on the university’s Board of Visitors, served as chair of the William & Mary Foundation and the school’s Real Estate Foundation Board, and was a member of the Tribe Club Executive Board; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of his years of service on behalf of the university, John Gerdelman received the Alumni Medallion in 2005, The College of William & Mary’s highest alumni honor, and an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2019; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is indebted to John Gerdelman for the contributions he made during his years of service as a gubernatorial appointee to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and

WHEREAS, John Gerdelman will be dearly remembered and sorely missed by his beloved wife of 43 years, Sue; his children, Mark and Emily, and their families; and numerous other family members and friends; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of John W. Gerdelman, a cherished member of the Williamsburg community who had a positive impact on countless lives as a businessman and friend; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of John W. Gerdelman as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.