Today marks the end of an era for IPS. For the past 3 years Will Thornton has been the voice of IPS. As our Office Manager, Will has spoken with or emailed every student who has walked down our hallowed halls of learning. In January of 2009 when IPS launched out on our own, Will was there envisioning and building the financial and office systems we needed to run a small, yet strangely international business. I can't tell you how many times we looked at each other over the phone and said, "Please tell me someone, somewhere has done this before!" Apparently no one had, but that didn't stop Will.
Will first joined the ranks of IPS in 2002. I had recently taken over as director and pulled my photography friends along with me into this new venture. Since that day, IPS has been a roller coaster of an adventure with times of white gripped knuckles clinging with mounting anticipation and times of all out arms in the air abandonment as we screamed down the next hill.
Will's influence in IPS has been both deep and wide. He was the one sitting in my office as we dreamed up the first New Zealand Experience and the instructor known for the harshest image critiques. His influence has shaped every major decision IPS has made in the past 8 years, yet his heart has never wavered in his desire to invest in the students who come to IPS for photography and life training.
Today is Will's last day as a full-time IPS employee and he will be missed. His role as instructor, international trip leader, Office Manager, Board Member, comrade and friend has changed lives around the globe. IPS is what it is today because of my friend Will Thornton, and I for one, am grateful.