In Loving Memory of Derek Bigelow
Derek Bradbury Bigelow | October 22, 1950 – April 11, 2021
In April, we lost Derek Bigelow, LS Technologies co-owner, founding partner, and until his recent retirement, our long-time Chief Financial Officer. Derek was a loving husband to his wife Janice, a cherished father to his sons Brad and Alex, and a loving grandfather to two granddaughters.
“I worked directly with Derek for almost 30 years, first as an FAA employee and then as an employee at LS Technologies. Derek was so much more than a boss or co-worker. He was a coach, mentor, and friend who always had a joke to lighten the mood when things got a little tense. Derek poured his heart and soul into making LST feel more like a family-run business. In the early years, we all wore many hats to keep things going, and Derek always gave credit to the folks doing the extra work. He would often help with projects when he knew we were spread thin and stayed late to ensure we were covered even when working several time zones away. He would often say, “Our success means the company’s success,” and he meant it. We knew he always had our back. Many in the company knew Derek as the “money guy,” but he was also a very talented Program Manager and Business Strategist. LST is where it is because of Derek’s vision and hard work.” Dale Olpin, Vice President of Operations
Everyone that had the pleasure of working with Derek knows that he was a thoughtful, caring, and much-beloved colleague. He genuinely considered every LST employee a member of his extended family, and he was exceptionally generous to us all. We owe much of our people-first culture at LST to Derek’s passionate approach to leadership.
In one of his last company updates, he attributed the readiness and preparedness of the company to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic to the exceptional work of the entire company, saying, “Even with the roadblocks we are going through because of the moment, we are doing well as a company, particularly because of the people that we have.”
Derek’s sudden passing was incredibly challenging to process during a pandemic. Without the benefit of gathering in person, employees shared stories during a dedicated all-hands meeting reflecting on the impact that Derek has had on many people in the company.
“I had the pleasure of knowing Derek for over 35 years. He was one-of-a-kind, a character, a friend to so many, and a very significant contributor for over 20 years to the LST Family. All of us have benefitted from the company’s family-like environment that began in the company’s earliest days and was fostered by Derek. During my time here, I can’t remember a time when Derek didn’t agree to any decision involving spending the company’s hard-earned money to benefit one or more of our employees and the broader community. This is a profound loss.” Allison Poltorak, CEO
His focus on providing value and supporting passionate people began in the early days of LST, and rings true to this day due to the leadership of our founders.
“Tom (Loftus) made it very clear that the most important thing to him was taking care of the customer and taking care of our employees by giving them everything that they need to be successful. And after 19 years, we have the best people running the company and taking care of our customers,” said Derek at a company address.
We are forever grateful for the contributions and effect that Derek has had on our lives and the culture of this company.
Donations may be made to any of the following charities in honor of Derek Bigelow.
Moody Bible Institute | 820 N. La Salle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
Armed Services YMCA | Box 555028, Camp Pendleton, CA 92055
Women’s Resource Center | 1963 Apple Street, Oceanside, CA 92054