Sample Retirement Speech
When I told several of the partners that I was preparing a retirement speech, they were all quite
enthusiastic. That is, of course, until they learned I was not the one retiring. Their enthusiasm
became very muted and then evaporated entirely when they learned that Bill was leaving us.
This is a sad moment for us all because Bill has been such a bulwark of the company over the past twenty
years. Through thick and thin, Bill was there with one sleeve rolled up and his glasses perched atop his
forehead giving his best efforts either to solve the problem at hand or more to his liking, thinking matters
through beforehand so these problems would not occur in the first place. Those of you who have been here
for a while know exactly what I mean. For the rest, I will give an illustration.
Two years ago when we were preparing the Delson proposal, Bill was in charge of the project. It was a
rare (perhaps unique) moment in time because we actually finished the proposal ahead of schedule. We
were all so pleased and self-satisfied with our good work that we were ready to do cartwheels in the
lobby. Bill, however, had this queasy feeling that something was just not right. Done ahead of time?
We can go home early tonight? Well, not so fast thought Bill. He just didn't feel right in his gut.
And I'll tell you one thing, Bill's gut is not something you want to argue with.
Anyway, Bill, destroyer of self-satisfaction and prince of "not good enough," decided that the proposal
needed one more thorough review and brain storming session before it left the office. The groans were
palpable, although they could not be heard because nobody dared be vocal. Bill, however, pressed on and
we are all fortunate that he did. He sat with the proposal team and reviewed each paragraph word for
word one last time. When we finally reached the "Technical Considerations" section of the proposal, there
was a sudden quiet in the room as we realized we had reversed the extraction process for removing zinc
byproducts from the molds. Well, this may seem a small, explainable thing. It was not. Had we gone
forward with the proposal in its then present state, it is safe to say that more than one eyebrow would
have been raised at Delson. We probably would not have landed the job, and we would not be talking about
that contract today.
This is only one of countless examples where Bill's thoroughness and attention to detail have helped
shine a bright light of success on our company. It was not sheer orneriness that made Bill take that
one last step (although I suspect that played a part), it was his insistence that we do the very best
job we can whatever the task before us. Bill leaves a great void to fill. I know, however, that he
has inspired and trained his staff to take over almost seamlessly and that, of course, is a good thing
for him. Otherwise we might send out the posse to drag him back here.
With Bill's departure we lose a terrific engineering talent, an impeccable pride of workmanship, a never
wavering, can-do spirit, and above all, a very dear friend. Bill has said that he now plans to spend his
days coaching his grandson's baseball team, and all I can say is his grandson's Little League squad does
not know how lucky it is.
Bill, we wish you every happiness in the retirement you so richly deserve, and we will always take
inspiration from the shining sense of professionalism you displayed day in and day out throughout your