Barry Wise, a valued colleague and friend to many in the retail and technology industries, passed away on December 28, 2012 in Dallas, TX. Wise, principal at Wise Retail Consultants, had a long professional relationship with Epson America as an industry consultant. He was also active in a large number of retail and technology industry organizations, both those promoting standards and charitable groups such as the Retail Orphan Initiative.
In an e-mail announcing Wise's passing, RetailROI head Greg Buzek said Wise was "the guy that was always behind the scenes supporting and encouraging so many industry standards and initiatives for Epson at NRF, RSPA, RetailROI, TimeOUT and so many other organizations and events in our industry. I can say with certainty that what we are accomplishing with the Retail Orphan Initiative would never even have been a pipe dream without Barry's influence and support. He was one of the first six people in the room and the first to sponsor our fundraiser. That influence alone has already helped 114,000 children because Barry said yes. And that is just one of the countless ways Barry has been involved."
"Barry was a one-of-a kind visionary who made an indelible mark in the retail technology industry," said Mike Helm, Director of Sales for Epson's Business Systems Division and long time colleague of Wise. "Barry was passionate and insightful about how technology could make a difference to retailers. He helped bring key Epson products to market over the years and forged partnerships that made a significant impact on our business. Epson has lost a dear friend and a valuable partner."
As President of Wise Retail Consulting, Wise's knowledge and expertise were well recognized in the retail technology industry. Wise worked behind the scenes in support of industry standards and initiatives for Epson at NRF (National Retail Federation Annual Convention and Expo) and RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association), and he was an early supporter of the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI). Wise was a founding member ofARTS (the Association for Retail Technology Standards) and served on the advisory council for the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Standards Committee.
"Barry was a great champion of the retail technology channel," said Albert Guffanti, publisher of VSR Magazine. "He understood very well that what mattered most were the people behind the technology. I’ll never forget how Barry took me under his wing when I first entered the industry. Few people would ever take the time he did to show me around. In a world with tons of moving parts and rapidly changing business landscapes, Barry Wise is a constant reminder of what it means to do business with a person who genuinely cares."
A memorial service for family and friends is scheduled for Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 2 p.m. Central Time at the Flower Mound Funeral Home, Flower Mound, TX. In addition, a memorial industry conference call that will be recorded is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Dial-in is (641) 715-3625, access code 280548#. Contact Lee Holman at IHL Services, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish to share a story or tribute on the call.
An online tribute page is here. In addition, a fund to help Wise' fiancée Rhonda Fritts deal with the significant medical bills run up during Barry's final illness is being set up for those wishing to make donations in Barry's memory.