Long time friend and supporter of Legacy, Eric Waldbaum, passed away on January 28, 2012. He was an insightful advisor, an intellectual giant, and a wise friend. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Legacy International from 1981 to 1999.
“I was honored to be his friend. He leaves a great empty place in our hearts and our community and we will miss him but we celebrate his peace and comfort in the presence of noble souls.” – J.E. Rash, President, Legacy International
Eric was a visionary who integrated a global perspective with deep spiritual values in his interactions with the business and non-profit communities. His career spanned the computer revolution, a field in which he maintained interest and proficiencies.
He was a leading member of a small team guiding the U.S. food industry’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Uniform Grocery Product Code (UPC). The team investigated, designed, promulgated, and directed implementation of the industry standard (bar code) symbol to facilitate automatic scanning by advanced point of sale electronic equipment.
He was CEO of Greenbelt Consumer Services, Inc. 1971-1976. Greenbelt is a diversified consumer cooperative with operations in food and home furnishings retailing that, during Waldbaum’s tenure, ranked as the largest consumer owned cooperative in the country and achieved three successive years of record earnings.
As president of Baskin Financial Corporation, 1985-1990 in Washington, DC, he helped to create CDx, a financial services firm offering electronic trading in bank certificates of deposit (CDs) with automated transactions clearing, electronic funds transfer and custodial services.
In the latter part of 1990, he was a member of an international expert team brought together to advise the city and regional (oblast) authorities of Kaliningrad, Russia and evaluate and recommend programs for successful transition to a free market economy and creation of a Free Economic Zone (FEZ).
He served as senior partner, Pacific Basin Partners, Inc. Washington, DC, 1991-1997 where he supervised a variety of projects for international agencies, including ones in information technology for The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and in energy production for The World Bank (WB).
During the next 12 years, Eric created Technology Development, Inc., a consulting business to help develop and expand innovative businesses with both mature and cutting edge technologies, bridging cultures and geography. As Chairman of the Board of Legacy International, he played a key role in advising Legacy President, J. E. Rash, and on projects involving development, conflict prevention, and renewable energy. He also worked with businesses in Europe, the Middle East, India, Indonesia, and the U.S. They included water purification and desalination, renewable energy technologies, sustainable agriculture and healthcare.
“Eric challenged us all to reach higher, discard the obvious, and strive for superior goals. His work’s reach was global, yet he remained humble, devoted and loyal. We will all miss him.” – Shanti Thompson, Vice President, Legacy International
As an executive and entrepreneur he had a proven record in financial services, applications of computers, data communication for business, and automation, organization development, and retailing with particular knowledge of accounting, internal audit, and tax principles. His special areas of expertise included management, investment, and marketing, real estate, international finance and operations.
He was also expert in understanding and application of techniques in group relations, conflict management, organizational training, counseling of minority groups in advanced management, including simulation, mathematical forecasting, network analysis, statistics, distribution analysis, and in dealing with corporations, regulatory agencies, cooperatives, private voluntary and non-governmental organizations of all sizes.
He received a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. His Classmates included David Baltimore (Nobel Laureate in Medicine) and Andries Van Dam, Professor of Computer Science at Brown University and a visionary in that field.
He is survived by his widow, Yvonne Behrens-Waldbaum, and daughter Kiran Waldbaum. Memorial events were held March 25, 2012 in Charlottesville.