WOPR would not exist – would never have existed – without Ross Collard. He is the thread that originally connected so many of us, and kept bringing us together. Ross has supported WOPR with his time, financially, and spiritually, as a constant presence in WOPR since before the beginning.
Over a distinguished career in consulting and training, Ross touched thousands of testers’ lives and careers. Ross received a well-deserved STP Luminary Award in 2011.
There are hundreds of stories about Ross uplifting testers and their careers with a kind and gentle word, or a timely referral. We all owe him so much. Personally, I credit him with making my career through his encouragement, wise counsel, and generous sharing of his network, all of which I accessed by attending WOPR3.
For at least a decade, Ross has battled courageously against Parkinson’s Disease. He has fought every step of the way. He is still a strong contributor to WOPR planning and decision making, and still flashes his delightfully urbane wit.
Sadly, Ross’ health does not cooperate enough to allow him to attend WOPRs in the future. He will continue to counsel the WOPR Organizers, and is sure to order expensive and delicious wine whenever we see him.
We love Ross, and are grateful for everything he’s done – not the least of which is to co-create and keep alive WOPR. WOPR continues to exist because it helps the community, but it is a piece of Ross’ legacy. We will continue WOPR as long as it is helpful to the community, and as long as we can keep Ross happy with what we are doing.