Giving thanks to Jim
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Jim loved Thanksgiving because it was a time to acknowledge, honor, and thank people. We want to create that space for him here. Join us in sharing your thoughts, memories, and stories of Jim in a perpetual thanks giving...
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2018-11-28 19:35:37 -0500
It seems to me that Jim wanted more than anything to have an impact on the world. Specifically, to bring people together. He absolutely achieved that. In the early days of NationBuilder he interviewed every single one of us, and that crew of people are some of the best I know. I’m confident some will be my lifelong friends. He really knew how to pull together amazing people.
Jim and I were about as different as two people can be, and didn’t always see eye to eye, but I always wanted to try and impress him. He was the most dedicated “employee” at NationBuilder, always, so it made us all want to live up to that standard.
I know he’d never feel “done” with his work, but I hope he felt really accomplished. I’m really glad he took a chance on me. Working at NB was a wild ride that I’m really glad I took.
Wishing all the best to his family, friends and the NationBuilder community.
2018-11-28 19:21:22 -0500
I had the privilege of working with and knowing Jim Gilliam during my time at NationBuilder. Jim was a certified genius with a fire in his belly whose mission in life was to make world-changing software tools available to anyone and everyone who wanted to lead a movement of change. His life story is truly inspiring and his speeches and words and ideas and views of the world make me want to be a better human and do more good in the world.
Jim personally interviewed me twice during my application process at NationBuilder and I could tell he really tried to connect with me as a person and find out what drove me in my mission in life. And while he could be a stubborn and demanding leader at times, he also welcomed often harsh direct criticism and was always open to changing his mind and his policies if things weren’t working right — to a degree I’ve never seen or would have expected from a leader at his level.
His intellect was always paired with his humility, and his frustrations were always fueled by his unceasing desire to change the world for the better — not by his actions alone, but by empowering and enabling leaders all over the world to enact positive change in their communities and to build bridges that created larger and stronger communities.
My time at NationBuilder ended during a big forced layoff, and I remember Jim was crying and fighting back tears when he informed the staff because he cared so much for his community and didn’t want to have to do it. But my wife continued to work at NationBuilder after I left, and years later when I would visit her or attend work parties, Jim would always greet me with a big smile and a wave and maybe a hug; always making sure I knew that I was and will always be part of the NationBuilder community.
For that I will always be grateful.
Thanks, Jim. I’ll miss you.
2018-11-28 19:14:17 -0500
I joined NationBuilder back in the day as a direct result of Jim’s vision. I’ve never worked with someone that cared so much and had so much passion. Whenever I was in a meeting with Jim, I always thought “man, this is what Steve Jobs must’ve been like.” He was given a second chance at life and built something incredible. I’ll never forget my time at NationBuilder, and I’ll never forget Jim.
2018-11-28 19:09:32 -0500
One year, at NetRoots Nation, I met Adriel Hampton, who had just recently begun working at a new startup called NationBuilder. We chatted for a while, and he told me about Jim and insisted I watch Jim’s “The Internet is my Religion” video on YouTube. I watched it and felt the tears stream down my cheek.
Adriel introduced me to Jim and Dan Walmsley via email, and after a couple phone interviews, I flew out to LA to meet the team.
During my stay, Jim picked me up from my hotel and carted me around in his Acura, taking me in like a member of the team, even tho we had just met. When it came time for me to fly back to New York, Jim drove me to the airport and pitched me on joining NB.
Although I ultimately decided to stay in New York and not go to work for NB, it was a tough decision, in large part because I was so impressed by Jim, on so many different levels, from his dedication to his beliefs to his willingness to never surrender, even when he faced very significant obstacles.
I may’ve only ever talked to him once after I got back from Los Angeles, but I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him and spend a couple days learning about his vision for his company and our world.
The world has lost a beautiful soul with the passing of Jim Gilliam, but in sharing his stories and perspectives with us, Jim left us with insights about what makes a soul beautiful in the first place.
2018-11-28 19:01:25 -0500
Thank you for everything you did, Jim. You impacted and changed lives during your short time on this earth.
2018-11-28 18:57:48 -0500
Such a wonderful man, a visionary and a huge loss to the world.
2018-11-28 18:56:48 -0500
I was truly saddened to hear the passing of Jim Gilliam. When my son, Brian Tippy, was looking for a job out of college, Jim saw the potential in this hard working individual and gave him the chance to prove himself. Brian was grateful for the opportunity and thought this would be a good entry into the working world. Brian’s thought was a year, maybe two, and he would move on. Well, it has now been over 4 years and he is still there. Brian had the utmost respect for Jim, and Jim respected the team. He let them spread their wings as long as the work ethic and integrity did not suffer. One Christmas, Brian gave me a signed copy of Jim’s book, which provided a great insight into Jim’s life. Jim will be greatly missed, but he has passed on a heartfelt legacy to all who knew him.
2018-11-28 18:55:35 -0500
I did not know Jim. But he was brilliant, and his legacy is intact. The best way we can honor him is by getting the Convention of States movement to the finish line, thereby saving The Constitution Jim loved.
2018-11-28 18:55:30 -0500
I didn’t know Jim well, but all of my interactions with him were illuminating. He was clearly brilliant and was never afraid to share his thoughts with me on a variety of subjects, which I appreciated.
Knowing everything he’d been through made him all the more ridiculously impressive to me. Talk about having the odds stacked against you, and yet he always persevered.
It saddens me that this time he didn’t; that the odds against him never abated.
He deserved a full life. And selfishly, we needed a full life from him. Losing people like Jim too soon hurts us all. He was a disruptor. A world-changer. An iconoclast.
He did so much to contribute and I’m glad I knew him. It may be cliche, but as they say, “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”
I’m happy to know he’s no longer in pain.
2018-11-28 18:54:30 -0500
His works have made an indelible imprint on the minds of many a Leader.
2018-11-28 18:53:40 -0500
Thank you Jim. Thank you to the NationBuilder team for working so diligently inline with his goals. My condolences to all friends and family. We are sad to have lost a major pillar of the community, but we are hopeful his essence lives on in NationBuilder.
2018-11-28 18:46:28 -0500
Jim Gilliam was instrumental in empowering fascists and white supremacists to conduct psychological operations on voters and propel forward the illegitimate Trump presidency.
He sold his soul for money and never looked back.
The world is better off without him on it.
2018-11-28 18:38:06 -0500
Nationbuilder got my music writing carer going and it is my mainstay. I visited the founding crews early on and was sold. Thank you Jim for the tools you gave all of us.
2018-11-28 18:34:13 -0500
As a grassroots campaigner, community organizer, and events coordinator, I am very saddened to hear of Jim’s passing away. I am very grateful that when I first began as an independent contractor, having Nationbuilder as a free resource was the most groundbreaking innovation to data collection and sharing for any kind of network. Thank you for being caring and for all of the work that you all did to bring people together through technology.
2018-11-28 18:28:12 -0500
I met Jim just once, when I had the privilege of hosting a small group to listen to him and discuss his book. It was a special evening and my heart will never forget him.
2018-11-28 18:27:49 -0500
“To die, to sleep –
To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come…”
― William Shakespeare, Hamlet
2018-11-28 18:20:09 -0500
I didn’t know Jim but do know that all the people I have ever talked with at Nation Builder concerning my website are lovely people. Ever so helpful, patient and truly cared. I’ve seen you evolve this business to awesomeness over the last 3 years and I’m proud to be a part of it. He must have been something. Sorry for your loss.
2018-11-28 18:00:16 -0500
Sorry to learn of this! You left us all a little better connected.
2018-11-28 17:55:44 -0500
I was one of the first customers of NationBuilder and joined the company as an employee relatively early on, in suite 808. I love NationBuilder and think it is the embodiment of all I wanted the world to understand about community organizing. Yet, I spent my first year at the company convinced Jim hated me and scared to talk to him. Which is pretty hilarious. People claim I’m intimidating, but there will never be anyone as intimidating as Jim.
I had the privilege of wrestling with Jim over issues big and small. From the company’s vision to the placement of buttons in the control panel. I treasure our long, meandering conversations about the world we want to create as much as I do the meetings about future product features. It was such a joy to work with him on paths and goals, and to really try to crystallize through documentation his vision of gathering communities to create change / achieve together what is impossible (or simply takes too long) as an individual. I so respect Jim’s commitment to hearing out dissent and his fierce commitment to creating what you’re meant to create in the world.
I left NationBuilder to focus on studying to become a rabbi. When I learned of his passing, I cried that no one else will have the privilege of building NationBuilder alongside him. I have no doubt Jim will continue to live on through the platform he created and the work it has enabled for generations to come.
I know Jim wrestled with big questions and he created a definition for the Divine that allowed him to honor his mother’s last wish that he believe in God. I deeply regret not talking with Jim after I stopped working for him. I pray his soul is at peace and has made an easy passage from this world to the next.
May Jim Gilliam’s memory forever be a blessing. May we continue to move his vision of interconnected and interdependent humanity forward.
2018-11-28 17:51:48 -0500
Thanks for everything Jim, it was a pleasure to work with you.
2018-11-28 17:51:20 -0500
We built Brexit here.
Jim, a true Nation Builder
2018-11-28 17:49:41 -0500
Sincere condolences to the NationBuilder community on the passing of your innovative founder. NationBuilder staff and technology have strengthened this grassroots organization’s communications, outreach and capacity.
2018-11-28 17:41:51 -0500
Thank you Jim for your love of tech, and music, and shining the light on what we can do to make this world a better place. So much love to your family.
2018-11-28 17:39:28 -0500
I’m sorry to hear that one of the people who devoted their lives to bettering the world has passed. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him. May we do him proud. <3
2018-11-28 17:38:03 -0500
Thank you for the memories and the opportunity Jim, you were one of a kind. My thoughts are with everyone who knew and cared about him.
2018-11-28 17:31:20 -0500
I didn’t know him, but his tools and his vision helped me contribute my efforts to grass-roots political candidates who believed in helping your fellow human and making the world a better place. For that, I am eternally grateful.
2018-11-28 17:24:16 -0500
goodbye Jim, now you are teaching angels how to build a political movement!
Thanks for everything!!
2018-11-28 17:17:23 -0500
2018-11-28 17:16:36 -0500
I am very saddened to hear of the great loss of Jim. Thank you, Jim, for sharing your passion and knowledge with the world.
2018-11-28 17:10:35 -0500
May the Saints welcome Jim into Heaven. Through Jesus, all things are possible. Let us Pray