Reflections and Gratitude for the Life of William H. McInerney

For the last month, the Glen Price Group has been engaging in a version of the ‘30 days of Gratitude’ practice. It has been a real treat to see the posts of my colleagues, one a day, during the month of November (see: www.facebook.com/glenpricegroup).

Unfortunately, during this period, we also received the sad news of the passing on November 12 of one of our clients’ leaders, William H. McInerney. For many years, Bill led the successful efforts to establish, operate, and fund the Order of Malta Northern California Clinic, offering free medical care to the uninsured on the campus of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

The journey of GPG’s involvement with the Order of Malta clinic began one night about seven years ago. It was late one evening at the GPG office when the phone rang. As the only one left on deck, I answered the phone and immediately a voice on the line began a discussion about the need for health care services in Oakland, his idea to open a free medical clinic…and…could the Glen Price Group help them raise the funds to do it?

We get a lot of these kinds of calls at GPG, and as we are pretty much always operating at our capacity, my brain was telling me to tell the caller that we just couldn’t help at the moment. But my heart was telling me to keep listening.

About 45 minutes later, I realized I was talking to Bill McInerney Sr., one of the founders of a well-known Oakland law firm, McInerney and Dillon. When he called, Bill didn’t try to leverage his position, he pitched his idea, confident that the power of the idea would carry the day. It did.

Seven years later, we are still working with the Order of Malta Western Association, with GPG Senior Associate Chris Sorensen, providing ongoing assistance to their fund development work. The Clinic that was Bill’s vision is up and running and has served thousands of people in need since 2008.

When people like Bill pass away, I feel even more poignantly the torch of generations passing, and I am so grateful to have had the privilege of their mentorship and example. I am especially grateful for the leadership of people like Bill who could “reach across the aisle” and do what is right for our fellow human travelers on this planet. People who walk the talk of giving and service – in the midst of busy professional lives (for a brief glimpse/summary of Bill’s work see his obituary at: http://bit.ly/1aU1Ibe).

So, as we come down the home stretch of our thirty days of gratitude, we just want to say “thank you, Bill” one more time. We are more than grateful that our life paths crossed with yours.

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