In memoriam

On September 11, 2001, sixteen staff members of Risk Waters Group lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks.

Later that year, Risk magazine and Waters magazine published tributes to those who died. We reproduce those tributes below.

Amy Lamonsoff
Events Manager, North America
Amy Lamonsoff

Amy had many special qualities and was a woman of distinct style and substance. But important to her above all were the people in her life. From this grew her intense interest in travelling to new areas, taking a stand on most political issues, constantly exploring new ideas in music, film, books, fashion and politics, and always enjoying time with her friends and family.

Amy brought her many qualities to her professional life, in which she took great pride and saw as a reflection of her personal life. She had a smile so big it could light up the whole office and we were lucky enough to be greeted with that every morning.

Amy was dedicated to her job and was a great perfectionist. She was always positive, had a kind word to say to everyone and was the type of person you knew you could always rely on in a crisis. Amy was also deeply considerate of others in her personal and professional life – her recent $300 tax refund was promptly contributed to charities.

Celeste Victoria
Conferences Telesales Executive
Celeste Victoria

Celeste joined Risk Waters after working as a presenter on a public access cable channel, where she campaigned on behalf of the disadvantaged in New York. She was one of a kind, and immediately made an impact on all her colleagues with her unstinting good humour, and interest in what others were doing. 

A wonderful and unique woman. Celeste’s smile would brighten anyone’s day, and no matter how difficult the situation she found herself in she was always happy. Celeste’s grace, charm and charisma were just some of her wonderful qualities. 

Celeste was one of those rare individuals who was untouched by any trace of cynicism. Celeste’s work colleagues were fortunate in that she was the type of person that liked to help other people and take charge of difficult situations, no task was ever too big.

David Rivers
Editorial Director, Waters magazine
David Rivers

David was more than just an editor. He was the voice of Risk Waters’ New York publications, and the guiding hand behind Waters magazine, the technology newsletters and the market data reference products. David left Dow Jones in 1990 to start FX Week. Two years later, he launched Waters magazine, then took on the New York-based newsletters and reference products. 

David would arrive at work in a whirlwind of energy and only alight at his desk to hunch over his e-mail. The ultimate multi-tasker, David’s eye was always on the products. His edits were strong but he had a clear vision of what he wanted: concise, focused and interesting stories.

David also brought a distinctive style to the content and design of his publications, particularly Waters. To him, the magazine’s graphic design set it apart from its competitors as much as its content did.

We all learned a lot from him – not just about this industry but what it means to be a journalist. 

Dinah Webster
Advertising Manager
Dinah Webster

Dinah was the longest-serving member of Risk Waters’ staff. She joined Risk magazine in 1989, transferred to Hong Kong in 1995, and then moved to New York early in 2000 to work on Waters products. In New York she became engaged to Neil Cudmore, a colleague whom she’d met in Hong Kong and who had also moved across to New York. 

The one virtue almost every client mentioned was her professionalism. She was successful in what she did because she made clients feel at ease. They enjoyed meeting her and many of them became her friends. Dinah was always willing to take on anything asked of her and go anywhere on business she was asked to go. She took everything in her stride and never got flustered. Dinah could be stubborn but you could never get upset with her, said a former colleague, who also recalled that Dinah brought a touch of glamour and class to the office. 

Enormous fun to be with, Dinah loved to cook for her family and friends. Many former employees still recall her amazing meringue-topped mince pies that she made for the London office at Christmas when the company was still quite small. Naturally, Dinah insisted they be washed down with champagne. 

Elisa Ferraina
Senior Conferences Sponsorship Co-ordinator
Elisa Ferraina

Elisa was one of the most vibrant members of the conference department. She moved around the office like a whirlwind. Elisa was above all extremely efficient and was loved by all her clients for her hard work and bubbly personality. She came into her own when the conferences she helped to organise were up and running, when she worked tirelessly, literally from dawn till dusk, to ensure all the sponsors and exhibitors were kept happy. 

Always laughing and smiling, Elisa was never short of words and liked to speak her mind.

Joanna Vidal
Event Co-ordinator
Joanna Vidal

Jo left an indelible mark on everyone she met, however short or long the meeting. She radiated a light that literally shone through her smile, which she always wore. She lived her life with energy, enthusiasm, hope and vitality, and she cared deeply for those around her, 

Working with her was always a delight and a bonus because she was honest and relaxed in her approach. She brought a personal, caring and human touch to her job that somehow felt slightly out of place in the tough world inhabited by investment bankers. She exuded true warmth and humour in every situation – something not all of us could manage – and few things were impossible with Jo’s help. 

Karlie Rogers
Divisional Sponsorship Manager 
Karlie Rogers

From the day that Karlie was interviewed we knew that she would be as a shining star. Karlie’s only experience prior to joining Risk Waters was that of working in a sandwich shop, but in a few years she had worked her way up from telelsales to global head of sponsorship sales. Karlie watched the company grow and we watched her grow. To become global head of sponsorship was a staggering achievement for someone so young and it made Karlie’s friends and family immensely proud. 

An absolute pleasure to work with, Karlie was always the consummate professional, but with a wonderful personal touch. She was bright and intelligent with a wonderfully optimistic outlook on life. Everything she set out to do she achieved. 

We will always remember Karlie’s warmth, her bubbly personality and her infectious laugh. Her honest and direct approach to dealing with people endeared her to those around her. Not only was she a great manager, Karlie had this wonderful way when things were not going right of jumping right in and simplifying a situation, but her team loved and respected her and will miss her tremendously. 

Laura Rockefeller
Freelance Delegate Co-ordinator
Laura Rockefeller

People who knew Laura often spoke of her kindness and her sweet disposition – she was an incredibly gentle, genuine and sincere person. A warm and compassionate woman, Laura knew how to put people at ease and nothing was too much trouble. 

Laura originally joined Risk Waters as office manager for the company’s old New York office, on 34th Street. Laura also worked part-time for conferences as an event liaison officer. This enabled her to pursue her great passion – acting.

Laura’s stories of her unusual roles were favourites in the office.

Melanie de Vere
Publisher, Waters Reference Products
Melanie de Vere

For the people closest to her, and even for those who only knew her from seeing her around the office, the lasting impression of Mel must be her constant smile. She always seemed to find the positive side to every situation and had a warmth of character and enthusiasm for life that could not be matched. She could hardly contain her excitement when she spoke about her new role at Risk Waters, which would see her dividing her time between her life here – with her boyfriend and family – and her new responsibilities in New York.

Mel’s leadership skills were outstanding. Her bubbly personality and cheeky sense of humour made her a fantastic manager and a real pleasure to work with. 

Michèle du Berry (Beale)
Director, Risk Conferences & Courses
Michele du Berry

Michèle joined Risk Waters Group at the end of 2000 as director of conferences. Before her arrival, the conference team was warned that their new boss was a highly experienced business woman who wouldn’t stand for any nonsense and who was going to turn the department around. Naturally this news was greeted with a mixed response! 

When Michèle arrived, however, everyone quickly discovered that while she was a consummate professional and obviously very knowledgeable about the conference industry, she was also very approachable, funny and kind. She had a great sense of humour and loved to go out with her team after work. 

A mother of two, Michèle was devoted to her children and always bought them presents whenever she went away. Despite not having been at the company very long, Michèle had already had a profound effect on the conference department and her efficiency, intelligence and good-natured personality will be sorely missed by everyone she worked with. 

Neil Cudmore
Sales Director, Waters magazine
Neil Cudmore

Neil brought happiness and friendship to those around him. He will continue to be talked about in offices and bars on three continents. Many a lasting friendship has come about because of him. 

Neil enjoyed the finer things in life. If he hired a car, it was usually a sports car. But, above all, he enjoyed the simple things: fishing trips with his family and friends or a beer and a story or two after work. He had recently moved out of Manhattan with his partner, Dinah Webster, to Long Island where he was enjoying having more space. 

Neil had enjoyed a successful career in publishing in London, Hong Kong and New York. But Risk Waters was the company he came back to after breaking away for a while and we like to think it was because he liked the people and felt most at home working for Risk Waters. Over the past two years, Neil had especially enjoyed building the revenues and circulation of Waters magazine. 

Neil’s respect for others and unselfish regard, meant that he graced all around him. Neil was the mediator and the generator – admired by all who knew him for his undeniable compassion and sincerity.

Oliver Bennett
Staff Writer, Risk magazine 
Oliver Bennett

Oliver Bennett – Oli to everyone who knew him – was a staff writer on Risk magazine, and his intelligence, hard work, enthusiasm and sense of fun would have ensured a long and successful career in journalism. 

Oli joined Risk Waters in June 1997 to work as a producer in the conferences division. Just over a year ago, he was persuaded to move to New York and to write for Risk. Such transitions are not easy, but Oli was soon firmly established as a member of the editorial team. 

Oli’s wry outlook on life and sly grin were infamous, signs of his quiet observation of the world around him. And it sometimes surprised people when the modest Oli showed his true self: a funny and caring character with a profound sense of life’s worth. 

A single and independent character, Oli was professional, fun-loving and eager to take on new challenges. 

Oli was a sincere and loyal friend who never shied away from giving honest advice. This is a credit to his strong personality. One of the finest confidants a friend could ever have, Oli will be sorely missed. 

Paul Bristow
Conferences Producer
Paul Bristow

Paul was a manager’s dream – dependable, responsible and always calm in stressful situations. While he constantly delivered first rate events and new ideas, he was also forthright with views on how he thought the business could be improved Moreover, he was so protective of his colleagues that one director jokingly called him the “shop steward for the conferences division”. 

A true team player, both in the office and on the football pitch (where he did some of his best work), Paul made sure that his enthusiasm and brilliant sense of humour kept all around him amused.

Paul’s life in New York suited him perfectly, with the fiancée, job and life that he genuinely deserved. He will be terribly missed. 

Sarah Ali Escarcega
Freelance Marketing Consultant
Sarah Ali Escarcega

Sarah Ali Escarcega joined Risk Waters in August. Bright and motivated, she had a track record of impressive marketing positions at several top financial information companies, and had until April headed marketing strategy for Reuters’ Australian equities business.

She was friendly and enjoyed working with people, and her intelligence shone through in any conversation. In fact, she made such an impression on Neil Cudmore (Risk Waters senior vice-president for the Americas) in her interview that he asked her if she could start working on a temporary basis the next day. 

Sarah was still new to Manhattan on September 11. She had moved to the city a few months earlier after her wedding to Rogelio Escarcega. Restless living in the city without a job, she quickly seized the opportunity to join Risk Waters. In just her first month she had already proved herself, and was in the process of discussing a permanent position. 

Sarah Prothero (Redheffer)
Conferences Operations Manager
Sarah Prothero

Sometimes just being in Sarah’s company would make you gasp for breath! She was a tornado of energy and enthusiasm when the rest of us would need to stop for air. When you were caught up in the tornado you just had to go with it and know you could sit down and laugh about it later. 

The faith and trust Sarah placed in her team made us a unique force and we count ourselves so very fortunate to have met such a youthful and vibrant spirit. 

Dedicated, professional and caring are just a few of the qualities that she brought to the workplace. Sarah could be relied upon to bring humour to any situation and had an enviable habit of turning difficult situations around. How many people could organise dinner for 400 at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris and make each and everyone feel as if the evening had been arranged just for them? Sarah could. 

Simon Turner
Publishing Director
Simon Turner

Simon had a long involvement with the army, in particular the Honourable Artillery Company, of which he was an active member and where his abilities and enthusiasm won him a great deal of praise, respect and affection. This military background gave him a keen eye for detail and a certainty that there was a right way of doing things. All those who have worked closely with him at Risk Waters will have experienced and been challenged by his dedication and determination to see a task through to its conclusion. His contribution to Risk Waters has been enormous in many different areas and his skills took him from sales executive to board director.

As a loving husband and father-to-be, Simon’s pleasure and eager expectation of the birth of his first child this month was apparent.

For his friends and colleagues Simon will be best remembered for being Simon – that combination of enthusiasm, social ability and steadfast, considerate friendship. As the chaplain at the Honourable Artillery Company says: “I am sure that wherever Simon is now he will have already arranged the first cocktail party.”

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