The team at Smart Energy International share the news of the passing this weekend of one of the biggest personalities in our industry. Gerald Roberto Schreiner, who was previously the sales manager for Smart Energy International passed away on Saturday at the age of 44.
Gerald hadn’t been an active part of the Smart Energy International team for the past few years, having spread his wings and taken on the role of business development lead for a well-respected national newspaper in 2017. However, he kept in touch with his many friends in the industry despite his busy schedule, as well as sharing his life and thoughts with his friends via his often hilarious insights on Facebook.
Gerald had a strong sense of what was right and worked hard to level the very uneven playing fields in South African society. He had recently started a feeding scheme to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and was very vocal about any sort of racial or social injustice. In a country that is battling to overcome a past of inequality and prejudice, Gerald challenged us on a regular basis to think beyond ourselves.
But it wasn’t just his sense of right and wrong that made him so very special. Gerald was the life and soul of pretty much every gathering he attended, and laughed – and sang – with joy and abandon. Anyone who had the pleasure of hearing him sing will remember that amazing blues and jazz voice, coupled by his stage presence and love of hats. For Gerald, carpe diem wasn’t just a suggestion – it was a way of life.
Many of the readers of this publication will have met Gerald over the years at various events and will remember his booming laugh, larger than life presence and smiling face. As sales manager for Smart Energy International over the course of many, many years, he took his responsibilities to build relationships with clients very seriously, and it is a testament to how well he did his job that four years on, we are often asked how he is and what news we can share.
There are so many memories tied up in a lifetime of working with Gerald – Big G, Gerry, Gigi – he went by many names to all who loved him. Travels around the world were made just a little funnier and more memorable with Gerry, dinners had a little more laughter (and red wine) and life was just a little bit brighter.
The team at Smart Energy International and Clarion have lost a special friend and there is an unfillable hole previously occupied by this larger-than-life man. We offer our condolences to his family, friends and all those who loved and knew him.