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WhatTheyThink

Industry Public Relations Pro Craig Kevghas Passes Away

Press release from the issuing company

Craig Gerard Kevghas, 62, of Rindge, NH died unexpectedly on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at his home. He was married to Laura (Hendrick) Kevghas, with whom he would have celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary on September 7, 2022.  Craig and Laura raised their two girls, Lindsay Ducharme and Halie Fleming in Westford, MA for more than 24 years, before moving to a small farm in NH with dreams of growing and raising food for themselves, family, and the community in their retirement.

Born in Lowell, MA, Craig was the son of the late Costas S. Kevghas and Claire (Pare) Kevghas. He graduated with the Class of 1978 from Chelmsford High School, Chelmsford, MA.  After high school, Craig served as an MP with the US Army – where he was such a bad follower in basic training that they promoted him to lead his unit. In the last year of his service, he was sent to Germany, where he enjoyed playing semi-pro baseball on the Army team. At the end of his three-year commitment, Craig left the military to take advantage of the college tuition money he’d earned.  He graduated from U-Lowell with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and later attended graduate school at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, until one of his marketing professors made the mistake of telling him that he could be teaching the class.

Craig had his own public relations agency for most of the last 25 years, which he started so that he could be home when his girls got home from school.  His girls were the center of his life, and he never wanted them to have to go to after-school care.  He loved his work and his clients, and always said he would never retire. (Guess he was right!)

Craig was proud to be the oldest member of New Song Community Church. He served as the Treasurer of the church for many years and was proud of his status as a “triple x deacon.”

Anyone who knows Craig knows that he was a huge sports fan. He only cheered for football, hockey, basketball and baseball teams, and his whole life enjoyed collecting baseball cards and other sports collectibles. He wanted to be a professional baseball player, but when that didn’t pan out, found other ways to enjoy the sport, like playing in the Over Thirty Baseball league in Lowell for years, and even joining the Over Fifty Baseball League for a tournament in Las Vegas one year (when he realized that maybe over-50-year-olds shouldn’t still try to play baseball!).

In recent years, Craig’s favorite day of the month was the second Tuesday of the month when he helped New Song Community Church serve the meal and have conversation with the guests at St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen in Lowell.

The center of Craig’s life was his family: his love language was quality time, and every free minute was spent with his wife, daughters, and granddaughters. Being a Papoo was the joy of his life.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Lindsay (and Joseph) Ducharme of Rindge, NH and Halie (and James) Fleming of Merrimack, NH; his brothers, Chuck Kevghas of Pierre, SD, Paris Kevghas of Phoenix, AZ, Scott Kevghas of Evansville, IN, and Stephen (and Denise) Kevghas of Gaithersburg, MD; his sisters, Stephanie Doyle of Nova Scotia and Melissa (and Titus) Palmer of Westford, MA; his granddaughters, Arielle and Rylee Ducharme, and his grandson-on-the-way, Troy Fleming; many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, Craig would really appreciate donations to New Song Community church (newsongs.org/give) or St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen (http://stpaulssoupkitchen.org/).

Visiting hours Friday, July 1, 2022 from 10-11 A.M. at DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 MIDDLESEX STREET, N. CHELMSFORD, MA with a Celebration of Life service at 11 A.M. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041.

Memorials

I have known Craig essentially since my involvement with the WhatTheyThink business going back to 2002 with his efforts in marketing and in PR with Boston PR.  I always knew Craig to be relentless in his advocacy for a client and always welcoming to me and all of the WhatTheyThink team at press events.  He had just recently congratulated us on the APTech deal and I was planning to call and talk to him about it.  I am absolutely shocked at the loss.  I wish as much peace and serenity on his family as can be in this terrible time and they will be in my intentions.

—Eric Vessels

Back in 1996, when TrendWatch was a fledgling concept, I asked some of the industry PR execs if they would take us on as a client. No one would take the risk. But Craig did. It was Craig who "invented ‘Dr. Joe’" as a marketing idea and a strategy -- no kidding -- and helped put tiny little TrendWatch on the map. When everyone was mailing and faxing press releases, he was e-mailing TrendWatch news and "Fast Facts" and helping us build a presence in the burgeoning digital graphic design and creative markets. Aside from the market traction he developed for TrendWatch partner Jim Whittington and me, he also knew what it was like to be on the other side of the desk. I saw what he did when new reporters entered the business and were working their first trade events. He helped them develop their networks and get the best contacts for their jobs. Sure, it was in his best interest to cultivate that relationship on behalf of his clients, but that was a time when many of the reporters were not always viewed as key collaborative professionals. He knew their editorial calendars and was always finding ways to help those writers and editors make deadline... with some news of a client, or even our market information. Those who knew Craig a long time know exactly what I mean by this: working with Craig was never boring. Most all of the time... it was grand fun. Oh, such marvelous laughter together. Our deepest sympathies and condolences to Laura, Hailey, and Lindsay.

—"Dr. Joe" (Thank you, Craig) Webb

Craig had a big heart and working with him was fun and as he always seemed to find a way to challenge us to do more as we built the TrendWatch business. His approach to marketing and PR was innovative. His vision of how to build the TrendWatch brand was ahead of its time for a small business like ours. My deepest sympathy to Craig’s family.

—Jim Whittington 

WhatTheyThink invites members to leave memorials to Craig and words of sympathy in the comments below.   

Discussion

By Keith Hevenor on Jul 01, 2022

Craig was one of the first people I met in the industry after I began working with Frank Romano on TypeWorld, which then became Electronic Publishing. Craig was the PR manager for Scitex at the time, and as a rookie journalist, I remember wondering if he was representative of all PR people. I quickly learned that Craig was indeed one of a kind, a professional who was simultaneously very good at his craft, funny in a cringe-worthy kind of way, and unabashedly real. He said what was on his mind, remembered everyone and everything, and had opinions to spare.
It wasn't long before I learned that Craig and I lived in adjoining towns and that I drove past his house every day. He couldn't resist pointing out that his town was bigger and mine was "out in the country," and I couldn't resist honking or waving when I drove by or stopping once in a while to chat. I never left without a good laugh.
We stayed in touch after I left the industry and I had the good fortune of getting together with him and others a few times a year for lunch. We were due to meet the day he passed away, and I still can't believe he's gone. But after attending the celebration of his life today - which was exactly what he would have wanted (full of funny stories, bad jokes, and embarrassing pictures) - I can say for sure that Craig is smiling down on us and probably making everyone in heaven shake their heads. Stories of the ways he impacted so many people are endless. I am forever grateful he was a part of my life.

 

By shelagh hammer on Jul 02, 2022

I just realised that I started working with Craig around 30 years ago!! First at Scitex and then at many of the places where I was doing Marketing and relied on his expertise. (he would have teased me mercilessly about my British English spelling of realise!) Sometimes we spoke once a week, sometimes once a quarter but his unflappable calm, industry knowledge and ability to think outside the box were always there. Through him I met many of the top journalists and forged great relationships. In all our conversations and meetings - I don't think there was one single time that I didn't end up laughing! He was wicked cool! I miss him already!

 

By Irvin Press on Aug 08, 2022

I just found out about Craig today (did not catch the original post), and am just stunned.

I was working in a small ad/design firm back in 1986 when I pitched and won the ECRM advertising account. One of the first people I met there was a young Craig Kevghas, who was toiling in the demo room at the time—demonstrating imagesetters and scanners during prospect visits and receiving and sending samples. He would often be the person who would pull stats or negatives for promotional materials we were working on.

Fast-forward three years and a couple of jobs later, and I became responsible for marketing communications at ECRM: advertising, PR, events, etc.

Craig was still there, but disappointed that I was hired from the outside for a role he had hoped to attain. Now, I know that we would probably appear as an odd couple, but we got along extremely well together, and I was grateful that he liked me too much to be upset at my new position. A good idea of what Craig was like: We took on a couple guys at ECRM for a pick-up game of basketball at a local Y. Now, I was eight years older than he, in my late thirties, but I seemed to be the one running around the court, trying to grab rebounds, and find an open shot and lane for a pass. Craig just stood there. After the game, I asked why. In typical Craig character, he said, “You were doing all the running around. I didn’t need to.”

Craig ultimately left ECRM for marcomm roles at Hyphen and Scitex, and opened CPR Marketing—and the rest is history.

We all knew Craig. He did a wonderful job for his clients. I don’t know if I ever saw him in a bad mood—certainly not an angry one. He found light in everything around him. Oh, he had his opinions. In my estimation, some were brilliant (see Joe Webb, above), and some were dubious. But, you were always going to hear them. There was never a filter with Craig—but even when we disagreed with him, he was never mean-spirited, nor out for anything but the best for everyone.

One final note. In 1999, Craig convinced me to go out and conduct PR on my own. He even directed leads, when there was a conflict of interest, to me. I still work for one of those clients today. He had a very profound effect on my life.

I know his family will miss him dearly—he loved and was very dedicated to all of them. I send my deepest condolences.

Me? I’ll miss that infectious laugh.

 

Discussion

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