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Michael James Reid

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Michael James Reid Obituary
Reid, Michael James

Michael James Reid, age 63 and oldest son of the late Wilbur James Reid, Sr. and Beatrice (Bonner) Reid, was born October 7, 1949 in Elmira, New York. Michael entered into eternal rest on February 15, 2013 following a 14 year, courageous journey with prostate cancer. He peacefully transitioned at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California surrounded by his loving wife M. Susan Miller Reid, stepdaughter Reema Al-Zaben, nephews, Jason Reid Bryant and Bernie Miller, and several close friends.

Michael's Celebration of Life service will be held at 5:00pm on March 23, 2013 at the Ernie Davis Community Center. Wilbur James Reid Jr. will officiate. Michael was cremated on February 25, 2013 at Apollo Crematory in Emeryville, CA. and his ashes will be scattered in Nepal, Hawaii and upstate New York.

Michael grew up in Elmira, New York, as one of eight siblings and we remembered fondly Sunday picnics at Seneca Lake, hiking on East Hill, swimming at Brands Park, his love of sports cars, and Neighborhood House activities that included camp El-Ne-Ho and boxing, as well as his Elmira Free Academy experiences, all of which shaped him as a young man. At EFA he was a member of the mixed choir, concert choir and Madrigals (a select group of 16). He loved to sing (and dance) and what a beautiful voice. His sense of leadership and determination were fostered through competing in football and particularly wrestling. As a wrestler Michael went 34-0-1 and then off to the state meet as Section 4 Champion for EFA. His leadership skills were also shaped through his involvement withthe EFA Senior Class Council.

In 1967 Michael was awarded an athletic scholarship to attend Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Education and a minor in Social Science. His campus involvement included treasurer of the Student Government, member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, and both Varsity Wrestler and Football player as well as a member of the M Club and Art Club. He continued his education at Elmira College, earning a Masters degree in Education and then taught at Diven Elementary School, in Elmira, for a short while. As recently as last month he recalled that experience and his passion for teaching and coaching, a value that was at the core of his being.

He left Elmira in 1974 to become an Admissions Counselor at SUNY Cortland then on to Cornell University as Assistant Director of Admission for the Arts College and also Assistant Coach for Cornell's "Big Red" Football team. Michael's move to the position of Director of Placement - Industrial & Labor Relations at Cornell University is what stirred his passion for career placement and became the driving force in his work and life journey. His course work in the MILR, Industrial & Labor Relations degree program provided the academic background needed to solidify his passion.

Before founding his search firm, Michael James Reid and Company - Inclusive Diversity Searches, he held many top management positions in banking and other industries, including Montgomery West Executive Search Firm, which he later acquired. He also served as Vice President, Human Resources for Hibernia Bank; Head of World Banking Division/Retail Banking and Management Recruitment for Bank of America; and Head of Recruitment for the Women's Wear division of Levi Strauss & Company.

John Holland of Boyden wrote: … It was Michael's lifelong dream to join one of the major search firms and Michael fulfilled that dream when he joined Boyden's San Francisco office in the fall of 2011. Michael had a long career in executive search and human resources. He was recognized in the US by the National Association of African American Human Resources (NAAAHR) as one of the top ten professionals supporting black community workplace growth and promotion. He was a specialist in diversity recruiting.

Michael will be greatly missed and leaves to cherish his precious memory a loving wife: M. Susan Miller Reid of Berkeley CA, step-daughter and Reema Al-Zaben of Seattle, WA; seven siblings and their children: Deborah Reid Bryant of Riverdale, MD, Jamal (Judith) Malik of United Arab Emirates, Anna M. Reid of Upper Marlboro, MD, Cheryl G. Reid of Germantown, MD, Christopher Elcha Reid of Elmira, NY, Wilbur J. (Stephanie) Reid, Jr. of Westchester PA, and Jay Randall (DeAdra) Reid of Elmira NY; and a host of aunts, cousins, great nieces and nephews, and friends. Brothers and sisters - in - law, Eileen & Jerry Roberts of Gahanna, OH, Michael and Maureen Miller of The Plains, OH, Mont and Margaret Hollingsworth of Solon, OH, Margaret and Craig Maul of Hilliard, OH, John and Liz Hollingsworth of Pickerington, OH, Bruce and Cindy Miller of Belmont, OH, Marcy and Tim Wanner of Lancaster, OH and Chris and Renae Miller of New Concord, OH; fourteen nieces and nephews and 20 great nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank you for your prayers and expressions of kindness during this time of bereavement.

Published in Star-Gazette on Mar. 3, 2013
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