Al Barshefsky Celebration

On July 23, 2003 there was a banquet to celebrate Al Barshefsky becoming a Bell Labs Fellow. This is the highest award that Lucent Technologies can bestow and it is rarely given. More than 70 family members, friends and Lucent colleagues turned out to honor Al. We all had a great time.

In the time honored fashion of the old Bell Labs, it was more than a celebration, it was a roast of our beloved colleague. David Zahn organized the 3 and a half hour event held at the Foundry in Aurora.

After dinner, David Zahn started the program. I made some brief remarks introducing the key technical and business problem that Al had solved. Mark Gauldin had scripted new words and story line to "Fiddler on the Roof". He and 5 others delighted the crowed with their singing of the clever lyrics to a half a dozen tunes interspersed with Mark's narration of the story of Al becoming a Fellow.

What was supposed to be a roast turned out to be a love fest (with a couple of zingers) in prepared speeches from both of Al's sisters, his son and colleagues Chris Buss and Bob Colby celebrating Al and his achievements. David Zahn provided some roasting fun in a creative 50 slide PowerPoint presentation which had the crowd laughing. Al, who was granted the right of rebuttal as a roastee, delivered thoughtful prepared remarks that involved fundamental values in family, work and life in general. Mike Holmes, Al's VP at Lucent concluded the event. It was just a totally delightful evening.

Al Barshefsky with award Al Barshefsky shows us the obelisk that symbolizes the Bell Labs Fellow's Award. David Zahn and family Roastmeister David Zahn poses with wife Jacqueline and 7 week old Ethan.
Al Speaks Al's colleagues admire him. Insightful lyricist Mark Gauldin is on the right. Al and Charlene Barshefsky Al with his sister Charlene, the former U.S. Trade Representative.
Al Barshefsky and Don Parrish Creative collaborators and old friends, Don Parrish and Al Barshefsky, pose for the camera. Curbside View of Elisha Gray's Grave Al with a former Lucent executive, Ron Basinger who is also a former boss of mine.