In Memoriam: Diane Laurin
August 05, 2009
OSA Mourns Diane Laurin
PITTSFIELD, Mass., Aug. 5, 2009 – Diane M. Laurin, group publisher for Laurin Publishing's slate of international trade magazines, has died unexpectedly, the company announced this week. She was 57.
Diane's mother, Teddi C. Laurin, founded Optical Spectra, later Photonics Spectra magazine, in 1967, and Diane began her career with Laurin Publishing shortly after graduating from Russell Sage College in 1973. Diane left the company in July 1991, becoming vice president of public relations for Winstanley Associates, an advertising/marketing communications agency based in Lenox, Mass.
Diane returned to Laurin Publishing in early 2008 and was named group publisher in May 2008, spearheading a rebranding and refocusing of the company's three magazines, the flagship publication Photonics Spectra, and BioPhotonics and EuroPhotonics, and a completely new online Photonics Directory. Her ambitious goal was to reinvigorate industry pride and position Laurin Publishing for the 21st century, and one of her first accomplishments was giving the company a new identity: Photonics Media – The pulse of the industry to describe its full suite of print and online media.
She breathed new life into the decades-old publications and revitalized the company's mission to serve as an interpreter of new developments in the entire range of photonics, rather than merely one or two segments in the field. She embraced new media ventures and led Laurin's foray into social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Diane was also happy to reconnect with her many friends and colleagues in the photonics industry by attending many trade shows in the past two years. She was also instrumental in the founding of the world-class Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, an award that recognizes the most innovative photonics products, conceived in partnership with SPIE and awarded for the first time in January 2009.
Diane also re-energized the staff of all three magazines, who considered her both a mentor and a dear friend.
“I worked with Diane in her early years at Laurin and when she came back last spring,” said Charles T. Troy, Photonics Spectra senior editor. “She was more than a colleague, she was a dear friend, whom I – and everyone else here – will miss greatly. Diane was one of the brightest and most versatile people I’ve ever met. She worked and played hard and enjoyed life to its fullest. Her passing leaves a huge void – professionally and personally.”
A memorial will be held for Diane on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009, at 10 a.m. at The Lenox Club, 111 Yokun Ave. in Lenox. Donations in her memory may be made to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Rd, Lenox 01240; email: Berkshires@massaudubon.org.