by Darin Dennee, ASR Managing Editor
Sunday morning, November 11, 2001 the action sports industry lost one of its most brilliant visionaries, when Court Overin died peacefully at San Clemente Hospital after respiratory failure due to pulmonary fibrosis. In that same moment the ASR team and Overin family lost a dad, brother, teacher and friend – the world lost one of its warmest hearts. He was 43 years old.
Overin, ASR (Action Sports Retailer) show director and vice president of VNU Expositions Sports Group, was one of the most respected business minds in the action sports industry possessing a vast background in retail, manufacturing, publishing and event coordination; however, it is not rhetoric about his prowess in the office that shapes his legacy days after his sudden passing. Court Overin was a great leader and business mind, but moreover, he was love ¿ love in action.
“Court Overin saw the future of our industry ¿ he was leading us there,” said Bob Hurley, CEO of Hurley International. “He wielded his tremendous power with astounding even-handedness. His problem-solving abilities are legendary, and his solutions were innovative. This is a major loss to our industry. Court was a rare find in life (a great man). Aside from this, he was my very good friend, and I will miss him tremendously.”
His love for surfing drove him to the surf industry where he could continue to participate in the sport on an intimate level and maintain the surfing lifestyle that so soothed his soul.
His love for his professional peers was ever present as he often dedicated entire days to disseminating wise counsel to prominent industry CEO’s purely in the name of friendship.
“He was my friend and always has been my friend. In this industry you have a lot of acquaintances but not a lot of friends,” said Mike Lesher, Counter Culture CEO. “Court was my friend.”
“He was so fair minded and level headed…and always tried so hard to make everyone in the industry happy. It was always so upsetting to him to not be able to make everyone happy,” Lesher added. “He knew Jesus and is in heaven now.”
His love for knowledge allowed him to evolve into one of the most respected names in the trade as well as a teacher capable of expounding expertly on an almost incomprehensible breadth of topics from meteorology, to food, to religion, to fashion, to music, to politics.
His love for his employees extended well beyond corporate benevolence. We were more than employees and tools of delegation…we were his flock, his projects, his friends and his children. He always had ample time for anyone who sat down in front of him.
Referred to by his female colleagues as “papa bear”, he was just that…strong enough to defend his family and softhearted enough to solicit hugs.
“I had my partner outside the office and my partner at the office…Court was my partner and friend,” said an extremely moved Lori Jenks, ASR director of operations and senior show manager. “My relationship with him is irreplaceable. I loved him.”
Ultimately, however, it was Overin’s love for his family and God that defined him and inspired him to all aforementioned acts of selflessness and kindness. He always put others’ needs ahead of his own and sought to act in a manner above reproach.
He was a reflection of the God in whom he had so much faith. I was proud to call him “boss” and lucky to call him “friend.”
Overin is survived by his wife, Michelle, and three children: Natasha 7 yrs, Colton 5 yrs and Luke 3 yrs.
Services will be held:
Date: Friday, November 16, 2001
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Where: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
200 E. Avenida San Pablo
San Clemente, CA 92672
If you would like to make a donation to the Overin Family Trust:
Overin Family Trust
c/o ASR Trade Expo
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Another donation option that can be madee in Court Overin’s name:
UC Regents for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Attention: Jill Britch
UCSD Medical Center
200 W. Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92103-8373