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  • Writer's pictureCharles Hinckley

RIP Fred Sayyeou - An American Hero

It is with sorrow that I am passing along the news that a long-time colleague Fred Sayyeau died last week. I have had the good fortune of working at some really great places – the US Navy, Kenetech a pioneer in renewable energy during the 90’s when that was itself a new field, GE Capital during its heyday, and Noble Environmental Power, a wind power company I founded and was the CEO. These places were great because of their people. About Fred:

From Update NY, joined the Army and off to Vietnam he went. Three years later he was a Sargent with four Bronze Stars and a Commendation Medal. Hard working, fearless, get it done now, and smart – that was Fred.

He was a builder’s builder. The best field construction person that I ever worked with by miles. He commanded large and complex construction sites with his knowledge, experience, and larger than life presence. We were blessed to have him working with us.

But there was more to Fred, as hard was he was, he was kind hearted man. I viewed him as the “Command Master Chief” of Noble. Not a senior executive, but more importantly – a leader of the group. When I saw people having personal problems, I sent Fred over to chat and provide counselling. He was always there to support of his colleagues.

My favorite Fred story: It was a dark, cold, North NY winter night, in some town hall. Our guys were making a presentation in the front of the hall about a wind farm, not all in the packed house were in support. I was standing in the back watching with my 9-month-old son in my arm when I was accosted by some citizen prison guards who were not at all in support of the project. I actually moved the baby to my left arm to free my right hand. Up came Fred big smile on his face who literally picked me and baby up and rotated us behind him, from where the conversation took a less emotional tone.

Fred was a tough man, a decorated combat hero, but a kind and loving man whose contributions were many and whose memory will be long lasting. I must mention Sandy, Fred’s wife, who I also worked with several times over my career. Please accept our heart felt condolences.

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