San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
Randall Wayne Marcinko
Randall Wayne Marcinko passed away peacefully at home in San Francisco on Saturday, March 27, 2021, after a dignified 15-month struggle with liver cancer. He will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by Bob Nelson, his partner of 41 years.
Randy was born in 1956 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and attended the University of Alberta where he received a BSc in Chemistry in 1977. That year, he moved to California for the PhD program in Organic Chemistry at Stanford University. While at Stanford, Randy recognized the opportunity to vastly improve upon existing data and document information retrieval systems, and in 1981 he founded Dynamic Information Corporation, an information brokerage specializing in worldwide document delivery. Dynamic was an early pioneer in information delivery and provided scientific literature and patent research for many Silicon Valley technology and biomedical companies that have since become household names. Randy sold the company to EBSCO in 1994, serving as VP and General Manager of EBSCOdoc until 1995. Dynamic marked the beginning of Randy’s long involvement in the online information industry, where he was widely considered a visionary thinker and synthesizer of industry knowledge who recognized trends and opportunities long before many others caught up. Over three decades, Randy actively participated in and held leadership roles and board positions for industry information associations including ASIDIC, EUSIDIC, SIIA, SLA, and more. He helped accelerate the evolution of the global information industry through his thoughtful discourse, cogent questions, and provocative ideas. From 1995, Randy led Marcinko Enterprises, Inc. (MEI), a consultancy that helps publishers monetize their digital content assets by finding, negotiating, and managing licensing deals with third party vendors. A prolific entrepreneur with prodigious intellect and energy to match, Randy also founded and ran a variety of companies including Information Canada from 1989 – 1993, and Digital Learning Space co-founded with Deborah Wiley in 1990. He also served as President of NStein Technologies, which provided automated indexing, taxonomies and content management systems to publishers, from 2002-2003. From 2007 through 2009, Randy was CEO of Groxis, a software and a content company specializing in the federation, clustering and visualization of search results from thousands of independent sources. In 2012 Randy founded MEI’s sister company, MEI Global LLC (MEIG), in the US Virgin Islands.
For nearly forty years, Randy cultivated close relationships with publishers, vendors, and information industry players to help great content reach readers and researchers, wherever and whenever they needed it. Randy’s unwavering commitment to transparency and doing the right thing, his innovative and incisive thinking, his generosity in sharing his knowledge, and his wry sense of humor made him a respected leader, valued mentor, and cherished friend. The MEIG dealmaker team will carry on Randy’s vision for MEIG, with profound gratitude for their time working with him. As anyone in the world of digital information would avow, Randy had a knack for turning business relationships into real friendships. Accompanying Randy through an information industry conference exhibit hall was an exercise in patience, as he greeted almost every attendee with informed questions, helpful insights, and genuine delight at encountering them. Randy was the only child of the late Jeanne (née Meunier) and James Marcinko, and the grandson of Edouard and Vitaline (Boissonnault) Meunier. On his mother’s side, he is survived by his loving aunts and uncles Stella Byer, Olive Byer, Connie Brenneis, Tarcienne Meunier, Liz Soetaert, Andy Meunier (Claudette), Rachel Bulger, and Bernard Meunier (Ruth). He was predeceased by uncles Lawrence Byer, John Byer, Ralph Brenneis, Edmond Meunier, Noel Meunier, Remi Soetaert, and George Bulger. On his father’s side he was predeceased by his Marcinko aunts and uncles Elizabeth Dickie, Mary Townsend, Ellen Hadfield, Joe Marcinko, and Johnnie Marcinko. Randy will be dearly missed by his many cousins, their children, and grandchildren. He will also be missed by dear friends in San Francisco, Edmonton and around the world.
At Randy’s request there will be no memorial service. In lieu of other tributes, donations may be made to Save Elephant Foundation, a Thai nonprofit organization dedicated to providing care and assistance to Asian Elephants (www.saveelephant.org), or to your local Alaskan Malamute rescue.