Lois Weisberg: the Queen of Connections

Lois W

Photo via Leah Missbach Day

I admit, when Melissa Harris called me ‘Lois Weisberg 2.0: The connector for the next generation’ in a Tribune article years ago, I didn’t know who Lois was nor what a compliment Melissa was giving me.

Over the years, seemingly everyone I meet has a wonderful story about Lois and I can’t believe she wasn’t on my radar and am saddened I never got a chance to meet her.

I’ve so enjoyed reading everyone’s Lois Musings this week as the world learned that she passed away, from both friends and famous folks.

Malcolm Gladwell, who penned this piece in 1999, gives us who didn’t know her a chance to know her, and those who did know her, a chance to smile and nod knowingly —

“Lois, it must be said, did not set out to know everyone. “She doesn’t network for the sake of networking,” says Gary Johnson, who was Lois’s boss years ago, when she was executive director of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. ‘I just think she has the confidence that all the people in the world, whether she’s met them or not, are in her Rolodex already, and that all she has to do is figure out how to reach them and she’ll be able to connect with them.’ ”

The more I learn about Lois, the more over the moon I am that I was ever mentioned in the same sentence as her.

“I walked away for a moment to look at the show, and when I came back her little corner had become a crowd. There was her friend from the state legislature. A friend in the Chicago Park District. A friend from her neighborhood. A friend in the consulting business. A friend from Gallery 37. A friend from the local business- development group. And on and on. They were of all ages and all colors, talking and laughing, swirling and turning in a loose circle, and in the middle, nearly hidden by the commotion, was Lois, clutching her white bag, tiny and large-eyed, at that moment the happiest person in the room.”

Peaceful rest, Lois.