A tribute to Richard smith

Enigmatic, supportive, cheeky, fun, risky, clever, inquisitive, dedicated and loyal, these are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about Richard. 


He was a huge part of our lives at Totem and will be greatly missed. 


Richard started Totem Learning alongside his dedicated team during very difficult circumstances. From the very beginning he was committed to making Totem a wonderful place to work where creativity was encouraged and fairness ruled. He had a clear vision and built an extraordinary group of supporters in the form of our investors and partners. His passion for Totem was contagious and his easy going style meant that he was loved by so many people. 


I first met Richard just before a trip to the US where he very kindly offered for me to stay with his family. The fact that he was willing to share his family home with me, someone he had never met, albeit just for one night, and was so welcoming, demonstrates perfectly his generosity and kindness. 


Richard always brought a smile to the office. I think I could count on one hand the days when he would arrive at the office and not be smiling. Even in the most difficult times of running a business, he would find the silver lining and be focused on the steps to move us forward. 


Richard was a great believer in giving people chances. He regularly took on placement students and work experience pupils to give them an opportunity to experience life in a small business. He was always incredibly generous with his time and supported so many young people. 


His sense of adventure, curiosity, generosity, and passion will always stay with me. It has truly been an honour to work with and to have known Richard for as long as I have. He helped me develop into the person I am today. I have not only lost a leader, but a coach, mentor and a friend.