In memoriam: David McLaughlin, founder and CEO of MexConnect

articles Culture & Arts

Tony Burton

Our beloved webjefe David McLaughlin, the visionary founder and CEO of MexConnect, died on September 5th in hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. He passed peacefully, painlessly, with close family by his side.
David McLaughlin, MexConnect Webjefe
David McLaughlin, MexConnect Webjefe

David was genuinely one of a kind: intelligent, compassionate, generous, witty, friendly and thoughtful.

He dug deep into his retirement funds to start MexConnect, convinced that there was a need to offer reliable information to anyone interested in living in, working in, or visiting Mexico (even from their armchairs). He established an office in Ajijic, taught himself html, and hand-coded thousands of pages and photostrips.

It was 1996 and David was way ahead of his time: MexConnect was one of the earliest content-rich sites dedicated to a single country anywhere on the web. MexConnect’s excellent search engine predates Sr. Google! David introduced online forums before most people had even heard of such crazy places to exchange ideas. David presided over the entire MexConnect community with a sensitive and understanding hand and his love and passion for Mexico, and for MexConnect, never ebbed.

As publisher and editor, David worked closely with dozens of contributors (writers and photographers), encouraging them to find their voice, explore Mexico and express their diverse viewpoints.

David was an inspiration to me and to so many others. He was an amazing business partner, mentor, advisor, editor and surrogate older brother. OMG, we shared so many laughs over the years! His departure leaves a gaping hole that will never be filled.

David, my heart is heavy but I still have your Tilley hat and will return it next time we meet. ¡Hasta la vista, Don David de las Gracias!

David was a devoted and loving husband and father. On behalf of the entire MexConnect community, we send our sincerest condolences to his friends and family, especially to his daughter Melissa.

Published or Updated on: September 12, 2019 by Tony Burton © 2019
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2 thoughts on “In memoriam: David McLaughlin, founder and CEO of MexConnect

  1. When I arrived in Mexico for the last time in 2003, it was at the express request of David, to help him redesign his hand-tooled Website. It needed more flexibility than mere coding could provide. We never were able together to attain that lofty and important goal, for various reasons, but we remained damn good friends throughout.

    I first met David and his then wife in the frozen north of Ottawa. It was winter; they were coming for a vacation and to use my Mom Shirley’s condo. I was tasked with loading up my car with boots, coats, scarves and gloves, maybe even toques, to meet them at the airport. It was miserabley cold, their flight from Mexico did not arrive (and no indication of when it might), and after killing a couple of hours I drove home in a foul mood. Too fast, as it turns out, because I was flagged by an RCMP officer for speeding. I told him my tale of woe and he let me off.

    Shortly after I got home, a knock came at my own door and I opened it to find them both standing there, full of apologies for whatever Mexican airline had kept true to its promise of never being on time. Naturally I felt like an idiot, but they were very accomodating and friendly, and that was the beginning of our long friendship. I missed him when he left for Vancouver and I miss him more now. He was a good man; you can’t say much more than that about anyone.

    1. Mike, Thanks for taking the time to post this great story, a perfect illustration of just what a great guy David was, and why we absolutely had to update this site and try to live up to his lofty ambitions for it. Cheers and stay safe, Tony.

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