Monday, December 18th, 2017

Long time NJVA member Bonnie Durkin has passed away

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We are greatly saddened to announce the passing this week of long-time NJVA member, Bonnie Durkin. Bonnie joined the NJVA in its earliest days and continued to be an active participant through 2010. During that time, Bonnie served for many terms on the Board of Directors and could always be counted on for her common-sense suggestions and her candor. “In our Board discussions, we benefited from Bonnie’s keen intelligence and her ability to get right to the heart of a matter”, said fellow board member Dan Strickler.

Bonnie was also an excellent presenter. Through the years, she conducted many workshops for NJVA on a wide range of topics, bringing the presentations skills she had honed as a high school history teacher. She was also a great extemporaneous speaker, and was always happy to step in at the last minute to lead a discussion or moderate a panel. She was known nationally, presenting consistently excellent workshops, year after year at WEVA and later for the 4-Ever Group.

Bonnie wasn’t only good at talking about video, her company’s work was often at a very high level. She won several Creative Excellence Awards, including “Gold” from WEVA for her Bar/Bat Mitzvah videos, Wedding videos and Concept Videos.

Robert Allen, the former president of the NJVA and a long-time friend of Bonnie, recalls her as being a lot of fun. “Besides being one of the smartest people I ever knew, she was one of the funniest … she could always make me laugh. I can remember while attending a WEVA convention in Vegas … we went to a hypnotist show and Bonnie was picked out of the audience and hypnotized. She was an absolute riot.”

Roy Chapman, founder and chairman of WEVA International said of Bonnie, “Event video has lost a true pioneer and national industry innovator. Bonnie was not only a Creative Excellence Award-winning filmmaker, she was an engaging and inspiring teacher who shared her insights on new and challenging markets, especially the school markets, as a Featured Speaker at WEVA EXPO over many years. She charted new pathways for so many others to follow, always with a passion for our industry and an abundant sense of humor.”

Like many in our field, Bonnie’s involvement in video came about gradually. She got her start doing videos related to the school where she taught and the schools where her twin boys attended. She specialized in sports and graduation videos, branching out to bar and bat mitzvahs and eventually encompassing corporate clients as well. As D-Vision grew, Bonnie’s husband Mike came on board, handling much of their sports coverage. Bonnie eventually went full-time with the business, expanded her staff and crew, focusing her attention on sales, scriptwriting and editing.

Bonnie prided herself on diversifying her business. D-Vision was equally strong in both the events and corporate arena where she served many companies over the years including an ongoing relationship with M&M Mars.

Bonnie graduated from Livingston High School and then went on to receive a BA degree from Rider University, an MA degree from Montclair State University as well as accruing post-graduate credits from Rutgers University. She is survived by her husband Mike and her two sons, Eric, who is a film and video major at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and Kevin who is a graphic artist. Both are involved in the family business.

For many of the older members of the NJVA both past and current, the death of Bonnie Durkin comes as a blow. She had a lasting effect on the event video industry in its early years and on our association and she will be sorely missed.

 

A service will be held on Tuesday, September 20th at the Ross Shalom Chapel, 49 Whippany Rd. in Whippany.  The service begins at 1pm, but guests may arrive to speak to Bonnie’s family as early as 12 noon.  Immediately after the service, the burial will be held at the Beth Israel Cemetery in Cedar Knolls. Following the burial, people are invited to the Durkin home to sit shiva (1 Norman Lane, Succasunna)  For those unable to attend on Tuesday, shiva continues Wednesday at the Durkin residence from 2-5pm, and also 6:30-9pm.

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