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HomeCraftsCameraHilary Araujo Passes Away at 65

Hilary Araujo Passes Away at 65

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Hilary Araujo, The Tiffen Company‘s vice president of marketing, passed away April 14, 2011 at the age of 65 after a short illness. Based in Hauppauge, New York, Araujo had been responsible for the company’s overall advertising, marketing, and public relations programs since June 2004.

Araujo was a lifetime photo enthusiast with a keen visual sense and an intuitive grasp of lighting that made him an excellent photographer. But ultimately, the two abiding passions of his life were his job and his family. He was deeply devoted to Sandy, his vivacious wife of nearly 40 years, and his engaging and insightful daughter Susan, who lauds him as “my loving and dedicated father and my best friend who taught me how to survive in the world.” As a business executive, he was laser focused on controlling expenses and extracting maximum value from resources, but it was his human side that set him apart. He was deeply committed not merely to his own or his company’s immediate goals, but also to making sure that whomever he was dealing with was also happy and prospering.

“Hilary’s sense of fairness was remarkable and beyond reproach,” observes Steve Tiffen, president and CEO of The Tiffen Company. “He taught me the importance of balance—of making sure the other person is getting what they need while you are also getting what you require. The one word that keeps coming up when people talk about Hilary is ‘caring’ and this is eloquently expressed in both his personal and professional life. One of his major achievements at Tiffen was establishing a cohesive brand strategy that will take us confidently into the future. He was a dear friend and a great colleague who made so many contributions to our company. This is truly a great loss.”

Thanks to his keen intellect, his diligent attention to detail and exemplary work ethic, his disarming honesty and integrity, and his uncanny ability to relate to people with empathy and compassion, he established an unsurpassed record of accomplishment at Tiffen, and over nearly 40 years of outstanding service and dedication to the imaging industry. His personal charm, warm and friendly demeanor, great sense of humor, and unstinting willingness to help others are but some of the sterling qualities that made him a man who was loved and admired by all who knew him.

Araujo’s first love was photography. In his high school days he was a staff photographer for the school newspaper and ran a small business providing rush overnight processing and enlargements for a local photo store. He entered Queens College shortly thereafter, but family events and the Vietnam War intervened, and he served with distinction in the Air Force for four years (1965-1969), was present during the Tet Offensive, and departed the military with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He then resumed his passion for photography by studying at the Germain School of Photography and found work as a studio assistant at Conrad Studios in Manhattan after graduating. After three years (1971-1974) he had risen to the position of staff photographer, but felt it was time to move on, so he signed on with Berkey Marketing Co., a premier manufacturing and marketing company representing Arriflex, Linhof, Ascor and Omega.

In 1984 he accepted the position of VP of marketing with GMI Photographic, in charge of promoting its professional line of products including Bronica, Horseman, Sea & Sea underwater cameras, and Cullmann tripods. He held that position for 10 years before CEO Richard Darrow, an old buddy from Berkey days, offered him a top marketing position at ToCAD, then in Parsippany, New Jersey. Araujo remained with ToCAD from 1995-2004, and was a key to its successful expansion and diversification. In 2004 he accepted an executive marketing position offered by Steve Tiffen, president and CEO of The Tiffen Company.

During this past six years as VP of marketing at Tiffen, Araujo enhanced his knowledge base considerably in order to market and promote an entirely new range of high-tech products effectively. He did so with his customary intensity and passion, using his astonishing capacity for learning new things quickly to master both the Tiffen Dfx electronic imaging software system and the unique Steadicam stabilization device used by professional cinematographers. In recognition of his service to the motion picture industry he was recently named an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), a rare honor for anyone who is not actually a working cinematographer.

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