RIP Brett Allsop

Brett and his daughter from his Facebook Page

Brett and his daughter from his Facebook Page

I’m very saddened to hear that one of my friends from High School died in a car accident last week:

The Bellingham Herald, August 19, 2009:

Well-known Bellingham businessman Brett Allsop was killed after his car ran off Northshore Road, rolled over and struck a tree Tuesday night, Aug. 18.

Allsop, 38, was the chairman and co-founder of the online business Yapta and vice-president of the electronics division of his family’s business, Allsop Inc.

He was driving a 2007 BMW 328 east on Northshore at about 10:15 p.m. Approaching a corner, his car went off the road. Allsop, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. It was unknown Wednesday if drugs or alcohol were involved, said Washington State Trooper Keith Leary. An autopsy is scheduled for later this week.

Allsop was a father of two and part of the well-known Allsop family, whose 44-year-old global business makes a variety of products such as laptop cases and cell phone accessories.

The Allsops were grieving Wednesday and did not want to be interviewed. But they issued this statement: “Brett was a great son, father, and family friend. He was a man who loved his children, family and community. He lived each day with compassion and spirit.”

Brett will indeed be missed, said Bruce MacCormack, chairman of the Bellingham Angels Group that funded Allsop’s online business, Yapta. “I am incredibly saddened by the news,” MacCormack said. “He was such a smart young man.”

Allsop graduated from Sehome High School in 1989. He was the first Sehome boy to win an individual cross country championship, taking the 1987 2A state meet title and helping his team to a second-place finish, according to teammate Kevin Ryan.

Allsop entered into the world of entrepreneurship soon after graduating from Stanford University. In 1994 he helped start and operate Fogdog, an online sporting goods retailer, with some of his college friends.

In 2007 he co-founded Yapta, an online air travel service that helps consumers find the lowest prices for an airplane ticket.

“As a company, we’re all shocked at the news and grieving the loss of Brett,” said Jeff Pecor, senior communications director of Yapta, in an email. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Allsop family.”

Paul Grey, a board member of the Technology Alliance Group and a local business consultant, said Allsop had a brilliant mind when it came to creating and building businesses.

“He had a knack for turning an idea into a profitable company,” Grey said. “More importantly, he was a high-quality, genuine person. He was a good listener and had a lot of wisdom to impart.”

Anna Ehnmark, executive director at TAG, said he was a role model for the local technology industry because of his experience at creating and growing companies.

“He had a lot to teach us, and we all admired him for his support of the local high-tech community,” Ehnmark said.

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