US marketing expert Trey Pennington, who was due to speak in Lincoln this week, was found dead outside a church on the evening of Sunday, September 4.
Pennington, of Greenville, South Carolina, was scheduled to speak at the upcoming Linc Up Live digital media conference this Friday, September 9.
Pennington tweeted hours before his death to his 111,000 plus followers, saying: “Sure am thankful for online friends who are real friends offline, too. Love you.”
Local police confirmed Pennington’s passing at 9:30pm local time (2:30am GMT), and initial reports suggest that his death was the result of suicide.
Following Pennington’s passing away, the digital media event at The Showroom will now be dedicated to his memory.
Conference founder Glenn Le Santo, who knew Pennington personally, said the following upon hearing the sad news:
“Trey was an inspirational man and his loss is tragic. We are all stunned and very upset. Trey was born in Mobil, in the southern USA, and he had that typical warmth that’s always associated with the Deep South.
“He was smart, generous and very sensitive. His demise followed a period of depression – but one we thought he had come through. We feel robbed, both of a friend and of a great colleague.
“The LincUpLive conference this week will be dedicated to his memory. All profits and donations will go to The Samaritans.
“It seems suitable to do this as The Samaritans was founded by Chad Varah who was a curate in the Lincoln diocese, and they work tirelessly to stop suicides.
“Please help us support them and Trey’s memory.”