Michael Brim

by Mark Hannon
Marcus Persians

Published April 2010

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Michael William Brim, 63, of Asbury Park, New Jersey passed away on April 8, 2010.

Michael's mother worked for Ray & Blanche Smith, owners of Cats magazine, in Washington PA (outside Pittsburgh). While Michael was in school, he did odd jobs for the Smiths. Upon graduation, the Smiths hired Michael at the magazine. He became their advertising director, obtaining the many ads that appeared in that publication each month. Michael often brought the Cats magazine booth to CFA cat shows which is where I met him. For many years Michael and that booth were a fixture at National Capital and other shows.

The Smiths decided to move from the cold Pennsylvania weather to Daytona Beach FL where the winter weather was more to their liking and, of course, the magazine went with them. Michael was entrenched in the magazine by then and was only too happy to follow the Smiths and his job. Michael loved Florida. He made many friends there and joined the Daytona Beach Cat Club where he helped with their annual show and at times served as show manager. I used to travel to FL several times a year to visit with friends and Michael was one of them.

In 1988 Michael was hired by CFA to serve as its first Public Relations manager. He eventually also was assigned the task of Marketing for CFA and that included corporate funding for a number of CFA events. He established the very successful program with Friskies, brought in Iams as a sponsor for various CFA events, and other companies.

During his time working at CFA, he was also the executive producer for five videos of various topics: from the history of cat breeds registered by CFA, to how to groom longhaired and shorthaired cats. He provided technical assistance to a number of television and other mediums, including the National Geographic Special “Cats: Caressing the Tiger,” an hour PBS TV program, the Los Angeles Natural History Museum’s “CATS! Wild to Mild,” a seven year national traveling exhibit and “Feline Fine: The Art of Cats,” a nationally touring art exhibit which used the common subject of felines.

Weekends would often find Michael attending CFA cats shows or conferences with the CFA Booth, just as he had done with the Cats magazine booth. Working weekends was nothing new to Michael. He made important contacts for CFA while attending conferences with the booth and our shows' spectators and exhibitors benefited from having the CFA booth present.

In 1992 he co-founded the Cat Writers’ Association, (CWA) an organization of professional writers, publishing and broadcasting about cats. Members of the CWA include writers, editors, publishers, artists, public relations specialists, broadcasters and others. Mr. Brim served as Vice President of the association from 1992 to November 2003. In November 2003 he was elected a lifetime member of the CWA board of directors.

For a dozen years Michael did this work from Florida. Around 2000 it was decided that the job could be more effectively done from the Central Office where clerical help could more easily be provided to the PR / Marketing Director. Although Michael had strong ties to Florida, he agreed to move to New Jersey. He bought a condominium in nearby Asbury Park and, once again, became involved in the local community where he easily made friends.

Working in the Central Office brought Michael closer to the other staff members working there. He became friends with Tom Dent and Allene Tartaglia and her husband Kent Highhouse. Those friendships continued the rest of his life.

In 2004 Michael left CFA as an employee, but CFA remained in his heart. He started a new phase of his life as a real estate agent and he told me that while leaving CFA was difficult for him, he found that he really enjoyed his new job and that, in hindsight, leaving CFA was good for him. He became involved in various real estate groups and was involved in assorted local community / civic organizations.

Michael was an important contributor to CFA for many years, he made many friends in CFA, and he will be missed.

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