James W. Friedman, 1945–2023

Photograph of James W. Friedman
Jim Friedman. [Courtesy of Suzanne Stassevitch]

We are deeply saddened to share the news that James W. Friedman, for ten years an extraordinary member of the Places board, died in late June, of complications following heart surgery.

Jim Friedman brought to Places an unusual mix of talent and experience. Jim was not only co-founder and principal of Ryan Associates, a successful construction company based in San Francisco and New York; he was also a trained philosopher, with a PhD from Cambridge University, and before starting his business was on the faculty at Santa Clara University. Jim had a keen understanding of business and a deep love of literature, theater, movies, and television. He loved James Joyce and Anthony Trollope, The Sopranos and Game of Thrones. In recent years, while stepping back from the active management of his company, he was a visiting scholar at Cambridge and an ever-more devoted reader of Wittgenstein.

Jim is survived by his wife, Suzanne Stassevitch, by two children, Eric and Gaelen, and two grandchildren, Rory and Arden.