Jim and Beth Judson liked nothing better than to spend time with their children, Dean and Lauren. From the beginning, both parents participated with and attended all the various activities in which their children engaged. For Dean, that included soccer and skiing. Lauren was involved in Irish dance, chorale work, and junior golf. Both children continue those passions in college: Dean recently graduated from High Point University, where he a member of the men’s soccer team, with a degree in Communications; Lauren is attending the University of Southern Mississippi on golf and academic scholarships and is currently the Captain of the women’s golf team.
On October 26, 2010, Jim and Beth were on their way home from Memphis, Tennessee, where they had watched Lauren compete in a college golf tournament, when their private plane crashed.
Beth and Jim were highly successful people who contributed to the world in many different ways: in business, education, and service, but perhaps most significantly, in their devotion to their children. Beth often said that spending time with Lauren and Dean was the most important thing she and Jim did, and what she loved most in life.
Jim worked hard, and set a goal of retiring early, which he accomplished at the age of 43. After selling his successful software business, he turned his attention to philanthropic efforts; supporting his children, and hobbies, such as golf and flying. Beth, who graduated magna cum laude from Alfred University, with a B.S. degree in ceramic science and a B.A. degree in mathematics, stayed at home with the children during their formative years. She then began a journey of further education and service.
Jim received a political science degree from Wake Forest University and, following graduation, made his home in the Roswell, GA area. In 1988, along with two friends, Jim co-founded the software company Witness Systems, Inc. Jim, his management team and employees grew the organization and its technology set, creating one of the premier call center products in the market. In 1998, he was recognized by Call Center Magazine with its prestigious "Call Center Pioneer Award" a distinction that profiled him as an industry leader and influential figure in helping shape the fast-paced, evolving industry.
Jim retired from the company shortly after its IPO in 2000, and went on to work at other technology start-ups in an advisory capacity. He was able to be a "stay at home dad" during his children's high school years at Blessed Trinity, and during that time was very involved in long-range planning, and served on various committees. Jim was also on the board of CreditHawk LLC, a legal software service provider in Atlanta. At the time of his death, Jim was a member of the Board of Trustees at Wake Forest University. He first served on the university board from 2004 to 2008 and held prior positions on its Alumni Council and Deacon Club Board of Directors.
Beth earned M.S. and Ph.D degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology in Ceramic Engineering. She was a consultant to the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership of the National Academies and had been a general manager of a ceramic armor start-up company associated with Georgia Tech. She was also a member of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). In this capacity, she was part of a team that traveled to universities to review engineering departments for continuing accreditation. At the time of her death, Beth was serving on the Executive Committee of the Engineering Accreditation Commission.
Beth's personal interests in her church and higher education led her to participate in the founding of Southern Catholic College, where she was also a trustee. Beth sang in her church choir and was the executive director for the Georgia Regional Girls’ Choir for several years.
Beth served on Alfred University’s Board of Trustees for 10 years, and was a founding member of the University’s Women’s Leadership Center as well. In 2011 Alfred University created the Beth Robinson Judson Center for Leadership, which expands the leadership programs at the university and honors Beth for her significant contributions as a student, a mentor and a leader.
Both Jim and Beth were passionate about their church, St. Brigid Catholic Church in Johns Creek, GA, and gave generously of their time, talents and treasure. Beth served as a Eucharistic minister for the church, and Jim was a member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th degree.
Jim and Beth are missed every day by those they touched in their short time on this earth, but their impact can be felt in the world. And their love and devotion to each other and their children is reflected in the grace and poise that Dean and Lauren continue to exhibit.