Date Created: 03/01/2016
Last Updated: 03/02/2016

ACCT Remembers Tim Kempfe
6/7/1953 - 2/25/2016

Location: Trinity, Texas

Visits: 18,884

This memorial was created in honor of Timothy "Tim" George Kempfe of Trinity, Texas. Tim was born on June 7, 1953 in Hackensack, NJ and passed away on February 25, 2016 in the care of his loved ones. He is survived by his wife Linda, daughter Ellie, sister Georganne, brother Jimmy, and father George.

Tim's work within the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and beyond impacts everyone in our industry today. This page is for the ACCT community to share and celebrate Tim and his life, and for those who knew Tim from outside of ACCT to gain an appreciation of how much he did for our association, and our industry. Tim's absence will be felt profoundly.


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Current Memories

From: Lori Nellist Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Larry and I remember listening to Tim explain to someone else how his relationship with God worked. How he communicated with God, how he saw God's hand in his life, how he envisioned God's plan unfolding in the circumstances we call 'our worlds". It was beautiful to hear.

From: Mandy Stewart Wednesday, March 2, 2016
WRITTEN BY JIM GROUT, 1 MARCH 2016 I had many contacts with Tim over the years but there is one I recall particularly well. A group of us were working on the first official Practitioner Certification Standards many years ago. We were gathered in a hotel conference room and were grappling longer than necessary with a particular issue. We debated and argued and got nowhere. In walked Tim and he asked how it was going. We described the stalemate and in one brief sentence, he declared what direction we needed to go in. We all nodded our heads, he left the room and we moved on freed from the logjam that had baffled us for hours. This was Tim Kempe!

From: Mandy Stewart Wednesday, March 2, 2016
WRITTEN BY SYLVIA DRESSER, 27 FEBRUARY 2016 I had the honor and privilege of working closely with Tim Kempfe for many years. When we first met, I didn’t really know what to say to him – a Texan (although I found out later he was from New Jersey) who not only built challenge courses but also ran hunting camps, and who spoke his truth in no uncertain terms. I wasn’t quite sure how to relate to all that, as someone who came of age in California in the 60’s. Over the years, however, we came to respect our differences, to know and love one another, and to develop a deeply trusting relationship. Tim was an early leader in the Association for Challenge Course Technology, serving as the second President of the Board for a six-year span. During that time, the fledgling group grew in size and professionalism, building on what was already in place – moving to full time staff and a full time Executive Director (that would be me), and an office, growing more leaders in the association, and expanding the standards. Tim’s company, Adventure Experiences, was an early stalwart in the field. Several of his former employees went on to found their own companies, teach in the field, and work to raise the bar in building, training, and the more recent expansion of the zip line and adventure park industries. A gruff voiced man, Tim valued family above all, and to him, if you were part of his life, you were family. He spoke to me often of his daughter and her achievements, and was so proud of his wife and the life they built together. So many memories of this man – the phone call offering me the job at ACCT, at 7:30 pm on a Saturday night – the time I caught him putting a deep fried jalapeno in his mouth, which he was not supposed to eat, while his eyes were twinkling at me – riding a 4 wheeler up in Colorado – planning strategies, attending meetings – sharing personal feelings, joys and sorrows. I could always count on Tim to be blunt and truthful, and to share a laugh. I, among many others, will miss this man.

From: Mandy Stewart Wednesday, March 2, 2016
WRITTEN BY JOHN LAZARUS, 27 FEBRUARY 2016 One of the areas of Tim's major impact on our industry as a whole came during the meetings we had at the early symposiums. Particularly the one held in Massachusetts at the Warren Center. I don’t remember the specific date. For those that do remember, Tim's voice was the strongest in the room, advocating that we form a group or committee to come together to start to work on specific standards and practices related to the installation of courses. The goal being, as he said "we need to put together something to influence the government before they take control and influence us". As we look back we can see that that was the point which started the process of ACCT becoming the leading influence in the challenge course industry with the publication of that first standard. The name of that committee was the Installation Standards Committee and Tim was the obvious choice as the Chairperson because of the strength of his voice and conviction in its charge. Since then the standards process moved forward with the leadership of other individuals stepping up to the plate, always with Tim's support and counsel, to offer their leadership in developing standards in other areas of need within the industry. The hard work that Tim and others were so influential in doing came to fruition in the acceptance of the ACCT Standards as an American National Standards just this past January. On a personal note I would add that when I saw Tim on Jan 30th in his home I was able to remember to him this process that he started. How he led the charge that set in motion these steps leading to the publication of our ANS. And how proud I was to be able to follow in his footsteps as the 2nd chairperson of the Installation Standards Committee and then to lead in the development of our Accredited Procedures. From their, continuing on with leading the Consensus Group though the consensus process accepting the Standards resulting in their submission to ANSI for approval as an ANS. It’s been one of the greatest privileges of my career to be able to follow his leadership and add my efforts to the process he started. And to have been able to thank him for myself and all of us for the honor to have been able to work with him towards such a positive and important goal for our industry.

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