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It is with sadness that we learn that Vince Hanks (TMF Elwood) is no longer going to be on the Fool's payroll. Vince has been a Fool for a long time -- at least since 1995. He was one of the earliest Fools to arrive. For at least a year, he worked as a volunteer Fool on the AOL Fool site, and then he later came onboard part-time as a message board host, where he focused on Drips. He also wrote many great Drip columns for us (columns that will be running again periodically for sure!).

Vince was extremely helpful on these boards; he was always answering questions that other Fools didn't answer, or getting to questions first. He took the time to answer any question, basic or complex, with a clearly explained answer. You could always tell that he cared.

Vince's role was ended by the Fool because he was a remote and part-time employee, and the Fool says that the costs of those employees are relatively greater than in-house and full-time employees (costs of benefits for part-time Fools, and payroll and out of state tax paperwork, etc). So, of course, it was through no doing of Vince's that his role was ended. It was a financial decision that the Fool had to make -- not that people, including me, didn't argue for Vince's sake! The Fool has had to make many tough decisions this year, though.

Vince will be greatly missed.

That said, hopefully we'll still hear from him! When possible, Vince will be asked to write columns for Drip on a contract basis, if he's interested, and hopefully he will still have a presence on the Drip boards -- the boards that he's been a part of for so long. And once the Fool starts rolling down all the right paths financially, the first people that it should be interested in hiring again are great, long-time Fools.

So, in closing for now, I just want to say a big Thank You to Vince, from myself and from everyone who ever communicated with him. Drip Port would not be what it is without Vince's great efforts, nor would these boards.

Finally, as David and Tom wrote, one of the greatest things that a person can give is their energy and passion to something, and Vince gave both to the Fool.

Until we hear from Vince again -- and I hope that we do -- it's comforting to know that out there in the midwest there is a pharmacist who is a great Drippin' Fool.

Thanks again, Vince.

Fool on,

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