It still doesn’t seem real here at the virtual National Driller headquarters that we’ve lost longtime Sales Manager Dean Laramore. His death Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 after complications from a stroke, hit us hard. Dean, more than anyone, was the face of our brand for more than 20 years.

I joined National Driller right before Thanksgiving in 2012. I filled out my onboarding paperwork, went on the long holiday weekend, and worked for exactly one week before flying to Las Vegas for my first National Ground Water Association convention.

That’s where I met Dean. He seemed friendly, focused and driven — all the traits you expect to find in a good salesman. He seemed to know everyone — a trait you hope to find in your salesman. Dean dragged me around to dozens of booths across that trade show floor, introducing me to one, two, three, maybe four people per booth. As a card-carrying member of the short short-term memory club, I found it a dizzying blur of faces and places. (I should have taken notes.) But, some of it stuck. I appreciate the time Dean spent to not only throw me in the deep end of an industry I knew little about, but to stick around and coach me through treading these new waters.

He was like that. No one here worked as closely with Dean as Caroline Mims, our classifieds sales manager. They hired in within months of each other and worked in the same Marianna, Florida, office for most of the time since.

“For most of those of years, I was Dean’s sales assistant,” she says. “He was a mentor, and I learned most everything I know about marketing and salesmanship from him. He loved his family with all his heart, especially his daughter Ashlee. He was a very giving and inspirational person, always willing to be there for those that came his way. He grew to love the drilling industry and made many, many friends along the way.”

Dean acted as a north star for this magazine through different owners, publishers and editors. Advertisers — and some readers, too — might know Dean from his wide smile at trade shows like Groundwater Week and the South Atlantic Jubilee, where for many years he ran National Driller’s golf outing. Whether he was golfing with clients, bowling at the Texas show or walking a trade show floor, he was always a fixture of industry events.

“Dean was a great asset to National Driller and a great friend to the industry,” Mike Melancon, retired national sales manager for Jet-Lube/Whitmore, told us in an email. “We will miss him greatly.”

He was tireless in making sure our clients connected with readers in as many ways as possible. We’re going to honor Dean’s work here by carrying on that work.

“My dad loved his drilling industry family,” Ashlee Laramore said. “He spoke highly of all of you and looked forward to traveling to see all of you. Thank you for loving my dad and being his friend.”

Thank you to the Laramore family for sharing him with the industry.

And, go Seminoles!

Stay safe out there, drillers.

What’s Your Dean Story?

National Driller invites advertisers and readers to share their remembrances. Record a snippet of video, share photos or just tell us your Dean story in an email. We’ll compile everything into a fuller remembrance for family and the industry he served. Send a video link, photos or your Dean story to Please put “my Dean story” in the subject line.