6 minutes reading time (1135 words)

Tony Lentino Passes Away

Tony Lentino Passes Away

My friend and the friend of many, Tony Lentino, passed away yesterday. I know that I speak on behalf of the entire domain industry to pass our sincerest condolences on to his wife Emily and their children during this difficult time.

I first met Tony while training for my pilot’s license at Moorabbin airport. He was an amazing man who loved life and accepted everyone just where they were. The one thing that really struck me about Tony was his exceptional generosity and this permeated every aspect of his life.

I remember flying together from Melbourne to the Gold Coast to attend TRAFFIC downunder. My wife Roselyn and I were in a little Piper Archer while Tony and five other domainers were flying his larger Saratoga. He loved his plane (AQM) and it was an absolute joy for him to take people for a fly.

Tony's pride and joy

He didn't ask for anything from those that traveled to the Gold Coast and back. He happily invited them to jump onboard and have an experience of a life-time.

In those years, Tony came across as a bit of a larrikin but he was also one of the smartest and most astute business people I’ve ever met. He was always expanding his knowledge, whether it was a passion like aviation or something technical from within the domain industry. He was one of those rare individuals that had an insatiable appetite to be curious.

After moving back to New Zealand we didn’t communicate as often but I’ll never forget the day that he dropped around with his wonderful wife, Emily. It was clear that he was completely smitten by her and had met the love of his life. Naturally, she was a tremendous positive influence on his life and really brought out Tony’s gentler side. It wasn’t long before they started a family and had two gorgeous girls.

During the last few years, Tony’s zest for life continued with the establishment of the Super Black car Racing team. His goal was to both “give it to” the Aussies across the ditch (in a good natured way) and provide opportunities for Kiwis behind the wheel of a super-car.

Today, when I reflected of my many times with Tony I know that it’s been a real privilege to have known him. He was an amazing man in so many respects and it gives me great comfort to know that we will meet again.


Flying to the Gold Coast

From Jothan Frakes on Tony's Life

I am absolutely slammed right now - busy working hard to create a very special DOMAINfest again with a very amazing team of people, and some sad news came across my desk today.  The world lost a star today to their long fight with Cancer.

I had to stop for a minute and write this up as a tribute.  I asked Michael to be kind enough to allow me a few words in on his post about Tony Lentino because of a shared experience the three of us had after the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Down Under conference in Gold Coast back in 2008.  More on that a few paragraphs from now.

Cancer sucks – full stop.  Before I continue, I hope that people who share their passionate hate of cancer will take a moment and support Elliot Silver will join in on his fundraising race in support of the Dana-Faber foundation here:  http://profile.pmc.org/ES0223

Back to Tony.  I cannot really think of DOMAINfest without thinking of Tony Lentino and smiling, because there is a wonderful backstory around it that I’ll share.

DOMAINfest has had the likes of Kim Kardashian, Biz Stone, Steve Wozniak, the Stone Temple Pilots, and I’ve met Rick Springfield and John Travolta in and around the event.  But the person who has stood out to me more than anyone as I think fondly back on the stars that I have met along the way - one person that stood out to me across all of my years of DOMAINfest – it was one of the attendees at the first DOMAINfest Global, Tony Lentino.

The team at Oversee.net and I had put together a number of small regional DOMAINfest events in 2006, and we launched the DOMAINfest Global (DFG) in Hollywood in January of 2007.   Because it was the year 007 we held a faux casino night at DFG with a ‘Casino Royale’ theme, and there were models hired who were ‘bond girls’, and among them was Emily, Tony’s wife.  They met there at DFG.

I also met Tony there at DFG – he stood out to me because he had such a vibrant and enthusiastic presence as such a good natured person – and the fact that he came all the way from New Zealand for the event had really impressed me.  (Also, how much he expressed respectful and gentlemanly interest in Emily stood out.)

I had the chance to see Tony again in 2008 for DOMAINfest Global in Hollywood, and later in 2008 for the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Down Under in Gold Coast Australia, where I had been sent to continue my live auction development work with DOMAINfest, and speak about new Top Level Domains.


Among the amazing people in the domain name industry, Tony was there, as was Michael Gilmour, and Tony invited me back to Melbourne to visit his offices.  To get to Melbourne, Tony and a friend flew with Kevin and Julie Daste and I in his 6 seater plane, and we flew tandem with Michael and his wife in their plane across parts of Australia I would not have likely had the chance to visit.  We flew through the weekend and stopped in Port McQuarrie, Mudgee, and Parks, Australia and enjoyed local food and hospitality, getting the chance to visit and all get to know one another.  Tony was an exceptional host and very experienced pilot and the trip is on the top of my lifetime lists of experiences. 


I did not see Tony again until a few years later when he and Emily came to Seattle and they let me know that they were getting married, and then at the 2012 Webfest Global where he and Emily introduced their first daughter to me and we had dinner with some long time friends in Santa Monica.

You can read more about Tony in the article on SpeedCafe, and Tony is remembered as the founder of Instra and the owner of the Super Black racing team in New Zealand – but to me, I will always remember him as a robust and spirited part of why I love doing conferences and why I am grateful we have such a fantastic industry of people.   The way he met Emily and how their love grew and thrived, and his wonderful daughters are all things I will smile and remember him for.

Part 8 – Portfolio Management – Traffic Domains
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