We had to grin a bit about his title. Francois proposed ‘Chief Gopher’, but somehow that didn’t seem serious enough. Francois is running the web site and associated technology, occasionally contributes to the content and also (for now) the main sponsor of the site. He joined Why Fly first as a contributor and stepped in to help when the need was there to change. So call him ‘co-pilot’, it’ll make him happy.
Francois has one thing for sure: a life-long fascination with aviation.
There’s also ONE thing he doesn’t have: his PPL.
It somehow never got to that with career, financials, work, family and other things always getting in the way of that one thing he’d like to have so much. So, one day…….
He got involved with Why Fly via his work as flight simulator add-on publisher and got in touch with Glenn via Hal. The rest is history.
Here’s some more history. Francois has done many things in his life, being IT Director for Europe for the last 15 years in his corporate career. Before that he worked at a news paper, in advertising, as system designer, project manager and even did a few years of programming back in the days when punch cards had just been replaced by monitors. He’s been ‘on PC’s’ ever since they were invented and one of the true Internet Community Pioneers.
In his spare time he played the guitar – classic and C&W -, painted and made pen drawings, raced cars, traveled since he was 3 years old and learned to speak 5 languages more or less fluently. The nickname ‘Navman’ has something to do with that. Also in his spare time he got married to a beautiful lady from Romania, Nina, and together they had their daughter Vivian…. who now also travels the world.
Francois left ‘Corporate America’ in 2005 and decided not to return to the rat race. Instead he started his own company, working harder than he’d ever done and making less money than he’d ever done. But the freedom and happiness of having his OWN (and mostly happy) customers made it worth it. Why Fly is just another ‘project’ to his many activities, but fitting wonderfully among all of them.
Actually, that’s not true. Why Fly is part of his passion for aviation. So there!
Francois is now retired, or at least trying to be, and owned and ran Silver Cloud Publishing, wrote for Flight Simulator publications, ran the advertising for some customers, designed and hosted web sites for small companies, wrote for various flight simulator and aviation organizations and ran his EuropeRides motorbike touring company.
Truth be told, he STILL runs FSAddon Publishing that publishes wonderful add-on programs for Microsoft Flight Simulator and ‘doing’ a couple of blogs and forums. Having a bit more time and space he now also embarked on building his own HOME COCKPIT in the attic of their new home in Italy, because flying the ‘real thing’ is now a thing of the past. AND he has some time again for his painting and drawing, not to mention his scale model building hobby.
And yes, one day he’ll just melt and you’ll never hear of him again.
Until that day comes, Francois and Nina have sold everything they owned in The Netherlands and now live in Italy happily and ever after. Oh, and he now learned his 6th language to add.