With the retirement of our former director, a new management team has taken over. Before his departure, we asked him a few questions about his years at the helm of FH.
Can you tell us about your career before becoming Director of FH Switzerland in 2016?
As an electrical engineer, I first worked in transformers, then quickly moved into electronics for nuclear physics, then for aeronautics. I specialised in quality management, a position I held for more than 25 years, certifying companies and critical electronic systems.
What are you most proud of as Director of FH Switzerland?
First of all, obtaining Zewo certification, and then, thanks to the persevering energy of our FH Switzerland team and committee, gaining access to Interaction's Learning 360º programme, a programme funded by the confederation and the dream of Roger Zürcher, our Director of Programmes. To have been able to make a fine film on agroecology with farmers from Switzerland and Africa. And finally, the development of our annual World Food Day event, which I call "AgroEco North-South", which began modestly one afternoon in 2017 with the Touvière farm and which this year, for its 5th edition, is taking place over 2 days in partnership with several associations from the Food Sovereignty Platform of the Fédération Genevoise de Coopération (FGC), agroecology players and in collaboration with the city of Geneva.
What were the biggest challenges you faced as Director of FH Switzerland, and how did you overcome them?
The first challenge was preparing to apply for the SDC programme with the limited resources available. Firstly, by putting in place the organisational requirements for Zewo certification, then those linked to the organisation's new financial controls, and programmes with the related annual audits.
Overcoming these challenges was only possible with the committed help of all the stakeholders with whom I had great pleasure working. From the team at the FH Switzerland office, our committee, our volunteers, but also our trustee and our auditors who are truly committed to the success of our programmes, and of course, all our donors, private individuals and foundations. I can't forget the FGC, which has been our partner and supporter for many years.
What are your personal plans for retirement, and do you envisage staying involved in social or humanitarian causes?
Yes, I've joined the FH Switzerland committee to continue providing support where my experience and time can help. I'm also supporting another cooperation association and organising quality events. But I'm also going to spend more time with my grandchildren and my family.