Last week Luca Benelli, VATGOV3, VP of Network Systems, announced to the board that due to his increasing real life commitments he was stepping down. We have been living the last week in denial but now come to the reality we must say goodbye to a dear friend.

Luca has been an integral part of the VATSIM networks for most of the time I have been on the BoG, first in a support capacity then he was asked to join the BoG as VATGOV3 to fill that vacancy, is one of the longest serving BoG members currently on the board and has been influential in the growth of the network systems and debottlenecking problems to give users a smooth and error free connection so they can focus on flying and controlling. He has been a key member and leader in the team that makes the automatic things happen automatically within VATSIM. Every member today has been touched by Luca's work.

As a member of the BoG Luca's calm demeanor could always be counted on to help us find a straightforward path out of whatever situation we found ourselves in. He's a great team player not afraid to make challenges and tell you what he thinks, but always in a respectful way. I will personally miss his presence very much.

Please join me in thanking Luca for his many years of faithful service and significant contributions to VATSIM.

Until a new VATGOV3 is selected Kieran Hardern, VATGOV6, will be the focal point for network issues once handled by Luca, please direct those queries to him starting now. This role is not posted for public applications, for questions email me.

Kyle Ramsey