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07 November 2019

Keep Flying, Federico. Bon Voyage

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." (Leonardo da Vinci) One of the historical members of the Alumni Board is gone. He always lived with a suitcase in hand, a companion for life, where he always managed to fit some of his beloved Bocconi.

He was one of the most "frequent" frequent flyers ever. One of those people who, so to speak, would spend his vacations at home. One of those people who, when he really wanted to get away from work, went to Africa with his wife and disconnected his phone, which was otherwise always on for us, despite the time differences.


With a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a pilot's license, and an MBA at SDA Bocconi, he was recently part of the leadership at IGT Group. And during a career spanning more than thirty-years, he also worked in the food sector, financial services and the automotive sector. Since 2010, he relied on his frequent trips abroad "to bring Bocconi to the world and the world to Bocconi" – as he wrote in the motivational letter to apply to the Alumni Board where, between one intercontinental flight and another, he followed the activities of our Chapters abroad.

From New York to Singapore with love

Federico was a passionate Alumni volunteer, a role he loved and carried out enthusiastically.
His nineteen-hour flight to attend our first Global Conference in Singapore, where he was a session moderator, was unforgettable.
He was in New York before the event for work and something came up that caused him to miss his plane booked for the late afternoon.
We all panicked.
And yet.
He took another plane at night, a direct flight, paying out of his own pocket for the only free seat left.
In the morning, a reassuring phone call: "I'm in a taxi in Singapore. Do I have time to take a shower?"
"Yes, but fast!" we answered happy and heartened.
An hour later, a few minutes into the conference, Federico was there, with a coffee in hand and a tired but sincere smile: "Here I am, I'm here."
And he moderated the session brilliantly, as if nothing had happened.

Federico was all of this, kindness and class, passion and responsibility.
All this to not break a commitment.
All this to not leave us alone representing Bocconi on the other side of the world.

The perfect suitcase trick

"But how do you travel so much without getting tired?" This was the most frequent question, when he would attend Bocconi meetings punctually, despite having slept two hours.
"I'm used to it and then every time I learn to pack my suitcase better!" he replied one day, telling us about his tricks for optimizing space in his rolling carry-on, without wrinkling his shirts.

Federico fought jetlag like a kind of swashbuckling gentleman: never tired and never satisfied, with that warm voice of a 1960s voice actor with accurate and clear speech, he was a master at holding meetings.
He left us speechless because of his engineer's ability to summarize, a little like a psychologist: he would sit down, listen to everyone, lower his glasses, then prepare his voice and take the floor, repainting the picture with shiny, objective brushstrokes, never outside the lines. Any criticisms would be masked with refined paraphrases, always bringing constructive solutions. And we would leave charmed and grateful, then comment on how fulfilling it was to have him with us.

"Everyone can make their mark"

Reserved by nature, sometimes he would open up and confide, but only when the opportunity and the person in front of him allowed him to. But, when he did open up, you felt like a privileged person: two years ago, with grace and kindness, he asked permission to embrace the daughter of a colleague, talking amiably about that special moment that is the first months of a child's life.

"In these years of intense work, I realized that it was necessary to give more than just time: anyone can make their mark, regardless of the extent of the gesture." These were his words to raise awareness among Alumni about giving to their Alma Mater.

Bon voyage, Federico. You made your mark and much more.
For your last flight, we are sure that you will find a little room for us in your suitcase too.