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Thank you Mark

Gunnar Lindahl

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Mark Richards retires from VATSIM Board of Governors

It is with bittersweet feeling that the Board of Governors announces the retirement of Mark Richards from VATSIM’s Board of Governors after a long career serving VATSIM in various roles.

Mark has spent the last 24 years as a member of VATSIM and previously SATCO staff with his most recent role as Vice President – Operations; one he has held since 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was the regional director for the former Oceania region and chair of the Executive Committee.

Early in VATSIM’s history, Mark played a vital role in creating new divisions within the Oceania region. In 2001 he was a founding member of the VATPAC division, serving as their first division director. He founded another division six years later in his home country of New Zealand, again serving as the first division director.

Since joining SATCO in 1996 and then VATSIM in 2001, Mark has accumulated over 8,000 hours as a pilot, 1,800 hours as a controller, and 1,600 hours as a supervisor. Over 11,000 hours in total connected to VATSIM!

While Mark is retiring from a long career as a VATSIM staff member, he does not intend to part ways with the network entirely. He is excited to continue to fly and control on the network while remaining a mentor for new staff members in his home division of VATNZ as well as around the world.

Please join us in congratulating Mark on his tremendous career serving VATSIM members and wish him well in his future endeavours on VATSIM!

There will be further news regarding the appointment of a successor in the coming weeks.


On behalf of the Board of Governors


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I've never been one for posts like this, however having your thoughts, support and friendship has been special.

You already know my thoughts of your value over years before I arrived, to years after I left the BoG.

Best wishes from a VATSIM intern by comparison to your contribution.

Edited by Kieran Hardern
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A well deserved break from staff roles. Mark, you have been instrumental to VATSIM's success by providing a mature approach to things, by continuity.

See you in Auckland when we are allowed to travel the world again. And don't forget to go for that flight in Christchurch!

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Dear Mark,

It is sad to see you go. It has been an amazing journey, a great experience to work by your side. You have been an asset for VATSIM, huge contributor, a great guide always happy to assist and always encouraged us to be the best versions of ourselves. Your name is synonym to VATSIM, it won’t be the same without you. You are a gifted person and you will be deeply missed. Thank you for your endless support, your guidance and your friendship!
See you online, flying or at the scopes!
Warmest Regards,

Vice President | Asia Pacific Region
image.png.0fbc2efe758d66615ca0218192f10b82.png [email protected]

image.png.6aeeb01847f3b3cd0851cf2a1b0e8dfb.png              image.png.b1d1aa3e3ac65194d4ba4c2111a2d6f4.png             image.png.d4d64027d41ccfdfb03e5585a4f2e939.png

How to become a Supervisor?




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Mark I have sent you a private message but I had to comment here also. A perfect example of a perfect member. So wise and approachable. You provided me with much support when I was Oceania RD and I was very grateful for that. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the network without the pressures. I wish you well in your retirement and thank you for all you have done for the network.

Alan Cooke VATGOV11

Vice President - Membership
VATSIM Board of Governors

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Thank you Mark for your contribution to the network and your willingness to assist wherever possible. Enjoy your retirement and I'm looking forward to welcoming you to the South African airspace sometime soon!!


Deon Mathews

VATSIM Marketing & Communications Team




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Thank you for all you have accomplished and for being a terrific friend these many decades since our earliest days with SATCO.
You have consistently represented the best in VATSIM, and I can't begin to tell you how much you have been appreciated.
You have been a remarkable influence, and always in the best possible way.

Looking forward to keeping in touch,

Mike / 811317

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