Franco De Michelis, a founder and 20-year director of Assodimi, the Italian rental and distributors association, died Dec. 15, 2012. De Michelis served as a board member for the European Rental Association (ERA) from 2006 to 2010 and was presented with the ERA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Prior to helping found Assodimi, he worked for Fiat Group’s earthmoving division for 23 years.
“Franco was one of the true gentlemen of the rental industry, a person who lent intelligence and studied thought to the decisions before the industry. He exemplified the true meaning of a joyous man that relished and enjoyed each moment of life, and was a person with whom you immediately identified. I appreciated working with Franco as a peer and colleague; he made a real difference in the equipment rental industry. We will miss his leadership,” said Christine Wehrman, executive vice president and CEO of the American Rental Association (ARA).
“Franco was one of the nicest men you could ever meet, not only in rental but from a personal point of view,” said Ken Hughes, publisher of Rental Management magazine.
“I have only known him for eight years, but we managed to spend some good times discussing the rental industry in Europe and the United States. He loved this industry. He was always smiling, always giving encouragement and was always positive about his life, his business and his family. He will be missed, that’s for sure,” Hughes said.
“His vision, charisma and tireless dedication to work throughout the years have always led the association in a ‘forward-looking’ direction. His death leaves a great personal and professional void. The force of his example will be an important beacon for all of us,” said Marco Prosperi, secretary of Assodimi, in a statement.
“Franco will be remembered for his tenacity, dynamic personality and untiring energy,” said Walter Fabbri, a member of the technical committee of Assonolo, the rental arm of Assodimi. “We will treasure his actions, ideas and dreams, and continue the path he traced for the association.”