It is with deep sadness and regret we report that Mr Björn Lagerkvist, former President of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) passed away on Friday 1 March 2013 after a long-suffering illness.
Mr Lagerkvist was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Swedish marine industry association Sweboat in 1975 and attended his first ICOMIA Congress in Oslo that same year – consecutively attending Congress for the next 37-years.
In 1978, Mr Lagerkvist joined the ICOMIA Executive Committee, serving as President of ICOMIA from 1984 - 1986 and from 1992 – 1996; the only person ever to be elected twice as ICOMIA President. His commitment and dedication to its Working Groups and Committees over the years helped shaped ICOMIA into the global association it is today.
Mr Lagerkvist was made an Honorary Life Member of ICOMIA on 14 April 2007 and was presented with the award by then-ICOMIA President, Graeme Avers, at METS.
A founding member and Chairman of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 188 (TC 188) from 1988 until 2006, Mr Lagerkvist was directly involved in the development of the large body of EN ISO Standards supporting the EU’s Recreational Craft Directive. Indeed his leadership of this large standards initiative has a direct impact today of the global marketing of boats and equipment without significant homologation issues. We owe him a great debt for this achievement. In addition, Mr Lagerkvist was a founding member of the International Marine Certification Institute (IMCI), the EU notified body.
Mr Lagerkvist is remembered fondly by his Sweboat colleagues as a warm and gentle person, with a subtle sense of humour. “As CEO of Sweboat he was very structured with a well-defined agenda”, recalls Mats Eriksson, who took over from Mr Lagerkvist in 2007 as Chief Executive of the association, “he was respected for his knowledge and expertise in all forums within the boating community”.
Friends and colleagues remember the understated, serious and quiet way he had of getting on with things - as well as how hilarious he could be; delivering jokes in his signature deadpan style, with his impeccable comedic timing always leaving the audience in hysterics.
Mr Lagerkvist was much loved husband, father and grandfather and a long-time colleague and dear friend of ICOMIA.
“We mourn his passing and give thanks for his life of service to our recreational marine industry, and his years of friendship” said Tony Rice, ICOMIA Secretary General. “Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Lagerkvist family at this tragic time”.