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Yannis Paraschis | Mr. Air Force

Going to meet the CEO of the International Airport of Athens I was sure, for some unfathomable reason, that at some point he was going to talk about opera, and I made a bet with myself that he was going to mention “Madame Butterfly”. I lost half the bet: we indeed talked about opera, but he mentioned “La Bohème”. In my mind seemed strange that the bohemian life at the 19th century Paris could touch a man with a PhD at the Operational Research. Well, leaving “Eleftherios Venizelos” I have disposed myself of yet another cliché…

How is a typical day of someone who manages a great European airport like “Eleftherios Venizelos”? The day always starts with a meeting about the corporate issues of the day before, but also of the day after. Enjoying our morning coffee, we are usually engaged with numbers that are translated to the financial and quantitative results of the day before.

Are you satisfied with your professional choice? Difficult question… Speaking generally I would say that, looking back, there are not many things that have left me a bitter taste, or a void that I would like to fill. A good thing in life is that one cannot go back and see what would have happened if one had made other choices. In any case, at this moment, as things have turned out, there is a balance so I will tell you, “yes, I am satisfied with my choices”.

What is imagination for you? Something that I had a lot more of, when I was a child, and growing up I realized that is more important for someone to have realistic dreams and make them come true, than to chase chimeras.

Is there imagination in your work? Obviously. But not in terms of an impossible dream, which is, nevertheless, a very essential element of a child’s soul. Unfortunately, as we grow up and confront life and reality, imagination is becoming a luxury.

What is the gain of a big defeat and what the cost of a great victory? I think that both these parameters are very close. Consider that experience is nothing else than the accumulation of successes and failures. The secret lies in the management of these situations.

Have you learned from your mistakes? I believe that one who cannot manage one’s failures, one’s mistakes, has some kind of a problem. I want to live with my mistakes and gain from them. Or, at least, to think that I gain from them. But then, I am not sure that you gain something from your mistakes, because very often we repeat them… This has been proved historically.

How did you become started with golf? One morning – it was Christmas I remember – I decided that I should do something meaningful for myself, I should learn something new. So, I called the Glyfada course, and that’s how this adventure began.

Who is the golfer that you admire? In the past I was admiring Ballesteros, now Tiger Woods.

What is the best thing that you have heard and the most beautiful thing that you have seen until now in your life? Very difficult question… The best thing that I have heard is my favorite opera, “La Bohème”, by Luciano Pavarotti in a performance that it was an exceptional acoustic experience. As regards the most beautiful thing I have seen… When my son was born… The first time I saw him.





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