A highly active retirement
NOVA co-founder Wolfi Lechner about his new role
Wolfi Lechner has more spare time now. Time for himself and his wife Carmen, time for the mountain hut on the Weerberg, which he is extending with a lot of love and constantly improving craftsmanship. Time also to travel and fly more himself. He also wants to devote more time to his other hobbies - icestock sport, cycling and diving.
Wolfi was one of the NOVA founders and was instrumental in the success of the business. When NOVA was born in 1989, he worked in sales for a food manufacturer. He remembers: “In those days we didn’t really have a clue about anything. Looking back, I have to say: there were times we really didn’t know what we were doing. But somehow it worked out. And for that I am very grateful.” Wolfi Lechner’s introduction to flying was according to the trial & error method. This was followed by years and decades of “rolling up his sleeves” and everything that that entails - challenges, tears of joy and successes. Wolfi’s career has hardly been “traditional”.
In 2021 Wolfi retired from his position as managing director of NOVA. He handed over the management of the company to Sissi Eisl - the first woman to be the managing director of a paraglider manufacturer. Since then, Wolfi has passed on his knowledge to Sissi and his opinion and experience are still extremely valued.
Since the beginning of February 2021 Wolfi has been retired. However, his passion for NOVA remains. Wolfi will continue to be in charge of sales in Austria - but in a voluntary and reduced capacity. We wanted to ask him what he is currently thinking and what will come after NOVA?
Now you are retired are you looking forward to chilling out or are you looking for new projects? Is there something you always wanted to do and you now finally have the time?
Thankfully I don’t need to look for new projects. There are already plenty! In my spare time I want to spend more time with my wife Carmen, go flying, do icestock sport, cycle, keep our mountain hut on the Weerberg in shape and continue to look after my friends and business partners in Austria… Chilling out isn’t my thing. Boredom is not on the cards! :)
What do you think of the belief that you should keep business and pleasure separate?
I had the great privilege of being able to turn my hobby into my job. I will remain a NOVA person in body and soul (even in a private capacity). Everything is fluid and flows together. I cannot imagine separating the two.
How does it feel to pass on the baton after so many years? Is it hard to let go?
Not at all, because I know that NOVA is in very good hands. The success of a business doesn’t just depend on one person, it is a team effort and NOVA is exceptionally positioned in this respect.
What would you like to share with your successors?
That every issue needs to be looked at from multiple angles. To listen to different opinions is very important. Black and white thinking doesn’t lead to optimal solutions.
The high esteem in which Wolfi Lechner is held can be seen in a video that the NOVA Team pilots jointly produced for his official farewell.