Fernando Aguerre resigned this morning during the SIMA meeting as the SIMA Humanitarian Fund President, and Liquid Nation Ball Chairman and host.
I asked him some questions about his decision via email, and why he is resigning now.
My still frail back health is what tipped the scale on this matter. I've been suffering from a surfing-originated disc injury for a few years, but since early June, it became so much worse that my doctor prescribed no surfing and yoga at all.
While still organizing Liquid Nation Ball 8, and after four months of four hours daily of physical therapy, swimming, walking and Pilates with no progress, I decided to go to the surgery room.
Fernando Aguerre at a Liquid Nation Ball in years past.
Last week I went through a three-hour, lower back disc surgery that will require three-to-six months of rehab. I need to focus on my health.
Stepping down was a very tough decision, full of sadness. I put all my love plus my organizational skills to make a lasting impact on our world as head of the Humanitarian Fund and Chairman of the Ball. I did not want to resign, but it is the right thing to do, since I can’t give it my 100% as I always did.
Without health, everything else means NADA. Tears were falling down my face this morning, while I was preparing my message to SIMA.
My hope was always to help in the building of better world with more justice, peace and kindness. Most importantly, I’m proud about the planting of the humanitarian seeds in the DNA of every surf brand and SIMA.
Just like Surfrider did it for the environment, Liquid Nation Ball did it for the humanitarian side. It started just to benefit Surfaid, and soon after it expanded to benefit 13 organizations.
We distributed over $1.5 million dollars and benefited millions of people, while creating a huge blow horn for humanitarian NGOs to tell their story to thousands of people.
I helped Santi run LNB1 at my home, co-organized LNB2 with him, and led the organization of the next six Liquid Nation Balls.
After LNB2, when Santi and I donated Liquid Nation to SIMA, we founded the Humanitarian Fund with Dick Baker.
I believe that I'm leaving behind a strong legacy of humanitarian work, a good SIMA humanitarian footprint, a solid brand, and the foundations for SIMA to take this effort to the next level, as I believe it should.
The SIMA staff is totally prepared on the operational side of the event. I will remain serving on the Board of the SIMA Humanitarian Board as a director, but the board and SIMA will need to find a new president, and new champion of humanitarian causes.
I’m sure our industry and sport have plenty of people capable of doing a great job, and who are willing to walk the walk.
I’m honored and humbled by the last eight years of humanitarian service, and I thank the SIMA Humanitarian Board, the SIMA Board, the SIMA Staff, and my friends in the industry for all their help. Without them this would not have been possible.
I’m not leaving. I’m just stepping aside. I believe this is the best for the cause.