FERNANDO AGUERRE BIOGRAPHY
Fernando Aguerre was born and raised in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, Argentina. From a very early age Fernando was groomed by his father, a successful attorney and ranch owner and his mother, an attorney and a psychologist to become a lover of the ocean and an entrepreneur. Fernando is proficient in English, Spanish and Portuguese and maintains a basic knowledge of Italian and French. His fluency in language is one of the many traits which lead him to his success in international business and nonprofit organizations.
Fernando had his first taste of becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 12. His brother and longtime friend, Santiago, introduced him to surfing in 1969 which resulted in a passion that shaped the future of surfing in Argentina and the rest of world, and that has since encompassed his whole life. His first business was a surfboard repair shop. During the military dictatorship of the 70’s, in 1977 surfing was banned in his native Mar del Plata. Fernando founded the Argentinean Surfing Association, promoted surfing, and organized the lobbying for the lifting of the ban. He got the ban lifted a few months later, which was followed by a surf boom. He also founded the first surf and skate magazine in Argentina and opened Ala Moana, the first surf and beach clothing store in his hometown of Mar del Plata. The Surfshop evolved into one of the leading beach clothing manufacturers in the country.
In the midst of his surfing career, Fernando entered Law School in 1978. He continued to run the Argentinean Surfing Association and maintained his duties as managing partner of the surf shop while attending law school. In 1984, Fernando completed law school and with a law degree in hand, turned down offers from both his father and friends to join their law firms, resigned as president of the Argentinean Surfing Association and left for California to join his brother, Santiago.
By early 1985, the Aguerre Brothers were into something new – beach sandals. From this modest beginning of a two man, one desk operation with the sale of 3,000 pairs in 1985, the leading surf brand Reef originated, eventually becoming the #1 beach sandal company and one of the leading surf labels in the world. Fernando continued to run Reef as CEO until 2003 and in early 2005, looking for a lifestyle change closer to family, waves and charitable work, the Aguerre brothers sold Reef to VF, the largest apparel company in the world.
In May of 1994, Fernando was elected President of the International Surfing Association. He has been a key player in the recent expansion and promotion of his beloved sport and his passion for surfing has been an inspiration for many surfers around the world. Fernando led the ISA in obtaining recognition by the IOC in 1997.
It is under Fernando’s leadership that the ISA has grown to its current status as the very recognizable and widely respected International Federation for wave riding sports. The ISA sanctions three annual events – the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, Billabong ISA World Surfing Games and ISA World Masters Surfing Championship; and has the following development programs: Adaptive Surfing Program dedicated to the support of surfing for all; a Scholarship Program created to financially support young surfers in need of financial support to further their education and surfing careers; a Coaching & Judging Program to further develop the teaching of surfing; and a Surf School Register dedicated to providing legitimacy to surf schools for the safety of surfers around the world.
Fernando has always been heavily involved in the sport of surfing. In addition to his long term Presidency at the ISA, he co-founded PASA, the Pan American Surfing Association in 1992 which he presided until 2002, when he decided not to run for re-election. He serves in the Senior Advisory Board of Directors for SIMA (www.sima.com), the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association of the United States and as President of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund (the humanitarian arm of the surfing industry). Fernando actively participates as a member of several humanitarian and environmental surf based organizations, always as an unpaid volunteer in search of his dream of a better world.
He’s the father of 16 year old triplets. He continues to surf daily, near his home in La Jolla, California.