We have received the extremely sad news that French crane veteran Gilles Marchand passed away yesterday afternoon, following a five year battle with cancer.
With more than 45 years in the crane market, he first came to prominence as sales manager with Coles France, becoming assistant general manager in the early 1980s. Coles France was acquired by Grove in 1985 and he became involved with the Grove Manlift product line, taking an even more significant role within the company as it became Grove Coles France, Grove France and then Manitowoc. When managing director André Faes retired, Marchand naturally took over as president of the company.
After retiring from Manitowoc in 2007 he decided that he missed the crane business and started up his own used crane business, Standup in 2009. However he had plenty of hobbies, in particular sailing, in fact he was very active in the Île de Noirmoutier yacht club where he was a vice president until his illness prohibited it.
His funeral will take place on Friday, November 8th at 14:30 at the Church of L'Herbaudière, on the Île de Noirmoutier in south west France.
Gilles Marchand was a true gentleman and total professional, and a great man in his own quiet and self depreciating way. Consistent, thoughtful and a sheer pleasure to spend time with. The industry has lost one of the good guys. Our thoughts go out to his wife Liz and family.