Cyclone is sad to announce the passing of Jean-Francois Simard. Jean-François passed during the night on Sunday, June 14. He leaves behind his wife Sophie and his three children. We offer our condolences to the Simard family and those close to him during this difficult time.
Jean-Francois graduated from the Industrial Design School at the University of Montreal and began his career as an industrial designer in 1982 at Lumec in Boisbriand. He rapidly made his mark as a creative designer known for his attentiveness to his customers, cities, engineers, and landscape architects. Called to travel across the continent, Jean-François earned the nickname of “Flying Designer” from his colleagues. In 1993, he was appointed VPGM (Vice-President General Manager) of Lumec. During this period, the company he managed became a North American leader in deco-functional lighting. As the creator and the emblem of the “deco-functional” lighting brand, Jean-Francois was instrumental in bringing the deco-functional philosophy to Cyclone where he was appointed VPGM. Under his leadership, the company doubled its sales over a two-year horizon.
Jean-François presided over the Association of Industrial Designers of Quebec and was a recipient of the prestigious Frederick-Todd Prize awarded by the Association of Landscape Architects of Quebec for his contribution to the industry. His great leadership style and legendary sense of humor influenced and inspired a whole series of colleagues and managers who, in turn, run other lighting companies across North America.
Outside of lighting, Jean-Francois was passionate about politics and philosophy and did not miss an oratorical debate. Many will miss his presence and his vision of reinventing the field of lighting. Jean-Francois will be remembered for being charismatic, attentive, and a great unifier. A light has gone out, but Jean-Francois has left a monumental mark on the lighting industry and those who worked beside him. Let us remember Jean-Francois’ famous rallying phrase: “This is Cyclone!”