Arturo Silvestrini, a leader in the remote sensing industry and in space-related software development, died July 20 of lung cancer. He was 76.
Before retiring from the space industry in 1998, Silvestrini served as president and chief executive officer of the Earth Observation Satellite Company, the first commercial imagery company in the country.
Before that, he was president of the system sciences division of Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif., where he primarily led projects connected to NASA’s Landsat program. He also served as a board member for Computer Technology Associates Inc. of Rockville, Md.
“He really had a personal style and was always trying to make sure relationships were maintained and built upon,” said Timothy Puckorius, senior vice president of international sales for GeoEye of Dulles, Va., who considered Silvestrini a mentor and remembered him as a man who gave sage advice and wanted everyone around him to succeed.
Tom Velez, chief executive officer of Computer Technology Associates said Silvestrini was an internationalist who always cut across cultures in order to get other countries to work with his companies and share assets. Though knowledgeable in the industry, Silvestrini would often rely on dialogue and charisma rather than technical and engineering expertise to attract clients, Velez said.
Outside the office, Silvestrini loved boating for its social and relaxing elements, and would entertain people regularly on his boat, which he affectionately named “Ciao,” his friends said.
“We’d sit on the boat and drink pinot grigio and talk about the industry,” Puckorius remembered.
After leaving the space business, Silvestrini went on to open Piccola Roma Restaurant in Annapolis, Md., with his wife, Silvana.
He is survived by Silvana, as well as his son Corrado, his daughter Iole, his brother Gigi and his stepchildren Stefano and Caterina, according to information provided by his family.