Ian Masters, former Controller of Broadcasting for the Thomson Foundation, recalls his first meeting with Vanda Condurache in 1993.

I had just joined the Thomson Foundation from the BBC and Vanda’s station, RTV Iasi, was my first consultancy. I had been asked to develop their news and current affairs skills. Vanda was one of the station’s producers at that time. I was immediately impressed with her determination and commitment to the tiny TV station. They had so little at that time. Just three VHS cameras and a largely untrained news staff. After two weeks working with Vanda I knew that Iasi would grow in talent and stature. It did, and Vanda Condurache was the driving force behind the other producers and technicians.
The following June TV Iasi hosted the CIRCOM conference – by which time the station’s star was clearly in its ascent. Then in July Vanda came to the Thomson Foundation summer course and I enjoyed twelve weeks of teaching this remarkable woman. Small and slim in stature she had enormous strength of mind. I had rarely met such a professional woman and she had a thirst to learn about everything and anything to do with television.
From that first contact with CIRCOM she quickly gained the respect of broadcasters from dozens of member stations and her enthusiastic response to the work of CIRCOM led her to become  a decision maker for regional development. Fast thinking and decisive many of us were impressed by her wisdom. She always found time to help others – I never knew her to refuse a request for assistance.
The staff of the Thomson Foundation had the deepest respect for her. She became a close friend of Gareth Price, the then director, and over the years many TF trainers came to know and like her.
We were not surprised to hear that Vanda had been approached to lead the station’s programme output. What a fine leader she proved to be – always leading by example. Never asking anybody to undertake a task that she herself had not examined in minute detail.
Like us, her colleagues loved her. She always referred to me as “my teacher”. I visited the station on a number of occasions – my final visit was last November. Then, as before,  I was greeted by warmth and friendship.
Vanda’s voice will echo in the corridors TV Iasi for many years to come. A voice of enthusiasm and determination calling on the highest standards of effort from her team.  How this fine woman will be missed. Our hearts go out to her family and her colleagues after her tragic death.

Karol Cioma – Circom Regional Training Coordinator

May 1994 is embellished in the minds and hearts of the Circom training team.  This is the year that Circom training began and Hans Jessen, Didier Desormeaux and I first met, and when we all met Vanda for the first time too.  She was a member of that training course and it was a pleasure to train and work with her. Over the years she became a dear friend to all of us, her smile and welcome always sincere and genuine.  In fact Vanda’s effect was so strong that she epitomised what we always referred to as the “Iasi Spirit”.
When we organised the Training the Trainers course this year Vanda was the first person we wanted to attend that course.  We knew that our standards and principles would have been in good hands and would be put to good use by Vanda for the benefit of her colleagues in Romania.
The course in Bristol was in January of this year where, sadly as we now know, we met for the last time.  On behalf of Didier, Hans and all of the trainers and technicians that met with Vanda, I can say that we will miss her but we will never forget her and our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Hans Jessen, Circom Regional Trainer

Last night my friends Didier and Karol called me and told me the terrible news about Vanda's death. I was shocked and I still am. Vanda was a person - and personanlity - who deeply impressed me and has opened my mind in many ways.
I met her for the first time 1994 in Iasi - the initial point of Circom training .
Coming from an established German tv-station I was confronted with working conditions and political circumstances which were far away from everything I had experienced before. Even more I was impressed by the enormous power, will and energy to build up a better future of public tv under these circumstances. We met a group of talented young journalists - and the outstanding character without any doubt was Vanda.
Iasi became a key-point in my life .
This experience from 1994 was confirmed again and again in the following years - year after year talented and enthusiastic colleagues from TVR Iasi attended the training courses and there was not one who was not motivated and promoted by Vanda. She was caring for her staff in a professional as well as personal manner - the best example for good managment and social responsibility under difficult conditions one can imagine.
From all the station representatives during the annual conferences I do not know any anybody who was interested in and supported training activities as consequently as Vanda did. We met every year and through the time developed a relationship of deep understanding and friendship. It was always wonderful to come together with Vanda - she was always friendly, open, interested and motivated - even when time was narrow , never harsh or cool - she just opened people`s hearts and souls .
The last time we met was after the Training-the-Trainers-course early this year in Bristol. For me it was absolutely clear that Vanda would have to be one of the future trainers , a logical consequence of her work, experience and success through the last years .
Due to elections in Bremen I could not join this years training course in Bilbao - until I had to cancel it, I had been looking forward to meeting Vanda and many others of you again there. now I have to accept vanda´s cruel fate individually from the distance.
My heart and my feelings are with Vanda`s family and with eveybody who feels close to her .
The world of Circom will not be the same without Vanda - but I know, that she will never forgotten and I`m convinced that her spirit and energy will stay as a heritage shared and continued by all the ones who knew her and loved her .

with deep sorrow
Hans Jessen

Rick Thompson, who organised the first Circom Training course in Iasi in 1994, says Vanda was exceptional.

What a deep shock it was to hear that Vanda had been killed. I remember very well meeting her in Iasi in 1994. The then Secretary-General of Circom Peter Zimmerman had called me at the BBC, at rather short notice, to say he had got some money from the EC, and could I organise a journalism training course before the annual conference, to be held for the first time in a former Communist country – Romania? Vanda was one of the talented young journalists from the host station to join the ‘trainees’. She immediately impressed Didier, Hans, Ian, Graham, John, Karol, Duncan and the rest of the training team who had been hastily assembled. Her energy was boundless. Her enthusiasm infectious. It was clear she would reach a very senior level, as indeed she did. It was always a pleasure to see her at subsequent Circom conferences and to follow her development.
The last time I saw her was at a European Commission consultative conference about communicating with the audiovisual media, in Helsinki just before Christmas 2006. Vanda was a panellist in the final session which I moderated, and as usual she gave an articulate and charming presentation, with clips of TVR programmes. She was a great ambassador for TVR.
Overall Vanda was exceptional, and it is a cruel tragedy that she should have gone so young. I send my heartfelt sympathy to her family, friends and many colleagues in Circom.

Rick Thompson

Presenting Prix Award, 23rd CR Annual conference Liverpool 2005


After successful judging session,Maribor 2006


Training the Trainers workshop, Bristol, UK, January 2007


Screening programmes, Prix Circom 2006 judging, Maribor


Presenting Prix Award, 24th CR Annual conference Kolding 2006