ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Erik Best arrived in Prague in Feb. 1991 and has been publishing the Fleet Sheet since Feb. of 1992. He thought at the time that the business would last 5-6 years and that the foreigners - his main target audience - would leave the country, but the Fleet Sheet is still going strong more than 20 years later. This is partly because many of the foreigners stayed, and partly because Czechs quickly became the Fleet Sheetâ€™s main customer base.
By the time Erik arrived in Prague in 1991, he had already devoted more than half a decade to studying Central and Eastern Europe, although he had no family ties to the region. By background, heâ€™s a 100% American, with family in North Carolina, where he was born in 1962, and Montana, where his family moved when he was a child. His first journalism job was as a sports reporter for The Missoulian (in Montana) at the age of 16.
His studies and experience in journalism, diplomacy, politics, business and foreign languages provided just the mix he needed to found the Fleet Sheet and also allowed the Final Word, which he began publishing in 2001, to immediately become an influential publication. Thanks to the recognition brought by the Final Word, Erik is also a frequent commentator on Czech radio and television stations.