Born and educated in South Africa, Johan Wassenaar migrated to North America as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of the Witwatersrand and went to work in the Canadian aerospace industry during the Cold War, when technological innovation was highly valued.
His eight years in Ontario and Quebec, gave him cutting edge aerospace defense experience, including highly classified work on American projects, which caused him to move to the Los Angeles headquarters of his employer where much of U.S. technology innovation had become centered.
The Vietnam War took its toll on creative parts of defense procurement, which caused him to form vanAar, Inc., a Strategic Business Planning Consultancy to cater to the needs of important advanced technology enterprises in America, Great Britain, Germany, France and South Africa.
During the course of this activity he took an assignment as marketing VP to help turn around a challenged manufacturing corporation. This opened the door to wider exposure to important new consulting clients, some of which engaged him to acquire enterprises designed to broaden their businesses. The new Dean of the UCLA Business School used him to design an innovative strategic planning course for senior classes in lieu of depending solely on Harvard B-School case studies. In the course of this engagement he hired two very promising MBA seniors from Iran and India, respectively, and sends the Persian to Teheran to help the company develop business with the Shah's Government. It leads to a friendship with a wonderful high achievement Iranian family, many of whom wind up in California where with, Mark, his former employee, they begin new businesses, leading to the ultimate formation of Trimark Motion Pictures which finally merged into Lion's Gate. During this period Wassenaar moved to live in Santa Barbara's Hope Ranch.
He later became interested in dressage horses and wound up in the Santa Ynez Valley with an extra-vocational interest in competitive dressage show management.
His Hi-Tec interest in energy conservation systems continues, as does his activities in green energy development.
In 2002, Wassenaar began writing and publishing novels, which so far include:
Love in the Shadows of Apartheid, -Teresa, -Sharon and -Inge
Die for me Argentina.
In the fast lane of Championship Horse Shows, Book 1 and Book 2
Sex & Sadism, Sex & Love, and Sex & Consequences.
The Foster Care Dilemma, now in it's 3rd edition which focuses on the challenges of caring for disadvantaged children.
As a member of a Creative Writing group in Ojai, California, Wassenaar has taken part in the creation and publication, also through Amazon/Books, of several new books.
Ojai Impressions, poems by Joyce Wilson Magoulas
Here and There, poems also by Joyce Wilson Magoulas
Unheard Voices, Journal of a Psychiatric Nurse by Liz Otterbein RN
As a member of the White African Tribe, Wassenaar tends to be more direct than many of his North American and European friends and definitely more accepting of different races and spiritual beliefs than most of them.