Biography of Andrew “FoFo” Gilich
Andrew “FoFo” Gilich was elected mayor of Biloxi in a special election on May 12, 2015.
Gilich succeeded Biloxi’s longest-serving mayor, A.J. Holloway, and came into office promising to provide 21st Century solutions to helping solve Biloxi’s challenges and move the city forward. He also promoted his Biloxi roots and appreciation of Biloxi’s 315-year history, proclaiming “I am Biloxi.”
Gilich is well-versed in both innovation and Biloxi’s history.
In 1983, he founded the first high-tech business in Biloxi, a computer software company that expanded its customer base from Biloxi and the Gulf Coast to service nearly 40 states across the nation. His clients included more than 50% of the largest public school districts in the country.
Gilich was born and raised in Biloxi, the son of Andrew M. Gilich Sr. and Jacobina Sekul Gilich. The Gilich family has distinguished itself on all levels of community involvement for more than a hundred years in Biloxi.
The future mayor was taught the value of hard work and dedication as a stock boy in the family grocery business, Foodland; as a can catcher in his grandparents’ seafood factory SeaCoast; and as a deck hand on the Pan American Clipper excursion boat.
He learned discipline and leadership at a young age as a graduate of Gulf Coast Military Academy. He also graduated from Notre Dame High School in Biloxi (1965) and the University of Houston (1970), where he earned a degree in mathematics.
He first entered the computer field in 1968 while also continuing related post-graduate training in programming, systems analysis and operations research. He worked at Control Data Corporation and Johnson Space Center in Houston, before returning home in 1972, as a scientific programmer at Ingalls Shipbuilding before opening his own company, Gulf South Analytical in 1983 in Biloxi.
Among his clients in the 1980s was the City of Biloxi; the future mayor helped computerize the city’s accounting and financial tracking systems.
Gilich is an active member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Biloxi, and a member of several Biloxi civic and community organizations.
However, he is perhaps best known for his leadership in the Slavic Benevolent Association, known as the Croatian-American Cultural Society, or locally, as the “Slavonian Lodge.”
Gilich has overseen the organization’s annual golf tournament grow from its humble beginnings 42 years ago with a handful of participants to what today is billed as “the planet’s largest four-ball tournament,” attracting 1,100 golfers from across the country to play on six local golf courses and enjoy four days of social events including sit-down dinners for more than 2,000 people.
About that nickname: “FoFo” was tagged with his nickname as a young toddler because of his affinity for “Jack and the Beanstalk” (“fee-fi-fo-fo-fum”), and, as is the case with most nicknames for people in Biloxi, it stuck.