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I have always had a fascination for change. Different than many other people, I don’t strive towards stability, which is an illusion anyway. As Heraclitus once said: There is nothing permanent except change. My fascination for change gave me the basis to become a good crisis manager.
Being a restless pupil, I left high school one year prior to start my own business when I was 19. Being far too ambitious, I unwillingly created my first crisis within the first year. The cashflow of my company was too little, and I had to learn how to reorganise my business and change the strategy. The bank gave me 2 month to solve the problems. And I did it! My first crash course.
I started working as a management consultant in 1996, now helping others to navigate through difficult times. My work as a management consultant involved reorganisation of companies and organisations, as well sorting out private crisis situations. For instance, I renegotiating loans and mortgages for private clients. Besides that, I started coaching managers.
In 2011 I began my work with Fairtrade Original. For Fairtrade I travelled frequently to South East Asia to support the suppliers of Fairtrade overcoming their problems running their businesses.
After interim management at Amnesty International for 9 months, I navigated Fairfood, a promising new civil society organisation, through its initial growth spurt by restructuring the internal organisation and setting-up a profound reporting system for financiers. Fairfood kept growing fast from that point onwards. As the executive director I transformed Fairfood into an international organisation with 7 offices on 5 continents. Fairfood pushes food companies worldwide to produce more healthy and sustainable.
In 2011 I expanded my knowledge in change management by following the executive course ‘Leading Successful Change’ at INSEAD in Singapore.
From 2011 onwards I pushed for change in the Dutch society as a publicist and activist. Due to the controversial topics I raised, I was forced to use my skills and knowledge to achieve change. I was able to stir the debate about arm export to the Middle East, the controversial chokehold still used by the Dutch police and police violence causing far more fatal casualties than in other European countries. Furthermore, I had a leading role in preventing the city of Amsterdam to partner-up with Tel Aviv.
Since the beginning of 2017, I work as an independent crisis manager, helping people and organisations preparing for and navigating through difficult times.