Area(s) of expertise:
Facility Optimization – Energy & Water Conservation
I am a 41-year old, 6-foot tall consultant, born and raised in the Netherlands. I'm married and have three kids. In 2014, I relocated to St Louis, MO to become part of Antea Group. My career started in industry, working as a process and project engineer, as well as a project manager for all different kind of technology and efficiency projects. After nine years in industry, I moved to the consulting business, with a main focus on energy and water conservation, which I have been doing for over eight years. After work I like to run (3 to 13 miles), play in the park with my kids, cook (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine is my favorite), read (history) and watch Netflix.
Favorite Thing about Being a Sustainability Practitioner:
My favorite thing about being a sustainability practitioner is the fact that we are able to use our technical expertise to create a better world and also to help our clients save money. It is not about being idealistic or hugging trees--it’s about real business decisions, real problems, and real solutions, but also about lowering the environmental impact of our customers.
What is a key ingredient for success as a sustainability practitioner?
You have to be able to translate your advice into added value for the client and explain how it benefits their business. This means that we have to be able to translate certain technical solutions into something that is understood by engineers, finance, plant management, and production operators.
What area(s) of sustainability are you most interested in? Why?
I am most interested in the technical part of sustainability--energy, greenhouse gasses, and water. Although these topics are technical by nature, during my career I have learned that social skills are also extremely important to be able to get your message across. I’m always using the ‘KISS’ mantra (Keep It Simple Stupid). If you’re not able to explain a complicated technical issue in a simple way to your client (or anyone actually), you have to try again. So the combination of technical, social, and business is what I really like about our practice.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Getting the chance of meeting a wide variety of people, learning what drives them and what their needs are, and then find ways to improve their business and lower their environmental footprint. I like to understand what problems they are facing in their jobs and try to find ways we could help them. Meeting so many different people from all over the world is definitely the best part of the job!
What was your first job?
My first job was a summer job: peeling tulip bulbs (actually I met my wife during a summer job on a tulip farm!) My first real, grown-up job was process engineer at Philips Semiconductors in the Netherlands.
If you had one month off, where would you go or what would you do?
Easy: I would spend a month with my family and friends back in the Netherlands.
Is there something unique that people might not know about you?
I really like to cook and read cookbooks and recipe websites. Besides that, I do a lot of running and I like to play drums and build scale models of cars and ships (if there’s any spare time left).