Suzanne Goedmakers hands over the Chair’s baton!
At the end of this year, Suzanne Goedmakers will say goodbye as Chair of the Vebego Foundation. In her place, we are excited to welcome Rob Westerlaken! In this article, we look back with Suzanne on her time as Chair.
How long have you been Chair of the Vebego Foundation? “I have held the position of Chair at the Vebego Foundation since 2015. That’s a little longer than two terms.”
What made you decide to take this position at the time?
“I have been a member of the board of the Vebego Foundation since 2011 and have naturally been involved with Vebego and its employees all my life. Upon deciding to continue my daily career outside Vebego, I was able to do so by contributing to the impact of our wonderful family business and to a better tomorrow for children and young people through the Vebego Foundation. It’s been a very rewarding role, one that I am grateful for, one in which my youth care background and my business background came together.”
How will you look back on the role?
“It has been a very special period in my life, one that I will enjoy looking back on! I am very grateful that I have been able and allowed to do what I have, together with all those others who are committed to the Foundation. The period has been marked by ups and downs, from adapting to the coronavirus situation to the excellent choice of onboarding Josine Dekker to work full-time, which ensures that major steps have been taken. The introduction of My Commitment, My Project, the various collaborations with social partners, but also the difficult decision to stop the building trips.
The role as Chair, combined with a full-time job in youth care and a family, was special, but also sometimes tough. I also discovered that I prefer to act in the background and that was sometimes difficult to reconcile with the role as Chair. As a result, despite my involvement and motivation, it sometimes feels like I have failed the Foundation at times. That’s why it’s time to take a fresh look with a new Chair and new board members who I know will give it their all.”
“It has been a very special period in my life, one that I will enjoy looking back on! I am very grateful that I have been able and allowed to do what I have, together with all those others who are committed to the Foundation.”
What has been the highlight for you during your years as Chair?
“I not only treasure the wonderful experiences, such as building trips to Ghana and Sri Lanka and the packing sessions at Stichting Jarige Job, but also the moments of pride as I look back at my time as Chair. When I see a post on social media from an employee who volunteers selflessly, when I see a team of Vebego colleagues packing gifts at Stichting Jarige Job or FEESTvarken, or during one of the lovely initiatives of Sam& voor alle kinderen; when I see the photos from the special projects in Sri Lanka, Morocco and Ghana… I could go on and on!”
What wisdom would you like to pass on to Rob Westerlaken, your successor?
“Take the stage as Vebego Foundation – whether asked to or not. Build on the foundations that already exist and don’t be modest in your ambitions. By doing just that, do even more of the good things that are already being done. I wish you every success, enjoyment and fulfilment!”
We would like to sincerely thank Suzanne for her tireless commitment and valuable contributions over the past nine years or so and wish her every success in the future!
Suzanne in Sri Lanka for a construction trip project