Pleased to meet you! Tjibbe Tjalling van der Veen is my name, born on Pentecost Sunday May 30, 1971. I grew up in Rottevalle with my parents and my sister. In 1997 I married Marja Hoekstra and we live with our two sons Tjalling and Oane Marten and daughter Gerda in Drachten.

Until my marriage I lived at 9 Havenwei in Rottevalle. A detached bungalow with a large shed behind it. So there is enough room for adventures! I am from lineage of inland skippers and my father was often busy refurbishing boats. After our marriage we lived in Dokkum, Drachten, Eastermar and then again in Drachten.

My great passion is music. Since a project at the primary school “CBS De Finne” I am completely captivated by making music on my trombone. First with Brassband De Bazuin in Rottevalle, but later also in the National Youth Fanfare Orchestra and the Frysk Youth Harmony Orchestra. Tours to Germany, America and Canada with the NJFO were downright fantastic!

After primary school I did the MAVO at “It Anker” in Surhuisterveen. Since learning went smoothly, after a year of HAVO I made the switch to VWO at “Het Liudger” in Drachten. After this I started studying Economics at the University of Groningen.

Unfortunately, my father died at the age of 55. Because of this, I made the switch to the HEAO Business Economics study at the NHL. There and during the rehearsal with Fanfare Joost Wiersma I met my later wife Marja. She studied Commercial Economics. That study is at least as interesting, so I decided to follow this study also. I received my bachelor’s degree for Business Economics on one day in June 1996 and the next day I got my bachelor’s degree in marketing.

After my studies, I was selected for the management traineeship at ABN AMRO. After completing this traineeship, I worked for a while as an account manager at the branch in Dokkum. The “list culture” associated with targets and as a result, the lack of genuine interest in the customer made me decide to switch to Getronics. Here I worked as a consultant in banking and insurance. At Friesland Bank I was project manager for mapping the meta data of the Finan application that is used to analyze the business portfolio. In this way, the bank was also able to remain “in control” of its business portfolio in the context of the increasing supervisory requirements under the Basel Accords. At the end of this project, the supplier of the Finan package asked me to join them. Until April 2003 I worked at Finan.

Because the mortgage market was booming at the time, I was asked by Marja to come and work with her in De Hypotheekshop in Drachten. The following years were truly challenging years! After I got into the business, our processes in particular had my attention. By choosing to digitize all documents related to the mortgage process, we were able to work faster and more efficiently, with more overview and at the same time more environmentally friendly by reducing paper consumption, etc. In 2005, Marja was named the best mortgage advisor in the Netherlands! This only made it busier, so we had to expand: our first staff. In 2007 the acquisition of the branch in Burgum followed.

The following year we were faced with the financial crisis of 2008. Because our company is directly dependent on the housing market, our turnover was hit hard. In addition, in April 2009 we almost lost our son Oane Marten because he had fallen into the canal next to our house. At the end of December 2010, the husband of our first staff member was killed. She had a one-year-old son and she was expecting twins. As a result of the crisis and this series of far-reaching events, our company eventually went bankrupt in 2013. An experience richer, an illusion poorer. But we certainly kept our promise to each other to never be able to say that we didn’t try!

Fortunately, Marja was able to make a new start and all the experiences have made me realize that I want to change tack. ‘It moat oars!’. Less focused on direct personal gain, less chasing the “mammon” of more, bigger, etc., but looking for what is really meaningful and what is really of value. Service, Compassion and Sustainability!

But how? That is the quest for all of us in this transition of eras in which we may live. Fortunately, I am surrounded by my wonderful wife Marja, our children, my family and friends. What do I really want? What do I want to mean for my wife, children, my family and friends, the neighborhood, the village where I live, etc. A real challenge, because it comes down to focusing all my knowledge, experience and talents. That is quite a challenge for me, because I find many things interesting, I am very open to my environment and by nature I am very curious and outgoing. The ‘personal rhyme’ that the headmaster of our primary school gave me when saying goodbye was not without reason: “Tjibbe, that goed without saying, will soon be skipper, on skûtsje, barque or clipper. And is it windless? , he’ll talk the ship through the lock! ” Ideally I would focus on ‘using’ these properties.

On the aft of a skûtsje you will often find an advisor during competitions next to the skipper. Since September 2013, I have found a new focus in teaching at NHLStenden University, where I can help ‘steer’ future groups of (business) economists by analogy with an advisor on the aft of a skûtsje. Steering here represents the choices that students have within their studies, specialization and in the field of personal leadership.

The journey started with the first step. This personal blog was a first step for me. I realize that there is still a lot of work to be done and it may go in small steps, but to stay in ‘sailing’ terms: If you can’t change the direction of the wind, change the position of your sails!

Can I ask you to help me with that?

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