I like stories. I like to read them, see them, tell them. As a kid growing up in a small town, I would devour the children’s books at the local library. I finished the entire section by the age of 11. I saw a breakdance version of King Lear at 14, and it opened my eyes to Shakespeare. When I stood on the Capitol in Rome I looked down on centuries of stories, history and culture and instinctively knew: this is what I want to be doing when I grow up.
It taught me to read and interpret stories. But also to find them, to translate them into something everybody understands. And more recently I quite literally began to tell them.
Nowadays I tell the story of Heineken, the famous Dutch brewery with an exciting past. From the very first bottle of Heineken beer at the Paris World’s Fair in 1899, to the introduction of the iconic smiling E’s in the 1950’s, to showing Muhammed Ali’s love for one of the first non-alcoholic beers: as a Collection Manager I tell stories. About beer (but really about so much more).
I help to develop company- and brand strategies. In my experience, history can be an extremely powerful tool to help shape the future.
Furthermore, I believe in the power of visualization: I make (brand) history tangible through exhibitions, activations, publications and online storytelling.
I like to talk (I have friends who will confirm this). I can teach, give workshops and tell you many stories. Interviews, talks, lectures. You name it, I like it. I'm inspired by some of the greatest storytellers out there: writers like Roald Dahl and Nora Ephron and songwriters like David Bowie, Nick Cave and Alex Turner.
I also like to write. I have a PHD - if you like to catch up on heritage politics in the Dutch Polders - I published in several academic books and magazines and for Tijdschrift Holland (a Dutch magazine on popular history) I worked as an editor.
As a researcher I am also very fond of dusty archives and collections yet to be discovered.
Would you like to know more about my or my work? Or do you have a story you're desperate to share? Don't be a stranger and drop me a line!