Inspiring Colleague: Mike Rutgers

Tribes Inspiring Workplaces
22 Nov 2019

Inspiring Colleague: Mike Rutgers

by Tribes Inspiring Workplaces, on 22 Nov 2019

PHOTO-2019-11-21-13-51-28Inspiring Colleague of this week is Mike Rutgers, Tribal Chief of two locations in Amsterdam. His journey to Tribes and at Tribes has been a great adventure so far, and he’s always there for everyone. Whether it’s drinking a cup of coffee with one of his members, installing an ice cube machine, connecting a new beer keg or giving an inspiring visit: Mike arranges it all with a smile on his face. Time to get to know him better!

After quitting his job in the catering and hospitality industry in 2018, Mike had no idea that he would be a perfect match with our company. We found him on Indeed, and we’re happy that we plucked him from the Internet back then. Mike: 'I grew up in the catering and hospitality industry, and worked with my father. So, it was no surprise that I wanted to work in that direction myself, and I helped to build up a restaurant. That was successful, and I really enjoyed being part of a MT. After building up the business, I started working as a manager at another restaurant. Soon the owner left all the details to me: a compliment, but the catering and hospitality industry is a tough industry. I was the one who missed all the parties, and who had to work during the Christmas holidays. I was ready for something else’.

So, Mike took a leap and placed his resumé on Indeed. Practically the same day he received a phone call from us, asking if he could come to Amsterdam within the hour to participate in an active application round, for a position that ‘fitted him well'. After a quick look at our website, but with no idea for which position he would be having an interview, he jumped into his car. Mike: 'Actually, I didn't even know that it was a job for Tribes itself, but I got a tour right away and the whole atmosphere at Tribes Amsterdam Amstel appealed to me. During the conversation it turned out that I applied for a job as a host, and although that didn't include the managerial part, which I like very much, I decided to go for it’.

The serious South Axis culture - which Mike was a bit hesitant about - turned out to be not that serious at all: 'I didn’t know what to expect, it’s quite a switch going from the catering industry to the corporate world with the tailor-made suits on the South Axis, but at Tribes it's completely different. It's all innovative and inspiring, very modern, and a bit crazy. And I'm not just talking about the interior, but also about the people: the colleagues and the members. My second job interview, for example, was very enjoyable with Casper Klap, Tribal Chief of the South Axis locations. He spent two minutes talking to me about the job, laughed a lot and then told me everything about the X-Tribe, the hero-tribe of Amsterdam Ito. That’s my favorite hero-tribe, by the way, because all those disruptors have something inspiring’, says Mike.

After three months working as a host at Amsterdam Amstel, it was obvious that Mike would be a perfect Tribal Chief. That's how he got Amsterdam Adam Smith and Zuiderhof under his wing, where he learnt to do everything in no-time. Mike himself says that he is quickly bored, and when he was asked to take care of the largest (and according to him the most beautiful) Tribes location Amsterdam Raamplein instead of Zuiderhof, he didn't have to think about it. Mike: 'I really love the diversity of my work! There are so many things involved with being a Tribal Chief: managing your location, managing your team, organizing events, a bit of sales, thinking about optimization and also a bit of catering and hospitality: I still enjoy tapping a beer at our parties’.


Besides being all-round Mike is also very handy: last summer he even converted a normal van into a camper, and that quality often proves to be useful. Instead of hiring installers, Mike rolls up his sleeves, picks up his tools and installs an ice cube machine himself, repairs door handles, puts up paintings for members, and so on. But he doesn't shy away from other projects either: now he's part of the TNYC Squad, the party committee for the Tribes New Year Conference. Mike: 'I will never forget the TNYC 2019. What a crazy staff party that was. Just like the Christmas party on Amstel by the way, and the grand opening of Raamplein. Although the 1-year anniversary of Raamplein was also pretty crazy: with police at the door because we had too much fun at our little party...


He doesn't really think he's a business nomad, but we don't entirely agree. Together with his girlfriend he travelled all over Eastern Europe in his homemade camper, and he visits both his Amsterdam locations every day. He enjoys that: 'I like to meet with my teams on a daily basis and I want to be present for my members, so yes, I actually do travel quite a bit back and forth. I really like the variety of location and surroundings; it keeps me on my toes. But after a day like that I like to stay at home and enjoy a good glass of wine with my girlfriend or a group of friends', says Mike.

And in the weekends? Then, you can find Mike at the Scouting in Beverwijk, where he’s a supervisor of ‘Scouts’ (group of boys in the age of 11-15). Together they make fires, climb trees, build huts and much more. Mike: 'for them it's about doing all these though things, because we do the things you don't do anywhere else. And for me? I get satisfaction from the fact that I can give these boys a great afternoon, from which some of them have issues or face certain challenges in life. And sometimes they just don't have a lot to spend, and we can offer them - besides development and guidance - a great time.’