Meet our member: marco van Nieuwkerk
by Tribes Inspiring Workplaces, on 24 Jul 2020
This week we are back in Belgium at our beautiful Tribes location Avenue Louise, and we have interviewed Marco van Nieuwkerk who is a happy member for a year now at Tribes. On the chic Avenue Louise is the Louise center, inspired by the Sami. It is the oldest tribe of Europe, and just like Brussels trilingual (English, French and Flemish).
Marco van Nieuwkerk is Sales Manager for Belgium and works for the company RwandAir. The Belgium Sales team consists of five motivated people including Marco. He is reporting to the Country manager and has three ladies in his team who are responsible for the ticketing and reservations for RwandAir in Belgium.
The members from Tribes Brussels know Marco as a social, talkative, and helpful person. He is always in for a chat with everyone. Marco has met some nice members and therefore he likes the Tribes community in Brussels. He is not only known with Tribes Brussels Avenue Louise but occasionally he also likes to work at Tribes coworking area like Tribes Brussels Airport Zaventem and Tribes European Quarter Avenue Marnix, because it is closer to where he lives.
To go to his work, he mainly goes by foot combined with public transport Brussels like Bus, Tram, Metro, Train. Because he is working for the international airline RwandAir that has customers/passengers coming from Belgium and it’s surrounding countries to fly from Brussels to Kigali (capital of Rwanda) you consider Marco as an international business nomad.
Something about the company:
RwandAir is the National Airline of Rwanda. It was founded on December 1st, 2002 with Kigali International Airport as its home base. RwandAir operates flights within Africa and to Asia and Europe. Previously, the airline was called RwandAir Express; in 2009 this was changed to RwandAir. The success of the company; “Becoming the airline of choice for travellers from North-West Europe to Rwanda and beyond, but also fly the dream of Africa.” Marco likes his job, and he is happy to work for an ambitious Airline with highly motivated colleagues.
Rwanda seems to be a beautiful country. It is located in Central Africa and borders Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi. The country is smaller than the Netherlands. Rwanda is also called "The land of a thousand hills"or "The Switzerland of Africa". The beautiful mountain landscape and the variety of animal species, including the rare mountain gorilla, make the country a suitable destination for nature lovers. Because of the colonial past of Belgian Congo, French is a main language of communication. Therefore, Marco would like to develop more on the French language and diplomacy of the country.
Just another day at the office
“Arrive at the office around 08.30am and welcome the colleagues/team members. Then enjoy a coffee and say hello to some other Tribes Members, especially those in the same (Travel & Aviation) Industry like Alitalia, BBT Online and Expat Club. Then check the e-mails from his partners being the travel agents and tour operators of Benelux and discuss with colleagues and Country Manager Charles priorities and urgent issues. Once all this is under control I start checking the sales figures and competition and think of ways how to grow market share on our main route Brussels-Kigali.”
Marco worked at tribes himself in 2017 as a Chief position at Tribes Brussels location Avenue Louise. Why not take an office space, where he is already familiar with? He knows already the place, feels familiar/comfortable, and he likes the hospitality: super friendly staff, it is easily accessible by public transport and situated at a top location in Brussels. His first impression at Tribes is positive; it has good comfortable chairs and desks. But also, the coworking places give a homely feeling. But most of all he really likes the story behind Tribes. Each location is focused on a different tribe of the world. Our Chief and Founder Eduard Schaepman (Chief and Founder of Tribes) took his inspiration from Jimmy Nelson's book. The only thing what he is missing at Tribes Brussels City Centre; a bar like in Tribes Amsterdam Amstel and others where you can have a beer/drink after work and chat with other Tribes member!
Marco is a Dutch person.
Marco is originally from the Netherlands. He left the Netherlands and exchanged it for the beautiful city of Brussels. He is born and raised in the town called Breukelen, which is near Utrecht. When he was studying, he finished first his bachelor’s Business Administration/Marketing at Nyenrode Business University in Breukelen. During his student life at Nyenrode he sometimes went home with other students, into the old centre of Breukelen where his parents had café “Eetcafé Het Regthuys”. In 1989, he was one of the last Dutch citizens who did the military service. After that he continued studying in Amsterdam and finished a master’s degree in Aviation Economics.
Marco’s adventure started in 1999 in Brussels when he started the Belgium branch office for for Jet Link International from the Netherlands; a General Sales Agent representing several airlines that didn’t have their own sales office in Belgium. His plan was to stay there for a maximum of two years, but he really likes Brussels and after GSA Jet Link he has worked for several other airlines like Virgin Express, US Airways, Alitalia and now since 2019 RwandAir. One day he might want to go back to the Netherlands but for now Marco living and working happily in Brussels for 20 years, and he also started a family there. For Marco Brussels City is the best city, and he cannot resist the Belgian Tripel Beer. In his spare time, he does Waterpolo; “After 30 years not swimming regularly, I return (trying to) playing Waterpolo, this time together with my 17 yrs old son Federico.“ Furthermore, he prefers to be with his children, and he likes to walk through his favorite city Brussels”