Brussels, March 2nd, 2015
Last Saturday, 28th of February, Mrs. Hester Duursema was appointed unanimously as the new Secretary General of the European Skippers’ Organisation (ESO).
She succeeds Mr. Henk van der Velde, who after many years of fulfilling this role, wanted to resign. He will however be still available for ESO and due to an existing vacancy he has been appointed as interim vice-president of ESO.
Both nominations take effect immediately.
Duursema (32), director of the Dutch IWT organisation BLN, was already an ESO Council member, as a representative of her organisation. She will be part of the ESO Board, which means much more work in representing ESO externally, apart from the internal tasks of coordinating the various current and upcoming topics.
“I’m very pleased and honoured with this nomination and the confidence in me,” says Duursema, ‘I’m happy to be able to operate on behalf of the independent entrepreneurs on European level. It is indeed a responsible task, but I am lucky to be well supported by the other Board members as well as the Council.” She further indicates her concern about the still poor economic situation of the sector and she states: “I want to support the inland shipping industry to move out of its situation of dependence into a position of strength.”
Duursema has nine years of broad, multidisciplinary and international experience, before joining BLN in 2013. She has a Master degree in International Economics and a PhD in Strategic Leadership.
Van der Velde (68) was a little surprised by all kind words when he announced his stepping back: “It was my pleasure and I think a timely succession is best for the continuation of any organisation. I look back with gratitude and satisfaction on my time as SG and thank everyone who has made efforts to the benefit of the sector one way or another.“
Van der Velde will continue to handle the office matters for ESO and if needed will also represent ESO externally.