A new face at Wafilin. Yes, good news travels fast. That face belongs to me: Gerbrand Siegersma (35 years old), married to Susan and father of Jort. Together we live in Julianadorp in the North West of The Netherlands. I started, this month, my job as account manager at Wafilin Systems. In this article, I will introduce myself to you.
I love food. Good food. And the production of food is very interesting for me. Already for several years I have my own vegetable garden, actually because I like working in the garden for relaxing, but also because I find it fascinating that eventually, you grow a product that you can eat. Although it seems logical that a study of food technology suited me, making a choice for this higher professional education was not so obvious. I am eager to learn but above all curious and feel passionate about the interaction with people. After graduation, I wondered whether working in a factory or working routinely would appeal to me. Fortunately, I discovered that you can also find a role in a commercial direction in the food industry. Hence I am still happy with my choice to follow Food Technology at Van Hall Larenstein, opposite to the office of Wafilin Systems, about 16 years ago.
My career started in quality management, a good position to start after graduation, but I couldn’t use my commercial qualities. So I joined a worldwide supplier of poultry processing solutions, to work as a process technologist, a function that focuses on improving the production process for chicken processing. As a kind of external consultant, I helped companies improve production processes and participated in R&D projects. Although I had found a role where I could interact with people, the real commercial aspect was still missing. I gained that experience a year later when I was given the opportunity to join Tetra Pak Cheese & Powder Systems, where, in the position of Sales Manager Cheese (Cheddar & Mozzarella), I learned a lot about cheese and dairy processing during the nine years I spent there. At my last position at AVH dairy trade (part of the Emmi Group), I took the step to sell the final dairy product (goat & sheep based ingredients), giving me an even broader view of the dairy industry and a better understanding of the challenges that dairy companies have to deal with.
Now you know how I discovered my passion for food & people. I want my work to be meaningful and I think I can be in my new job at Wafilin Systems. In recent years I have gained a lot of know-how and experience. Now it was the time for me to transfer that to an innovative small-scale organization, so I can help them grow faster.
So, during the acquaintance at Wafilin, I was pleasantly surprised by the know-how and professionality of the organization. The complex membrane technology, some of it showed in the FACT (Food Application Centre for Technology) and in the WAC (Water Application Center)) at Van Hall Larenstein, is so special, that level of customization, there was no doubt, I want to offer this to the market.
As account manager, I am a liaison officer between the company and its customers. I develop and maintain the relationship between (potential) customers and the company by helping to identify the needs of both parties and deciding how to best meet those needs. Wafilin has a wonderful range of systems that have already proven their effectiveness with major players in the Food & Dairy industry. My work will mainly focus on sales and relationship management. Expanding the customer network and strengthen existing relationships with the sales and marketing team.
Wafilin is characterized by an informal and no-nonsense culture, something that really appeals to me. I felt welcome from the first moment on. I look forward to working with this team, consisting of passionate and enthusiastic colleagues and of course, never to forget: you!
Let’s meet each other soon!
With kind regards,