Español Nederlands



Originating from education. Studied Spanish language and literature at the University of Nijmegen, was sworn Dutch-Spanish interpreter by the Court of Justice of Utrecht and became a manager by the foundation of an institute with the basic objective to give adult people in the Netherlands the occasion to become acquainted with Spanish language and culture. During a couple of years he visited great part of Spain. Next to his managerial activities he taught Spanish at his own institute and started a collaboration with a Spanish institute in Madrid. He organized educational trips to Spain and extended his contacts to Gran Canaria, Málaga and Salamanca. During six years he was the executive manager of a language institute that extended over the whole Dutch nation and took the educational responsibility for the section of Spanish. He developed courses and educational programmes in Spanish. As a member of the board of the Association of Institutions for Private Oral Education he worked together on behalf of the realization of the Law of Recognized Educational Institutions in which he established quality requirements for private schools and contributed to the solution of the problem of the differences between regular and private education. After that as the founder of the Dutch Foundation for Professional Education he worked on an educational project for unemployed internationally oriented academics, took part in an educational employer's programme and in an educational programme of collaboration between de Baak/Nieuw Elan/VNO, the Dutch employer's organization, the Spanish employer's organization Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales (CEOE) and the Dutch Centre forTrade Promotion (NCH). After he had been responsible as a staff member for some time for the foundation Stichting Nieuw Elan/de Baak, the Dutch Management Centre of the Dutch employer's organization VNO for the portfolio of General Matters he dedicated himself as from january 1991 to the development of the Instituto Cervantes as a new worldwide organization on behalf of his colleagues. After he committed himself to Diana, Princess of Wales on the 28th of August 1996 - the day of Her divorce - untill her fatal kidnapping in Paris his Prime Concern for some time became the education of Prince William in good collaboration with His Mother and the conservation of British Monarchy as a shadow manager.

Curriculum Vitae

9-11-1947 Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands
1960-1965 Secondary School Nijmeegs Lyceum Nijmegen
1965-1966 Polytechnical College Arnhem (architecture)
1966-1969 Teacher Training College Nijmegen
1970-1977 Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Nijmegen, First Degree
1970-1979 Teacher in Primary Education
1977-1978 English Language at the University of Nijmegen
1978-1979 Managing Director Language Institute
1979-1981 Organizational Development and Managing Director of the private French-Spanish Language Institute, since 1981 Linguarama Netherlands
1981-1987 Managing Director private Dutch Language Institute
1984-1988 Member Working Party Deficiencies of the Open University
1985-1988 RepresentativeInternational Association of Language Centres Madrid
1986 Sworn into the office of Interpreter into the Spanish Language by the District Court of Utrecht
1986-1987 Founder and President of the Foundation for Professional Education
1987-1988 President and Treasurer Cooperation Adult Education
1987-1988 Teacher in Spanish State Examination Interpreter-Translator
1988-1989 Course of General Management De Baak NOORDWIJK
1988-1989 Staff member project of collaboration Dutch and Spanish Employers' Organization (VNO/CEOE)
1989-1990 Teacher Spanish Adult Education in Hilversum
1989-1991 Staffmember office- and information management Foundation de Baak NOORDWIJK
1991-now Organizational Development
Instituto Cervantes Benelux.

1994-1995 Member of Committee and Editorial Staff of the Dutch Association of Teachers in Spanish

28 August 1996 - 31 August 1997 Personal advisor and Partner of the Princess of Wales.

1 September 1997- now Development Instituto Cervantes Holding Limited

Personal Biography

Nijmegen. Born in the latter days of the birth gulf after the Second World War in a town environment. My father was a Dutch protestant and mother changed from Roman Catholic to the Dutch protestant church for the benefit of her marriage. I received my education in a Roman Catholic kindergarten, a protestant primary school and a oecumenic secondary school: the Nijmeegs Lyceum. A period that strongly determined my vision on the world. Ideologically the Nijmeegs Lyceum parted from general christian principles. Socially the college wore a free-thinking, liberal character. The school was achievement-oriented, but principally characterized by a strong group performance: the Association of Nijmegen Lyceists. From the beginning pupils were introduced into a democratical process. Study groups existed and every year two school parties were organized. Contacts came about, lasting relationships and also marriages have found their origin in the Nijmegen Lyceum time. It was the time of the birth of a new time spirit: Bob Dylan: "The times they are a changing", "Like a Rolling Stone", the Rolling Stones: "It's my life and I do what I want", The Beatles: "And I love her". Youth got its own identity and became very creative. Existing structures were broken off: the May Revolt in Paris 1965.

Study- and careers counselling still were not so strongly developed in those days. Advices were given on the basis of study notes. It became clear to me that I had a strong need of building, designing, a creative occupation and enrolled in a study in architecture at the Politechnical in Arnhem. This was to me a complete culture-shock. The politechnical culture was dominated by an excessive attention for technical aspects and a minimum for human communication.

This experience urged me to decide to invest in the guidance of people, in building human organizations, starting at the basis: the education of young children. I became interested in developmental psychology, psycho-analysis, pedagogics, didactics, educational systems and communication processes by means of the language. In 1966 I entered the Peter Kanis Teacher Training College in Nijmegen. I was the first non catholic student of this college with a Roman Catholic signature. I passed for my religion examinations of the Old and New Testament with the maximal result. So my knowledge of christian religion was rather good. In this aspect it was an interesting time. The reformer Professor Schillebeekx lived litterarily in the back garden and determined the new theology of the Roman Catholic church in the Netherlands. Ideologically my vision of a universal, holistic religion was born here. The college offered me the possibilities to take personal inititatives. In close consultation with the principal I organized a Students Council, a platform of consultation between group representatives and management and control unit of sport, play and workgroups. In this quality I represented the collegestudents in a Union of Students of Dutch Teacher Training Colleges. It also was the period of my first European travels. First England and Scotland (Fort William 1966), afterwards Italy and Spain (1967 and 1968). To Spain many would have to follow. These travels formed the basis of my first cultural and social studies (Michelangelo, El Greco, Cervantes, la Corrida de Toros) and language studies: first Italian, next Spanish. In 1969 I received my headmasters qualification and as a travel guide I made trips to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy: my first experience as a leader of a group of adults.

1970 Military service
From January 1970 I joined the military service at the cavalry in Amersfoort. At the School of Reserve Officers of the Regiment of Boreel I gained important strategical insights.

1970-1979 Education and Spain
November 1970 I took up my duties as a teacher at a primary school: working hard during nine years in the education of about 300 young people. At the same time working hard on a part time study in Spanish on an academical level. By choosing for the Polytechnical College I had lost the chance to obtain an academical degree. The part time studyprogramme at the University of Nijmegen offered me that possibility. Studying in the evening hours (from 20.00 until 23.00 h.), weekends and holidays (20 Spanish books went along to Mallorca): translation, literature, grammar, historical grammar, fluency, didactics, etc. etc. Working, studying and rolling up the sleeves. Little time for social contact. The third of July 1971 engaged in Patio de los Leones of the Alhambra in Granada. Married in 1973. Introduction to a form of catholicism unknown to me until then. We went to live in a village near Nijmegen. 1976 birth of Mark, 1979 Ramon. Stable period characterized by working and relationships in the educational field, building a family and studying. In 1977 I graduated on the themes "Bodas de Sangre" of Federico García Lorca and

"El erasmismo y cristianismo nuevo en el Don Quijote de la Mancha de don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra" related to the theme of "La edad conflictiva of Américo Castro.

My line of development or career path seemed to get into a dead end at that moment. The Dutch educational system did not offer any employment for hispanistic graduates. So I started again a language study. English this time to create a combination possibility in the future. It was however also the time of the rise of the so called "éducation permanente". Adults came to be aware that life is one long path of learning and that regular intellectual repleneshing of one's reserves is a necessity to keep socially and culturally pace with the developments of the time. After having attained the Spanish study success the first challenge presented itself: a solution for the social problem (that I took up in 1988): for a graduated hispanist there was no work! Therefore I started a small language school in 1978. Characteristics of that time: first experiments with legal constructions, setting up an organization, accounting, talks with members of the council and recruitment of students. A nice start: 120 adult students in English, French and Spanish. In 1979 I took the decision to give up all the certainties of the regular educational system (I was still a children's teacher) and started as an "independent" educational manager by the foundation of the 'French-Spanish Institute B.V.' FSI.

1979-1990 Educational Management
This was an interesting period of learning. A period of taking ventures, strive for ideals, take risks, confrontations, conflicting situations and the permanent search for creative solutions. A period in which the accents of teachership gradually moved into the direction of entrepeneurship. 1979 became a fantastic year: freedom, working from my own house, daily on my way from studycenter to studycenter. In no time a back office was set up and a network-organization built up in 24 places within a range of 125 kilometers around Nijmegen up to Roosendaal, Bussum and Emmeloord. Well qualified teachers were selected and placed on the locations where weekly a good educational product was established. On Saturdays studydays with the teachers took place, during the evenings I assisted the lessons and I spoke with students and teachers. I could completely expand my expertise in the field of education and Spanish in combination with my love for organizing and entrepeneurship. The start was very encouraging: 750 adult students. Next year was even more successfull. The number of courses was extended with Italian and Portuguese. The FSI tended towards an Institute for Roman Studies. A redactional free publicity campaign under the slogan "Increasing interest for French and Spanish" caused a "Spain-vogue". Result: double the amount of students. An intensive collaboration arose with an institute in Madrid (and afterwards in Málaga, Gran Canaria and Salamanca), that lasted until 1986. 1980 was not only the year of success because of the marketing approach, but in my view particularly as a result of the new didactical methods I introduced in close cooperation with my teachers: the traditional grammar-translation method made room for a functional-notional approach: Spanish and French for the use in recognizable situations for the students and directly appliable in the daily communicative practice. Developments in the market of private education led in 1980 to a strong decrease in numbers of students of the sister institute 'Institute of English Studies'. The FSI had changed into a member of the British Linguarama organization and I was appointed Managing Director of a company with 6000 students all over the country. The office was established in the center of the Netherlands and I moved with my wife at that time and my sons Mark and Ramon to the village of Maarn in the province of Utrecht. An enormous workload was laying ahead in which I could explore myself in all possible fields of management. Product groups, coursegroups, teachersfiles were joined under my responsibility and the courses were adapted to the demands of that time. One course was set out and colleagues of different cultures were placed on one line. I divided the country in 24 districts and travelled from one part of the country to the other: teachers' meetings in Groningen, Nijmegen, The Hague, Breda, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Alkmaar and meetings of projectmanagers central and decentral. Everything was headed to achieve one commitment of all employees. Within a short while the company functionned nationwide as one entirety. Economically the organization recovered within two years (a deficit of 24% of the total turnover) and in intensive consultation with the fellow partners a new expansion in the market was started. We invested in automation of the accounting and organizational system, product development and promotion. New objectives were formulated:

* reduction overhead costs by automation to be able to compete price technically with subsidized institutions in other segments of the market;
* development new educational products, for example the course of translater-interpreter for the State examination for the languages English, French and Spanish;
* anticipate on direct trends in the market: introduction courses Open University;
* obtain governmental recognition;
* quality improvement of the courses and adaptation to the future demands of the Law on Recognized Educational Institutes.

The product gamma meanwhile existed of courses in English, French and Spanish on seven year levels: two years elementary, Conversation and Fluency, First Certificate and Proficiency of the University of Cambridge, Certificat d'Etudes Françaises, Certificado de Español, three years translator-interpreter English, French or Spanish and courses in other languages: German, Italian, Portuguese, New Greek, Servo-Croatian, Turkish, Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch for foreigners.

Spanish in Spain
French in France
English in England

From the FSI-time dated the collaboration with the Instituto Sampere in Madrid, with whom I organized educational language travels and maintained an exchange of know how that contributed directly to the quality of the Spanish courses. This activity led to the issue that from 1985 I worked some time together with members of the International Association of Language Centres (IALC), a worldwide spread network-organization. As I already stated, in Spain I worked together with schools in Madrid, Gran Canaria, Salamanca and Málaga. In 1986 I organized language travels in collaboration with NRV Holiday and schools in Madrid, Salamanca, Paris and London (The Pitman Institute). With the management of NRV Holiday I worked out a concept for a division of language travels. This plan has not been carried out as a result of financial problems of the NRV organization. The programme afterwards has been executed by the organization 'don Quijote', founded the 18th of September 1986.

Fight for the market
In 1986 I founded a new institute with the objective to develop new educational programmes for unemployed academics. This led to a conflict of interest with my partners with the consecuence that I had to withdraw from the language institute and at that point I decided to tend a course in general management of 'de Baak', the official Management Institute of the Dutch Employers Organization. I dealt intensively with theory and practice of general management, public relations, marketing, organization, organizational development, social skills, financial management, automation and recruitment policy. In collaboration with the Dutch Trade Centre and the Spanish employers organization 'Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales' I worked out a new educational concept for unemployed hispanists: International Marketing for the Spanish market. On behalf of Radio Nederland Wereldomroep at the time I gave an interview in Spanish that reached the public of all countries in Southern Europe and Latin America. On the first of October 1989 de Baak got a new management. In close collaboration with my new colleague I introduced new workprocesses. An intensive reorganization was necessary. The existing management made room for new blood. On the first of April 1990 I was accepted in the managementteam in which ideas have been developed leading to a considerable result improvement compared with the former year. I participated in brainstorm sessions and the execution of a number of measures:

- financial investigation, break-even analysis and costs cutting;
- development new products (product differentiation);
- find new market segments (market differentiation);
- scaling down and efficiency improvement by function adaptation of employees (internal organization);
- restructuring internal communication processes (started with bottleneck analysis internal processes and incoming and outgoing information processes);
- restructuring automized information system;
- working from product oriented towards market oriented.

The first of July 1991 this very pleasant job unfortunately came to an end.

New dream
In december 1990 a new future vision was born: an educational institute in Spain in which (Spanish) language communication and management skills play an important role. I developed an initiative for a business plan of an 'Instituto de Comunicación Internacional y Gestión de Empresas" under the tradename

Instituto Cervantes consisting of a policy plan, in which the basic assumptions of policy and the underlying argumentation are described, and an execution plan with the concrete actions that had to be undertaken to execute the policy plan. Within this matter I have had to overcome strong resistances.