My life started out on another continent. Born in a little town called Hilversum in the Netherlands, I came to Canada with my parents when I was two years old. The Hamilton, Ontario area has been home for most of my life. This is where I grew up and spent most of my adult years.
When it comes to education, my post-secondary credentials are as a Fish & Wildlife Management Technician. In a different world, this would have been my career path. For a number of reasons, the stars did not align on this and I veered off into the world of industry. During this time I took many courses in management and accounting. Interesting how the path of life unfolds. Through it all learning has always been an ongoing passion.
In my working life I started out in machine building for the process automation industry. This is a fancy way of saying I built fairly simple robot-type equipment that assembles things. From there I migrated into sales and management – mainly within the same industry to start with. At one point in time it made sense to join forces with Sandi in a business called The Holst Equation. This is where we both excelled at nurturing businesses to minimize or eliminate loss and maximize profit. It didn’t matter who we worked with. Small, medium and large corporations were all clients of ours during this time. Hundreds of clients in just over 11 years have given us an amazing insight into achieving success.
On a personal note, I enjoy scuba diving (hence my Tobermory connection), traveling, and hiking. In the past I was a scuba instructor and instructor trainer. In terms of volunteering, this is what my scuba club was all about. We both taught new divers and instructors as volunteers for almost 40 years. I also did a 4+ year voluntary stint as treasurer for the Friends of H.M.C.S. Haida, a charity set up to promote a Canadian heritage warship in Hamilton, Ontario.