At Vetipak, we always look ahead. And not just to the next five or ten years, but the next generation or two. Because we aim to offer our employees, customers, and suppliers a safe, innovative and appealing future. That’s also why we welcomed powerhouse Jeroen van Herpen to the board as Chief Operational Officer (COO) on January 1 of this year.
“Vetipak still feels like home”
Michelle Tijssen was only meant to work at Vetipak for two months, over the summer of 2014. In the end, she was there for more than four years... Our former executive secretary looks back on her time at Vetipak with affection. “Every time I visit Vetipak, I feel like I’m coming home.”
After receiving her communications degree, Michelle went looking for a job, but wasn’t immediately able to find one. “I had just graduated and was eager to get started. But where? Then I stumbled upon the receptionist job vacancy at Vetipak – a temporary position helping out during the summer. I was immediately curious about the company, even more so when I heard about the products they packaged – it felt as if I was heading off to work in a candy factory.”
“It felt as if I was heading off to
work in a candy factory”
Favorable first impression
Michelle's first impression was favorable. “I was mainly surprised by all of the company’s processes, and by the versatility of my work. You get a taste of everything as a receptionist. I received drivers, processed the hours of our production staff, welcomed guests for our board of directors... And I also discovered that Vetipak is a company with short lines of communication. There are managers, of course, but everyone feels equal to one another.”
Rapport with colleagues
After the vacation, Michelle was asked to stay with the company, but in a new role as executive secretary. She would end up staying in this role for four years. She didn't have to consider the invitation for long. “I liked the company and had a great rapport with my colleagues,” she says. “So I accepted. As for what I did... it would be easier to tell you what I didn’t do! I took minutes, organized all kinds of things, created newsletters, and much more – far too many things to mention here.”
Because her new position was relatively free and flexible in terms of content, Michelle saw it as an opportunity to take on more duties and responsibilities. “For example, Communication was part of my portfolio, I spent one day per week in the Finance department, and I learned a great deal in areas such as HR and payroll. I’m still really happy that I received so many opportunities at Vetipak. In fact, we always aimed to find out what I could do, what I liked and what the company needed. And that’s how it is with everyone, actually.”
“There are managers, of course, but
everyone feels equal to one another”
Michelle Tijssen | voormalig directiesecretaresse
Through her attendance at many meetings, for example those of the Board of Directors, the shareholders and the Works Council, Michelle was able to get a good idea of the company’s ambitions. “The company’s ambition came across very clearly during the meetings I attended. Those were the moments in which the course was set for the future. I’m therefore not at all surprised that the company has continued to grow and expand. And even though I no longer work there, I have continued to follow Vetipak’s progress.”
Congenial company parties
Michelle left the company in 2019 to pursue a specific communications role in the prison system. “Something completely different”, she says. “I still loved working at Vetipak, but my new job gave me the opportunity to grow in the field in which I had graduated: communication. As to whether I ever miss Vetipak: of course I do. I miss the Friday afternoon drinks, and the parties – especially the annual barbecue on the premises, which was the best. Trucks full of sand would roll up, and an hour later there would be a beach volleyball court... Colleagues, music, good food – so much fun! I really enjoyed myself.”
"At Vetipak, they love hard work,
but in a friendly atmosphere”
Professional and informal
Als ze de sfeer bij Vetipak zou moeten typeren, gebruikt Michelle woorden als ‘professioneel’, maar ook ‘familiair’ en ‘Brabants’. “Bij Vetipak houden ze van hard If she had to describe the Vetipak atmosphere, Michelle would use words like ‘professional’, but also ‘informal’ and ‘typically Brabant’, as our company culture very much reflects that of our province Brabant. “At Vetipak, they love hard work, but in a friendly atmosphere with the freedom to make a joke or have a laugh. And one of the things I always appreciated was that no matter where you went, you always felt comfortable there. For example, there was almost no dividing line between the offices and production. We were a true team, and I can’t imagine that ever changing.”
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The latest news.
Meet our ‘new’ board member: COO Jeroen van Herpen
“From a bumpy path to a three-lane highway”
Tuesday, June 1, 2010. It’s Hans Snel’s first day at Vetipak. “Keep your eyes and ears open in the coming weeks, and tell us what you notice.” His Vetipak adventure has begun.
“We wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for Vetipak”
“What do I remember about that long day way back in 2010? I remember being tired – tired and disappointed.” Briton John Toomey, the co-founder of Yu! Fruit Snacks, can laugh about it today. “We wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for Vetipak.”