Date: Tuesday, June 25th

Chairman handover and the last meeting of the Rotary Year 2012/13


Date: Tuesday, June 11th

Talk by our member Mario Halfhide on “Pushing boundaries and crossing borders”

Since last year April Mario works at the TCC Group, a consulting firm. The core business there is advising in Governance, Risk Management and Compliance. They do that in different industries such as Banks, Insurance companies, Oil & Gas, Energy firms. The name of our GRC operations is Philip Sidney. The other business is Export Controls of Strategic Goods, when they cross borders (Global Trade). Strategic goods are oil, gas, energy, some pharmaceuticals, military goods and dual use goods.

The purpose of export controls is to prevent those goods following the path of money Laundering and Terrorists. Our customers are in the Supply Chain of those Goods: Manufacturers, Bankers, Logistic companies, Insurance companies etc. and they work across the globe. The name of our Export Controls and Sanctions operations is: Eagle Compliance. Mario will share some of his experiences with the club.

A few words about Mario: He was born in Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam. He studied Fiscal Law (Msc) and Business Economy (Msc) at the University of Groningen. Postdoctoral Accountancy (CPA, RA) at the Erasmus in Rotterdam. He started his career in the Auditing and after 5 years he made the step to consultancy: improvement of accounting-, reporting and business processes, organizations.
Mario lives with his wife Heady and twin sons Yvar and Gino in Ijsselstein, next to Utrecht. They also lived in Aruba and Curacao for his work as Director of Ernst & Young Consulting Dutch Caribbean. After the Carribean experience he also worked for Capgemini Global and SeederDeBoer. His hobbies are swimming, skating, diving, sailing…watching theatre, sharing cultural experiences 🙂

Mario joined the club in February, 2004, which is more than a year before we were chartered as a Rotary Club. For several years he was club secretary.


Date: Tuesday, May 28th

“Creating a Successful Business Case to Advance Your Initiative”. Workshop organized by our member Sonia Drannikova.

This workshop is based on the famous Work Out approach of Royal Bank of Scotland, which is one of the largest banks in the world. In Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region it has more than 36 million customers and more than 140,000 employees. The Workout method has been successfully applied for a very long time.

In this workshop we will practice our planning, organisational and communication skills and use a case from our own club. We will learn not only to make a successful business case, but we will also prepare a sound concrete project plan for our own club.


Date: Tuesday, May 14th

Presentation by Eva de Vroome and Marloes about the Stichting “Laat ze maar lachen”.

This was a presentation related to our next Rotary year’s projects.


Date: Tuesday, April 30th

No meeting due to Queen’s Day and the instalment of the new king.


Date: Tuesday, April 16th

Talk by Kari Trumpi MD on “Surgical oncology”

Kari is a Ph.D. candidate in the UMC. She offered to give us a talk in return for support from the club for their cycling on the Alpe d’Huez to raise money for the KWF kanker bestrijding. This was discussed at the last board meeting and the club will give € 200.

If you wish to give money personally, then click on this link:


Date: Tuesday, April 2nd

Talk by an Indian member in the series “Sharing a cross cultural experience”

I shall share some points of difference between India and The Netherlands, focusing particularly on cultural diversity, secular society and traditional values. Additionally, I also want to mention a few points about my native place, education and work experiences at different places.

I came to Holland in 2010 to pursue a PhD in plant biology at Utrecht University.

The member joined the club in January 2012. He has been a member of the programme committee.


Date: Tuesday, March 19th

Talk by Luuc Mur on “The Rotary district water platform group”

Originally I am a microbiologist with a specialisation in water quality. From there I went with my group at the University of Amsterdam into the direction of water management trying to get information about the mechanism of water blooms of microalgae.

I started two years ago in the District Water platform group. We hope that many clubs in our district will pay attention to drinking water and water sanitation. To stimulate this we organize a district project, the sanitation of schools in Ghana, a project which is a cooperation with a number of international water institutes. A number of clubs have their own water project.  If these are of good quality according to our criteria we stimulate these projects too.    We had our first Water seminar in Bussum last year in April. This will be repeated this year on 25th April.

Luuc Mur is professor of microbiology. He is a member of Rotary Club Vinkeveen Abcoude and a member of the water platform for Rotary district D1570 (the same district, which Rotary Club Utrecht International belongs to). For more information on the water platform (in Dutch), see:

Some of the key points of the presentation: D1570’s Water Platform


Date: Tuesday, March 5th

Talk by Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Amy Williams on “Human Rights for the Next Generation”

I will discuss how to engage youth in a discussion about human rights, using my own experiences as the background. It will include information about my time in Rwanda and Guatemala, in addition to the educational events for youth in Missouri.

Amy Williams is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She comes from Missouri and is spending this academic year study studying for a master’s degree in Utrecht on international human rights and criminal justice. She has her own website


Date: Tuesday, February 19th

Talk by an Egyptian member in the series “Sharing a cross cultural experience”

My plan is to give a presentation about Egypt, in particular Cairo from my own perspective. That is Cairo as I know it, such as the social aspects, and experienced it with some reflection on how this life compares with my life in the Netherlands.

The member works for the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board, has been in Holland since 2003 and joined the club in May 2012.


Date: Tuesday, February 5th

Talk by Professor Huub Schellekens on “The rise and fall of pharmaceutical industry”

The number of new drugs introduced by pharmaceutically industry is declining, while their prices are rising. So we are paying more and more for less. The causes are manifold and include the current overregulation for new drugs and the emphasis of companies on marketing rather than research and development. What should be done?
Dr. Huub Schellekens is professor of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He teaches Medical Biotechnology at the Department of Innovation Studies and has a research position at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the same university. He is a medical microbiologist by training and works on the preclinical development of biopharmaceuticals.

He studied medicine at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1967-1973). There he also did his training in Medical Microbiology (1976-1980) and received his Ph.D. in 1980. Prior to joining Utrecht University, he was deputy director of the Dutch Primate Center, director of Medscand Ingeny and medical microbiologist at the Reinier de Graaf Hospital in Delft the Netherlands. He was a member of the Dutch Medicine Evaluation Board and National Expert of the European Medicine Evaluation Agency.


Date: Tuesday, January 22nd

Workshop “Playing the game of service” conducted by Sonsoles Alonso

The workshop is designed to find out the special potential and interests of club members and motivate club members to engage in committees.


Date: Tuesday, January 8th

Visit of the District Governor, Trudie Siegerink

To encourage a discussion with the governor, our chairman has submitted the following challenging propositions to her, which we are sure will trigger vivid discussion.
1) Rotaract should be abolished and its members absorbed into Rotary clubs.
2) Rotary Clubs do not want new members.
3) Everybody talks about the water project but in fact there has been no progress in the last year.
4) Rotary has lost its connection with the youth.
5) As a woman you cannot be yourself in Rotary.
6) The Netherlands has only three International Rotary Clubs. That is too few.

Rotary clubs are divided into Districts. Our club is in District 1570 which includes 73 clubs. Like the chairman of a club, the governor holds the office for only one year and visits each club in her year.

Trudie Siegerink is a member of Rotary Club Maarssen-Breukelen. The club was founded in 1951 and has 34 members. She is a member of the Landelijke Commissie Ledenbeleid.


Date: Saturday, December 15th

The club’s Christmas Dinner. Partners are invited.

Read more about the event in our blog.


Date: Tuesday, November 27th

Talk by Navah – Tehila, a woman rabbi

Navah-Tehila is the first woman(singing) rabbi of the liberal Jewish community in Utrecht. Being a musician, an artist, and a spiritual guide, she combines all these aspects with the study of Torah. She is active in a dialogue group in her neighbourhood in Utrecht, where inter-faith activities take place on a regular basis. She is the leader of an ensemble called “Or baLev” which is Hebrew for “light in the heart”.  It has been giving concerts and workshops for more than twenty years. On this evening she will share with us her experiences as a woman rabbi.

She will not give a PowerPoint presentation, but she would like to let us hear some of her music from a CD.

Ensemble Or baLev


Date: Tuesday, November 13th

Talk by Franziska Luxhøj in the series “Sharing a cross cultural experience”

I grew up in Innsbruck, Austria, in a truly Austrian family. Although international exposure has been limited during my childhood and teenage years, I have always been interested in languages and started saying quite early in high school that I wanted to go on an au-pair or do an exchange semester. Back then, it was more like a strange fascination, which I could not describe more precisely.
My parents have always supported language learning, and I went to a high school, which included English, Latin, French and Italian in my curriculum. Plus the first mini exchange experience with an Italian high school.
In the meanwhile I have turned 30, have spent more than half of my “grown up life”, meaning from the age of 18, in countries other than Austria and can explain more explicitly what I find interesting, intriguing, exciting and rewarding about intercultural experience and cross-cultural encounters of all kind. My stays “abroad/at home” include the US, Italy, Denmark and of course the Netherlands. Plus two very inspiring and eye opening vacations in Tanzania and Indonesia.

Franziska joined the club in May 2012 and is chairman of the PR committee and a member of the Community Service Committee.


Date: Tuesday, October 30th

Talk by club member Tony Hearn on “We need more nuclear power stations”

I shall show the consequences of trying to replace the production of electricity by wind and / or solar energy and replacing petrol driven traffic by electrically driven vehicles. I conclude that the only practical way of substantially reducing carbon dioxide emission is by building more nuclear power stations.

Tony has been a member of the club from the beginning. He is chairman of the recruitment committee and a member of the programme committee.


Date: Tuesday, October 16th

Talk by Petra Fisher on LinkedIn

Topic: How to set up your LinkedIn Profile to always make a great first impression.
I will pay attention to:
– How to list your Rotary Membership on your LinkedIn Profile
– How to use updates strategically to create more awareness for Rotary

Format: Interactive. I talk about part of the profile. I shall show a profile with room for improvement and ask the audience for suggestions. This will make everybody think instead of listen. This way people will retain the new knowledge longer, making it easy to implement afterwards. We shall work through some of the main features of the profile this way, always explaining strategic reasons for doing things one way or the other.

Petra Fisher has her own company and teaches personnel and companies how to get the best out of LinkedIn.


Date: Tuesday, October 2nd

Talk by club member Tanja van der Knoop in the series “Sharing a cross cultural experience”

Tanja van der Knoop is Dutch but she was born and grew up in Belgium. She has worked in Belgium and Holland. Here she worked for Sony. She moved to Tokio for two years where she became responsible for the product planning of the Sony Walkman for the North American market. She later joined Philips as responsible for the overall Personal Audio business and then had her own company after she had her first child. That is how she came in contact with private equity, where she later worked in several roles, in the end combining private equity with sustainability.

She will be talking about the cultural differences between Holland and Belgium and Japan, where she learned about Japanese companies from inside out – as a very rare “nai-jin” – inside person who had to obey the Japanese rules. Her son, who is now 17 years old, moved last year to his father’s home country – South Africa, adding some other continent’s flavour to the multicultural pudding.

Tanja joined the club in 2010 having come across the club website by chance.


Date: Tuesday, September 18th

Business Meeting

The programme will include reports on:
Club finances July 2011 to June 2012
The Stichting Community Service RCUI


Date: Tuesday, September 4th

Talk by Professor Sjef  Smeekens on “Genetically modified crops, food security and sustainability”

The talk will address:
– The question why we need to improve crops to meet demands
-in simple terms: the technology to produce transgenic crops (GMOs) and what they can contribute.
-Real and perceived benefits/dangers of GMOs.
-Different societal responses to GMOs.

Professor Smeekens is professor of molecular plant physiology at Utrecht University. He studied at Utrecht University. He was an EMBO post doctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley and then returned to various positions in Utrecht University.


Meetings during the summer break

  • Tuesday, August 21st: Guided visit to the Utrecht synagogue.
  • Tuesday, August 7th: Informal dinner at the home of Roberto, partners are invited.
  • Tuesday, July 24th: Meet Anouk for drinks at De Colonie.
  • Tuesday, July 10th: Meet Tony for drinks at De Colonie.