DISCOVER Magazine #7

Jeroen Heesters

Published in category: People


36 years old
Married to Marieke
Has: three children – Julia, Teun and Sofie
Chooses: the Offshore Carrier 7500 as his favourite Damen ship

“My career went immediately into high gear, starting on my first day at Damen. I had worked for years in the oil and gas industry and I was looking for a new challenge. My interest in shipping was piqued when I attended a career fair, and before I knew it I was working as a Sales Manager at Shiprepair in Rotterdam. In 2013, I transferred to Vlissingen as the head of Marketing & Sales, and I’ve now been working as a Managing Director there for over a year. As a new Managing Director, I was thrown right in at the deep end when I was assigned a major project: extending the legs of the Rowan Viking drilling platform. We brought the largest crane in the world to the  shipyard, and we had to demolish an existing warehouse to do it. But we got the job done – at a height of about 170 metres – and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.

The best part about working at a repair yard is the range and variety: the type and amount of work we’ll have to do is unpredictable – you can’t plan ahead, and that makes it exciting. We also have vessels from all of the different segments of the maritime world. I love the mentality and family feel at Damen; people doing their very best, generation after generation.

I’ve always loved ships and the water. I went sailing often as a child and I even spent a year at sea as a sailing instructor. My ideal weekend? It would be a weekend with my family. We’d go out for lunch and then for a long walk, for example. But I also see my colleagues outside office hours: the Dutch repair yards have a cycling club and I regularly join them for trips. During the winter, I ride my mountain bike through the woods in Rucphen near my home in Roosendaal, and during the summer I ride my racing bike. Sometimes we sign up for tours, like the Dam to Dam Cycling Classic last year. I love a challenge!”


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