1 April was the last working day for Gabriël van Oostenbruggen (59); after 18 years he left his familiar workplace at PDI. Here he held the position of financial controller, and he was also a major shareholder and board member. In the years that Gabriel worked for us, the company more or less doubled in number of people and turnover.
Gabriel was our lifeline when, in May 2003, we needed someone for a financial position immediately. He was able to start immediately and there was an immediate click. Gabriel says: One of the great things about PDI is that you receive a lot of trust. You see the same pattern in almost everyone in the company: once you are here and have gotten a taste of the PDI (working) atmosphere, you never leave."
Before joining us, Gabriel worked at an accountancy firm, at Priva and finally at Dinfa; a subsidiary of Priva specialised in metal processing. Some things have remained the same over the years, but a lot has changed over the past two decades. The figures may have remained the same, but digitisation has certainly changed the work. There is much more insight now and PDI has become much more global.
Thanks to our stake in Dynatrade, a South African horticultural supplier, we gave Gabriel the opportunity when he was just starting out to go to South Africa to take over part of the company. He was more than keen! From then on, he visited every year to check the books.
Both highs and lows
In addition to the many highs that Gabriel has experienced with us, he has also experienced lows. For example, the death of fellow board member René de Koning in 2017, which also had a major impact on us. Gabriel and René had a special bond.
Gabriel explains that, in addition to the focus on quality and innovation, a personal approach to the staff has been a highlight of his career with us: "PDI is a social company. They are good to their people, organise fun parties and think of their employees at St. Nicholas Day, Christmas, and Easter. And even when things are not going as well, there is personal attention and interest in employees. That is really nice."
Meanwhile, Gabriel has sold his shares and the golf course, travelling, his house, bicycle and whatever else await him. He is going to think about that in the near future.
Gabriel’s successor, Leon Delhez, has already been brought up to speed in recent months. On his last working day, the whole club raised their glasses and thanked Gabriel for all his services. Now he can enjoy his well-earned retirement!
Picture from the left to the right; Jan Vellekoop (CCO), Peter Dekker (CEO) en Gabriël van Oostenbruggen