10 years of Fronteer | 2009: When Hein and Leonie became part of our DNA
10 years Fronteer. Wow. Without realising it 10 years went by and we are celebrating our anniversary! 10 years of people joining our team and moving on to find new fronteers. We thought it would be great to take this moment to look back and catch up with the people that have been part of the team over the years. Year by year we’ll move from 2008 – our birth year – to 2019. Today, we’re putting the spotlight on 2009 and two people who joined and never left. They have become part of our DNA and have shaped Fronteer into the company we are today: Hein – strategist and partner, and Leonie; our HR and Finance manager!
How did you end up at Fronteer?
LK: My sister used to be the office manager at Staat…,. James came by one day and was pretty impressed with my sister. So he asked if she knew anyone who was available. Turns out… she has a twin sister: me! And so I started at Fronteer.
HvE: I met Caroline at a beach party. She was working for Fronteer at the time and told me about a job opening. She said it was like being a kid in the candy store; working with all the big brands. She introduced me to Fronteer and actually I did not get the job. But one week later; Caroline decided to move on. So I took my chances and came back to talk with Martijn and this time I did get the job!
Who do you consider a game changing client?
HvE: Bugaboo has always been one of my favourites; their project always give me lots of energy. But the Kitchen Appliances project we did for Philips really stands out. It was new and exciting. Joost and I received a lot of freedom to explore the challenge and design our own solution. We travelled to China for validation and when we came back we had to present. So we headed to the Breitner tower and the room was filled with important people. I thought: “OK… here goes nothing”. But it turned out very well. That’s when I realised that at Fronteer we really add value. We help teams to work better together. Not only content wise. We take people along on a journey towards solutions which really changes team dynamics. It makes it exciting, intangible and most of all: a lot of fun.
LK: I don’t really work with clients that much and our interactions are mainly short, financial and transactional. But my collaboration with our accountant Marco Brouwer has been a game changer for me. You’re dealing with serious topics all the time but he made it easy to understand and he taught me a lot. That made the transition to finance management really fun.
HvE: When did you realise you wanted to move from office management to finance?
LK: When my son was born I wanted to work part-time. But doing office management 3 days a week wasn’t really an option; someone needs to be there every day. I was already doing some light finance administration so that seemed like a sensible transition to make.
HvE: So that is why Robin became part of our team!?
LK: Yes! She was already working as an intern so the timing was perfect. I moved on to Finance & HR and she could move into the office management job.
What was your most memorable moment?
LK: The T.O.P. of course! Our Temporary Office Portugal. Organising that event was a lot of fun. We worked mainly on the company strategy and team building. It was a unique experience to be in Portugal with the entire team for 6 days.
HvE: Travelling for work is always a highlight; doing projects in strange places. For example: for Bugaboo we went to New York and we ended up carrying prototypes through the streets in the middel of the night.
Also memorable: our Fronteer Cafe’s. I’m always surprised by the cool stories that our guests come to share. Sometimes related to work, sometimes quite far away but always inspiring. About sponges, branding, traveling the oceans. It’s really cool that people take the time to come by and share their stories.
Your biggest fuckup?
LK: Transferring 23 thousand Euros to a foreign account which turned out to be a scheme. It was on the final day before my maternity leave and I started my leave crying. We did get everything back though, thankfully.
HVE: My time management is one big fuck-up. For 40 years and counting…
Do you remember your most awkward moment?
HvE: My own awkward moment… Oooooh yes! I ripped my pants! Outside, just around the corner, in front of my colleagues.
What would be your dream project?
HvE: I would love to work for a toy manufacturer and then really focus on product innovation. Back to my roots as a product designer.
10 years Fronteer…?
HvE: 10 years is really cool. My daughter is turning 10 next year and then she already is a real person. With Fronteer it feels like we’ve only just begun. I’m excited we’re celebrating this anniversary. We have accomplished a lot and we should be proud of it. But I’m also wondering: where will we be 10 years from now? I love that we don’t know that yet and I’m curious for the future.
LK: 10 years. We have a great team with beautiful personalities throughout the years. We’ve grown in all possible ways. We’re ambitious, holacratic. I’m proud to be part of it.