Meet the BelCham Ambassadors
We know that downturns are the greatest opportunities for reinvention, growth and system change... So, at the beginning of this summer, we launched our call for volunteer ambassadors to help shape BelCham's future and our members’ success!
Today, we are proud to present the 12 impressive leaders who were selected (out of 60+ applications) to become BelCham Ambassadors. This roster of experts covers a wide range of industries (from SAAS to pharma), different functions (from business development and sales to general management and HR), and geographies, proudly representing the entire USA (from Los Angeles to Chicago and Boston).
Our ambassadors will uplift our community and…
Bring our hybrid (online/offline) model to life by supporting BelCham activities and creating new ones in their respective area
Share strategic knowledge, ideas and connections in support of our member community
Be our local eyes, ears and hands, identifying relevant opportunities and market signals
!! MEET AND CONNECT WITH OUR BELCHAM AMBASSADORS !!
Kristof Audenaert | NYC, NY
Originally from Ghent, Kristof moved to NYC in June 2018 where he currently operates as a Senior Account Executive in Advertising Sales at Google. Before Google, Kristof worked as a Strategy Consultant at Accenture, and he was involved in creating consulting services for a start-up incubator in Belgium and coached multiple start-ups (ranging from business model creation to designing growth strategies).
>> Ask him how to optimize/grow your business or life in NYC. He is always up for exploring the newest restaurants and spinning classes.
Julie Cassano | Northville, MI
Julie moved from Genk to Northville in 2011. She started her own business and helps small businesses going through a growth spurt with administrative and process optimizations. She also works as a freelancer in the field of PR & Communications and event organization. She is the co-founder of Belgians in Michigan and the representative of Flanders in the World for Michigan. She is passionate about Detroit and made it her goal to know everything about the latest and greatest in the region.
>> Ask her about settling in MI or starting/expanding your business in the area!
Leentje De Leeuw | Chicago, IL
Leentje De Leeuw moved from Antwerp to Chicago in September 2014. She started her own business in 2015 and works as an independent business consultant, private tour guide and has her own PR/communications firm. She is also the president of the Belgian American Club of Chicago and involved in several charities (helping the homeless communities in the Windy City).
>> Ask her about what is happening in the travel industry or reach out for help with your PR strategy.
Raoul Dexters | Kansas City, MO
Raoul is a 20-plus-year veteran in the food industry and has served as the General Manager for Vandemoortele USA for four years. Through previous roles at AB Inbev, United Biscuits and Neuhaus Chocolates USA, he developed skills in business planning, management, sales and international business development that positioned him to help launch Vandemoortele and the Banquet D’or brand in the US market. He has lived and worked in Belgium, Scotland and since 2001, in the US.
>> Ask him about his recent move from Providence, Rhode Island to Kansas City, and how to build successful food brands across the Atlantic.
Gerrit Dispersyn | Philadelphia, PA/Boston, MA
Dr. Gerrit Dispersyn is the President & CEO at Phio Pharmaceuticals Corp. He joined the company in April 2017 as their Chief Development Officer and was promoted to lead the organization in March 2019. In his past career he occupied the position of Vice President & Global Head Clinical Affairs at Integra LifeSciences Corp. and VP Product Development & Portfolio Management at Barrier Therapeutics, Inc. Gerrit holds a Dr. Med. Sc. degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, a post-graduate degree in Biomedical Imaging, and a M.Sc. in Biochemistry, both from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
>> Ask Gerrit about how to overcome Belgian modesty and the healthcare industry in the USA.
Florent Diverchy | Belgium
Expert in Digital Marketing, Florent has worked 19 years for Bisnode, European leader in Data Marketing, where he built extensive knowledge in social media. In 2013, he was even cited in Le Vif l'Express list of the 100 most influential French-speaking Belgians on Social Networks. Currently employed by Black Tiger Belgium, Florent has extended his expertise to data ethics and legislation and is a member of the current European Commission Expert Group on "Facilitating the use of new data sources for official statistics". Florent is also active in the educational world as a trainer and lecturer, as well as a mentor for entrepreneurs around the world.
>> Ask Florent about data marketing & legislation, brand purpose, differentiation and positioning!
Yves Ghys | Greenville, SC
Yves has been active in the corporate world most of his career, leading commercial Enterprise Organizations for global companies in IT and Telco, such as Hewlett Packard and Proximus. He loves driving innovation and change, building agile smaller structures within these big companies to better address changing customer needs. Yves decided to make the jump to the start-up world a couple of years ago, taking the role as Chief Commercial Officer for Pozyx, a Belgian based company that provides RTLS solutions based on Ultra-wideband technology with the potential to become one of the future global market leaders.
>> Ask Yves about his recent move to the US with his family and the reasons behind setting up the new Pozyx US office in Greenville, South Carolina.
Simon Mahieu | Dallas, TX
Originating from Flanders Fields near Ypres, Simon made his way over the USA 3 years ago. He settled near Dallas, Texas where he lives with his wife Kelsey, newborn son Leon and dog Omer. He has been working in the technology industry for close to 10 years and has an eye for services and sales. He worked for Showpad in the States and recently stepped into the FinTech industry as a Solutions Manager at Vymo. His main goal is to 'pay it forward'.
>> Ask him about how his journey working for one of the most successful Belgian startups in the USA and enterprise service strategies that work!
Tim Meulemeester | Boston, MA
Tim has a background in retail banking at the intersection of strategy, digital product management and customer success. Next to that, he has a passion for sports and technology. Before joining the prestigious Sloan Fellows Executive MBA program at MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston, Tim held several leadership positions at ING. Tim also is involved in Imec.Istart as a start-up mentor for FinTech and SportsTech/ FitTech companies.
>> Ask Tim about the famous Harvard/MIT ecosystem or contact him for a fresh pair of eyes and ears before you pitch your initiative.
Khadija Rejdy | Belgium
Based in Belgium, Khadija is a charismatic and passionate communicator that combines business with expertise in people and culture. With UPOP, a strategic consultancy agency, she works closely with companies and organizations to ensure sustainable growth by investing and harvesting in human capital and company culture.
>> Ask Khadija about diversity and inclusion, learning & development or HR – and connect if you are looking to make a change, the human way.
Bjorn Vandemeulebroucke | Fort Lauderdale, FL
After his studies as Commercial Engineering, Bjorn worked for Procter & Gamble in several national and international roles across Sales and Marketing. It was the foundation for a successful international assignment, provided by the Prince Albert Foundation during which he set-up a distribution network in Latin America. Today, he is the Managing Partner at the Insiders, a word of mouth marketing agency, that enables brands to build their online and offline reputation. He opened and has been running their US business for the last 6 years.
>> Ask him about his work with US clients and the dynamic world of e-commerce!
Gilles Vanpoucke | Hermosa Beach, CA
After starting his career at ING Belgium, Gilles transferred to Renson in 2010 where he was in charge of sales for their Argent Alu division in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. He later launched the North American subsidiary, which was originally located in Los Angeles and now has a production facility in Dallas, TX and a showroom on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, NY. Learning from this experience, he started GVP Global Advisor helping businesses start in North America. In 2016, he founded Fritz 'n Chewy Apparel Company, combining his love for socks and dogs.
>> Ask him about business development in the US, or how he is making the world a better place for our furry friends… one foot at a time.
Are you interested in learning more about this program? Do you have time and ideas to share that will set our transatlantic community up for success? We will be welcoming more ambassadors soon! Contact the BelCham team (email@example.com) for more info.