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We introduce: John Driessen, our new project leader

In January John started working at Manders as project leader. He briefly introduces himself and shares his activities and how he experienced the first months with the team:

Right! I don’t have to mention my name anymore, but I can mention that I live in Venray, that I am 54 years old and that I have two adult children and a dog. A long time ago I graduated from the HTS (former Dutch engineering school), in the area of mechanical engineering.

John Driessen, Project Leader at Manders Automation

◀️ What’s your professional experience?

Rather quickly after graduating from the HTS, I started working on projects. A while as a constructor, after that as planner but mostly as project leader. My previous job was at a large, local machine builder, where I worked for 13 years, being responsible for the delivery of rotary screen printing machines.

Then I felt it was time to do something different and I worked for over thirteen years as a Business Unit Manager in the service sector. After a while, I came to the conclusion that I missed creating tangible products. So when the inevitable moment arrived that I too (for the first time in my working life) had to say goodbye to the company due to a reorganization, I knew one thing for sure: I wanted to work again at a company where machines are being assembled of which you can be proud.

💬 How do you experience your role at Manders?

I’m at Manders for five months now, I’m responsible for three interesting projects (two palletising installations and a test unit for automated glue flow) and I notice that I’m slowly getting in “project-leader shape” again. There are however clear differences in the execution of the function compared to my previous employer. There the focus was on scope and delivery time monitoring. At Manders Automation, the Project Leader is also asked to provide technical depth (opinion) in addition to monitoring quality, planning and budget. Every machine here is customer specific, a prototype actually. This means that the risks are higher, but also makes it varied and interesting.

Working at Manders feels right. I like to have contact with engineers again (and later, when ‘my’ projects are in the next phase, also with the mechanics) and to create something together as a team; a functioning product that we can be proud of. In addition, I also experience the colleagues as helpful, which is of course important if you are new to the company and even have to learn where to get the tea.

🔮 What do you expect from the future?

As indicated before, I had two employment contracts of around thirteen years. My goal is that I now do that again and then, hopefully in good health, I can enjoy a huge amount of free time and can look back on a good time.