Last year, Anne-Marie Simon joined Royal Cosun UA in NL-Breda as personal assistant to Hans Meeuwis, chairman of the executive board, through Smeenk’s Top Personal Assistants.
With over 5,000 employees worldwide, 11,000 growers, 8,400 members, 23,000 partners, 7 business groups, and 26 production locations, Royal Cosun has long been a part of the international top tier of agri-food cooperatives.
With admiration and respect for this ‘Leading PA-Lady,’ we would like to spotlight her below. While inspiring you at the same time.
And of course, if you are the chairman of the executive board, CEO or a business leader? And are you seeking to collaborate with your ideal next-level top PA -a professional who significantly contributes to realizing your ambitions and purpose of your organization? In an exceptionally agile and impactful manner?
“In order to achieve goals optimally, it is imperative to work proactively, with agility, and meticulous attention to detail. The swift and clear acquisition of information is essential, achievable only through an open dialogue.”
In recent years, the role of a top personal assistant has evolved into a business partnership, a transformation well-onderstood by Anne-Marie Simon. As the personal assistant to Hans Meeuwis, chairman of the executive board at Royal Cosun UA, Anne-Marie functions as his business and strategic partner, emphasizing the critical importance of effective communication in this capacity.
“Today, a top personal assistant is deeply involved in substanative processes. They proactively anticipate issues with the management team, collaboratively prepare solutions as a cohesive team, and additionally, they contribute insights on suitability when filling positions, particularly during the search process.
Anne-Marie precisely understands what distinguishes a next-level top personal assistant. “Communication is key. In order to achieve goals optimally, it is imperative to work proactively, with agility, and meticulous attention to detail. The swift and clear acquisition of information is essential, achievable only through an open dialogue.”
“In addition, I emphasize on fostering connections. I rely on many individuals to enable Hans to function as the chairman of the executive board. By meeting all the necessary conditions, I ensure that Hans can be an effective and sustainable leader.”
Anne-Marie always keeps the shared goal in mind. In every collaboration, she places strong emphasis on the interpersonal component.
Royal Cosun is in the midst of a strategic transition called ‘The Plant Positive Way: Unlock 25.’ This transition marks a shift towards intelligent and sustainable solutions, a concept aptly described by Anne-Marie as ‘The Perfect Storm.’
“There’s a significant ‘buzz of activity’; the work environment is exceptionally dynamic, and I find it invigorating. It feels like I’ve embarked on a moving train with 2025 as its destination.”
The culture at Royal Cosun UA contributes significantly to Anne-Marie’s enthusiasm. “In my work, I always want to feel engaged and that I’m making progress. That is certainly the case here. The motto at Royal Cosun is ‘work hard, play hard’, and individuals truly bring out the best in each other. The internal culture is fantastic: knowledgeable, passionate, and always with genuine attention to the customer.”
And to the employees! Hans once surprised me with a festive cake after successfully tackling a challenging task together. ‘Assistant’s Day’ brought a personal token of appreciation from him. But what’s particularly important is that I am here for him, and he is here for me.”
“The connection between Hans and Anne-Marie was established from their very first meeting. According to Anne-Marie, this is crucial for a pleasant and effective collaboration. “It is important that you can prioritize common goals, and for that, having good chemistry or a connection – essentially, being able to communicate optimally – is crucial.”
Anne-Marie also values the guidance provided by Maartje Smeenk during her executive PA-search procedure. “I have highly appreciated Maartje’s guidance. Her service and attention go ‘way beyond.’ To this day, she shows interest and, in certain cases, provides valuable insights. I find that exceptional.”
Your investment for success. Through attention, focus and quality.
In essence, are you a chairman of the executive board, CEO, and/or a business leader? Do you also wish to sustainably focus on your expertise and the achievement of lasting business results? Are you committed to realizing your ambitions and your organization’s purpose, in a sustainable manner? Exceptionally agile and impactful? Or are you that top personal assistant who is so eager to start assisting corporate champions, at the next level?
Are YOU playing to win…?
Interview: Lonneke Gillissen| Foto: Robert Aarts