The Case for a Company Secretary

“A board member can gain so much strength from the support of a board secretary, especially in a complex environment.”

mr. Wietze Wedman
Company Secretary “De Breul”, NL-Zeist

It has been four years since our mediation of mr. Wietze Wedman for the position of company secretary at “De Breul” in NL-Zeist. We sat down with Wietze for an interview, looking back and ahead on the role of company secretary.

Discover how a company secretary can add sustainable and significant value at an administrative, advisory and strategic level, especially in a complex environment. In addition to taking facility, legal and organizational tasks off your hands, the company secretary acts as a confidential advisor and business partner at a strategic level. This adds significant value, especially in a complex environment.

Are you working in a complex environment as an executive board member? And would you like to strengthen yourself in a professional and sustainable manner? Let’s talk! We are delighted to also help you find and hire the best company secretary the Netherlands has to offer.

We wish you great inspiration and of course, great sustained success.

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“A board member can gain so much strength from the support of a board secretary,” says Wietze Wedman, board secretary at the De Breul school community in Zeist. “In addition to taking facility, legal and organizational tasks off your hands, the board secretary acts as a confidential advisor and business partner at a strategic level. This adds significant value,  especially in a complex environment. And when processes run smoothly, this brings such peace of mind.”

Wietze Wedman is originally a legal expert in the healthcare sector. He was a policy advisor at the Association of Dutch Elderly Homes for five years. He then worked for 15 years as a board advisor/office manager on the development of labor market programs and subsidy acquisition at the Labor Market Care and Welfare Foundation. Subsequently, he was secretary to the board at the Vlietland Hospital for eight years, which at that time merged with the Franciscus Hospital, and secretary to the board at Ipse De Bruggen for two years. After that, he wanted to work for a smaller organization in a different sector. Via Smeenk’s Personal Assistants, Wietze started working as board secretary at the Catholic School Community De Breul in Zeist four years ago, with 1,500 students and 170 employees.

As a very experienced board secretary, Wietze knows exactly what the position of board secretary entails and what added value it can bring to an organization and director. Wietze: “I have a facilitating and advisory role, close to the role of the director. He is an innovator and entrepreneur, this works well with me. I like to offer space and support to a director who likes to do new things that also give me energy. I now know from experience that the role of board secretary mainly takes place in the background; you enable the director to shine, so that he or she can make the best possible impression.”

   Linking pin and sparring partner

An important part of the role is making sure that the planning and control cycle is running and well organized. Wietze: “Together with colleagues, I work on the framework letter, the annual plan, strategic plan, budget preparation, results overviews and monthly reports. I ensure that subjects are put on the agenda in a timely manner and that decisions are recorded and communicated. The director can delegate some of their duties to me in confidence. In fact, I am always the linking pin to the organization, ensuring that processes run smoothly. In addition, I delve into matters that the director and managers do not get around to. For example, I am a data protection officer, I deal with grant applications and I prepare inspection visits. Because I am well informed and have an overview, I am a regular sparring partner and advisor to the director.”

   Liaison Officer and Facilitator

As board secretary, Wietze facilitates the triangle of Board, Supervisory Board and Employee Participation. “There is much at stake for organizations. The pressure is increasing to keep the quality high with limited resources. There are staff shortages, developments in legislation and regulations, there is a demand for innovation, new providers are emerging that are changing the playing field. All this requires the triangle to be able to analyze and make decisions in peace – on the basis of the correct information. The board secretary can be very valuable in this regard as a liaison officer and facilitator. From an independent position in the background, I can contribute to ensuring that parties fulfill their roles properly and keep them clear. I have noticed that it brings peace to an organization when this process runs smoothly.”


“The role of board secretary means operating at an administrative advisory and strategic level. A position that should therefore certainly be filled at university level,” says Wietze. “I personally find my legal background very useful, because I often have to deal with procedures and regulations. In addition, a board secretary must also have a certain integrity and they should be a bridge builder.”


Wietze is very satisfied with the mediation by Maartje Smeenk of Smeenk’s Personal Assistants: “She immediately comes across as someone who knows very well what she is doing and wants to excel in it. Maartje is a perfectionist headhunter, with a broad scope and contacts in many sectors. She sets high expectations and I respect that. There is also a great need to provide top boards with a high level of support. Maartje is fully committed to that and I appreciate that very much!”

“It brings such peace of mind when processes run smoothly.”


“The case for a company secretary | Wietze Wedman”. 

Interview: Silvia Kooij.

The case for a company secretary via Smeenk's Top Personal Assistants
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