How does a Flemish girl end up in Noordwijk, the Netherlands?
My husband works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and he was offered a job at the embassy in The Hague in 2009. That’s when we moved our family from Brussels to Scheveningen. I came across a vacancy with Fleuroselect through LinkedIn – they were looking for a marketing officer.
Have you always been working in the floricultural industry?
No, I haven’t. I used to work as a PR Manager with L’Oréal in Brussels. I was responsible for the press relations of L’Oréal Paris, Garnier and Maybelline. Anti-wrinkle products, lipsticks … a totally different world, on the one hand. But on the other hand, L’Oréal wants to make the world prettier and that’s something I recognise in the plant and flower sector. Colour and fragrance put a smile on consumers’ faces. Being able to contribute to that is very satisfactory.
What do you like about your job?
The diversity: one day, I put on my wellies to look at some new plants with a breeder, the next day I look all smart for a meeting with some directors. “We need a new website. Do you know how to do that?” was the question I was asked during my first board meeting. My reply was: “No, but I’ll figure it out.” This job has offered me the opportunity to grow as an all-round marketeer. Also, in an international trade organisation, you get to meet people from all sorts of different countries, I really like that. I am a real people person.
What’s the highlight of your career with Fleuroselect?
„Well, there are quite a few moments from the past couple of years that I’m proud of. The first time that our Gold Medals made it to the front page of the German Taspo. The annual member conference that was held at Ball Horticultural in Chicago, is one that I won’t soon forget. And what also makes me happy, is the increasing expansion of our horizon; we also promote Fleuroselect and the award winning varieties to growers, traders and buyers.”
What will you be doing in ten years time?
It could still be the same. I really like marketing. Or I might stay in this industry, but go back to B-to-C. I sometimes miss the direct contact with the consumer. And I’d like to start my own little business, but that’s a sideline activity. I’ve already taken the first steps and feedback has been very positive so far.
What do you do when you aren’t working? Any hobbies?
I’ve always been a very keen ballet dancer. I started when I was 7 and I never gave up. I never liked going to the gym, ballet has always been my way of keeping fit. I also like going to the theatre, musical or opera. There’s always a good book in my handbag and finally, I love meeting people and having an interesting conversation.
Ann Jennen, Marketing & Communication Fleuroselect. Fleuroselect is the international organisation for breeders and young plant producers of potted and bedding plants.