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During the first 10 years of my career I have mostly focused on designing systems for measuring physical phenomena, while at the last half, I privately spent time on running a computer association. This got me hooked on to other aspects than pure engineering. So from there on I added more and more management aspects with a focus on change and sustainability. So I classify “mastering change” as essential to get the job done successfully and I feel my  attitude and experience is a perfect match, knowing that one needs to be able to think outside the box, be able to analyse the problem and deal with different cultures and understand that people management will create the change.

Sustainability perfectly resonates with my personal drive, particularly when seen in the light of “Cradle to Cradle” as well as keeping employee’s energy sustainable so that they bring energy to the company and society in stead of burning out.

So what have I done myself to measure up to getting change done?

The first big change programme I was part of as the designer/implementer was as expatriate for Philips Medical systems in California where a melting pot of employees with different cultural backgrounds were responsible for the design, manufacturing and service of high end ultrasound equipment. As the responsible director for Quality I acted as the mediator between the different departments and moved the organization from a hierarchical engineering departmental structure into a project management organization and bootstrapped a test group in the quality department as well as in the engineering department to increase the predictability for the release process from non existing to within 1-2 weeks of schedule.

A second change programme had to do with releasing of complicated medical equipment purchased in Japan. At the start, problems were only detected as deviations, while at the end of the programme there was a full analysis to point back to the source of the deviation. And products could be reliably sold and delivered.

A third change programme started when I joined a small start-up in the US with just 21 employees, where I took over the communication to European partners and built a European branch to support customer support and sales. Initially this change focused on the release process of product for partners like Philips, Siemens and GE. When later having organised service support in Europe, I was asked to lead the service in the US as the demand had changed from product that had to be ready for operation within a couple of days to within an hour or so. And the existing management could not bundle the daily operation with structural change.

The best way to describe my achievement is by copying what the chairman of board said about me.

Anton was charged with the responsibility of creating a world-wide healthcare information technology installation and support organization from scratch. This also involved creating a unique business model for the industry, primarily relying on remote personnel with a minimum of high cost, on-site personnel. He took this assignment on, and within one year he created a highly effective, highly efficient organization. With the emergence of patient privacy concerns in the healthcare industry, Anton then took the challenge of designing and directing the implementation of an innovative and lightweight remote support software technology that exceeded the capabilities of commercially available systems. Anton is an innovative leader, especially in emerging, poorly defined opportunities.” August 20, 2008

William Mortimore , Founder, CEO, Chair , Merge Healthcare
managed Anton at Merge Technologies

With respect to sustainability, I have always taken this from a pretty wide angle, by removing energy usage as much as possible in the sense of reducing operational steps as well as by reducing travel and using energy efficient products and avoiding waste. At home I’m using 1.8KW PV solar cells as well as LED lighting for many years and my number one goal for the future is building a comfortable zero energy home. Sustainability from a service point of view I achieved through Viewcheck, probably best described by the IT guru from Merge.

Anton is a very capable leader. He was selected to lead Merge eFilm’s global service and support group, oversaw the operations, selected and promoted managers within the group, and grew the operation as the company grew in size and scope. He developed a business model to profitably operate the service operations and contributed to the revenue growth and profitability of the company. He has extensive experience in the security area, having designed, then championed and finally deploying a remote service application still in use at the company today (product name is ViewCheck). Anton has an excellent balance of leadership attributes and in-depth technical knowledge.” September 1, 2008

Al Thornberry , Director, IT , Merge eFilm
worked indirectly for Anton at Merge Technologies

This organization grew to about 500 employees while going through moments of refection to avoid disappearing in the Bermuda triangle of company growth, did several merges, went public, got close to being de-listed, became a very big success and didn’t manage its last big merger and suffered from that and changes in the market.
So in conclusion I’m passionate about sustainability, have gone through a lot of company growing pains and have led several change processes, while having provided first class service for more than half of my career and being technically trained for 10 years in a first class research environment.

Anton van Kimmenade.