First site or app checked in the morning
WhatsApp. One of the first things that Heineken USA’s new CEO, Ronald den Elzen, did was start a WhatsApp group for the management team. When everyone is traveling and in different time zones, it has been a great way for us to stay connected.
I wake up at 5am and go for a run. Then I read the papers over coffee and an egg white omelet with the herbs from my garden – in my dreams.
In reality, my mornings are hectic and filled with snooze buttons, endless requests for yogurt squeezes, and an episode of Paw Patrol while cuddling with my two kids who always manage to creep into my bed. It’s the most disorganized and unstructured part of my day and I love it.
What didn’t you expect about working for a beer company?
I never anticipated I would have some of the most legendary experiences of my life working here. Not only was I given the opportunity to work with the Heineken USA leadership community to define the company’s purpose of "inspiring legendary lives" but I was also able to define my own personal purpose.
One a scale of one to 10, how difficult is your commute?
I love my drive to White Plains. It’s the one time I have to myself to think, process, and either gear up for the day or wind down from it.
Personal motto that comes in handy at work?
Take risks and don’t be scared of failure, as it provides the richest learning experiences.
Preferred beer – Heineken, Heineken Light, or Newcastle Brown Ale?
This is like choosing between your children – how could you pick? I love each one equally and differently.
First marketing or comms job
I was an account coordinator at Weber Shandwick back when it was acceptable to dress up in costumes in front of the Today window to try to get your client on TV. How the times and communications have evolved. Thankfully!
Favorite city in which to do business
New Orleans. It has an energizing pulse and vibe to it. It truly is a unique place and I instantly fell in love with its magic.
Lesson you wish you knew before starting your career?
When I was younger, I was always described as highly sensitive and emotional, and it often felt like a criticism. I now see those qualities as great strengths. When I channel that energy into a deep sense of empathy and authentic vulnerability, it allows me to connect with people in a meaningful way and be truly open to new ideas and differing points of view.
Who was your mentor?
For me, it’s not about finding one senior mentor. It’s about learning from everyone, every day. From the CEO, to the intern, to the random person you meet that day, everyone has a lesson to teach if you’re open to it.