Board of Directors
President, Pending Appointment
Bas Kooyman, Founding Board Member, Treasurer
What an honor to be part of this great initiative called The Think to DO Institute. I have been very concerned over the years about the development of our country Curaçao, and at the same time exited to be part of this project. The choice is whether we want to keep scratching with the chickens of start soaring with the eagles.Progress is not only reserved for the fortunate ones in our community. I have been a leader in the commercial sector and have led my family-owned company for most of my life. We, as leaders, have to take it upon ourselves to see to it that the community as a whole benefits and shares in it. To do this we need change. Great people were successful in being different. Not so by reinventing the wheel but by opening new horizons and as a result the eyes of our nation. This is my hope and my vision for the Think To DO Institute.
Lisbeth Hoefdraad, LLM, Secretary
For many years I have been convinced that the social, financial and economic problems that Curaçao is encountering cannot be solved by any small group trying to impose its ideas on the rest of the community, but that the way out of the islands problems should come from a much larger, non-political, group of people from all walks of life, based upon the willingness to listen to each other’s feelings and pains and to strive to reach consensus. I have been brought up to believe that even though it is normal and to be expected that each person will primarily aim to create a good life for him or herself, a strong community sense should always guide his or her path.
Looking back at the choices I made in my professional life to first become a government lawyer and for the last twenty years a judge, as well as in my private life to function for very many years as (amongst others) a member and president of the board of an institution for handicapped children, I realize now that those gut choices were made entirely from this perspective.
I highly respect Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for the peaceful manner in which they strove to solve the problems that painfully divided their respective countries. On a completely different level, I respect a person like Oprah, who managed to rise from an economically troubled past to a position of high influence, without losing her humanity and her community sense.
Am I as serious as all this sounds? Definitely not. I love laughing and joking and all my life I have loved to read (European) comic strips, mainly because in these strips we get to laugh at ourselves in our daily lives.
As a board member, it is my sincerest hope that the endeavors of this non-political think tank will be met by positivism from all sides. The country we as Curaçaoens all love truly is in need of a positive boost to reverse the downward spiral that we have been in far too long already.
Bonnie Roberts Benesh, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi
I recognize that all change starts with the individual. I want to create and live in a society that is peaceful, service minded and mutually respectful. Through meditation and adherence to core values, I will lead by example for my family, friends and colleagues. I will use my strengths to develop the capacity of self and others in order to shift a reactive mindset to a proactive mindset. Everyone is a leader and everyone must learn to manage change in order to successfully participate in the global landscape. I will challenge myself to be a master communicator and valued participant in the shaping of personal, corporate and national visions.
This is my personal mission statement, and I have used it to guide, not only my personal life, but also my professional life. I have been honored served as an educator, community leader, change facilitator and master planner in several countries, and I have honed skills and created networks to assist others as they succeed in their change process to become interdependent, focused resilient societies.
I believe that Curaçao can become a prosperous and attractive country with motivated and well-educated people who can live in harmony with each other.
I am excited and honored to lead the Think To DO institute in its vision to bring about change by influencing with well-researched, data-driven, mutually agreed-to decisions, and different thinking and doing. I hope that you will join us in this people-powered, courageous, independent endeavor. We will DO it!