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Stories from the old days: there we were, on Libyan territory, without a passport. Iv-Groep 70 years Iv Memories Working at Iv

Stories from the old days: there we were, on Libyan territory, without a passport.

70 years of Iv, there are stories enough! Due to the low employee turnover, there are many people who have been working at Iv for 35 years or more. Kees Ripzaad is one of them and tells us about his best memories. 

“I have never had a day that I thought: ugh, I have to go to work.”

“Soon, I will mark my 40-year anniversary. I'm going to reach it”, Kees says with a big radiant smile. “I have been working here since 1 December 1980. At this time, the company was still called Ingenieurs- en Architectenbureau H. Veth. Founder Henk Veth was the director at the time. In the 38 years that I have been working here, I have never had a day that I thought: ugh, I have to go to work. I have experienced so many beautiful things here that I could talk about it for hours.”

Kees thinks the greatest business development he has experienced is how Iv has grown. It began around 1985 when Grootint, then a well-known bridge and lock constructor, divested their drawing department and Iv took it over. The big growth really started at this point. Acquisitions followed in the Netherlands and far beyond the borders. Kees: “We also used to have a branch in the United Arab Emirates. I also have a nice story about that. Henk Veth had his own aircraft and with that, he flew to the Emirates whenever he had to be there. I still remember working quietly on a Monday afternoon when the phone rang: ‘Hey Kees, is there any news? Over.’ It was Henk, he had called from his plane for a discussion about work via Eurocontrol. After every sentence, an ‘over’ followed and finally ‘over and out’. He was a nice guy. In terms of work activities, I really enjoyed the acquisitions, but of course, also all the other experiences to do with the acquisitions. For example, I once sat with the branch director of our Malaysian office at the Libyan embassy in Malaysia because we wanted to set up a Libyan entity. We had to give our passports to a porter but were unable to get them back. We were put in a room and the door was closed. There we were, on Libyan territory, without a passport. But luckily it all worked out well in the end and we eventually set up the entity.”

“You shouldn’t outsource what you can do yourself. You should do it yourself.”

“You know what I like so much about Iv, it’s the freedom and responsibility you get. Our general manager, Rob van de Waal once said to me: ‘Kees, you shouldn’t outsource what you can do yourself. You should do it yourself.’ We really do a lot in-house, that’s what makes the work very versatile. And the atmosphere within the company is very good. The corporate culture is pleasantly easy going and Iv arranges a lot for their people: good working conditions and pension schemes, big Sinterklaas and New Year parties, trips abroad to the UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cup.”
 

“I’m still a bit angry with Louis van Gaal”

Why? You may be wondering. "Because he denied us a trip to Japan when the Netherlands didn’t qualify for that particular World Cup. We have been visiting the UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cup since 1988. Those trips are always so great. I love travelling, which is why I have always put myself forward to help organise these football trips. Prior to this, I was always exploring. This is how I met Johnny de Mol in Brazil, where he asked us to be extras for a program he was filming there. So, we did it, waving wildly with Brazilian flags and wearing Brazilian football shirts that we quickly bought when we arrived. This was such an amazing Iv adventure and I will always remember it. As I said, I could talk for hours about all the great Iv-adventures. I have been retired for 3.5 years now, but for as long as I still feel fit and able, I will continue to work three days a week. Who knows what adventures are still to follow!”

We are always on the lookout for new talent. How can you strengthen our team? Working at Iv means working on challenging and varied projects every day. At the office or on location. Check now to see if you can find an exciting challenge within your specialism!