The Global Connection Team
The Global Connection team is driven, motivated and sustained by its own collective expatriate and repat experience – past and current. This combined team experience ensures that Global Connection is in touch with the issues and experiences of being an expat and repat partner.
In 1990 Jacqueline left the security of full-time employment to enable her husband to start his expat career. The family experienced two postings: the first for Nedlloyd in Singapore, the second for Heineken in the Caribbean. After returning to the Netherlands in 1999, Jacqueline was asked to chair the Heineken Partner Network (HPN). Run by volunteers and sponsored by Heineken, HPN provided a platform for information exchange between expat spouses. In 2003, HPN initiated the shared partner network Global Connection, allowing multinationals worldwide to join and make the network available to spouses of their expat employees. Over the years, Global Connection expanded its activities and has become the one-stop shop for partner support. Jacqueline, who is the proud mother of two studying boys, loves to work (work being her favourite hobby), and she also enjoys gardening and going to the gym in her few spare moments.
Ines was an expat partner at various stages in her life. First as a young and independent woman in her early 20s in the US, later with a toddler in tow in China. She knows the ins and outs of having to reinvent yourself and starting over. Originally a PR consultant, Ines found her true passion in Global Mobility while living in Shanghai. Now a repat in her native Germany, she is happy to put her personal experience to good use, working as a Consultant Personalised Support to help other expat partners around the world.
After a posting of 4½ years in Spain, Josien experienced reverse culture shock when repatriating back to the Netherlands. Both of her children were born in Spain, they are proud little TCKs. Her family also experienced a split family situation for a year, with her husband working in Vienna. Now, he is working on a project in France for two years. Josien previously worked for Global Connection putting her media knowledge to good use, by publishing the magazine, for which she frequently commuted between Spain and the Netherlands. Now, Josien works very happily for us again as a Consultant, supporting expat partners in finding a fulfilling pastime. When not working, she enjoys family time, running and gardening.
Along with her husband and three children, Karlijn – originally from Belgium – has lived in four different countries. Karlijn worked as a Flight Attendant and Purser, and as a teacher of adult education. But after her first relocation and giving up her own career, Karlijn needed to find new and satisfying work. She volunteered with various organisations and took several courses. Karlijn now works as a Personalised Support Consultant, helping other expat partners find fulfilling and meaningful occupations. In her free time, Karlijn is a passionate skier, kitesurfer and runner, and enjoys travelling with her family.
Customer Service Coordinator
Danielle spent almost two years working and studying in the United States. While she was there, she met her French husband. On their return to Europe, they got married in France, but settled in the Netherlands. Since then, Danielle has worked for several international companies and joined the Global Connection team in November 2008 as Network Coordinator. She is our main contact for members who have queries regarding our products and services and is responsible for the registration of our members on the website. Apart from raising three teenage girls, she also enjoys singing and sports.
Karen Glerum, Subject Matter Expert, writer and translator. At the age of 18, she moved across the Atlantic to study journalism at Iowa State University. She moved back seven years later, having earned a master’s degree, an NCAA national championship title (athletics, mile run) and significant work experience in her field (including at the Barcelona Olympics). She returned to her home country to build her career as a media manager and senior advisor. A move to her husband’s native Britain provided the perfect opportunity to fulfil her dream of setting up her own communications agency. She now lives and works in Yorkshire, striving for the ideal balance between her career and her home life, which includes the joy of two young children. The family likes exploring the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in their 1976 VW campervan. Karen has also embarked on a quest for ‘all things British’, including anything from homemade scones to climbing Mt. Snowdon. Running and writing remain high on her list of favourite hobbies too.
Director, research and consultancy
Leo joined Global Connection in 2006 and is based in the Netherlands. He is passionate about substantiating the value of appropriate partner support on the basis of surveys, but thoroughly dislikes commercial over-inflation of that very value. Though he was born and raised in the Netherlands, he has always operated in an international environment or abroad. He worked, for example, as managing director for Nedlloyd in Singapore and for Heineken in the Caribbean. After repatriation, he was corporate purchasing director and international project manager for Heineken. Leo has travelled to more than a hundred countries, mainly for business reasons, though he also visited quite a number of remote places for scuba diving and gliding
Editor and proofreader
Oliver has over twelve years’ experience in publishing, and has copy-edited many hundreds of books and articles. British-raised as an ‘expat orphan’, he appreciates the special challenges that expats face in reconciling family life with work abroad. Oliver is based in Sheffield, England. Away from the desk, he mountainbikes and rock climbs and is the drummer in two bands.
Originally working as a lawyer, Inez gave up her job to accompany her partner on his international expat adventure in 2001. Abroad she again found work at a law firm, but after her first child was born, she decided it was time for a career change. Passionate about language, Inez took several courses in the field of writing, editing and translating. She has been working as a freelance editor, translator and writer since. Her expat life has brought her to Hungary, Austria, Scotland, England and now Slovakia. Currently she lives in Bratislava with her partner, four daughters, a dog and a cat. She enjoys the outdoors and exercising.
After several international relocations spanning over 20 years, Namibian-born Sybille returned to Cape Town where she grew up. Her German partner and two TCKs were happy to make the leap. Having been an expat in the USA, Israel, Vienna and Germany, and a repat in South Africa, Sybille knows well the challenges and opportunities that each international assignment brings. Sybille studied in South Africa and furthered her studies in Germany, the UK and Iceland. She has been working happily as an intercultural trainer and coach since 2004. Her position as a Global Connection consultant enables her to meet people from all walks of life and different cultures. She finds it very rewarding to help expat partners prepare themselves for a successful and fulfilling international assignment. Sybille also loves to do yoga on the beach, enjoy the outdoors with her family, and catch up on her reading.
Heidi, along with her husband and two children, has lived in Austria and the USA. Her home country is the Netherlands. While she loves her home, the (cultural) experience of living abroad is one that she will never forget. She feels it shapes a person in so many beautiful ways. As a former HR advisor and job coach, Heidi started coaching expat partners during her family’s first assignment in Vienna. As a consultant and coach for Global Connection, Heidi is helping expat partners live a meaningful life in their own unique way. In her free time, Heidi actively supports several events in her neighbourhood. She loves to explore new places, books and mountains.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Karen has worked and lived in five countries spanning four continents. After studying design in Cape Town, Jerusalem and Groningen, Netherlands, a rapidly-evolving design industry enabled Karen to work in Cape Town, Toronto, Brussels, Amsterdam and London, designing for various studios and publishing houses. Settled in Cape Town, Karen currently works as a designer specialising in magazines. She is a keen hobbyist photographer and enjoys cats, travelling and healthy living.
In 2005, Swedish born Lotta and her husband moved with their first two children to take on an expat posting in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Since then, and with a third child added to the family, they have lived in Hong Kong and are now posted in Singapore. Lotta has an education and long experience within Human Resources and has been able to continue working with HR in different setups as employed, as self-employed, for an NGO etc. during the family’s years abroad. In her work as a consultant for Global Connection her professional profile is a valuable asset when supporting expat partners in their search for a meaningful and developing occupation. When not working Lotta spends time doing sports such as running, hiking, tennis and boot camp – either on her own or together with the family.
Catarina was born in Portugal but spent her childhood in South Africa and Botswana. She was in her early teens when her family returned to Portugal, where she went on to major in Philosophy, becoming a trained high school teacher. After getting married and having her daughter she traded teaching for freelance translating and coaching, and joined her husband for a two year adventure in the Netherlands. She is now back in Portugal, enjoying reverse cultural shock yet again and happily working as an Expat Partner Consultant for Global Connection. In her free time she loves reading and travelling.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Connla Stokes is a writer, editor and journalist based in Vietnam. From 2005 to 2012 he worked as the editor of Timeout, a lifestyle magazine aimed at expats living in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. He has also written for CNN Travel, National Geographic Traveler, the Guardian Weekly, Travel + Leisure Asia and many other international publications. His stories about Vietnam have been broadcast on Irish radio and published in literary journals around the world.
Madeleine lived in Japan and is currently on an assignment in the US. She loves her home country, Switzerland, and at the same time believes that change is what makes life interesting, exciting and that it accelerates personal growth. In her view, international assignments are great opportunities and Madeleine appreciates them as a unique part of her life. She has completed her MBA in Tokyo and worked in an international corporation in Strategic Account Management and as a coach for several years. Supporting society with volunteering has also become an important part of Madeleine’s life. As a consultant for Global Connection she supports expat partners to make their international assignment a success and more importantly, help create a wonderful experience. Besides work, Madeleine loves travelling to adventurous countries, is a passionate hiker, runner and enjoys doing yoga.
Customer Service Coordinator
As a Dutch expat child in the UK, and an expat partner and mother in the US and Italy, Barbara has experienced, enjoyed and survived various cultural shocks and cycles of change, and learned about family, marriage and friendship. Between the foreign postings of her husband – an officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy – she worked diverse jobs in the Netherlands where she is currently stationed. Barbara has three children (born 1997, 1998, 1999), two of whom were born in the US. In her spare time she enjoys running, crossfit and fieldhockey.
Stefanie was born and raised in Belgium. She studied graphic design and moved to Den Bosch, the Netherlands, for her work. She also met her husband there. After four years in the Netherlands, Stefanie joined her husband who had been relocated to Boston, Massachusetts (US); she lived there for almost three years before moving in 2012 to Chicago, where the family now enjoys the Midwest life. Stefanie joined the Global Connection team in 2010 as one of the graphic designers. Next to her career, Stefanie likes to spend time working on her art (paintings), but mainly keeps busy chasing her 2-year-old daughter Sam.
Customer Service Coordinator
Ana is an expat partner who moved from Mexico to join her husband for a new adventure in the Netherlands in 2013. In her previous role as a commercial operations coordinator, she worked with a global team and had ownership of an international customers portfolio, proactively building sustainable and supportive relationships with diverse customers. In her role as Customer Service Coordinator she is our first point of contact for all expat partners. Ana enjoys being in contact with people from all over the world, discovering the aspects we all have in common, while also learning about different cultures. A proud Mexican, Ana also finds herself a citizen of the world. For leisure, she likes to cycle, sing, spend time gardening, and discover new places.