Learn more about the people working hard every day to keep our place of engagement and inspiration running – both front of house and behind the scenes.

Board of Directors

Ruben van Zwieten


Ordained minister, founder of De Nieuwe Poort and named by NRC and de Volkskrant as one of the most influential people of the future.

Simone Heidema


Founder and CEO of CPI. She is in the Top 100 female entrepreneurs, is a qualified auditor and has worked throughout the world as a consultant and CFO.

Merijn Veldman


Lawyer-partner at //DVLP. Merijn advises real estate investors and companies, but also helps start-ups, VvEs and individuals.


Frank Kruijswijk

General Manager

After gaining years of experience in international hotel management Frank aims to open up homes for encounter and inspirational throughout Europe with De Nieuwe Poort as a general manager.

Carmen Snijders

Programme Manager

Carmen studied law at the Universiteit Utrecht and works at De Nieuwe Poort since 2014. She took on the role of Programme Manager in 2016 and works for De Nieuwe Poort, The New University and De Nieuwe Traditie.


Guido Fenne

Chef Social Kitchen

Guido ensures that everything in the Social Kitchen runs smoothly.

Cornely van Dalen


Cornely ensures that all our Rotterdam guests are pampered. She is also studying.

Rami Nazour


Fled Syria and finally ended up in our kitchen. He wishes that Dutch people were on their own a bit less.

Ruth Merchan Rodriquez


During the week, she works with us in Rotterdam and spends the weekends with her daughter. Ruth would like to study Information Technology in Spain one day.

Souzan Habib


Every Monday, Souzan bakes our cookies and cakes in Rotterdam. She would like to start an Arab restaurant one day.

Marije Molenaar

Head of Accounting

Studied Business Economics and went to catering college. Her job at De Nieuwe Poort enables her to use both her hospitality experience and financial expertise.

Ganda Holthuizen

Head of Banqueting

Our expert when it comes to room hire.



Happy to talk to anyone. His motto is forgive and forget and believes that everyone should be more forgiving. Bamba has been with us since De Nieuwe Poort opened.

Sjoerd Fabriek

Facilities worker

Worked as a landscaper but ended up with us. Sjoerd believes that every failure can lead to a new beginning.

Amir Madmoni


Was written off when he was just 18 but still wanted to work. His first permanent job was with us when he was 40.

Berend van der Mee


As well as studying Commercial Economics, Berend ensures that everyone who enters De Nieuwe Poort receives a warm welcome.

Gregor Wiertelorz


Gregor is the chef’s right hand and makes sure that everything in the kitchen runs smoothly.

Marc Krieg


As an adolescent he lived on the street, but eventually got the help and opportunities he needed. He enjoys the small things in life.

Omid Madad


Studied for a while, but isn’t really academically inclined. He is very happy working in hospitality and enjoys making techno and house music.

Trienke van der Meij

Main Hostess

Lived in the Alps for a while, but missed her life in Amsterdam. She often returns to go snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking.

Loran Witteveen

House pianist

Graduated summa cum laude from the Conservatorium and has played at the North Sea Jazz Festival amongst other events. He also teaches at Codarts.

Kristjan Martinsson

House pianist

Kristjan regularly plays our piano in Amsterdam. He is a multi-instrumentalist and composer.


Several members of our team have – for one reason or another – a disadvantage on the employment market. Whether it’s a language barrier, a life of setbacks, or a difficult start…everyone has a story.

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Bamba, Cook

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