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I am Frank Dewever, Sales Manager of TerraCottem BV.
I studied commercial engineering at the University of Brussels from 1981 to 1986. After a year of still-compulsory-military service, I made my first steps into the professional world as a technical-commercial representative in the textile industry.
Early 1993 I was given the opportunity by Bernard Devos, founder of the TerraCottem company, to form part of a brand new and young team. To set up the company and commercialise the TerraCottem product.
In the early years, as Office Manager, I was mainly involved in the legal, administrative, productive and logistical start-up of the company.
From 1996, when sales were split into a national and international sales department, I was integrated into national sales in Belgium.
In 2003 my responsibilities increased. I took on sales in the Netherlands and technical support in France and Germany. In a nutshell, my function within the company evolved into Sales Manager.
In the meantime, with nearly 28 years of work at TerraCottem, I am the most senior member of staff.
I enjoy putting my acquired knowledge at the service of the company on a daily basis.
As a former Ironman triathlete, I still have a passion for sports: distance swimming, distance cycling (both on and off road) and distance running. I have to admit at my age, distance walking is becoming more and more common.
What do you do in the garden to save water?
"I store water in a natural pool (90 m³) and cistern (15 m³) which I can use in very dry summers when plants really need to be watered."
If you can travel in time, what year are you going and why?
"1987 – It was a “key year” in my live where I explored life and the world in all his aspects. I graduated at the University, did my military service with some foreign missions, made my first steps in my professional career and met my wife with whom I am happily married since 33 years."
How did you get into your job at TerraCottem?
"I met Bernard Devos, the “founder” of TerraCottem at the Waregem Happy Golf Club in February 1993. He was looking for young ambitious people to start up a company for the “product”. He had obtained the rights from the University of Ghent on 31st of December 1992. As I was looking for a new professional challenge, being at the start of a completely new company and revolutionary product convinced me to take this professional step. It was a pioneering job. First discussions were: what will be the brand name of the product, how will we call the company and how will the logo look like?"
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
"When I was at University, I played second division basketball. We had a former national coach as trainer who also gave business clinics. His advice was always:
Anyone can give comments from the side lines or behind a screen. But you are only able to score when you are on the field."
Favourite aspect of your work?
"Still the pioneering work. Being on the road, meeting new people, convincing people to use the product, looking for new application opportunities."
What is your favourite, famous or inspiring quote?
"KEEP IT SIMPLE"
What are the first things you bought with your own money?
"A race bike with money earned from a student job. And a car with the first pay check from my professional job. I like to be on the road."
What is your secret talent that no one knows about?
"My sense for orientation. I always find my way easily."