Editor’s Note: The Validation Training Institute (VTI) Board is comprised of 9 people. The VTI would not be where it is today without the support of our hardworking board members. We will be spotlighting our members in our monthly blogs. This month’s spotlight will be on Rudolf Rodenburg and Mariska Praktiek
VTI: Thank you for joining us today, Rudolf and Mariska. What do you two do for a living?
R: I am a brand strategy consultant. Which means I help companies to reposition themselves when needed, to better connect with the market and to help employees to better understand what their role is within an organization and why.
M: I am Internal Communications Manager for all Corporate Functions at Shell.
VTI: How did you first learn about Validation?
R: Through Mariska! We met in 1991 and soon after I met Vicki.
M: When I first met Vicki de Klerk-Rubin in 1990 she introduced me to Validation. I was immediately impressed by the great results the method can achieve for disoriented elderly people and their professional and non-professional care givers. I like the true respect for a human being that is deeply engrained in the method.
VTI: Was there a specific moment when you first realized Validation worked? If so, what was that moment?
R: When over the years I noticed how much Naomi and Vicki travel globally, and get asked to give trainings, I thought: “ This works!”.
M: It was after seeing some of the videos showing Naomi Feil and an elderly disoriented woman. It was beautiful to see the reaction of the woman.
VTI: How long have you served on the board?
R: Since January this year. We have been discussing things on and off with Vicki, but now it has been formalized.
M: Just since the beginning of this year and I am very much looking forward to supporting VTI in our effort to have more people benefit from Validation.
VTI: So far what do you enjoy most about serving on the board?
R: The area where Mariska and I can contribute most, which is in the positioning, marketing and communication, is an area where we really feel our know-how is welcome. It is a great feeling to be appreciated for something you do with pleasure.
M: I see a lot of opportunity to help Validation be adopted more widely and I enjoy thinking of what we can do to realize that opportunity.
VTI: What do you hope to contribute to the VTI by serving on the board?
R: To bring clarity into the messages VTI sends, so more people will feel that this is what they need. And also, to make sure that enough funds will come in to increase the level of activity and reach more people.
M: I have a strong background in marketing and communications as well as in leading global projects. I can use these skills to help VTI its long term objectives.
VTI: What the most important thing Validation has taught you?
R: Well, I can’t put it any better than Mariska did!
M: Approaching people in line with their own needs will help you succeed in building respectful relationships.
VTI: So, where do you two live now?
R&M: We feel European, if not global citizens. It doesn’t matter where we live. At the moment we live in The Netherlands and Switzerland. We have also lived in Hamburg Germany, Vienna Austria, Budapest Hungary, Bucharest Romania and 10 years in London.
VTI: What do you like to do when you are not working?
R: I love to travel, visit cities, find out why people have different lifestyles, and when I like it take over some habits. An evening on the sofa with wine, books, magazines, a film, a wide range of nibbles and Mariska is also something I can’t get enough of J
M: I do lots of sports, especially cycling, Pilates and cross country skiing. I also enjoy travelling, cooking and the arts.
Thank you Rudolf and Mariska for serving on the board!