After over thirty years as the heart and soul of U Parkhotel and all its previous manifestations, director Marijke Schmand will bow out at the end of 2020. Citing personal reasons, she has announced her intention to take early retirement.
In 1987, at the age of 32, Marijke came to Twente to take up the position of Residential Manager at what was then the International Congress and Study Centre (ICSC). She brought with her the experience she had gained as Assistant Training and Development Manager with a major European hotel chain, headquartered in The Hague. Moving to the far side of the country proved to be quite a challenge. The ICSC had only just been built and had yet to be fully fitted out and furnished. And within days of Marijke’s arrival, the first guests were due to turn up. Together with her small team, Marijke rolled up her sleeves and moved mountains to make sure that their guests could be welcomed in style.
This same pragmatic and unflappable approach combined her hospitality which is second to now one, has taken Marijke Schmand a long way. Her appointment as Residential Manager was soon followed by a promotion to Hotel Manager. And two years later, she was appointed Director of what had by then evolved into the Drienerburght Conference Hotel.
Drienerburght’s core business was to facilitate conferences, but it also offered guests the opportunity for overnight stays. Over the years, Marijke has worked with her Supervisory Board and in close consultation with the University of Twente to secure the future development of the conference hotel. This process ultimately led to a new location under the name U Parkhotel, which opened its doors in the extensively renovated Hogekamp building on the University of Twente campus. The official reopening took place in 2019, with Marijke at the helm. Exceeding all expectations in its first year, U Parkhotel not only established itself as a fully catering conference hotel but also as a popular choice for recreational visitors to the region. There is no doubt that Marijke Schmand is leaving behind a hotel with great potential for continued success and further development. At the end of the year, she can confidently hand over the baton to a successor who will have a wonderful job ahead of them.
Hennie Ten Hag, Chair of the Supervisory Board, has this to say about the departure of Marijke Schmand: “The U Parkhotel will say goodbye to a helpful, modest, warm personality who is always interested in fellow human beings. Marijke was there when she needed to be there. And during all these years she has managed the company as if it were her own.”
The recruitment procedure for a new director has now been launched under the expert eye of Ten Duis Personnel Management.