Bart van der Heijden
CTO at FCR Media Belgium
Bart van der Heijden currently holds the position as CTO at FCR Media Belgium. In this position, Bart is responsible for the Technology & Marketing department. During his time at FCR Media, Bart has taken on roles as enterprise architect, head of IT strategy and architecture and transformation director.
Throughout his career at FCR Media (and even before as a consultant at Deloitte), transformation has always been a key element. Starting with an acquisition of the company, after which a transformation program, ranging people, processes, products and technology, was started to completely renew the company. Bart was the driving force between the design and target state architecture of the program. The key objective of this transformation program was to eliminate the on-premise architecture and to move fully to the cloud with best of breed solutions. Bart is a huge fan of transformation with a clearly articulated target state in mind that improve the company and the (working) life of the people that are working there.
In terms of values, Bart believes that integrity is very important. Bart is married to Veerle and they have three children. Next to all that, Bart is a huge fan of triathlon and spends (many) mornings training. Any remaining time left, Bart enjoys a good Netflix show.
Q. Is there anything that you did differently or a new hobby you picked up during the pandemic that you’re continuing now?
It’s not really a habit I’m continuing it now but I did do something new. Like a lot of people started baking bread, sourdough bread. The one that you have to ferment and keep in the fridge for like a couple of days so in the fridge we had this funny-smelling box of stuff. And then after seven or eight days, you could make a bread out of it. It was really intense, really a lot of work because you have to really put in a lot of work. But it was really tasteful and very, very good for your digestion and in the end fun. But, I stopped doing it, because it wasn’t a bit too much work.
Q. What was one of the first jobs that you had growing up?
I think it’s a very classic one, and that will show my nationality as being Dutch. At the village where we lived, we had a factory that made these little wooden shoes for tourists. I think I was just legally, old enough to work like 13, or 14, or something like that. In the summer holiday, I did it for one month, and I had two main jobs. One was to drill a hole in each of these. There were hundreds of thousands of these wooden shoes, and I had to drill a hole in each of them so that somebody else could connect the two of them together before they were painted. We had to put them in a big machine to clean them. Because they were a bit rough from the manufacturing. When they were completely cleaned they went into painting, finishing, and gift wrapping. But this job convinced me, to go to school, get an education because this is not something I want for the rest of your life.
Q. Is there anything people may not know about you, a hobby or something?
Well, I think the thing that I spend most of my time on next to work is triathlon I do half distance and quarter competition. So that means that I have to swim 1- 2 times per week and run 1 or 2 times per week to make sure that I keep fit and that I continue to do prepare myself for races
Unfortunately, that was very tough during the last two years because all races were canceled and training without a clear goal in sight is very difficult. Also, I got a bit injured as well from overtraining, and the race that I was planning, for now, was in September, in Belgium, but last week or two weeks ago it was canceled. So, it will be again a year without racing, but let us see if the future can bring some additional new races.
Q. Do you have a favorite comfort food or a favorite meal?
Yes, and it’s a very simple one. It is spaghetti with the red solid, the spaghetti bolognese and yes, that’s the thing I can eat every day, every hour. I like it with lots of parmesan cheese on top of it. It’s the best that that’s there.
Q. If you could have dinner with someone, dead or alive, who would you pick?
I think the person that I would like to talk to, and unfortunately, he’s not here anymore, is Stephen Hawking. I think he uncovered mysteries in our universe, that, nobody, knew about I mean the black holes and everything, I think it’s a fascinating world and I would love to speak with him. I think it’s a very theoretical world, as well, because, of course, nobody can go there, and can check it out. But the way he explains it, is great.
I had the opportunity at one point in time to hear him at a congress, a year or a little more before he passed away, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. He was there on the big screen, he gave some advice about ethics on AI and what we, as futurists, should all think about. He talked about how account, to build a better world and to using technology. And, I was really taken by the, by the speech, it was, it was very good and very, very well done. He has done so much in science Definitely like to talk to him and have my spaghetti with, and understand what he has done and get a little bit more deeper, into his brain, and his way of thinking.
Q. If you had the choice to have another profession what would that be?
Well, I’ve always wanted to be a Chef. Kind of related really related to my spaghetti bolognese. When I was a child. I always dreamt of becoming a Chef. I like to be in the kitchen. I like to work with food and to cook.
But then when discussing with my parents, they were said as a Chef you always have to work when other people are off and it’s very hard just study economics. So, I followed my mother’s advice and I studied economics and the went into computer science. So here I am now in this profession
Q. What message would you like to give to Siinda partners and members?
Yeah, I think it’s great to have Siida Live with the ability to see everyone I think we’ll see the horizon popping up. I had my second vaccination Tuesday, so I’m fully vaccinated now. I was a bit sick on Wednesday, Thursday and today I’m back in shape. And I think more things like this will be happening, the numbers are going down, although there’s been a little bit of a bump with the, with the Delta variant but we need to get through it. We have to meet in Berlin, to discuss plans and I think business will flourish again, people will go out again, and then spend money again. And therefore, we need advertising, we need to help SMEs to advertise so we can make sure people spend money on those SMEs and shops. They need us to help, so, I think my message would be to hang in there, make sure that we get through the summer holidays. So we can have a fantastic party in Berlin, and then kick off the rest of the year.