Welcome Geert and Johan

The ToolBox Board is delighted to welcome its two new directors, Geert Joris and Johan Merlevede. Welcome to them!

Who's Johan Merlevede:

"It is my pleasure to join as new director at Toolbox, an initiative I greatly appreciate.
My name is Johan Merlevede. Although born in Ostend, I have spent most of my life in beautiful Leuven.

I have had my own company, White Circus, for three years now, which focuses on team coaching and training in leadership and various soft skills. I look back on a corporate career, with positions such as marketing director at Proximus and general manager at Van In Publishing. In addition, I spent six years as director at non-profit organization Leuven MindGate.

Innovation and building bridges between people and organizations is a constant in my career. I bring experience from board positions at various companies and have been active for 8 years as a board member at the sociocultural organization Avansa Vlaams-Brabant.

As a proud member of Toolbox for the past years, I am fully energized to contribute from my new position on the board of Toolbox. My ambition is to use my experience to develop a growth strategy for Toolbox and position us even more convincingly and visibly, with the ultimate goal of increasing our positive impact.

I am greatly looking forward to working with all stakeholders to shape Toolbox's future."


Who's Geert Joris:

"My name is Geert Joris. I am 64, originally from Limburg but having landed and stayed in Ghent for several decades via various detours.
At the beginning of my career, I was mainly active as an entrepreneur in the graphic and IT sector (e-learning). Since 2005 I have only worked for non-profit organizations and the government (Boek.be, Nederlandse Taalunie and Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen). You can find all that on LinkedIn. As of May 1, I am no longer the director of the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen. From now on, I will guide companies and organizations on a project basis in optimizing and automating their business processes. For this I am working with an Odoo-implementer (ClubIT). In addition, I dream of professionalizing my woodworking activities.
Since 2000, I have been volunteering as a consultant for profit and non-profit organizations on direct demand or through other organizations.
I got to know ToolBox more than ten years ago through Dirk Kerkhof, with whom I was on the board of a non-profit organization in Ghent. Although, due to my busy professional activities, I did not have time for a structural collaboration during those first years, I have been an outspoken ambassador of ToolBox all this time.

My interest in ToolBox stems mainly from my interest in organizations that can have a leverage function and thus great impact in society. ToolBox is by excellence such a lever and I am convinced that this can be used even more. I am thinking of strategic partnerships, such as the one between ToolBox and the Streekfonds Oost-Vlaanderen.
A study was conducted at the Vlerick School on the chances of success of start-ups and relaunches and it showed that your chances of success increase by about 80 percent if you have guidance. I think that is the most convincing argument that makes me want to express my commitment as a ToolBoxer, also for ToolBox as an organization."