22 Mar 2022

New colleagues! Team Blonk welcomes Dorien, Hein and Lana

Over the past month Team Blonk gladly welcomed three new colleagues. Dorien Soons joins as Marketing Communication Specialist, Hein van der Ploeg as Senior Software Developer within the Blonk Sustainability Tools team and Lana Liem as intern within Blonk Consultants. A very warm welcome Dorien, Hein and Lana, we are delighted to have you as part of our team. Let’s meet Dorien, Hein and Lana!

Dorien Soons

Marketing Communication Specialist | Blonk

I studied Business Economics at Tilburg University, majoring in Strategic Marketing Management. At Blonk I am Marketing Communication Specialist, jointly responsible for the newsletter, website, and social media.

In my work I like to contribute to commercial goals combined with social themes, to offer the theme a stage, creating awareness and offering practical tools in a positive way. My cookbook VoetprintCooking from 2012 is an example of this, by using Blonk’s publications as the basis for the recipes. I am proud that I am now a part of this wonderful company.

After seeing the film 'The Inconvenient Truth', I was triggered to think about our far too large CO2 emissions. Mind you, CO2 emissions caused by humans. Marianne Thieme opened my eyes on the role food plays in this, which subsequently developed my own quest in the VoetprintCooking cookbook. In the same period, I became a fan of Urgenda's urgent agenda. My children Stein (2005), Lies (2006) and I are co-plaintiffs in Urgenda's climate case.

In my spare time I like to play hockey, a game of Catan with snacks from the Vegetarian Butcher, and I love camping and cooking for large groups. The latter is probably due to my Brabant roots.

Hein van der Ploeg

Senior Software Developer | Blonk Sustainability Tools

I’ve joined team Blonk starting February 2022 as a Senior Software Developer. I graduated at the University of Groningen in 2005 in the field of Artificial Intelligence. I started my career as a R&D engineer and programmer for a company active in the area of postal and logistics technology, working on handwriting and image recognition problems, for example, to be able to automatically read handwritten addresses on mail and parcels for sorting. I quickly found that I enjoy working with customers, translating their needs and requirements into software solutions that work for them. With that my responsibilities grew, and I switched to the role of project leader and later to a service manager for the service & support department. While I enjoyed this, I also found that it made me move away from the actual technical content too much and I decided to go back to developing software, a decision which I don’t regret.

As a software developer I like to take a technical problem and translate it into a workable solution. For me, it’s like playing with Lego, but then in a grown-up world.

After 17 years though, I felt it was time for change. I’ve always been interested in sustainability, and I strongly believe that the solutions for the climate and environmental problems we’ve got ourselves into, lie in changing the way we live nowadays aided by technological advancements. Food production contributes a great deal to human environmental pressure, and when I found Blonk and learned more about their mission, I was immediately interested and I applied for a position at the Blonk Sustainability Tools division.  At Blonk my environmental and technical interest come together and I can work on developing tools which will help companies and institutions to make sustainable choices, and so I can implicitly work one of the most important and pressing challenges of today. How cool is that?

Lana Liem

Intern | Blonk Consultants

Last month I was delighted to join Blonk Consultants and start as an intern for the coming 5 months. I’m a master student at the joint program Industrial Ecology at the TU Delft and Leiden University, which tackles environmental problems from a systems’ perspective. It provides the skill set to critically analyze supply chains, and their environmental impact. I’m a motivated and analytical thinker, with an eagerness to continue to learn. I’m excited to put my theoretical skills to practice at Blonk, which is a well-established player in the field of sustainability related to LCA and food and agriculture, and I’m excited to work together with a team of passionate professionals.

I’ve always have had a close relationship with food, from working in hospitality specialized in coffee, to exploring different cuisines from around the world, hence my interest in food related environmental topics, and to dive deep into the processes behind the daily consumed products and their respective environmental impacts.

Outside the office, I can be found at the beach or in the water. I like to be active and outdoors, either hiking, surfing, or biking. Additionally, another great passion is coffee. I work as a barista in an espresso bar and not a day goes by without coffee.