The name Bilancia actually means “balance”. This word summarizes our aim: to make sure there is a balance between an organization and the rapidly changing environment in which it operates. To reach and uphold this balance, an organization has to be adaptive, flexible and can never stop learning. This is what Bilancia works on, both with itself as well as with its clients. Bilancia was founded in 1998 by Jan Vrins and Arie Huisman.
Jan Vrins: (Born in Enschede 10-01-1951). Jan Vrins started his career as a teacher. After two years he was assigned as a teacher of the Dutch language at a lower general secondary education facility. Next to teaching, he functioned as a career councellor and was a substitute manager etc. During that same period he studied the Dutch language at the School for Languages and Literature and afterwards at the University in Leiden. After graduating he was appointed director of the National Secondary School of agriculture (Rijks Middelbare Tuinbouwschool) in the Westland. In 1990 he became chairman of the executive board of the AOC Holland College. In 1998 he started his own company, Bilancia, together with his business partner Arie Huisman. Up until now he has done different interim assignments, has followed courses in management, coaching and followed a training through which he has become an official Investors in People advisor and assessor. He has also designed and published the Investors in People boardgame. At present, he advises organizations in order for them to obtain a more effective management. Within the framework of the turnkey projects, he selects and trains the future management teams in the fields of management and organizational skills in agricultural companies.
Arie Huisman: (Born in Amsterdam 06-06-1952). After finishing his higher vocational education studies on crops and farming (vegetables and flowers), Arie Huismans has specialized in mentoring international horticultural projects and does the cultivation himself in horticultural business, because most of the times there are no specialized cultivation businesses present in the concerning countries. He worked as an advisor on farming and has coached a great number of horticultural businesses. In 1976 he was asked to contribute his knowledge and experience to the school of horticulture. In 1985 he changed positions to the National Secondary School of horticulture (Rijks Middelbare Tuinbouwchool) in De Lier. There, he held different positions. In 1998 he started Bilancia, together with Jan Vrins. At present Arie Huisman concerns himself with advising project leaders and mentoring them in the fields of farming, cultivation and organization.
Joris van Koppen (born 13-6-1951). Throughout his entire life, Joris has succesfully joined a wide array of different horticultural projects. From 1968, he cultivated lettuce and tomatoes in Poeldijk at M. van Zijl. After 4 years, he transferred to Agro Greenhouse projects, where he cultivated lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.
In 1978, Joris left for Germany, where he was in command of the agro-project, cultivating tomatoes and cucumbers, at Gartnerei Erich Wells in Middelsbach. In 1983 Joris went to work with Greenhouses Alicon Arab in Saoudi Arabia. Here, he cultivated cucumbers and tomatoes, where he made use of the “Pad & Van” System.
Joris started his own horticultural company in Tenerife, Islas Canaria, in 1985, where he cultivated tomatoes and cucumbers on 3 hectares. Next to that, he advised Punta Blanco Cooperative on different levels of horticulture, ranging from the early stages of the building-process to finally exporting their product. In 2004, Joris was asked to join Lee-Vally Growers to help guide them with setting up their projects revolving around cucumbers and the cultivation of cucumbers. In 2005, he went to Colima Finca Bianca in Mexico where he cultivated tomatoes and cucumbers.
From 2009, he’s back to working as an advisor in farming in European countries like Ireland, Spain and England.
In 2011, Joris is assigned to work for Bilancia. First, he was dispatched to Aqtobe in Kazakhstan. Momentarily, he’s cultivating mini-cucumbers on a project of 5 hectares in Chimkent (Kazakhstan).
Adrie de Koning was born to train and coach people. He realizes that knowledge in itself is not enough. Skills are equally important when assigned to a specific job. Therefore, he states that studying should always be combined with practice. His lessons and courses always make use of a vast amount of different local horticultural companies.
He concerns himself mostly with (farming-)technical aspects, like climate control and its influence on farming. He helps the students with connecting all the learnt experience, knowledge and skills with one another.
Adrie grew up in an horticultural company and has instructed a great many target-groups, ranging from VMBO-students to horticulturists and from students from vocational education to employees of horticultural companies from countries like Russia, the Bahama’s, Turkey and Kazakhstan.
In Laos, he instructed and coached a team of teachers of an horticultural school in modern educational activities. He also learnt to set up long-term farming-projects concernig vegetables and fishing using basic equipment and new insights.
He is greatly sensitive to cultural differences as well as the different backgrounds of people. He adjusts his teaching-style, training and coaching accordingly.
He presents his students with challenging assignments and cases, and helps them to gradually learn to solve these in an independent manner. In this way, people tend to start to see connections and learn to think in a problem-solving manner. Managers and team-supervisors can use these newly acquired abilities to solve real-world problems in a skillfully and confident manner.
Adrie thinks it is important that everyone has fun during their training period and constantly challenges his trainees to find their limits and cross them.
Mariya Donskaya: (Born in Aktobe, Kazakhstan). After graduating the University “Dunie” in 2009 started her career by working as translator with “Izet Greenhouses Ltd”. After 2 years of working there, she continued her work as a translator on the building site in Almaty with Dutch Greenhouses Bulding Company. In 2012 started to work with Bilancia as a representative of the company in Kazakhstan and Russia.