We sat down with our newest PaperCutter, Ad van Amrooij, to get to know our new
Head of Global Sales a little better.
PC: So…tell us about yourself!
AVA: I grew up in the Netherlands but I had always had a desire to live in Australia or New Zealand. It wasn’t until 1996 when I was at a certain age (!) that I decided to pack up my life and make the move to live in Melbourne, Australia. It was a choice between moving to Sydney or in Melbourne and I had the help from my two friends from Australia who lived in Amsterdam, one friend was from Sydney and the other friend was from Melbourne who both convinced me that Melbourne was the most European city. They weren’t wrong!
PC: OK… we’ve tried a number of ways on our own… how DO you pronounce your surname?
AVA: Ha! Yes.. the combination of ‘ij’ is pronounced as a letter ‘Y’. For example, in the alphabet where you have ‘x-y-z’, in dutch, it is “x-ij-z’. So Amrooij comes out as “Am-Ro-ee“. For my three girls, their surname is spelled with a ‘y’ on their birth certificate to make it easier for them – and for their teachers!
PC: What did you do prior to joining PaperCut?
AVA: I was very fortunate to have held positions across different countries and different industries; The Netherlands where I graduated as an accountant and started as a junior administrator for the National Gas Distribution Company and where I ended up co-owning and building a SAP consulting company whilst working as a programmer, to Australia where I worked for KPMG and IBM running their businesses, back to the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia working for BHP Billiton, managing their enterprise systems globally. Finally ending back in Australia, Melbourne of course, to work for Infosys and Fujitsu in various senior roles.
PC: What attracted you to PaperCut and the role?
AVA: To be honest I was attracted to PaperCut the company! I was lucky to be given a glimpse into the culture of PaperCut where you are given a barista course (just in case) and where there is a “Lego” meeting room in the head office! The other aspect is PaperCut’s agility and nimbleness, which is different to the big corporate world I was used to. A company where the CEO can send you messages with emojis just shows you the kind of CEO he is. The company’s sincere interest in sustainability and its staff care were also very important in my decision making.
PC: What are you looking forward to most here at PaperCut?
AVA: As a print software solution company, I am looking forward to helping PaperCut grow their business by maximizing sales and leveraging of what they have been creating so far, in turn, it can be reinvested back into the business. It’s the underpinning of sustainability and cutting waste which appeals to me.
PC: What’s your vision for the channel?
AVA: Although a bit early, my vision is to bring the whole PaperCut ecosystem closer to the customer in conjunction with our channel partners which will bring longevity of the customer base through ongoing renewals and upgrades.
PC: How do you like your coffee?
AVA: I like a good cappuccino which I have now mastered at home, but am yet to get right in our coffee area!
PC: What are you passionate about?
AVA: My family’s well-being and sustainability.
PC: What do you like to do in your spare time?
AVA: I like to spend my extra time with my girls which includes attending their Friday night basketball games. I also coach one of the teams of teenage girls (yikes!). I also like to work with wood and build things. As soon as something needs fixing or replacing at home, my first “go-to” is to figure out an excuse to bring out the tools and solve it through woodworking. This passion may have stemmed from my childhood where I loved playing with wooden blocks. Plus, it ties in with my passion for sustainability – a win win!
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I was so happy when I heard that the PaperCut Leadership team had decided to sponsor the first ever Illuminate Gala Ball. Not just because the cause was close to my heart – autism support and awareness – but also because it made me feel good to know that the company I worked for was prepared to give to help others.
Illuminate is the brainchild of Paul and Natasha Finamore – they have 2 sons on the autism spectrum and wanted to give back a little to the organisations that had supported them and their kids. With a view to help even more kids and parents, they thought big and pulled off a great fundraising night. There was laughter and tears, dancing and auctions. Over $60,000 was raised to be shared between Autism Spectrum Australia and the Helping Hands Centre .
I have to draw the similarity between Paul and Natasha, and PaperCut’s two founders Chris and Matt – 2 people with a vision and the determination and the work ethic to turn that into something. Paul has had a long business relationship with PaperCut so supporting Paul in this endeavour was like helping out a family member.
PaperCut has grown so much over the last few years but one thing that hasn’t changed over the 4 years that I have been here is the strong sense of identity I feel as part of the PaperCut family. I know that I am working for an employer that really does care for its staff, and endeavours to support them through life’s ups and downs. That mindset is extended to the wider community through the support of various charitable projects aimed at supporting kids – and the belief that all people have something to contribute and nurturing diversity is a worthwhile cause.
PaperCut sponsors students from Sir John Monash Science school to attend the SuperComputing conference and intern; we provide work placements for high school kids who are interested in learning about tech jobs; we take undergraduate interns from Swinburne Uni computer science degree; and we support TLC for Kids who provide activity kits for kids in long term hospital care. With over 100 staff in the Melbourne office alone, there’s always someone collecting for something – be it one of our kids schools, sports clubs or a favourite charity etc. All this helps in providing us with a sense of community.
But it is not just monetary support that is important. One of the overarching themes of Paul and Natasha’s speeches on the night of the Illuminate Gala Ball was one of greater understanding and acceptance of children with autism, and indeed of people with any differences. Parents of kids with autism often find themselves socially isolated and judged because their kids are different. We live today in a very diverse world, so if there is one learning I can urge everyone to make is that every day, everyone is dealing with something. Give what you can to others – a smile, a hello, a wave, a helping hand, and friendly chat – and yes, if you feel you can, please give to whatever charity or group you feel is worthy. We also now live in a world where companies aspire to have diversity in their workforce – it is generally understood that from diversity, we can learn and grow.
So apart from having a great night out with my husband and some work colleagues, I was able to personally contribute to a cause that I believe in and, I must admit, it felt good to be able to give a little. At PaperCut, apart from all the hard work we all do, I see many people giving a little and showing support in many different ways every day. It warms my heart to know that I’m working for an organisation that values this generosity, values diversity and has a strong sense of community.
About the Author:
Maria has worked in the tech industry all her career and has been with PaperCut Software for the last 4 years. Working in the Melbourne marketing team, Maria co-ordinates the trade shows and other events worldwide. Outside of work, Maria devotes her time to her family and can often be found volunteering for a good cause. With one child on the autism spectrum, Maria has first hand experience of the struggles that children with special needs face and is passionate about providing them with the best opportunities to reach their full potential.
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