Pascal van Ham
Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 15
I was born and raised in 's-Hertogenbosch in the south of the Netherlands. I was the first in my family to go to university, which was a big thing for me and my parents. I went to Rotterdam; starting all by myself in a big unknown city was exciting and I felt an enormous drive to explore the world. We had always spent our family holidays in the Netherlands. During my studies, I grasped all opportunities to go beyond, bringing me to places like South Africa and Dubai.
In Rotterdam, I discovered my love for marketing, combining my creative and analytical talents. I wanted a job at one of the big corporate marketing multinationals and chose to start at Heineken, attracted to its entrepreneurial vibe and emotional branding opportunities. When I became a working mom, I felt that I wanted to contribute more to the world than selling beer. So, I started as Head of Marketing and Fundraising at SOS Children's Villages, an international charity organization. This emotionally-led decision made a lot of sense three years later when I became the Head of the Marketing at Tony's Chocolonely, a social enterprise selling chocolate to change the business model in cocoa. There, I was able to combine commercial brand-building experience with mission-driven marketing, with little budget using the power of storytelling, community building, and database marketing.
The last 4.5 years at Tony's have been a ride, building the marketing team and growing the business internationally, with a turnover that increased six-fold. Recently, I have decided that I will leave Tony's Chocolonely in a few months. During the THNK Executive Leadership Program, I want to explore my next destination and how to get there – ideally by bringing Tony's mission of an equal economy beyond chocolate.
When I am not working, I am a soccer mom, living together with three boys – one middle-aged, the others nine and 10 years old. I like sport: running, boot camp, tennis, yoga, and recently I've started ballet classes again. I also love photography, traveling, styling, cooking, and spending lots of time with my friends and family.