BOARD

BOARD 2019-2021

Dr. Alice K. Burridge

CHAIRWOMAN | KEY EVENTS | WEB & CONTENT EDITOR

As founder and chairwoman of the Gifted! Foundation, I bring together gifted people of all ages and backgrounds, resulting in an international community with a fantastic team of intrinsically motivated volunteers. In 2016, I was nominated for an award from the Dutch Mensa Foundation in the category Benefits to Society.

As a scientist, I have contributed to a better understanding of the responses of marine life to the impact of climate change. I have published several scientific papers and spoken at international conferences relevant to the field of biodiversity and conservation.

I am now an entrepreneur with my own sustainable writing, translation and social media agency: Green Writing. Green Writing provides entrepreneurs and researchers who care about people and the environment with powerful texts, translations and social media content to increase the visibility of their sustainable products, services and knowledge. I really enjoy editing and correcting articles for the foundation’s e-magazine. My philosophy: language is life. Communication is more than a series of words.

In my spare time I enjoy creative writing, painting, photography and cycling. I am a lifelong learner; my hunger for learning is insatiable.

How did the Gifted! Foundation originate? I had spent a long time seeking to identify what it was that made me different to many of my peers. I don’t recall exactly when I first used the term gifted, rather that it became evident in a combination of characteristics which collectively tended to be classified as such. Traits which I had already reflected on and put in writing. They make me who I am and determine my actions.

I sought recognition and more interaction based on mutual understanding and respect. Somewhere to provide a sounding board, where I could discuss a whole range of things from my perception, for example, without being condemned, or thought of as strange or unfathomable. I found what I was looking for in the Gifted! Foundation.

Never could I have imagined, in 2012, that the Gifted! Foundation and the meetings would grow the way they have. In 2018, the foundation was designated a Public Benefit Institution in The Netherlands.

I am continuously amazed by the creative, sophisticated and refreshing contributions made by those who have joined the Gifted! Foundation; those who attend our meetings, the members of our online community, the bloggers and all our volunteers.

Martin van Elmpt

TREASURER | BLOGGER

Sprouts were the only vegetables I used to like as a child. That alone suggested that ‘something’ wasn’t quite normal. Children never like sprouts!

My name is Martin, I am 50 years old and live in Alkmaar with my wife and 18-year-old daughter. You could say that I have always lived my life ‘differently’, and that I rather enjoyed it that way. I was a quick learner (which was fine), I was adventurous (travelled a lot and lived abroad), had a slightly strange sense of humour (often used to laugh to myself) and was quite successful. There was a downside to all this though, which I encountered two years ago: I broke, I ran aground. By searching, I learned to recognise and understand my giftedness.

I discovered that it involves much more than I had ever thought and it is not difficult to see, in retrospect, why things went wrong. So I started rearranging my life to make things fun again, without the drawbacks.

I already had a management coaching and mentoring practice and I have since expanded that with a ‘gifted practice’, Manage to Lead. My primary goal is to make the rest of the world, and the business community in particular, aware of who we are, and what we do and do not need. To maximise the positives and minimise the negatives on both sides.

The most rewarding thing of all, though, is being able to help people forward, as I once explained on my website:

“In my life, I have been fortunate enough to have been able, not only as manager, coach and mentor but also as father, husband and friend, to help put the sparkle back in people’s eyes, help them straighten up and walk tall again. So I’m a straightener, so to speak.

I know from experience how important it is to have someone who can hold up a mirror to you and put things into a different perspective. Unimaginable though it was for a headstrong man like me, who could always do everything himself, to ever admit, I needed help and, thankfully, I found it.

There is nothing better than seeing eyes smile again; your own and of people around you, especially your own children. I’d like to help make that happen.”

Marije Miltenburg

SECRETARY | CAMPAIGNS

As mother of a highly gifted son, every day is a party. Or so most people around you tend to think. A child who finds everything easy, grasps things and learns very rapidly. There are plenty of misconceptions in society, and schools in particular, about what giftedness actually is. You are often met by a wall of incomprehension on the part of the authorities. What do you mean, is giftedness a problem then?

The world always seemed a bit strange to me, even as a little girl. I would say something that people interpret as nasty or weird when I was genuinely just asking a question. Learning didn’t always come easy to me, as my parents will gladly confirm. I didn’t see the point of learning, for one thing. How would learning fractions get me anywhere? When and where would I ever need to use them? I did enjoy the end-of-week assembly, though, with acting and singing. My best friend and I performed the same song and dance every week. But every performance was an improvement on the previous one. Well, we thought it was.

Later when I became a mother, and later still when problems started to emerge in the world of education, I was forced to reflect. Things started falling into place and enabled me to help my son forward and heal my own wounds at the same time. Although there are still moments when I get thrown back in time. A unique learning experience, together with my wonderful (little) boy.

I am also professionally involved in giftedness, managing procedures relating to appropriate education. Besides which, I provide guidance and support to children, parents and schools in this regard. Furthermore, I am a writer and I develop parenting aids. Take a look at The Apple Tree.

Characteristics that describe me include: source of inspiration, lovingly confrontational, blue-sky thinker, visionary, reliable, honest, loving and fair.

Things that always make me happy include a piece of good chocolate, a sumptuous dinner and conversation to match, a long walk and a good strong hug.

Sonsoles Alonso

GENERAL BOARD MEMBER | INTERNATIONALISATION

Before I became a consultant for team and leadership development, I was a well-known pianist of contemporary music. After a rigorous academic journey, which took me to Madrid, Freiburg and New York, I ended up in Amsterdam to embark on an experiment: what other ways are there of notating music and how do they affect the interplay with other musicians? How can you create a market for contemporary productions? What happens if we electrified a grand piano?

In other words, my work as pianist and producer in the field of contemporary music focused on three keynotes: high performance in a cooperative venture, the networked contemporary music market, and the use of algorithms to expand the sound possibilities of acoustic instruments.

Following a piano career spanning seventeen years, with concerts at home and abroad and living composers writing dozens of pieces for me, I translated these three themes from modern music to the business community. I converted graphic scores for ensembles to systemic tools for teams, the networked model for the contemporary music market to a networked model for responsive, agile organisations, and the use of algorithms to an implementation model for digital transformation.

Today, I am a successful international consultant working with teams, leaders and their respective companies, helping them to work with passion and enthusiasm and to succeed in an ever-changing market.

I am also a mentor for the Founder Institute Berlin and Women on Boards Brussels, where I help women executives to embrace digital transformation as part of the Cross-border Digital Strategy Mentoring Program.

I was born on the island of Tenerife. There was one thing I had been very sure about from a very early age: I wanted to explore the world. I have lived in five different countries and worked in fourteen. Despite being partial to travelling, I have a very strong connection with Mount Teide volcano on my native island. That must be where my creativity comes from!

I am particularly interested in longevity, Taoist bodywork, high-quality food supplements and awakening. I am often described as a mix of heart and Dutch business focus.

My involvement in the Gifted! Foundation focuses on the diversity and inclusion of gifted people and the internationalisation of our foundation.

REWARD POLICY

The Board of the Gifted! Foundation is made up of volunteers. They receive a small attendance fee for meetings attended. This fixed sum meets the applicable legal requirements and is proportionate to the size of the foundation. This sum replaced the travel expense claims with effect from 13 October 2019 as approved by all three of the then board members.

RESIGNATION ROSTER

Chair

Dr. Alice K. Burridge, appointed 10 January 2018, scheduled to retire 28 November 2021

Secretary

Marije Miltenburg, appointed 28 November 2019, scheduled to retire 28 November 2021

Eelko W.C. de Vos, appointed 1 May 2018, retired 28 November 2019

Daniëlle P.A.J. Mers-van der Raad, appointed 10 January 2018, retired 1 May 2018

Treasurer

Martin van Elmpt, appointed 28 November 2019, scheduled to retire 28 November 2021

Jan Willem Lenting, appointed 10 January 2018, retired 28 November 2019

General Board member

Sonsoles Alonso, appointed 28 November 2019, scheduled to retire 28 November 2021

Erik van der Kroft, appointed 28 November 2019, retired 25 March 2020