At the OIFE AGM 2020, which took place on Zoom on May 9th, we welcomed Bruno van Dijck as a new member of the OIFE Executive Committee (EC). Bruno was elected for four years as the new 2nd Vice President of OIFE. OIFE’s Youth Coordinator Stephanie knew Bruno already, but through the interview below, she’s giving the rest of us an opportunity to get to know him a little bit better. 

Bruno, I have known you for several years, but can you please present yourself to the others?
Yes, of course! So my name is Bruno Van Dijck, chairman of the Belgian OI association. I graduated as an IT specialist and I’m currently working in the packaging industry. As the manager of both an IT company as a company on plastic production I’ve built a lot of experience in coaching people both in national and international environments. 

You are also the chairman of ZOI, the Belgian OI association. How did you end up there?
Because I have OI myself (mild type 1), which is also the case of my daughter, I got in contact with ZOI. A dinner with someone from the board got me convinced to enter as a member many years ago. She was at that time the only OI-person I have ever met. During the first ZOI meeting I experienced a very warm welcome and acceptance from the other OI-people. It is a very nice feeling to be part of this community. 

I completely agree. Since May 9th you are the 2nd vice president of the OIFE. What was your motivation to apply for this position?
Well, I did not really apply for this spot. Together with some of our Belgian delegates I went as the chairman of ZOI to some OIFE meetings in the past. Apparently, I must have left a good impression there, haha! On a certain moment I got the question from Ingunn, OIFE President, if I had someone in mind from ZOI who could fill the vacant position in the Executive Committee. During that conversation she let me know that my name was mentioned in the EC. So then she asked me if I was interested. 

What is the thing which fascinates you the most about this function?
For me, the title itself is not that important. Getting together and see what we can do for each other sparks my interest. I still have to find my way in it, though I got already very well supported by the other members of the OIFE Executive Committee. 

Do you have personal plans within OIFE?
It is important to feel good in the organization and to look to your own competencies. I believe this makes the wellbeing and the growth of an association like OIFE. My nose for opportunities can come in handy here. I would love to support projects and help where necessary. I think awareness is of great importance. Awareness makes a difference! I am convinced of this because of the know-how I can gather, or the contacts I can make, everyone will experience benefits, OIFE and ZOI. And that’s what it’s all about: briefing and supporting the OI community.

How was your first impression? Did you get a hearty welcome?
Yes! I felt very accepted immediately. Of course, I already knew the current members of the EC. But I never felt like a “newbie” and was immediately immersed in the association. Many new impressions, names, companies, colleagues and so on. In other words, it opens a whole new world to me.

Interview by Stephanie Claeys – OIFE Youth Coordinator