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FIT welcomes 4 new board members

Today, 20 November 2020, an introductory meeting took place between Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of FIT, Sonja Willems, chair of the board of directors of FIT, and the 4 new independent directors on FIT’s board of directors: Hanan Challouki, Boris Bogaert, Jan Van Hove and Erik Moniquet.

Both FIT as an organization and the FIT board of directors are very pleased and proud to welcome these new members to the board team.

Chair Sonja Willems: “In the current context, the agency faces unprecedented challenges. I look forward to working with our 12-member team to turn these challenges into opportunities in the interests of the companies we serve and of Flanders".

CEO Claire Tillekaerts: “These 4 new independent directors complete the FIT board of directors. Given their strong profiles and diverse experience and expertise, I am particularly looking forward to working with them.”
 

Get to know the 4 independent directors

Hanan Challouki is the founder of the new strategic agency Inclusify, which focuses on inclusive communication. Hanan specializes in the marketing strategies of international brands and guiding companies towards an inclusive future. She is also a board member and vice-president of the Belgian Association of Marketing (BAM) and is part of the 2018 ‘Forbes 30 under 30 Europe' list.

As an entrepreneur with an international mindset, I am an advocate of initiatives that put Flanders on the international map as a sustainable business region. As a director, I also want to contribute to the removal of barriers that companies still experience in internationalization. I am delighted to be able to combine my strategic insights concerning the business world, my experiences as a director and my knowledge of communication, inclusion, diversity and sales with FIT's mission.”

Independent director Hanan Challouki


 

Boris Bogaert is the co-founder of Xpenditure/Rydoo, where he is currently active as COO and member of the management board. Boris is a serial tech entrepreneur specialized in the development of start-up business culture, commercial internationalization, growth management and tech innovation. As a business angel and mentor, he is involved in several early-stage tech start-ups in Europe.

My expertise lies in starting up, guiding and scaling up young innovative start-ups into international growth companies. It gives me great satisfaction to help starting entrepreneurs convert their technological knowledge and innovative ideas into concrete projects. Thanks to our high level of knowledge, Flanders has many assets. Building on that, we can further increase the push towards global entrepreneurship and internationalization by stimulating and supporting entrepreneurs from Flanders even more in achieving their missions. As an independent board member, I want to put my shoulder to the wheel.”

Independent director Boris Bogaert


 

Jan Van Hove is chief economist at KBC Group NV, a member of the supervisory board of K&H Bank in Hungary, a member of the board of directors of the Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, chairman of the economic board of the VBO and a member of the Errera Council. Mid 2021, he will also manage KBC Insurance. In addition, Jan is a professor of International Economics at KU Leuven, where he holds a PhD in economics focusing on the interaction between trade and technology.

I consider FIT to be part of the essential foundation of Flanders’ economy. The dedication of its employees is an important driving force for entrepreneurial Flanders. The international context and new social and technological trends make FIT's mission even more challenging. As part of the board of directors, I would like to support FIT’s assignment.”

Independent director Jan Van Hove


 

Erik Moniquet is the founder and managing director of Moniquet & Company, which assists medium-sized and large non-listed companies as well as local authorities in solving complex challenges related to strategy, performance and finance. Erik is also director of Moniquet Investment Company BV (holding activities for management consulting, private equity and M&A advice). Furthermore, he is active in the advisory board of Vlerick Alumni.

As managing director of a strategy consulting firm, I know Flanders’ economic landscape well. Through our work on digital transformation and as a member of the Vlerick Alumni Digital Transformation Club, I constantly keep my knowledge of the rapidly changing tech world up to date. As a man in an electronic wheelchair, it is my mission to positively influence the perception of people with disabilities and to contribute to equal opportunity for all. I am very much looking forward to taking up my management position at FIT, an essential link in the economic fabric of Flanders and far beyond.”

Independent director Erik Moniquet


 


Legal framework

One third of the board of directors’ 12 members have to be independent directors. To achieve this, FIT started a search via social media in August 2020.

Together with an ad hoc selection committee within the board of directors, chairperson Sonja Willems screened more than 60 candidates for the requirement of independence “with regard to the Flanders region, the Flanders community, its representative organizations (employers, local businesses and employees who reside on the Social and Economic Council of Flanders), their partner organizations and the daily management of the agency”. A further selection was made based on the complementarity of candidate profiles in relation to the other members of the board of directors.

With the approval of Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon, the Council of Ministers of 30 October 2020 ratified the appointment of Hanan Challouki, Boris Bogaert, Jan Van Hove and Erik Moniquet as independent board members. They were chosen from a shortlist of 8 remaining candidates.
 

20 November 2020