Each month in the Meet Uptrends blog series, we introduce you to the people behind the Uptrends brand. With offices in four countries, we have a diverse team. Each team member brings their unique perspective and style to their roles.
This month, we would like to introduce you to the hard working Mark Ridderhof, Account Manager, and star athlete. With an upbeat, charming personality and an infectious smile, Mark joined the Uptrends team in the spring of 2016.
I’m the account manager for most of Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. I consult with existing customers to educate them on our products that they’re currently using and introduce them to our new products; I make sure that they’re getting everything they can from their Uptrends monitoring.
With such a large and diverse customer base complicated by time differences, business cultures, and language barriers, Mark finds a way to make it all work. Whether it means sending emails with multiple translations or staying up past midnight to reach a customer in Australia, Mark figures out a way to get things done. The job requires ingenuity, and a lot of hard work—Mark is afraid of neither.
It is important to understand the cultural diversity and the differences in how other countries conduct business. It is a challenge but an upside of the job as well. It’s hard work, but hard work pays off for me. I like to reflect on my performance and determine what I can do better. I always try to do my best, and I think hard work pays off in both my work and personal life.
Building a winner
Mark grew up in the small town of Dronten in the province of Flevoland with an athletic family. With a father that played professional basketball, it was natural for Mark to follow the siren call of the hoop. Although Mark’s parents supported and encouraged Mark to play basketball, basketball always came second to education. Mark managed to mix education and basketball while excelling at both.
Mark’s first victory on the court came at an early age when at age 19, Mark won the European Championship. Mark continued to play while attending college, where he played for the Landsteade team.
After college, Mark moved to Amsterdam. He started his career working for a software startup that produces gym software for personal workouts and meal plans. While in Amsterdam, Mark played basketball for the Apollo Amsterdam team.
After a year in Amsterdam, the Donar team in Groningen offered Mark a position. Mark struggled with the decision to join the team, or stay in Amsterdam. To complicate the decision, Mark had just become a father, and he knew that the distance would make seeing his infant daughter difficult. Sure he could make it all work, Mark moved to Groningen.
With basketball practice twice a day, games on the weekends, and maintaining part-time employment, Mark had little time for much else, but his commitment to hard work kept him going. His team went on to win the Dutch Cup Championship, and the Dutch SuperCup Championship. Despite the victories, in the spring of 2015, Mark decided that he needed a change.
After the season had ended in May of 2015, I did some soul searching. I was tired of playing basketball, and moving around, and I already had my little girl, my daughter. I had to make choices, and I wanted to spend more time with my beautiful daughter.
Romancing a brand
Mark retired from the game and moved back to Amsterdam close to his daughter, where he started looking for employment. Mark took his time looking for the right job. Meanwhile, Mark made ends meet with other jobs including working in a factory making the Dutch delicacy, kroketten. His patience and determination paid off for him and Uptrends.
I was applying for different jobs because I wanted to take my time and find the right fit, and then I came across Uptrends. I had a call with Janick. It was almost like love at first sight. It was a good fit for Uptrends and for me. It felt like a warm welcome.
Mark continues to apply his ethic of hard work to every aspect of his position at Uptrends, but now he has time to enjoy time with his daughter, cooking, movies, and music. Although retired from basketball, Mark still finds time to make it to the gym four to five times a week, and he attends basketball games to watch his friends that still play professionally.
Do you want to discuss your monitoring needs, or get an autograph from a retired professional basketball star? How about asking him, besides delicious, what is kroketten exactly? Just contact us. Mark would love to talk to you about your Uptrends monitoring, what’s new in Uptrends, and maybe a little bit about life on the road with a pro athlete.