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Loes is the most inspirational person I know, even though she doesn’t have an MBA. She started working at age 14. When she was 35, she met my brother and me. She became our nanny, and over the next 15 years we were lucky enough to spend more than 1500 days with her. Loes taught me about planning: “First do your homework!” About networking: “And tell Verona hello!” About manners and professional conduct: “You don’t have to eat the holes in your slice of bread.” About values: “Share it with your brother”. And conflict management: “Go and say sorry to the teacher.”

Above all, she encouraged me: “I only finished primary school, but you, you are good at studying. That is valuable. Go and make the most of it.”

Today [31 January], it is one year ago that Loes moved to a hospice. Shortly after, she passed away, aged 64. She is still very important to me. If it wasn’t for her encouragement and life lessons, I would not be here.