The governance of StartFund rests with the StartFund board. Its day-to-day direction and management rests with a staff based in Hilversum, the Netherlands. StartFund also has a Representative for its projects in India.
Fred Matser, Founder and Chair of the Board
Mr. Matser is a prominent Dutch humanitarian philanthropist and former real estate developer. He has made it his life’s work to contribute to creating a more functional global society by means of inspiration, empowerment and sustainability. His book ‘Rediscover Your Heart’ (2008) describes the experiences that led him to this view.
Deepak Chopra, Board Member
Dr. Chopra is the author of more than fifty books translated into over thirty-five languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management and Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization. Time magazine heralds Dr. Chopra as one of the top 100 icons of the century and “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.”
Johan Bontje, Secretary of the Board
Mr.Johan Bontje was partner and co-owner of Boer & Croon Strategy and Management Group in Amsterdam from 1980 until 2000 and amongst others lecturer at the Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Presently he works as an independent Boardroom Consultant and Executive Coach for individuals and teams. With his focus on General Management – with its human and business sides - he has a quick understanding of the work environment. He (co-)wrote 5 pragmatic books on strategy, flexibility, rational and emotional management and authentic leadership. He is Chairman of the Foundation for Natural Leadership and undertakes journeys with leaders to Africa and Europe.
Evert Greup, Treasurer of the Board
Evert Greup (1956) is married and has two children. He studied econometrics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and obtained his MBA at the University of Rochester (USA). From 1982 until 2010, Evert worked in the financial sector, amongst which he functioned as CEO of Kempen & Co and afterwards at the VvAA group. By joining the board of War Child in 2004, a new world opened up to him. Ever since, his interests shifted to 'charity' (in the modern sense of the word) and social entrepreneurship.
Marika Verheijen, Board Member
Marika has lived and worked in several European countries holding management positions with international companies such as NUR Reisen and EuroDisneyland Paris. In 1999, she decided to leave the corporate world to become the Co-Chairperson, and in 2000 Chair, for the International Healing Conference. At the same time, she co-founded the organization UnitingPeople International. Over the years Marika has supported and assisted Rev. Alex Orbito in his healing mission and as such connect people to increase awareness of healing, holistic health and spiritual growth.
Marije Ebbers, Coordinator
Marije has long since had an interest in how people in different communities live together. This resulted in a Msc degree having studied Cultural anthropology and Sociology of non-western societies at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Edinburgh with fieldwork research among the Maori people of New Zealand. First having worked at intercultural management consultancy firm Trompenaars -Hampden-Turner, she later moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she worked as a team leader to manage the organization’s volunteers in their development activities with a local NGO. As coordinator of StartFund she currently manages the daily operations and guides the developments that the organization is going through.
Jan Ebeltjes, Program Manager
Jan is the founder of the CHOE Foundation (1994), an organization which leads several projects to improve the lives of orphans, psychiatric patients and students in Ukraine. Before choosing to pursue a full-time career in charity, Jan functioned as an interim manager for several telecommunication companies, such as KPN Netherlands, gaining experience in IT and business process management. In 2001 Jan accepted a full-time position with the Fred Foundation with the mandate to build a Ukrainian practice. In 2003 he became a program manager for StartFund. He produced six albums of Ukrainian folk songs for children and is active as a composer and accompanies several choirs on organ and piano. His motto: music fondles the heart, organizes the soul and unites people.
Vibha, StartFund Country Program Advisor India
Vibha is a results oriented senior management professional with 19 years of experience in diverse social development environments. She has held senior leadership positions at the national level with Population Services International (PSI), Johns Hopkins University (JHU) – Center for Communication Programs (CCP) and Room To Read, and has worked with UNFPA and SIFPSA at Indian state level. Besides her contributions to StartFund, she works as a certified facilitator under the Genuine Contact Program and is the founder of the non profit organisation Muskaan, working with adolescents on the concept of Happiness.