Jan Beaujon retires as chairman of the board of Nature Foundation

June 16, 2023 10:58 am

Mr. Beaujon joined the board shortly after the founding of the foundation in 1997. Following the sudden passing of Mr. Joe Vliegen in 2000, who was one of the founding fathers of the organization, Mr. Beaujon then took on the post of Chairman.

With a long career within the banking world and private sector, Nature Foundation has prospered from Jan Beaujon’s financial background and leadership in guiding the organization to carry out its commitment to the conservation, management, and education of natural resources and the environment of Sint Maarten. Further, his perception and solution-oriented mindset have been instrumental in overcoming critical periods when funding for executing the work of the foundation was not available.

Until his retirement in 2013, Jan Beaujon was the General Manager of the Windward Island Bank and he has since remained active in efforts to heighten the economic, social, cultural, and environmental well-being of Sint Maarten, for which he in past years has been awarded “Person of the Year” at the Crystal Pineapple Awards by Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association SHTA and received the royal decoration as Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

Jan Beaujon is succeeded by Binkie van Es as the new chairman. Binkie is well-known in the community for his engagement in nature conservation and bird expertise, and a long career on the island. Currently, the Board of Nature Foundation consists of 5 members: Binkie van Es (Chairman), Ellinger Paul (Treasurer), Rikke Bachmann Speetjens (Secretary), Gianne de Weever-Wilson, and Eudoxia Williams- James.

“On behalf of everyone within the Nature Foundation, I want to thank you whole-heartedly for all you have done for the foundation through the many years of voluntary work on the board as chairman”, said incoming chairman Binkie van Es, during an appreciation event held for the outgoing chairman. “The foundation will continue to work towards the goal of strengthening conservation efforts in all aspects, by working with educators, policymakers, and the public. Conservation is a state of harmony between man and land,” added van Es. Jan Beajon was awarded with a token of appreciation, an artwork made by local artist Laurey-Ann Fairbairn, representing the brown pelican. The brown pelican is the national bird of Sint Maarten and is seen as an epitome of the importance of the natural environment on the island.

“The Nature Foundation has been a part of my life and it makes me very emotional to retire from the board. I would like to thank all, current and past dedicated board members, managers, and staff for where the foundation is today. I wish the best for the continued work and new projects for the foundation and will remain available as an external advisor who knows the organization from the inside,” said Jan Beaujon.

The Nature Foundation Sint Maarten manages the marine park “Man O War Shoal” and is recognized as the organization to assist the government on issues related to the management of the environment and its preservation. The foundation is led by manager Leslie Hickerson and has three core staff members, as well as four temporary project-based staff members. The foundation is part of the regional network, DCNA (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance).