An Interview with René Bornmann

Who: René Bornmann
What: General Manager
Age: 57
What does your function entail?
I am the link between what the owners aim to achieve, and operations. So what I do most is bridge building; I translate the owners planning into practical goals and I implement those goals into our work. Besides that, I am also there to protect and optimize the quality of our service. The owners put a lot of faith in us, and so we are sort of left to fend for ourselves, in a positive way. It’s a great way to work.

How long have you been working here?
For 13 years. I have been working in this profession for 30 years now and it’s quite normal to do a lot of job hopping. But I know the grass is not greener on the other side, if it were I would have moved. I simply don’t feel I should.

What is the best moment of your day?
When we have a big party in the afternoon the whole day leads up to that moment. What I love the most is the 30 minutes before our guests arrive. The room is ready. The champagne is cold. All pawns are aligned. And I know; we’re ready. Guests pour in and I can welcome them to my home. That is what it feels like.

Where do you live?
In Bussum. I was born in Germany, but I left to start working. My mother is Dutch and I was raised bilingual so language was never a barrier. My wife is also Dutch, she would have liked to settle in Germany actually, but I was offered a good position, so that is how we ended up here.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sailing, sailing and sailing. I don’t use the word hobby. Collecting stamps is a hobby. To me, sailing is a way of life. The great thing about it is that you have to do something the minute you set foot on board. That means your mind is totally absorbed by fun things and work is very, very distant, there’s no time to worry. Tomorrow, after waiting for two years, we will pick up our own, purpose-built boat, about 15 m long, designed for sailing in extreme circumstances. It has a wood burner and three heating systems on board and the idea is to be able to sail to remote areas, where no one else goes. A passion of that kind doesn’t leave room for anything else. We also have a hunting dog who wants to walk a lot. So we are quite busy.

A guest you won’t forget?
Mr Casse. The next time he visits us it will be for the 250th time. He’s been coming ever since I started working here and he remained loyal to us throughout all our changes and his constructive feedback has always been very appreciated. We will have a present and his favorite drinks waiting for him upstairs.

Imagine; you don’t live here anymore, and you are just passing through. You have one day in Amsterdam. What do you do?
Honestly? I will simply go to one of my favorite cafes on the corner of the Elandsgracht, and I will have a beer and watch the world go by until the day comes to an end.

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Een dag bómvol inspiratie voor aanstaande.

16 april 2023