Each year, RSM Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented to outstanding RSM alumni who have shown excellence in business, and for their contribution to society. This year, three recipients were recognised for business achievement, entrepreneurial spirit and social impact respectively. They were chosen by the RSM community from a shortlist of nine nominees exemplifying leadership and RSM’s values, and represent its breadth and diversity.
- Recipient of the Business Achievement Award: Christine Lim (International Full-time MBA 2010).
- Recipient of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Roos de Wit-Goedhart (Executive MBA 2009, MSc BA Business Society Management 2003 and Bedrijfswetenschappen doctoraal BSM, 2003).
- Recipient of the Social Impact Award: Debby van der Schuit (MSc International Management/CEMS 2010).
RSM Dean, Professor Steef van de Velde presented the three recipients with RSM Distinguished Alumni Award certificates and bronze statuettes of the 16th century Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, after whom Erasmus University Rotterdam was named.
Angel investing with social purpose
Christine Lim is based in San Francisco and could not be at the RSM Leadership Summit so was presented with the Business Achievement Award in her absence. She is passionate about bringing more women into technology and early-stage investing; she supports for-profit social ventures with causes that she cares about, and has shown how women can empower themselves financially and to be proactive in building a better community. She was one of eight co-authors of a book for women angels and entrepreneurs Impact With Wings: Stories to Inspire and Mobilize Women Angels and Entrepreneurs to encourage women angel investors and fund more women-led start-ups.
Bringing together global academics
Roos de Wit-Goedhart, a RSM triple alumnus, with bachelor, master and MBA degrees from RSM, started her company, Study Tours, three years ago. The company designs, organises and delivers tailor-made and high-quality study tours for participants from universities around the world. Her great ambition, knowledge and networking skills have enabled her to break standard thinking patterns and silos, and she is a great example of female entrepreneurship. Roos also co-founded Female Ventures, a start-up that supports women in founding their own business.
Pushing healthcare industry boundaries
Debby van der Schuit has a sister, Wendy, who has Down’s Syndrome. Debby has pushed the boundaries of the healthcare industry – and politics – to advocate for brothers and sisters taking care of siblings with a disability; an important yet underestimated role. She used her managerial and business mindset to produce a personal documentary ‘Op zoek naar mijn zusje’ (‘In search of my sister’) with which she hopes to achieve a custom working method that includes brothers and sisters in a sibling’s care plan. Her work has addressed a business and societal need. Debby’s persuasion, business skills and care responsibilities turned into a project for political change for thousands of families in the Netherlands.
Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards
Previous Distinguished Alumni Award winners include Stef van Dongen (founder of social enterprise crowd-funded equity firm Enviu), Niels Eldering (technology transfer officer at European Space Agency), Alba Tiley (UN partnerships and sustainability manager at Royal DSM), Johan Andressen (CEO at Ferd Norway), Meiny Prins (CEO of Priva BV), and Diederik Laman Trip (former CEO of ING Netherlands).