By Foresee Foundation
After a remarkable 25-year journey as a volunteer with Nature Foundation Sint Maarten, Jan Beaujon bid farewell to the organization’s board of directors, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy of service and dedication. His retirement marks the end of an era defined by his unwavering commitment to conservation, management and education, regarding the natural resources and environment of Sint Maarten.
Beaujon joined the board shortly after the foundation’s inception in 1997, and in 2000 stepped into the role of chairman, following the untimely passing of Joe Vliegen – one of the founding fathers of the organization. Drawing upon his extensive background in the banking world and private sector, Beaujon’s financial acumen and visionary leadership propelled Nature Foundation to new heights, ensuring its continued success.
Beyond his invaluable contributions to the organization’s fiscal growth, Beaujon’s solution-oriented mindset played a pivotal role in overcoming critical periods when funding for the foundation’s projects was scarce. His unwavering dedication and perseverance kept the organization on its feet during challenging times, enabling Nature Foundation to fulfil its mission of safeguarding Sint Maarten’s natural treasures.
Beaujon’s involvement with Nature Foundation extended far beyond his board membership. Until his retirement in 2013, he served as the General Manager of Windward Islands Bank, leveraging his influential position to champion initiatives focused on enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of Sint Maarten. His tireless efforts earned him accolades, including a prestigious royal decoration as Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau and the Crystal Pineapple Awards’ “Person of the Year”.
As Jan Beaujon takes a step back, his successor Binkie van Es assumes the role of Chairman. Well-known for his passion for nature conservation and expertise in avian matters, Binkie’s extensive experience on the island positions him as a worthy successor to Jan Beaujon’s legacy. The current Board of the Nature Foundation comprises Binkie van Es (Chairman), Ellinger Paul (Treasurer), Rikke Bachmann Speetjens (Secretary), Gianne de Weever-Wilson, and Eudoxia Williams-James.
“Nature Foundation has been an integral part of my life, and it brings me great emotion to retire from the board,” expressed Beaujon. “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all current and past dedicated board members, managers and staff, who have shaped the foundation into what it is today. I wish the very best for the ongoing work and new projects undertaken by the foundation and will remain available as an external advisor, someone who intimately knows the organization’s inner workings.”
As a custodian of the marine park, Man O War Shoal, and the go-to organization for the government on matters related to environmental management and preservation, Nature Foundation Sint Maarten plays a vital role in protecting the island’s natural wonders.
Jan Beaujon’s retirement from Nature Foundation marks the end of an extraordinary chapter defined by selfless service and tireless dedication. His immense contributions to the cause of conservation and his unwavering commitment to St. Maarten’s natural environment will continue to inspire and guide future generations of volunteers and advocates. The legacy of Beaujon will forever be etched in the annals of Nature Foundation’s history, a testament to the power of volunteerism and the indelible impact of a single individual’s passion for a cause greater than himself.