Having served in multiple international senior leadership roles in the food and beverage industry for over 25 years, Alexandra Boelrijk PhD, is passionate about driving the full innovation chain from concept design to product delivery.
“I think it was really the curiosity that I had already as a child–the curiosity to find out things. I was this kid that was trying to make potions in the backyard, trying to create new things. And at one point when I got a little bit older, I started to study chemistry and I really loved to experiment. I think that's always kept me going, doing the experiments, finding out things. And still, I like to do that a lot.”
That innate curiosity and love for chemistry still exists today, with Boelrijk leading an international team of scientists that drive strategic health programs.
“What makes me come out of bed every day is a purpose, just to really create something which is helpful for people, to create something that brings health. Also I think just to work together with a lot of other scientists, a lot of other very enthusiastic, knowledgeable people to create new ingredients, new products, new ways to influence people's lives with respect to health. I lead a very diverse team, [from] many different countries, diverse backgrounds, histories, and I love to bring that together just to make sure that people feel comfortable to do the things that they're good at and create this team that really is enthusiastic and driven to bring these new products out there.”
Another aspect of work that she’s passionate about is mentoring. Boelrijk is an industrial mentor for StartLife, a start-up incubator in the Netherlands.
“Besides being a little fun, just interacting with these young and driven people, I think it's also very useful if we team up with young entrepreneurs and see how can we support them to go faster and bring their solutions to this world.”