Meet Ries Velema

Ries Velema

Ries Velema is project, site, and environmental manager at Ventolines. What do you do in these various roles? “A lot of communication. I am in touch with various stakeholders, such as landowners, local governments, residents, and contractors. Sometimes I am involved with a project from the very beginning, when we enter a land agreement. Other times I get involved during the construction phase of a project. The thing I like most about my position is the contact with various stakeholders: I enjoy bringing people closer together for a worthy cause. On the other hand, I get to be out in the field and create something. For me, getting my hands dirty is more fun than just the contractual matters.”    

“I see myself more as a contact manager than a contract manager.”

“As site manager, I am often present on the construction site. For example, I am currently conducting inspections during the construction of the windfarm ‘Windplan Groen’ to ensure that our customer receives the best quality. These interim inspections are of importance, as different contractors work sequentially on one project. It all has to fit in a tight schedule while matching the quality agreements.” 

How did you come to work in the renewable energy sector? “I have a background in mechanical engineering and worked as a project manager for several years, supplying material handling systems in Europe and abroad. I travelled, saw, and experienced much, yet I wanted to take another step as a self-employed person. An initiator of a wind project asked me to build a wind turbine and I said yes. It turned out to be the largest in terms of power and tip height in the Netherlands at the time, it’s called ‘De Ambtenaar’. While working on this project I was able to gain experience as an environmental manager. When the project was completed, Anne de Groot asked me to come and work for Ventolines, which I have been doing with great pleasure for almost ten years now.”

“Ventolines realizes that its employees are an important part of the company’s success. If you pass the strict selection, you are almost guaranteed motivated colleagues, special projects and lots of job satisfaction. I like that family feeling, which I think you experience less as a contractor.”

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