Bati Bleki Buzz, Weekly Recap, July 22nd, 2018

ECOTECH sent an interesting press release around, and this is my version of it!

ECOTECH, doing good since 1985, pioneering sustainable management of waste and recycling

From its early debut in 1985, ECOTECH directed its efforts and resources at sustainable management of waste on the island, a company with a mission to offer quality service, effectively and efficiently, determined to meet the growing needs of its customers.

With ECOTECH, it is not just about the collection of household waste, it is about the love of the island and the concern for its environment, paired with the desire to preserve its beauty for the next generation. 

An historical snapshot of Ecotech

Three companies contributed to the formation of ECOTECH. Some of you still remember Ganata Cleaning NV, a company founded by Shon Pa Lopez, in 1985. Fast Cleaning NV, by Chogogo Arends came along in 1997. The two companies were taken over by ATCO NV, when the later decided to add Ecological Technologies to its menu of services.

ATCO NV was an already a well-known company, having been established in 1928.

With the three companies merging into ECOTECH, Ecological Technologies, modern waste collection activities took off in 1985 with about 30 to 35 employees.

ECOTECH did not do it alone, it recruited an international mentor, Hurco Jumco, who advised ECOTECH on the structure of its business. They helped install new equipment and set up the warehouse as an MRF, Material Recycling Facility.

At ECOTECH the household waste is brought in and separated, cardboard and aluminum cans go for export, then sand and stone for reuse in local projects. Powerful magnets fish iron out for export as well. The collection of used oil for reuse as bio-fuel was introduced, in addition to the shredding of confidential documents for banks and businesses.   

Incidentally, I read in the company’s website that its first private customer was the Radisson Hotel which received a self-contained compactor around the Millennium. The large volume compacter was supplemented by a baler, to help reduce the volume and compactor trips to the landfill.  This was followed by other resorts such as La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, the Hyatt Regency, the Wyndham Aruba Resort, the Holiday Inn, and the Marriott Aruba Resort, opting for a new way of treating trash.

ECOTECH: A strategic partner in the management of residential waste

Credit belong to Ganata Cleaning N.V., who in 1985 had the insight to tackle waste management. Up until that time, DOW was in charge of household trash collection, as a government agency.

In 1988, Serlimar was set up as a separate government department.

Over the years, both ECOTECH and Serlimar enjoyed a peaceful collaboration, both companies reached out to each other for help regularly. During the Millennium, Ecotech helped Serlimar collect waste from 6,690 households for a period of more than one year.

A strategic partnership was formed.

In 2005, Serlimar was restructured into a Siu Generis, a unique independent legal entity within the public sphere, with the intention of starting to charge local household for residential services.

According to me, Serlimar sent our invoices for two or three years, then gave it up because naturally the public was not opening its wallets on command, and the mailed invoice and collection without coercion failed.

As I said in a previous article: We all agree we should pay for the service, build it into our water and electricity consumption, and reward us for the 3R, reduce, reuse, recycle.

Back to ECOTECH: The company currently services approximately 6,000 residential and commercial clients which means 50% of Aruba’s waste is handled responsibly, using the latest technology and creating more than 100 jobs.

ECOTECH stands by its message: “Together can we contribute to a clean and sustainable Aruba.”

For more information about ECOTECH’s sustainable services and products that you can depend on, please contact the freely at telephone tel.: 582 4684 or visit the website

WHAT THE LAW SAYS: “The legislation not mean that the new organization (Serlimar) will be granted the exclusive rights to collect household waste. The already existing private companies will be free to also do it. “

“… for the sake of clarity, it should be noted that a few private companies are already successfully operating in the field of garbage disposal… “

“The legislation does not aim at excluding active private waste collection companies from collecting household waste.”

In regards to waste processing in Parkietenbos:  The new organization (Serlimar) has the right to charge private waste collection companies a compensation, for the waste collected by them and delivered to Parkietenbos.”

BOTTOMLINE: You decide who collects your trash. Get used to the idea of paying for the service.

The 8am buzz at 2pm

The Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino bid farewell-for-now, to General Manager Tom Calame, the leader Maximo of all three successful properties, last night.  

He is leaving Aruba after 5 ½ years, heading to Hawaii where he will put his leadership skill to work for a related Marriott brand, the Honolulu Sheraton Waikiki, and make himself at home at any of the resort’s 1,636 rooms, best of all he got $220million to spend on the giant’s complete renovation.

He will be catering mostly to Japanese clients and is determined to master the language, the same way he mastered flawless Spanish and English, on his world tour, as a Dutch-born hotelier, starting in Amsterdam, then Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, St Thomas, Cancun, Lima, Amsterdam, and Aruba.  

His team in Aruba gave him an exceptional warm-and-fuzzy ayo, prompting the CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority to declare that she’s never witnessed any similar outpouring of praise and gratitude, ever before.

I missed the video, a full-length production starring many associates from the Marriott Aruba Resort and Stellaris Casino, the Marriott Ocean Club and the Marriott Surf Club, but I went around soliciting quotes, determined to crack the code of exceptional leadership.

“His face says, talk not me; he is always available to listen, not to talk, and he is good at constructive feedback.”

“He’s very humble, a man with no ego, and infinitely patient.”

“Not a micro manager, he allowed plenty of room for his people to exercise their personal management style and abilities. He allowed me to define my own success and own it.”

“He’s willing to take risks on his people, if you believe in yourself, he believes in you.”

“He is very forward-looking, innovative, visionary, never looking back, forging ahead with an optimistic view of the future.”

“The lobby is his office, for more than five years that man was Starbuck’s best client, and the most visible member of management. Never hiding behind closed office door his presence in the lobby was constant, quietly conducting meetings, with a steady hand on the resort’s pulse.”

“Cool, calm, collected, always even-keeled no matter what.”

“Unselfish, his people always come first. A loyal family man, for sure family comes first.”

“Very focused. He’s gonna get there, even if it takes a lifetime.”

“Intuitively, he read the island’s crazy political landscape very well. Unimpressed with pedigree or power, he went about his business, running his resort, leaving politics to politicians.”

“The best the Marriott has ever had. It’s a great loss for the island, no other general manager had ever produced such high internal and external satisfaction rates, not to forget ownership, over the moon about his financial performance.”

“It’s the collective wisdom, accumulated over time, working and living all over the world, collaborating with a diverse, large number of people. Empathy and respect are his second nature.”

We are sending the adorable Karin Swiers along with Tom, as his wife, and knowing that her belly button in buried here – an old Aruban saying – we’re assured they will be back!

The Aruba Carib is 59 years today

The opening ceremony of the new resort on Palm beach unfolded on July 18, 1959, island Governor Speekenbrink gave a short speech, we have a picture of the ribbon cutting in the archive.

Carl Wolff was selected as the first General Manager of the Aruba Caribbean. Clifford Jones and Jake Kozloff, both well-known in international gambling circles, were contracted to operate the casino. They brought the best entertainers of that time to perform in the “Klompen Klub”, among them Xavier Cugat, Harry Belafonte, Jack Benny and Liberace.

During the hotel soft opening period, the 120-member Washington Symphony Orchestra came to perform in Aruba for two days, all expenses paid by the U.S. government.

Then official opening took place on July 18, 1959. It was a national happening during which Juan Enrique Irausquin cut the ribbon, followed by a show by Hildegarde, accompanied by the orchestra of Eduardo Chavez, a folkloric show, and the piano of Padu Lampe.

Hank Meyer in Miami Beach was a top PR man of the time, handling many celebrities; he was the one to open an office in New York to help promote the hotel.

Also, the hotel company Executive House, from Chicago, used its network and contacts to jump start tourism here in a big way.

They made a deal with Kellogg’s and at one time the picture of the Aruba Caribbean was on the famous cereal box, also giving away free stays.

Celebrity entertainers attracted tourists to come here, including Elizabeth Taylor, Eddy Fisher, Jack Benny, Arthur Godfrey, Xavier Cugat, Abbe Lane, Harry Belafonte, Jan Peerce, Liberace, Natalie Wood, Bob Hope, Roger Moore and Tony Martin.

The new resort attracted conventions and meetings previously foreign to the island.

When you consider that in those days, there were no large government guarantees for the development of resorts, and when you note that the government set up a corporation and financed the project by involving local and foreign investors and with loans from Holland, you realize how visionary the construction project of the Aruba Carib was.

Of course, later our government guaranteed huge bank loans for private investors to finance their hotel projects, which got us in hot – Italian – water, but then it all worked out.

The Aruba Carib, now the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino carries the mission of Aruban hospitality excellence on.

Challenging Leadership

Ruben Goedhoop, a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers was recently announced the new CEO of Aruba’s health service provider, AZV, with a 400-million-florin annual budget and 120.000 island residents as clients.

The way he sees it, at age 48, he felt the tugging at his heart strings when the offer came, the urge to do the right thing for his country and abandon a top position in the private sector in order to serve the public.

He knew he was needed, and that he could contribute.

In his interview with the MinHealth, the official asked: “Will you be loyal to the ministry?” And Goedhoop’ s answer was no, adding he will be loyal to the chair, representing AZV’s best interest, upon which the MinHealth agreed, he was the best candidate for the job, which in turn earned the official brownie points for rising above political affiliations.

The upcoming transition brings Goedhoop into his new office at AZV on August 15th, and his is not a political nomination, which I applaud, because our health service provider truly needs a skilled leader and strategist at the helm.

With socialized medicine on the island Goedhoop has his work cut out for him. As medical costs are sky rocketing, his challenge will be to teach us how to properly use the so-called FREE health services, in order to eliminate abuse and utilize public funds more efficiently.

Goedhoop is familiar with the leadership term. During his tenure at PWC — which will be transitioning into Grant Thornton: Audit, Tax and Advisory Services soon — Goedhoop paid great attention to that rare commodity, by organizing a number of successful conferences, as part of the PWC Leadership Academy, he helped found in 2014.

Last year, at the Renaissance Convention Center, when PWC hosted its annual call to all leaders to step up and shape up, Goedhoop held a talk, titled Challenging Leadership. He came up with an interesting graph, describing the intricate process of transforming a leader into a Challenging Leader and thereby creating the Drive of Excitement where everyone sets the bar higher and achieves more.

The talk resulted in a book, Aruba’s first management how-to manual, inviting leaders to consistently engage in important leadership actions and activate the Drive of Excitement in others.

The book edited by Rosabelle Illes, reads well, 122 pages of the wisdom Goedhoop accumulated as the leader of the Advisory Practice. It will be available soon at local book stores, I already got my copy signed by the author!  

Here’s an excerpt, Step Up, by Goedhoop:

We must step up to the occasion

As individuals, as organizations and as a nation!

This is no coincidence
That we are talking about emotional intelligence.
Emotions are in abundance
But how to use them, control them is about perseverance.

As leaders we must take our responsibility
Because it is upon us, eventually
To initiate,
To delegate,
To motivate and
To cultivate.

We must step up to the occasion
As individuals, as organizations and as a nation!

Leadership is about what you think
Leadership is about what you feel
And ultimately leadership is what you DO.

Here is a tip:
Do not fear to express your leadership.
People will embrace your guidance
And your actions
As long as they are pure and constructive.
Consistent and productive

Emotional intelligence
Is about convergence,
About consistency
And honesty.

Transfer anger in explanation.
Steer from dissatisfaction to motivation
And express your direction with a vision and dedication.

My vision is that we must step up to the occasion
As individuals, as organizations and as a nation!

You are part of the leadership
And you are all well-equipped.
So why not step up and rise,
Merely listening will not suffice!
Action is what defines us.

Stand up and join me!
As a group or individually.
Don’t be afraid,
Do not wait,
Together we stand as one.
Together we can get it done!

So, step up to the occasion as individuals,
As organizations and as a nation.

Now we are going somewhere.
Why are you still there?
Why are you still in your chair?
Get up and stand with me.
Get up and say with me.
Your leadership is key.
Set it free
If you believe this, please repeat after me, collectively:
“As a leader I will go”
“I will grow and let grow”
“I will inspire and motivate, build and initiate”

Thank you for your participation
I have no doubt in you nor in this nation
Because I know that we can,
And I don’t give a damn.
If it means that people will look to me
To provide guidance or let it be
To lead or even maybe
Be out of my own comfort zone
For correcting actions that I will not condone.

The success of this event is measured only in one way,
It is not about today.
It is about what are you going to say.
Wait no, it is about what are you going to do,
When your leadership is called upon, will you follow through?
This is my measure of success.
You should not be afraid
To step up to the plate.

Finally, I really appreciate your willingness
To not be emotionless.
Be the leader that you are
And I am convinced you and I will reach far.

Let’s continue with our goal,
Let’s give it much more soul!
Give it your time and inspiration,
Because after my humble evaluation.
This is definitely needed, it is a privilege,
Use it as bridge.
To go forward, to get better
Always together!

Come and join me
On this leadership journey,
And say together with me:
We must step up to the occasion.
As individuals, as organizations and as a nation.
This is what I will do,
Alone and together with all of you
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, every day
This is what I pray.

The countdown is on for the Sunset Grille Gastronomic Experience on July 28

Executive Chef Matt Boland and the Sunset Grille Restaurant culinary brigade, at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, are hosting a Gastronomic Experience, a four-course wine pairing dinner in partnership with The Wine Room.

The event will help introduce the legendary products of Creekstone Farms to a local Aruban audience. Chef Boland had recently reached out to the farm in an effort to incorporate its unique highest quality beef and pork in America, to the Sunset Grille kitchen. The farm raises superior Black Angus and Natural Duroc Pork and applies exceptional cattle and hog management practices to create a carefully controlled high-quality feeding and state-of-the-art processing.

“We have been meaning to import the USDA Certified meat for a while, “explains Boland,” we like the farm’s humane animal treatment and wish to serve beef from hand selected Black Angus cattle that has been fed high quality corn and treated well, to our distinguished customers at the Hilton Aruba and decided to partner with The Wine Room on the occasion, striving for excellence and quality in everything we do.”

“We are staging a truly decadent four-course menu featuring the finest steaks and freshest ingredients, highlighting the contemporary flair of the of Sunset Grille, and each course will be expertly prepared and artfully paired with wines from The Wine Room,” Boland concludes.

The evening will start with a welcome cocktail at Mira Solo Lobby Bar, and dinner will be served at 7:00pm.  The menu features Chef’s Amuse Bouche, paired with a summery Rosé from Sicilia. Grouper with Zucchini Pasta, and Cherry Tomatoes, topped with Saffron Sambuca Cream, paired with Bisquertt Petirojo Sauvignon Blanc Colchagua Chile. Famous Creekstone Beef Trio of Dry Aged Sirloin, Prime Filet with Foie Gras, and Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, paired with Criss Cross Petit Sirah from California and Sabayon Royal with fresh fruit, berries and Grand Marnier, paired with Alberto Nani Organic Prosecco from Veneto Italy.

Tickets are available at The Wine Room, Antraco Plaza, for $125.00 per person. For more information call 280 2681 / 737 0019 or email [email protected].

About BBQ and Charity

Southside Market Barbecue pop up at the Ritz Carlton

Last week we were invited to a Texas-style smoked barbecue with guest pitmaster Bryan Bracewell, a third-generation restaurateur from Elgin, Texas. He set up shop under a tent on the Ritz Carlton beach and got busy with the barbie for the American Independence-day weekend.

“We started selling barbeque from the back of a wagon in 1882,” he says. “Since then, we’ve changed pretty much nothing about the way we serve up authentic Central Texas barbeque. That’s not to say the last 135 years have been without milestones.”

The chef and his family members were invited to Aruba as guests of the resort, as the initiative of U.S. Meat Export Federation, under the guidance of Liz Wunderlich, a familiar name on the island.

Liz stays in touch with island chefs to make sure they are up to date with new special meat cuts available on the market and all cooking techniques. She annually organized a chefs’ trip to Texas to experience everything from cattle raising to low and slow BBQ. 

Che Bracewell’s beach menu? Tender beef brisket, and falling off the bone beef short ribs, super flavorful picanha – a popular south American cut, mac & cheese, incredible BBQ pinto beans and mini pecan pie with ice cream for dessert.

With the smoker right there on the beach, the exhibition kitchen was an attention-getter and chef’s special homemade sausages, flavored with jalapeno and cheese, went very well with the smooth Jalapeno margaritas. I am not a Margarita girl. But I liked those very much.

I hope the beach bar bartenders remember the recipe, I will be back.

2nd Annual Long Table Event takes over Oranjestad

I missed last year’s but I did not miss the recent long table with 1,000 dinner guests, at sunset, on the L.G. Smith Boulevard, closed for traffic in honor of the fundraiser from early in the afternoon for set up, and during the three hour all white event.

The elegant, impeccably set table run from in front of the Renaissance resort, over the bridge, alongside the parliament building to the Renaissance Marketplace entrance.

The boulevard was allowed to open around 10pm, as the elves of both Renaissance resorts completed the post-party breakup.

The event exceeded all expectations, and it was completely sold out one month ahead of time. It managed to collect $25.000 for charity, Casa Cuna Progreso Foundation, a home for kids under the age of 6, who come from challenging social situation.

Just before the end of the evening general manager Paul Gielen presented the check to the grateful and surprised director of the home in the presence of Aruba’s minister of social affairs.

“Our community contributed to the good cause by buying a ticket for $25 each, and all attendees enjoyed a three-course dinner, accompanied by two glasses of wine. The Renaissance Aruba culinary team did a fantastic job out of field-kitchens set up along the boulevard,” explained Gielen.

He also expressed his delight for being able to do this for the community. “This event fits perfectly within the philosophy of the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, which is now part of the Wind Creek Hospitality Group; to give back to the community and contribute to the positive development of our people. I would like to thank all colleagues who have worked hard to make another edition of the Long Table a success. I would also like to thank everyone who bought a ticket so that we could raise funds for Casa Cuna this year. We hope to be able to count on you again next year!”

The resort published the list of local companies assisting in the event and they deserve recognition: The excellent music provided by singer Lilly Love and her band supported by DJ Joa and radio personality Erin Croes, Magic 96.5FM, as MC for the night.

Among sponsors Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino thanked its staffers who set up, served and cleaned up, on a voluntary basis. Tropical Bottling Company, Caribbean Overseas, High Performance, Andmar, ARTN Photography, Aqua Panna & S. Pellegrino, Aruba Laundry, ASD Aruba Supplies & Distribution, Bite! Communications, E2 Events & Celebrations, EcoTech, Express Events & Party Rentals, Elite Productions, Elsa’s Flowershop, Island Girl, New York Laundry, Scaff Pro, The Greatest Inter Employment Agency, Thunder & Lighting, Wolff Independents and Zen Designs. For pictures of the successful culinary event please visit .


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July 22, 2018
Rona Coster