Wilfried Van Assche
At the age of 22, Wilfried Van Assche went to America to make his boyhood dream come true: living and working in the country where everything is possible. He started there at Procter & Gamble, the beginning of a twenty-year adventure that subsequently took him to Germany, Japan, Thailand and Scandinavia. After twenty years Wilfried returned to Belgium with his wife and four children. He became COO of Ontex, which he guided through its acquisition by the private equity fund, Candover, the largest public-to-private operation in Belgium at the time.
After that Wilfried made another boyhood dream come true: he started working at the airport and became the first CEO of the privatised Brussels Airport. In the meantime he also learned the entrepreneurial trade and together with two partners he bought a winery in South Africa which they operated for a period of ten years. A very instructive experience with all the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur!
Now Wilfried is still active as a director and he wants to focus on guiding young people who are at the beginning of their career and have to make the right choices. “That’s my passion. This is where my work as a mentor at Birdhouse fits in.”