“I have a rich history within the non-profit sector, holding various positions at the World Wide Fund for Nature, CliniClowns, and KidsRights. NLR Foundation doesn’t seem an obvious fit in this lineup.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of traditional development work. However, NLR is in transition to decentralise, empowering the offices in the countries where they operate to become independent. They have made significant progress in this regard. This approach aligns much better with my belief that ownership should lie where the problems occur.

Additionally, there is a significant challenge to remain relevant, distinctive, and visible at a time when leprosy is still a forgotten disease. And usually with limited resources. How do you bring leprosy closer to people, how do you engage with people to make them care about this cause? I see this as a positive challenge to contribute to. I also see a role for myself in this. With Dille & Kamille, for example, there are many different directions you could go, such as expanding towards restaurants, but focus is essential. Providing a good answer to the three key questions: why, what, and how?

Currently, until the autumn, I am the chairman of the Supervisory Board of Make-A-Wish Netherlands. I have done this with great pleasure for nine years. I believe it’s important to prepare meetings well and preferably not let them drag on; more speaking time does not automatically mean higher quality. I may bring along an interesting network and am, of course, willing to share my knowledge at the request of NLR. It is important, however, that I am primarily a supervisor and not a director.

If I may make ‘A Wish’ for NLR, I would gladly align myself with the inspiring organizational goal: a world without leprosy by 2040. Mission accomplished, organization ready. It is absolutely beautiful that this truly is a solvable problem. That is very powerful. There are few organizations that dare to say they want nothing more than to cease to exist. NLR seems to be on the right path to answering that. In 2017, for example, they received an award from the Dream Fund of the Dutch Postcode Lottery to stop the transmission of leprosy. That is fantastic!”

Hans Geels lives in Hilversum (Netherlands), is married, and has two children. Hans is the CEO of Dille & Kamille. Dille & Kamille is a Dutch retail chain, specialized in a combination of nature-inspired food, kitchenware, tableware, soap, plants, vintage furniture, and practical household items.