Dad’s level of energy and enthusiasm is contagious: Sara Van Gelder

It may be pure coincidence that this father-daughter duo ended up in the same industry, but Brussels Airport’s Sara Van Gelder believes that her father Pharma.Aero’s secretary general Frank Van Gelder’s passion and enthusiasm for his work, which was very contagious, may have helped chart her career goals. This Father’s Day, Sara Van Gelder can’t stop raving about his level of energy and spontaneity that has taught her never to shy away from any challenge.

What are some of the qualities, picked from your dad that really helps you in making better decisions or handling tough situations?
Definitely his level of energy and enthusiasm! He taught me to stay spontaneous even in a stressful situation and to never move away from a challenge. This really helped me in the past, for example, with public speaking or whenever put in an unknown environment or situation.

Tell us about an occasion when you and your father worked together and delivered on a project. An occasion that has stayed with you?
We both work in air cargo, but for the past years, we haven’t really worked on the same projects. We try to keep our private and work life separated as much as possible. Five years ago, I worked for Sky Fresh (rebranded to Check-it in the meanwhile), a start-up which was working on an application for the air cargo industry. This app was initiated by my father and some of his colleagues at Adelantex at the time. So, we were working together multiple times per week. For an international project and for my first business trip, we could travel together. It was fun to do the preparation, the travel and the presentations together!

Since your father and you are successfully working together in logistics, what do you have to say to the younger generation?
Do what you love and what gives you energy! There is a lot to change and improve in our industry for the next decade(s). If you’re up for a challenge and you are hands-on, there are a lot of opportunities in the air cargo industry!

My father never pushed me to start working in logistics or the air cargo industry. But he shared his passion and enthusiasm, which clearly was contagious. Actually, at the time I was deciding what I wanted to study at University; my father was still working in a completely different industry - healthcare. So it is a coincidence that we both ended up in logistics. Both our parents gave my brother, sister and myself the freedom to develop our own qualities.