Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Maurice Pronk

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Maurice Pronk. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

My name is Maurice Pronk, I am working for Atlas International Movers since 2015 and my current position is Business Development Manager (Sales & Marketing). My focus is to get in contact with HR/Global Mobility Managers who are working for corporate accounts. But I am also managing the Social Media accounts and website of Atlas International Movers.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

If I am right, I joined the AABC directly in my first year at Atlas International Movers, so in the year 2015, 4 years ago. I joined the AABC because I want to get in contact with American people and companies in The Netherlands, to expand my network and to discuss if we can do business together. But, also to have a lot of fun and like we say in Dutch: “gezelligheid”!

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

Atlas International Movers is a moving company which is specialized in relocations all over the world. If a member of the AABC is moving abroad, we offer a 10% discount. In the request it has to be very clear that it is a request for an AABC member. The request can be sent to info@atlas-movers.com.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

I don’t have any specific advice or tips about this, but if an organization has to move a large number of employees within a certain period of time, we organize sessions in which we inform employees how to prepare and which steps they need to take to make the process as easy as possible. It is our goal to exceed customer expectations.

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Member Spotlight: Myriam Clouët des Pesruches

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Myriam Clouët des Pesruches. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I am French and I have been living with my family in Amsterdam since 2013. I grew up in France and abroad and that experience as an ATCK (Adult Third Culture Kid) — followed by other expatriations as an adult — has given me a deep understanding of the mechanics of expatriation, of its complexity, especially at a human level. Human connection is something I feel passionate about in both my personal and professional lives.

In that spirit, I have created Course Kids4Kids, a not-for-profit, solidarity run organized once a year in Amsterdam that enables kids to raise funds for kids in need. The goal is to raise children’s awareness of the importance of caring about others.

I am also a business owner and I offer relocation support services. I advise and support companies and individuals in all stages of the relocation process. There again, the human dimension is at the core of my work. I serve as an advisor to my customers and offer them tailor-made services that fit their specific needs. Building a strong relationship with them and genuinely helping them is what motivates me in my job.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I joined the AABC in 2018 as I wanted to meet other companies and professionals. But to me, networking is not just a business thing. It is first and foremost the opportunity to meet other people, to discover and understand cultural differences. It has been a great experience so far, and I have also met some of the partners I am now working with. 

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

Relocation is a great adventure, but it is a challenging one, like any adventure. Preparation is key to make it successful both for the individual, and the employer. I help my clients in all stages of the process: it can be upfront, during and at the end, or at only one of those stages. I anticipate my clients’ needs, help them understand what needs to be done and support them throughout that often-stressful experience. I cover a wide array of topics, from advising on the content of the relocation packages offered by companies, to administrative matters and housing, as well as education or the integration of the spouse and the children in the new country for example. I offer my services for relocating to the Netherlands, as well as to other countries. 

I first do a free intake session with them during which we discuss their specific needs and their priorities. Based on that assessment, I then propose them a tailor-made service in order to support them in the best possible way. 

Depending on my client’s needs, I regularly partner up with other professionals such as moving companies, estate agents, financial advisors, but also education specialists, life coaches, recruitment agencies etc. I have met some of them thanks to the AABC. This is a great community to meet internationals and do business.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is a great place to start a business because the concept of taking a chance and taking risks is very much part of the national culture. It is even encouraged with kids. Things are different in France for instance, where it tends to be a more risk-averse culture. So, if you are in the Netherlands and have an idea for a business, believe in yourself and go for it!

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Member Spotlight: Sid Gupta

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Sid Gupta. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

Hello ! I am Sid Gupta. I am a marketing strategist with nearly 15 years’ experience. My profession has taken me all over the world – from New Zealand to Africa to Europe; and I love exploring different cultures and working out the marketing implications thereof.

It’s not all work and I do play 🙂 Hit me up for a game of squash anytime !

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I have been part of AABC for a couple of months now. I went to one of the events looking forward to expanding my business network. I came across like minded entrepreneurs in a very vibrant atmosphere and so I joined.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

Small & big companies alike often struggle with reaching their full potential because of gaps in market intel. Having a good product may not be enough – to succeed, you need to know things like what are the most efficient customer acquisition channels for your business, how are your customers deciding what they buy, what is your competition doing and as such what should be your strategy. And this is where we come in – my company marQt iQ can get you the market intel you need to reach your full business potential.

As we like to say – “ fortune favours the prepared !”

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Compared to the USA for example, businesses in the Netherlands take much longer in forming trusting relations with other businesses. A good understanding of the market and knowledge of your industry helps in accelerating this process.

That is why you need good market & business intelligence!

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Member Spotlight: Roel Strijker

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Roel Strijker. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

My name is Roel Strijker, born in the east of The Netherlands, nearby Zwolle. When I was 6, my family moved to Hilversum (a city which is more in the central part of The Netherlands. Also the broadcasting city) due to my fathers work, which was giving and selling: Management Trainingen (Sales, Motivations, Communications, Leadership). So this was a topic mentioned a lot during breakfast, since we lived above the headoffice.
Studied Fashion & Management on a private school in Doorn. And after gaining 20 years of experience in the field (retail and wholesale), I am doing now what I loved best: sales, people and fashion!

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

When I became a Personal Tailor I first became a member of other Dutch networkingclubs, simply to see (observe and learn) what is going on. And there is a lot going on! The Netherlands (as a business) attracts a lot of foreign businesses and therefor it might be very interested to see the possibilities within.
After learning a lot, I decided to widen my horizon and put my scope on the international businessclubs. What better place to start at…. than America:)!

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

I will not sell you a custom made suit.
As a Personal Tailor of custom made menswear. I only have to manage your expectations the right way. My promise to you is when you buy a suit from me, you will feel more successful and more happier! I will visit you at home or at the office (also for your colleagues at work we can have a Custom Made Event).
So how can I even promise that? Simply by having a conversation with me.
I will talk about the advantages of custom made clothing (suits, jacket, shirts, smokings, overcoats), the beautiful Italian and English fabrics, the best makes and the nicest sartorial (handmade) details. Obviously with the finest qualities.
But more important: I will get to know you! For me it is the lifeline to gain access to your Personal Style. Hence the title: Personal Tailor.
The headquarter is based in The Hague and a shop will be opened in Voorburg in March this year (2019)!
So have a look at www.iamluigi.nl, or like us on Facebook and/or Instagram!
In addition we have a fantastic Ambassadors Program. If you are an ambassador for our brand, you could end up with a fantastic custom made suit for free!

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Doing business in The Netherlands means in most cases, you don’t have to wear a suit with a tie (obviously except when it’s embedded in the corporate culture of the company). You could lose the tie easily. Even just a neat jacket (‘Sack’) with ‘Slacks’ is common. Though carelessness whilst wearing (ie American people tend to wear suits rather a size up) will kill the atmosphere. So pay attention to details and dare to look sharp.
Call/ app me for any advice on the spot (+31(0)6 50600931)!

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Member Spotlight: Petra Fisher

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Petra Fisher. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I am a single mom of a teenager, independent LinkedIn Trainer, a sole breadwinner, mortgage payer, house cleaner and whatever else there is to do to keep a 2 person, 1 cat household going. When not working I prefer books over TV, when I do watch TV (as my teenager loves it) I tend to combine this with crochet or knitting. Love the balance of online when I am working and totally offline in my
free time. Please connect with me on LinkedIn and mention you read about me here https://www.linkedin.com/in/petrafisher/.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

In October 2018 I joined AABC as Stephanie Ward had been encouraging to do so for years. What appealed to me is that the networking takes place in different, interesting locations each month and the diversity of the members.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

As an independent LinkedIn Trainer I help people transform their LinkedIn Presence from a sum up of responsibilities in the past, to a story showing the development of transferable skills focused on the now and near future. Working with me can be focused on your LinkedIn Profile, your networking strategy, or your engagement (posting, sharing, liking, commenting) strategy.

Working with me can roughly be done in 3 settings:

  • Reading the tips in my newsletter each week and implementing the tips + working through the free LinkedIn Profile workbook. Actually, this is not working with me, this is the free DIY version of using my knowledge to your advantage. https://petrafisher.com You can also join the free FB group “LinkedIn Tips” to read interesting articles by different LinkedIn Trainers and to ask your questions. https://www.facebook.com/groups/linkedintipspetrafisher/
  • If you feel overwhelmed by getting started, know it shouldn’t be that hard, but not a bit of a push and a shove… there is it online training: “LinkedIn Your Daily Dose”. This is where for 3 weeks (weekdays only) you will receive step by step instruction through email and video to fix one small aspect of your LinkedIn Profile each day. You can post your examples, worries, considerations in a closed FB group, where all participants support each other. https://petrafisher.com/your-daily-linkedin-dose-online-linkedin-course/ If you sign up (it rolls every month) please add AABC behind your last name. You will then be invited to a live online Q&A at the hardest part of the course. A Q&A only for AABC members, fancy if you are the only one to sign up!
  • As an individual (employee or entrepreneur) you can work with me 1-on-1. This is done through Zoom (kinda like Skype) so you don’t have to find the time to travel to my office. I have several packages available to match your needs. https://petrafisher.com/linkedin-training/
  • As a company you can bring me in to give a presentation style workshop (90 min) for as many people as you can fit in your conference room. The rest of the day (and follow up days if needed). I work with each employee 1-on-1 for 30 minutes. A small ambassadors workshop (training staff how to be leaders and get others on board) is also possible. https://petrafisher.com/linkedin-training/

 

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Networking is key. Use not only valuable meetings like AABC, but also online networks such as related FB groups and ofcourse LinkedIn to be as well known as possible, so referrals will come your way.

Don’t beat around the bush. If you are dealing with the Dutch, you can easily save 10-20 minutes on a meeting by getting straight down to business. Be prompt. Meetings start at set time, so be in time to grab a cuppa beforehand, not after the set meeting time.

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Member Spotlight: Kristien van Elteren

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Kristien van Elteren. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I was born in the south of the Netherlands and have lived in different continents e.g the Caribbean and United states, where I started my first company international art trading. For years I have done many artshows: Art Expo New York, Las Vegas Art Expo and Art Zurich. Meanwhile, I have my Master degree in Economics and Business Innovation, partly in South-Africa.

One day one of my customers approached me and said: “I want to sell my marina”. She thought I was the right person to extend this beautiful place to a next level. As a young businesswoman, I seized this opportunity. I sold my art company and took over the marina, just outside Amsterdam. This was a whole new adventure and help me mature as an entrepreneur.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

When I moved to Amsterdam from St. Maarten (Caribbean), I really felt like a world traveller / expat and wanted to explore the city and meet inspiring people. The ambitious culture of the American people gave me energy, so I was looking for an American club. Through the events I meet inspiring, goal-oriented and ambitious people while I discover Amsterdam in a playful way. This is what I found in the AABC. Furthermore, the club gives me also the opportunity to promote the Serviced Apartments which are located at the marina.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

The marina is all about the experience at the Waterfront. Since I studied business innovation I have taken this into practice, changed the businessmodel into a modern private marina. Services such as boatrepair, transport, catering are available and offered in collobaration with third parties. Our concept is to create a combination of boating and art, with a yearly changing statue garden with life size sculptures.

In recent years we have had life-size art horses and birds and the coming summer season it is called: “Sitting at the Helm.” We also have a specific type of couch that is painted by various wellknown artists.

To innovate further, several apartments are developed and build with a focus on expats. The apartments are beautifully decorated with Art & Design objects which can be also bought. The apartments are step inn ready and have the necessary services and comfort for expats / business travellers from weekly cleaning, laundry service to a first class meal service. The building is still in progress so… to be continued.
An unique point is the location, that is 10 minutes from Amsterdam Rai, directly located at the exit Vinkeveen (highway A2) and next to the N201. The bus stop is infront of the street (less then 1 minute walking) and there are enough free parking spaces. It is only 20 minutes from Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol) and on arrival you instantly relax and enjoy the tranquillity of nature right at the Waterfront.

Curious to find out more?
shortstayhouses.com
jachthavenvinkeveen.nl

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, we believe that we must focus on values such as honesty, respect and personal responsibility. Do not try to force a decision, the idea of consensus is enormous in the Netherlands.
Get straight down to business, the Dutch prefer to get straight down to things.

My personal inspiration for growth is:
“If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough (Richard Branson). You must think big, if you want to grow’.

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Member Spotlight: Annebet van Mameren

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Annebet van Mameren. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

Hello! My name is Annebet van Mameren. I am an education consultant from the Netherlands. I run New2nl, a network that brings together expert service providers for international families in the Netherlands. I am Dutch, and married to an American. We are based in Amsterdam, and have two sons who we are raising bilingually.

I have a master’s degree in Organizational, Social and Personality Psychology and a research background in Intercultural Conflicts at Work. I have worked for multinational companies, lived and worked in Italy, and have a thorough understanding of the (educational) challenges international families face when moving to the Netherlands. I regularly share my knowledge and experience through international magazines and websites, and seminars to international companies and parents. I have also written an article for AABC on the Dutch school attendance law: https://aabc.nl/the-dutch-school-attendance-law.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I have been a member for two years now.
I was looking for a good business network in Amsterdam, and since my husband is American, and I have many American clients, the AABC seemed to be the right place.
I have met many nice people through AABC, and some of the members have become partners in my Navigate the Netherlands partner package.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

I help international families find a school for their children in the Netherlands. For many clients I am one of the first Dutch people they talk to and often they ask me for referrals to other service providers.
In the Navigate the Netherlands partner package I work together with partners to offer valuable services to international families in the Netherlands. I am always on the lookout for new partners. See http://new2nl.com/partner-offers.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Build up your network, ask around if you need something or someone. There are always people to help you.
Stay true to yourself, be dependable, and always be on time.
You don’t need to speak Dutch in order to do business in the Netherlands, but it surely helps. Good luck.

Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com

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Member Spotlight: Koen Gijzel

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Koen Gijzel. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

My name is Koen Gijzel and I am the founder of Koentact Dutch Language School. I studied French and Dutch linguistics in Amsterdam and Paris, and started Koentact in 2009. I was born in Utrecht and I have been living in Amsterdam since 2003, still passionately support my home football team FC Utrecht though!
One of my favorite places in Amsterdam is the market, from Dappermarkt to Noordermarkt, on account of the enormous variety of different cultures and great foods that you find here side by side. I love listening to French rap music, studying Arabic, making my own ravioli, going to classical concerts and cycling on my racer in the nature around the city.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I already was a member of the AABC 5 years ago, but I could not join the evening events anymore, because of the timing. I was so busy in the evenings, because of all our evening classes, that I did not have time and energy anymore for networking events. Now, we have a great teaching team in the evenings which gives me more time in the evenings. So, here I am: happy to be back and to meet new internationals who have difficulties pronouncing the -Dutch Ghhhh or who do really not understand the Dutch directness…

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

At Koentact, we give Dutch lessons for expats. We make learning Dutch as fun as possible and through our Field Trips and Language Cafes we break down the barrier of speaking Dutch in daily life. Koentact has an office in the city center of Amsterdam, consists of a professional staff of three young professionals and many great enthusiastic teachers. Together we offer a wide range of Dutch language courses and activities for internationals from all over the world. We offer classes in our school building, but also in-company and in-house. Thanks to the personal approach of our staff and teachers, our practical and social approach to language learning and never-ending energy, students do not only learn Dutch at Koentact, but they also have lots of fun, make many new friends and experience the real Dutch culture. You could always come to one of our free events (Koentact Open Day or the Amsterdam Language Cafe) to get to know us.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Be yourself, be honest, have fun and don’t take it too seriously.

Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com

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Member Spotlight: Tiffany Coleman

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Tiffany Coleman. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I am a Seattle native who went to Washington State University, double majoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship and double minoring in Hospitality Business Management and Comparative Ethnic Studies. While studying at Washington State University I studied abroad in South Korea, which is what jump started my passion for traveling. After finishing my bachelor’s degree I took three years off to travel around Europe, which is what made me choose to pursue my master’s degree in Financial Management in Amsterdam. It has now been 5 years since I made that move, and I can safely say I call Amsterdam my home.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

I joined the Amsterdam American Business Club in 2014, shortly after graduating from my master’s program in order to obtain a wider networking group and meet other business minded people.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

I am currently working as a Trust Accountant at Citco Nederland’s B.V. We provide accounting, administrative, legal and corporate secretarial services to Dutch entities. The nature of the Company I work for does not require any assistance from the AABC, I prefer to use the AABC more as a social outlet and to get ideas from internationally business minded people.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

Be direct as possible when asking questions, network and learn to enjoy the Dutch work mentality.

Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com

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Member Spotlight: Rob Lacroix

Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Rob Lacroix. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at marketing@aabc.nl

 

1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)

I am Rob, born and raised in Amsterdam. And after living for a about a decade in Amstelveen, now living in and working from Almere, which is about a 21 minute commute by train from Amsterdam.
Worked in marketing and sales for about 20 years, to come to the conclusion that although I was good at it, it wasn’t my calling. After some long and deep soul searching I came to the conclusion that my calling had to do with helping people become a better functioning and happier version of themselves. The fact that for as long as I can remember friends and family would turn to me with their challenges looking for guidance and me enjoying helping them find the answers, for sure had a big influence on that decision.
So I went back to school and finished a PostHBO education to become a coach. And after coaching for a while, last September I started my own coaching practice.

2. When and why did you join the AABC?

As most starting entrepreneurs will recognize, I felt the need to talk to other professionals and do some sparring about the subjects one can run into. Since I am also offering my services to expats, I was looking for a place to meet them and learn from their experiences, as well as promote my services. My dear friend Veronica told me about the AABC and how much she enjoyed being a member, so I joined her for a meeting last year at Waxx in Amsterdam. Directly after I joined. What made me decide was the open and welcoming atmosphere, where networking happened in a relaxed way.
Until now my membership has brought me several occasions to have pleasant social interactions while combining that with talks about serious business issues. Both learning from others while sharing my own knowledge and experiences. This made these meeting both useful as enjoyable.

3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.

My coaching practice offers both Life coaching and Business coaching.
Being married to an “ex-expat” and with most of my friends having an expat background, it is no surprise that part of my business is aimed at expats and their specific needs in addition to the “regular” life coaching issues. The part of my practice serving expats is expatcoachingcompany.nl.

Life coaching
Why Life coaching for expats? Life, and work in particular, can be complicated. When you are an expat even so much more. Not only are you confronted with the “regular” issues of life, like life’s anxieties and the possible feeling of shortcomings in your private life and/or at work, but there are also the issues related to being an expat. Such as being homesick or the feeling of not belonging neither here nor at home for example.
As Life coach, besides the regular issues, I specialize in helping people who work in stressful environments. I help them to deal with stress and function and feel better.

Business coaching
As a Business coach I offer two services. Mentoring and being a sparring partner for managers in/business owners of SMB organizations is the first, the second is idea coaching.

Idea coaching is aimed at helping people with new business ideas or existing SMB companies with new ideas for products or services. While using both my 20 years of experience in sales and marketing and my coaching experience, I will help you to take the necessary distance to your idea and ask yourself the difficult questions, essential to getting to the core of your idea and how to make it happen. By facilitating this process, I will help you to shape your idea into a feasible one and for you to be ready to execute it.

4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?

As Adam Kiolle explained so well in his blog article, the legal emphasis in Dutch labor relations is on the employee. This means that you as a business owner or manager, are obligated to take as good care of your employees as it can be expected from you.
When one of them gets sick for a prolonged period of time, this could make you run into serious costs. Not only do you have to pay for the employee’s salary, but also the cost of temporary replacement and the necessary re-integration guidance and these will weigh down on your operational costs.

According to the research done by the Centraal Bureau Statistiek, about 17% of the Dutch workforce (this includes expats working here) is suffering of burnout related issues. One can imagine that the risk of one of your employees getting sick at home is a relevant one. On average, a burnout will last anything from three months to a year. This burnout will have a severe impact on the employee in both an emotional and physical way, as will it on your business operation.

My advice? Make sure that you and other managers in your company are trained to recognize the symptoms of a pending burnout within an employee. In this case prevention is by far the most cost effective way of keeping both your employees happy and your business running.

If you need any help with dealing with Life coaching or Business Coaching related issues or want to share thoughts about them, do not hesitate to contact me at one of the AABC meetings or at rob.lacroix@expatcoachingcompany.nl.

Photo credit: Magpeye Photography www.magpeyephotography.com

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