My Experience With the AABC
By Carol P. Govaert, Magpeye Photography
My story starts in Assen where I used to live 8 years ago. We lived there 5 years and eventually my husband switched jobs. It required a lot of travel and we figured out pretty quickly that we needed to be near an international airport. He proposed a deal. If I could find a job in Amsterdam that would cover our mortgage until we sold our home, we could move. I immediately went into action mode. The first person I thought of contacting was Charles Ruffolo (Ruf), The Networking King. At this time, he was also the President of the AABC. Ruf said he would help me if I would fill the position for events in the AABC. I agreed. Two weeks later I had a job with T & A Relocation Services, I was a board member of the AABC; where I had never attended an event, and a month later we were living in Amsterdam. Phew! The AABC gave me a warm welcome and then I was initiated into the club by planning one of the biggest events in less than 3 months: Election Night 2008.
As it happens in life, two years after joining the AABC my life went through many strange and unexpected changes, which pushed me into another direction. One of the decisions I made was to study photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam. During my studies, the only ties I had to the outside world were managing the events at the AABC.
Eventually I started Magpeye Photography. I reached out to John Milhado, a long time member and supporter of the AABC, from Color Business Center. He graciously agreed to host the launch of Magpeye with an exhibition of my work during an AABC “borrel”. Dennis Cowles, the AABC Chairman and owner of Dynamic Cooking, supplied the deIicious finger food. While planning the exhibition I was introduced to my agent, Loes Kok from Bullcreative, through Color Business Center.
Now I was open for business, a friend and fellow board member, Neifor Acosta asked me what was my specialty. I proceeded to explain to him, which in my mind was clear and concise. He told me he had no idea what I was talking about because the explanation was too technical. Neifor said, “Carol, you need to work on your elevator pitch.” One morning I woke up and I knew what it was. I specialize in the 3 C’s: Creative, Commercial and Community.
- Creative works gives me the freedom to explore and experiment.
- Commercial work is where my business background comes into play.
- Community work is teaching photography to children and working on The Visible Project.
The moral of my story is that because of the AABC I have met interesting people, made useful contacts, and have made many friends. Just like anything in life, you reap what you sow.
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