Meet the 2021 Feel at Home Team
Founder and Owner of TheHagueOnLine
Billy moved to The Hague from London as a strategic planner for a Brazilian mining company 20 years ago. At that time, the expat community was much smaller and, as he started to put down roots, he began organising social networking events centred around local cultural and sporting events. In 2005 he presented the first Feel At Home In the Hague Fair at The Carlton Ambassador Hotel. It was so successful, that the following year he was invited by the Hague Municipality to hold the event in The Hague City Hall.
Over time, the Feel at Home Fair has grown into the biggest International Community event in the region, with up to 200 exhibitors and over 4000 visitors. It is unique in being a totally inclusive event which allows non-profit sports clubs and associations to exhibit free of charge and offers very low costs of entry to small businesses. The Fair is supported by the bi-annual Feel At Home Magazine, 10,000 copies of which are distributed free of charge through schools, companies, local shops and sports halls.
Billy is also the founder of TheHagueOnLine.com, the first internet service to provide local news and events information in English to the International Community of The Hague. His local knowledge and international network is unrivalled, and walking around the City centre with him, you could be forgiven for thinking The Hague is a village, as he is recognised wherever he goes!
Strategy & Client Management
Like Billy, Claire has a scientific background, but on graduation she moved to the advertising industry in the 80s when London was booming. She transferred to Paris in 1990 as an advertising planner and then Director of Studies at Linguarama France and learnt a great deal about overcoming the barriers of communications across languages and cultures.
Moving to Geneva with two small children in 2000, her focus turned to the voluntary sector, helping newly arrived expat families feel at home in Geneva and “France voisine” through playgroups, language classes and social events.
In 2012 she arrived in The Hague ahead of her husband. On here own with teenage boys, she discovered through the BSN Rugby Club and Ladies Badminton Group how important a sports clubs can be in helping families to integrate into a new international location. Claire sees the Fair as a great opportunity to put local clubs and associations in touch with the international community, thereby helping people feel a sense of belonging in their adopted country.
Renée loves to connect, communicate and educate.
A dual national Dutch Australian, raising two global citizens, she is originally from the Sunshine Coast, Australia but now lives long term in The Hague.
Through being a part of TheHagueOnline and the Feel at Home Fair for many years, as well as being actively involved in many groups such as ACCESS, Delft Mama, LinkedInLocal, WBII and Connecting Women, she has come to feel very much at home amongst the international community in The Hague.
She is a permanent part time senior lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, currently teaching in the MICM (Masters International Community Management) programme at The Hague Graduate School. Her 12 students from all around the world will be actively learning about social media management by being involved in this year’s Fair.
Community Volunteer - Floor Manager
Maja has a scientific background in molecular biology. But after a few years doing research she decided to switch sides so to speak and went to work for a company selling scientific equipment. She enjoyed helping her former colleagues decide on which equipment to buy and helping them get to grips with all the newest scientific tech gadgets.
A few years down the line she also ventured into managing commercialization projects of a small research institute and later commercialization of new products for a pharmaceutical company.
In 2013 her husband found a new job in The Hague and so she moved with the whole family to the Netherlands. Her main focus here is her two young boys, their schooling and other activities. Nevertheless, she also keeps very active by volunteering within the school, occasionally also singing with the British School Community Choir and playing badminton with the International Badminton Group.
Last year she joined the team for the Feel at Home International Community Fair and had a starring role organising the performers on the podium She is once again the go-to person for the Performance Programme:
International Employee Support Liaison
Originally from India, Snehal relocated to Europe in Sept 2004, where she worked in the field of Business support and HR management. She moved to The Hague in 2009 and her kids started school here. Her social circle grew through the school network at first and then extended through social and sports clubs. She thoroughly enjoys meeting and socialising with people from different nationalities and finds the cross cultural interactions with the international community truly enriching.
Her work experience includes setting up of the operations of a large multinational company in The Netherlands, which entailed the relocation of over 400 employees. This put her in direct contact with the local city councils and organisations such as The Hague Business Agency and ACCESS, all of which aim to help international companies settle in efficiently and to make their international workforce feel welcome. She currently works for Tech Mahindra.
Snehal is an active member of the Indian community in Netherlands, helping to manage events for the Indian diaspora in The Hague through the Indian Embassy and social organisations.
Social Media Manager for Community, Sports and Social Groups
Iulia is a full-time law student at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Originally from Romania, she moved to The Netherlands four years ago to start her university studies.
Iulia joined will be working on our social media channels on posts about the community, sports and social groups. As an international herself she sympathises with the goals of our Feel At Home Fair.
Community Manager for Community, Sports and Social Groups
Sophie is long term resident of The Hague after emigrating from southern France twelve years ago. Sophie’s formal studies are in tourism and recently in early childhood and her work experience is in administration, sales and customer service. She has previously held employment in international companies in France and in The Netherlands. Sophie has a deep passion for the arts and is involved in local amateur theatre. Sophie is also a “soccer mum” to two active young boys and is proud to serve the international community in The Hague
Video support for Community Sports and Social Groups
Mudassar will be supporting the community, sports and social groups who would like some help in creating/editing a video to showcase what they do.