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THE TEAM

IOFF’s Coordinators volunteer their time.

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Karen Hunter, Organizer & Event Coordinator

Karen is the daughter of the late Gilbert Hunter, who served as a Lieutenant with the 2nd LAA battalion during the Liberation of The Netherlands. She has over 30 years of experience in communications and project management. Twice nominated for Women of Distinction Awards, Karen’s interest in social advocacy and purposeful living has taken her to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the path of The Camino, a monastery in the Himalayas and, now, to the historic route taken by her father—and his Canadian comrades—as they liberated The Netherlands. 

Karen and her husband live in Guelph, Ontario.

Peter van der Meij, Logistics Coordinator

Ans van der Meij, General Adviser of IOFF

Peter attended the Dutch Royal Military Academy and studied Transport Economics and Logistics at Rotterdam University. As a Logistics Officer in the ‘80s, he was responsible for traffic and coordination for the famous “Nijmegen Four Days Marches,” the world’s largest multi-day walking event. Living in Apeldoorn at the time, Peter and his wife, Ans, hosted Karen’s father, a Canadian Veteran, and his wife. Over the next 30 years, Ans became their “4th daughter,” visiting Canada regularly.

After leaving the Army, Peter became involved in the Canadian Veterans’ trips to the Netherlands as a member of the Board of OAD Travel. He later became COO and co-owner of one of The Netherland’s largest logistics companies. Besides Peter’s business responsibilities, he has been involved in social, educational and economic activities/projects at a local and regional governmental level, for which he was awarded one of the highest Dutch decorations: Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau.

Peter and Ans live in Uden, The Netherlands. 

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Cyril Driessen, Logistics Coordinator

Jacqueline Driessen, Photographer

Peter attended the Dutch Royal Military Academy and studied Transport Economics and Logistics at Rotterdam University. As a Logistics Officer in the ‘80s, he was responsible for traffic and coordination for the famous “Nijmegen Four Days Marches,” the world’s largest multi-day walking event. Living in Apeldoorn at the time, Peter and his wife, Ans, hosted Karen’s father, a Canadian Veteran, and his wife. Over the next 30 years, Ans became their “4th daughter,” visiting Canada regularly.

After leaving the Army, Peter became involved in the Canadian Veterans’ trips to the Netherlands as a member of the Board of OAD Travel. He later became COO and co-owner of one of The Netherland’s largest logistics companies. Besides Peter’s business responsibilities, he has been involved in social, educational and economic activities/projects at a local and regional governmental level, for which he was awarded one of the highest Dutch decorations: Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau.

Peter and Ans live in Uden, The Netherlands.

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Frank Thijssen, Assistent Organizer

Frank enjoyed a rather international education and experience, in secondary school, at University as well as in his career. During the latter he has served at his postings or in official missions for his country in close to fifteen countries on four continents. 

 

Already shortly after Frank had moved close to the border with Germany, near the city of Nijmegen, he had noticed the ever present warm gratitude and deep respect with almost all the population towards the men and women of the Allied Forces of that time and the unimaginary huge offers they had brought in Europe to vanquish over armed occupation, dictatorship, genocide, hunger and cold. 

 

Since four years Frank and his wife Stella make regular visits to Canada, to their children and two grand children in Toronto.  Because of them, the bond with Canada feels even stronger. Frank who was a guide for IOFF 2022 feels honoured for being asked by Peter, his one-time friend from the Royal Military Academy, this time to assist in organising this second episode of the IOFF pilgrimage.

 

Frank and Stella live in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.

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