Traveling, sports, and finding solace in simple yet meaningful moments in life help this top cargo executive balance his work and life
Maurice van Terheijden
Managing Director – EMEA
Maurice van Terheijden, Managing Director – EMEA at ACL AIRSHOP, reflects on his journey into the aviation industry, saying, “In my childhood, I was captivated by the airline industry. We would eagerly await my father’s return from his business trips, and before picking him up at the airport, we would spend time on the outside deck, gazing at the airplanes.”
He continues, “Despite initially aspiring to become an air traffic controller, I found myself entering on a different path. I pursued a degree in Bachelor of Logistics and Technical Transportation at Hogeschool Amsterdam. Surprisingly, I became deeply attracted to the air cargo sector, and I never looked back.”
Maurice’s extensive experience has taught him to embrace challenges with a “hands-on mentality.”
He passionately asserts, “One of the most notable experiences was during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami when we suddenly had multiple charters carrying relief goods destined for Asia.”
His problem-solving philosophy is evident as he states, “We try to avoid saying ‘no’ to a customer. We are the problem solvers.” This ethos extends to ACL Airshop.
Maurice possesses an innate ability to unwind. “I’ve been blessed with a disposition that allows me to relax easily.” He goes on to share his relaxation activities, saying, “Whether it’s spending weekends with my family, embarking on leisurely canal tours on a boat, or cheering for my daughter during her sports matches, I find rejuvenation in these simple yet meaningful moments,” he explains.
He continues, “An active social life, replete with outings and gatherings with friends and family, further contributes to my relaxation.”
Having traveled the globe for both work and leisure, Maurice has discovered a wealth of diverse destinations. “Tibet, the jungles of Venezuela, Sossusvlei in Namibia, and the pristine beaches of the Maldives,” he reminisces, “Each has left an indelible mark on me.” His enthusiasm shines through as he adds, “Vibrant cities like Barcelona, New York, and Baku have also etched themselves into my memory.”
Yet, one destination still beckons him with a sense of wonder: Chile. “I’ve longed to explore Chile,” he reveals with enthusiasm. “Starting from the north in Arica, traversing the desert to Santiago de Chile, and culminating in the south at Patagonia, Argentina is a dream I hope to fulfill.”
In his leisure hours, Maurice’s sporting interests take center stage. “I derive immense pleasure from watching various sports, particularly soccer and Formula 1 racing,” he enthuses. His passion for the live experience is evident as he shares, “Whenever feasible, I enjoy attending live events, savoring the energy that permeates stadiums during these contests.”
Culinary exploration has been one of the joys of Maurice’s extensive travels. “I have a deep affection for Thai and Japanese cuisines,” he admits, his eyes sparkling with culinary delight. “Yet, I can also relish the familiar tastes of my grandmother’s Dutch meals.” An intriguing twist in his culinary preferences is his aversion to cheese, a surprising departure for a Dutchman.
For the younger generation, Maurice offers this profound advice: “Find something that truly ignites your passion, something you can commit to wholeheartedly.” He passionately asserts, “While challenges are inevitable, dedicating yourself to something you love significantly enhances your chances of success.”
He underscores the importance of cherishing every moment, both in work and personal life, with these heartfelt words: “Life is fleeting, so make the most of it, not only in your professional endeavors but also in the precious moments you share with family and friends.”
Maurice’s journey from childhood fascination to becoming a respected figure in the air cargo and aviation industry is a testament to his passion, determination, and steadfast commitment to finding solutions in the face of challenges. His advice to embrace one’s interests, work passionately, and savor life’s moments serves as an inspiring reminder of the possibilities that await the next generation.