On Monday 25 October, entrepreneur Henk De Heus received the “Spirit of Enterprise” Lifetime Achievement Award from Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Ridderzaal of Nijenrode Castle. Henk De Heus studied at Nyenrode and after graduation,
became the third generation to take the helm of family business De Heus. He managed to build the cattle feed business from a local enterprise into a major world player. De Heus now supplies around 10 million tons of animal feed to customers in 70
De Heus was presented with the certificate, part of the Lifetime Achievement Award, by dr. ir. Henk Kievit, faculty director of Nyenrode Center for Entrepreneurship, Governance & Stewardship. He praised the way De Heus put the core values of Leadership,
Entrepreneurship and Stewardship into practice as an entrepreneur: “I am proud that Nyenrode has been able to deliver a responsible leader in you as an alumnus. You have applied our motto of ‘serving society at large’ in your wonderful
family business. The Spirit of Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes business performance and shows that a Nyenrode degree is a reward for life.”
Entrepreneur Henk De Heus began his studies in 1961 at the Netherlands Foreign Educational Institute (N.O.I.B.), the immediate predecessor of Nyenrode Business Universiteit. Henk De Heus is the sixth recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the
history of Nyenrode. Previous winners were George Keune (2010), alumnus Deo van Wijk (2010), Roland Kahn (2012) and alumni Gerry Staartjes (who received the award posthumously in 2013) and Frank van Wezel (2016).
Henk De Heus is a descendant of the Utrecht entrepreneur Willem Hendricus de Heus (1808-1872), who bought Nijenrode Castle in 1854. He rented out the castle to be used by the Military Academy. Around 1860, he had extensive renovations carried out in neo-Tudor
style, which restored the castle to its medieval appearance, entirely in keeping with the fashion of the time. Willem Hendricus de Heus himself never lived at Nijenrode. After his death in 1872, his eldest son Henri Guillaume Arnoud became the owner.
He also rented it out, and the buildings housed a boarding school for girls, the naval cadet academy, and a school for telegraphy. Henri Guillaume Arnoud De Heus died in 1902, after which the castle was sold.
The enterprising couple De Heus-Zomer has been collecting art since the early 1990s. Part of their collection was on display at Nyenrode in 2015-2016, as part of the Art Fund Nyenrode New Ways/Challenges exhibition. On 3 November 2021, a new exhibition
of work from their collection will open at Nyenrode. The exhibition is open by appointment via the Art Fund Nyenrode for members of the Nyenrode network.
At the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to his descendant Henk De Heus, a restored painting of his ancestor Willem Hendricus was also presented to the public. This portrait was painted by alumnus Adriaan Rooymans and will be given a place among the portraits of other castle owners in the castle’s vestibule. In addition, extensive consideration was given to the painting “Still Life with poultry, fish and vegetables” dating from the mid-17th century, which has hung above the fireplace in the Ridderzaal for many years. Henk De Heus and his wife Victoria De Heus-Zomer made the restoration of this painting possible.
For many years, the painting had been attributed to Adriaen van Utrecht (1599-1652), a painter from Antwerp. However, during the restoration work by Douwes Fine Art, a family-owned business that has been around since 1770, it turned out that a different artist was responsible for the still life: Peter van den Bemden. He was a contemporary of Adriaen van Utrecht, about whom not very much is known and not much work of his work has survived.
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