The certainty of change – the retirement of Hasse and Birgitta
Published: 2 Jun 2017
One of life’s certainties is change, and we know that nothing ever stays the same. Sometimes change is a blessing, at other times it grieves us. Either way, there’s not much we can do but accept it and make the most out of it in the best possible way.
Here at Veryday, change has been firing at us lately with an intensity and frequency we’ve never experienced before. The most recent big shift is the retirement of two of our most beloved colleagues, Hasse and Birgitta. These two members of our team are as essential to the “Verday way” as sun and water are to a flourishing garden. And that is also what they, through the years, have created – a garden of flowers. Through their talented minds, natural ways, perseverance and hard work they’ve nurtured the right conditions for each individual flower to bloom: a garden in harmony despite its wild array of colors and scents.
In 1973, the year the Vietnam war came to an end and Elvis introduced the world to the white rhinestone jumpsuit, Hasse did an internship with a group of designers that would later form Veryday. During the 40 years that Hasse has trodden the floorboards of our missionary church workspace, he rose from intern to CEO. With his witty jokes, chuckles and smiles he has solved the trickiest of design challenges, made the difficult easy and the functional beautiful. In a simple and obvious way, Hasse has put words to form and usability in a manner that calms clients. Skipping over prestige and complicated design mumbo jumbo, his drive has always been to simply have fun at work – and this value has truly rubbed off on all of us.
Some 20 years later, when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, Birgitta first set foot on those well-worn floorboards and brought order to the bookkeeping mess that had been relegated to the bottom of the “to do” list. A structured, calm and numbers-oriented woman who could walk creative minds through complicated economy-tax-contractual-employment-law-organization-strategy-people stuff without losing them halfway through the lesson. Always transparent and nourishing a culture of democracy. As did Hasse, Birgitta excellently carried out her roles of CFO and CEO.
It is with great sadness on our part that we are no longer honored with their everyday presence. When people leave, it creates a vacancy not in the literal sense but in the emotional sense – a black hole, an emptiness and nothingness. This whole will be hard to fill. But we find consolation in that both Hasse and Birgitta are now doing all those things they longed to do but did not have the time to do – from boats to jetties, landscaping and gardening, or simply enjoying the moment and having a laugh.