Staff Showcase: De Wet Coetzee

Staff Showcase: De Wet Coetzee

Posted on: Aug 27, 2018

As a Certified Herman Miller dealer, we have the added benefit of working with Herman Miller staff everyday in our offices. They bring their skills, passion, and knowledge to every project they encounter! They help on almost all our projects. Often they are out working with businesses, health care providers and schools. Developing them to their fullest potential. We would like to introduce you to one of our newest Herman Miller team members located in our Vancouver office. De Wet Coetzee comes to us from Johannesburg as a knowledge expert and Business Development Manager.

Can you tell me about your background, what did you take in school, and where did you work before?

After High School I started out studying Computer Science but realized fairly quickly that the coding life was just not for me. From there I transitioned to Business School. Once I graduated I started working as a Technical Sales Representative for a Construction Chemicals company. I got my first “lucky” break shortly after that when I was head hunted by the largest listed company in South Africa. I started working for one of their packaging affiliates as a Regional Sales Manager. From there I was offered a National Sales Manager role by one of my suppliers at the time. They traded in the Horticultural industry where they imported, manufactured and exported products to more than 60 countries worldwide. Once I knew I would be moving to Canada I took some time away from the big corporate world and focussed on working with smaller firms as a Business Analyst, helping them assess the current state of their businesses and implemented plans for future growth. Once I landed in Canada, I was very happy to find my first Canadian role with Herman Miller.

What did you learn from your past work experience that is helping you succeed at Herman Miller?

The only way to really help a client is to first understand their world, their business and what matters to them.

What brought you to Herman Miller and what do you enjoy most about your job?

Once I discovered Herman Miller, I was drawn by their design history and focus on people right away. My job at Herman Miller allows me to leave people better off than before they met me. I absolutely love that.

What is your job at HM?

My job is to leverage Herman Miller’s extensive research to help each organization we work with in creating a workplace that delivers an elevated experience of work in order to achieve strategic business objectives.

What are some of your favorite projects you have done with HM and why?

My favourite projects are the ones where the people we partner with have some apprehension or fear of change. At the conclusion of these types of projects my favourite moment is always when the client smiles at me and expresses how grateful they are for finding the courage to embrace new ways of doing things.

What are some of the biggest trends you are watching for in space planning and development?

Most large organizations look to maximise worker engagement and minimize workplace capital and operating costs. We are finding that forward thinking architects, designers and corporate real estate professionals are looking beyond cost per square foot and square feet per person metrics. For most effective utilization of space we are finding an increased focus on understanding activities unique to each specific organization and how these activities are constantly changing.

What’s your favorite part of living in Vancouver?

My favourite thing about living in Vancouver is that there are no man-eating spiders here. I sleep so much more deeply these days…

Describe yourself in 3 words!

Passionate, adventurous, lighthearted

What’s something you can’t live without?

Good coffee and ice cream. And probably single malt whiskey.

Your favorite chair?

I love how the Aeron changed the game when it came to task seating. And it feels like sitting on a cloud.

Favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Anything active with my family.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I spent some time working with a non-profit in SA educating underprivileged families and children.

De Wet brings pride and passion to the workplace everyday. We are lucky to have him on our team. If you are interested in creating a workplace that delivers an elevated experience of work, contact us and you can chat with De Wet.