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Farewell, Europe!

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Our first official morning in Rotterdam had us off to Erasmus University.  Despite a shaky start which entailed navigating through local construction, determining the appropriate Metro Line to take and in learning that having a proper ticket was truly required for the ride, we arrived in collectively one piece to the warmly welcoming Professor Giuseppe Criaco.  Here we were presented with a lecture that highlighted Family Involvement in Management, Socioemotional Wealth along with Internal Wealth; all components that impact how family firms may or may not be different from non-family firms.

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In the afternoon, we traveled to an area called Schiedem that served as the base to DeKuypers – a family-owned distillery that began in 1695. Our host for the afternoon was 11th generation family member, Remy DeKuyper, whose current role was that of Plant Manager. This was an awesome visit! Our time consisted of a tour, a Q & A session then an entertaining session in which signature DeKuyper drinks were creatively prepared by the “Doctor” who was even so kind as to engage the support of several class members who became part of the production line.  Our six-hour visit was complete when after present our hosts with our token honey and 150th Celebration Canadian Coins, each of us was presented with a gift bag of DeKuyper treasures.

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We journeyed with our host, Professor Giuseppe Criaco in the afternoon with a tour of the downtown of Rotterdam. He was assisted by two graduate students, Ilaria and Stefan. One of our stops was a farmer’s market, similar to Vancouver’s Granville Island. While there, we sampled drinks at DeKaapse Brewers.  From here, we walked to our Farewell Dinner at a Turkish restaurant called DeBazar.

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The dinner was coined a “Farewell” in that this event was to serve as our final evening together now that the formal part of the programming was complete and several students were beginning to venture off into extended trips of their own. The restaurant itself was decorated with colourful lamps hanging from the ceiling along with mirrored walls; the shared platters of Turkish food were fabulous too!  After ensuring no offerings were left on the tables thanks in part to our steadfast undergraduate men, Rolf and Michael presented our small Canadian tokens of gratitude to Giuseppe and Ilaria.  Rolf was then asked by the student group to return to his seat and the student group in turn presented gifts to Vern, Rolf and Jane, in appreciation and acknowledgement of the extra mile each of them put into making the two weeks of the 2017 Europe Study Tour extraordinarily special.

Blog post submitted by Europe Study Tour participants Michelle, Allen & Graeme. 

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