Stefan Selhorst (1931-2020)
In 1982, Stefan Selhorst became the Financial Director of Heidemij, after he had already been with the company for 25 years. Heidemij Holding NV was the predecessor of Arcadis, and was later renamed to Arcadis NV. Without Stefan, Arcadis would not have been the same. Selhorst passed away on August 10th, 2020. In this article, the Lovinklaan Foundation would like to pass on his story to all Arcadians and honour him and his work.
At the time Stefan joined the company, Heidemij found itself in heavy weather. It was originally founded to cultivate the Dutch heathlands, but got entangled in foreign real estate projects, which nearly caused the financial ruin of the company.
As soon as Stefan was appointed Financial Director of the company, he took the responsibility to point out the inadequate funding structure that was in use. His advice was first set aside. However, when the banks decided to not provide any credit anymore, Stefan developed a rescue plan for Heidemij in which the real estate section of the company was disconnected from the core business: consultancy and implementation of rural and urban spatial planning. With that, he did not only facilitate a restart for Heidemij, but also ensured that 2/3 of the employees could remain with the company. For the employees that could not keep their jobs, Stefan arranged relocations.
Through this the Lovinklaan Foundation was founded with a dual responsibility as governing body and shareholder in the company. The Foundation has since then been an employee-led organization and the company’s largest shareholder. The employee- focused approached of Stefan is still at the core of the Foundation.
Stefan’s former colleagues speak highly of him. He was a great professional, who was straightforward and had a clear vision. Next to him being a true businessman, he was also a very social person who was very involved with every single person working for Heidemij.
In 1993, Heidemij went public, and in 1997, Arcadis was founded. Selhorst had already retired by then, but there is one thing we know for sure: he made a great contribution to the history of our company. Without him, both Arcadis and Lovinklaan would not have been what they are now; global, successful and inclusive organizations. We are most thankful for all the effort he has put into the company and its people.