Yvette Dhaene
Senior Administrative Specialist, Belgium

What is your current role? How long have you worked for Monument? 

My title is Senior Administration Specialist; it’s a combination role, because I handle a range of Human Resources responsibilities at the Belgium site, such as payroll. I’ve been with Monument since the company formed, but I actually started with this site in January 1979 – so I’m coming up on my 40th anniversary next year! I was hired into Supply Chain, and then moved into Finance for 18 years. I have seen this site go through many transitions, and it’s been inspiring to see the organization and the team evolve and grow over the years.

What is your favorite part of what you do?

I especially love the HR component of my job, because it allows me to get to know all of our employees. They feel comfortable coming to me for help, and I feel grateful that I’m usually able to help. There’s a lot of variety in my role, and this keeps my days interesting – and often allows me to learn even more about the company. And because I’m always learning, I’m also always able to improve my abilities to support the team. Ultimately, I most enjoy the people who work here, and I appreciate the frequent opportunities to strengthen existing relationships – and build new ones.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to cook, and I also have a big passion for gardening. I enjoy every part of the process, from the physical aspect of planting the seeds and the quiet time to think, as well as the many months of appreciating the beauty of the blooming flowers. I’ve also been making flower arrangements for over 35 years, and I’ve even brought that passion into the office, because more than a dozen of my colleagues and I started a flower arranging club. We use one of the on-site conference rooms, and in addition to practicing new skills, we also enjoy the chance to have fun together.

My husband and I both appreciate every chance to simply relax at home – especially spending time with our four cats. I’ve always been a cat person, and they keep me company when my husband travels. Right now, we have two British long-haired cats (Oona & Lex) and two brown Burmese cats (Flynn & Sky). There’s always so much movement in our house – and plenty of feline affection.

What is the most surprising thing about you?

About seven years ago, I christened a ship! My husband is a general manager at a shipping company, and I was offered the opportunity to christen one of the company’s tankers. I performed the speech and broke the champagne bottle on the ship – and thankfully managed to do it right on the first try! I was nervous at first, but I’m so glad that I did it. Not many people can say they’ve christened a ship, and I feel it’s important to say yes to those unique new experiences that present themselves to you and keep life colorful.