FIDI39 Club

Elevating expertise with mentorship

The FIDI 39 Club’s Mentorship Programme was set up last year to inspire and develop the next generation of movers, with hands-on guidance from experienced mentors from within the industry. FIDI 39 Club Vice President Juan Guillermo Díaz speaks to mentors and mentees about the success of the first round of the programme – and looks forward to the results from the next stage

More than a year ago, the FIDI 39 Club Board decided to start a new programme in a bid to improve the prospects of our industry’s youngest members from all over the world. After discussing among ourselves and looking at best practices in other industries, the idea of the 39 Club Mentorship programme was born to connect and develop skills among our members.

Since then, the mentorship programme has become a powerful tool for personal and professional development, that opens the door to a wealth of insights, knowledge, and innovative solutions – often way beyond what members signed up for at the start.

We understand that in an era defined by global connectivity, mentorship schemes that transcend geographical boundaries play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of our industry and professional skills development. The FIDI 39 Club Mentorship Programme stands as a beacon of progress, fostering a community of professionals who are poised to lead with confidence and competence on the international stage.

In our field, where international interactions are the norm, cultural sensitivity is a keystone for success. Working with mentors from various countries, gives mentees invaluable insights into the nuances of communication, negotiation styles, and business practices. Cultural competence facilitates smoother negotiations and builds stronger, more meaningful relationships with clients and partners worldwide.

The first round of mentorships showed they boosted participants’ performance and their companies’ all-round quality, too. We launched the next autumn programme soon after, with the support of the FIDI Academy, where the Academy’s manager, Chantal Fera, developed bespoke sessions for the mentors, helping them focus their efforts and giving them direction on how best to carry out their role.

During this second round, we matched 10 couples – members of the FIDI community who had decided to participate. Here are the thoughts of some of our mentors and mentees.

Xenia Kostara, of Celebrity International Movers, said: ‘A mentorship programme improves the quality of my professional life in various ways, but the most important for me is in giving guidance and direction. It also brings networking opportunities: mentors often have extensive professional networks, and they can introduce you to their connections. This can be great for career growth.’

Tuomas Katainen, of Victor Ek, added that ‘mentors have invaluable experience within all professional and even personal areas of growth that they are willing to share and give a leg-up to the new generation’.

Mentor for a second time Brian Loud, of Planes, said his main motivation for participating in the programme is because ‘I want to share my experience with people newer to the industry and help promote, nurture, and retain this talent in the world of moving and mobility’.

Linda Rovekamp, of De Haan – a first-time 39 Club mentor – said: ‘I am an advocate for sharing knowledge and helping others grow in this industry, I feel this is a way to give back. By sharing knowledge and working closely together, it creates opportunities for yourself but for others as well.’

Gabriela Humeniuk, of Lift Van International, said her main motivation for participating in the programme is that: ‘This industry has given me so much. I have people around me who are always encouraging me to be better and to learn more, so I would like to give back some of that passion. I hope I can help my mentee find new tools to grow individually and professionally.’

The first round of the programme has demonstrated how the mentees gain access to the expertise and experiences of their mentors. This invaluable knowledge is not readily available through traditional education or training programmes. Guidance from a mentor supports the development of essential skills such as leadership, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. The programme can pave the way for new career opportunities, promotions, and other advances. The mentor’s guidance and endorsement can be a powerful catalyst for career growth and personal improvement.

We asked our new batch of mentees how the programme could improve their professional career. José Pena, of Mercovan, said: ‘I think that sharing problems, concerns, solutions, and good practices with experienced people from the industry will improve the quality of my professional life.’

Joanna Dowling, of JVK International Movers, said: ‘As humans, we want to always be learning and adapting to a changing world – learning from a mentor is something that will improve every bit of my professional life.’

Xenia Kostara said she expects to ‘improve my skills and knowledge of the industry, become better at what I do, and help my company and myself advance to the next level’.

A major insight from round one of the programme is that being a mentor is a dynamic journey of personal growth and fulfillment. It’s not just about giving back; it’s a reciprocal exchange of wisdom and inspiration.

Mentors find themselves not only guiding but also gaining fresh perspectives and valuable insights from their mentees through interactions and lively exchange of knowledge and experiences. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Mark Neave, of Asian Tigers, said: ‘For me, it’s all about giving something back to an industry that has given me a happy career for more than 43 years. ‘It’s about helping a less-experienced person understand more about our great industry – but also learning myself from the mentee. We are never ever too old to stop learning.’

Al Amin, of HomeBound, said: ‘Being a mentor is a voluntary and altruistic role, the satisfaction and rewards often go beyond the tangible benefits, and the positive impact I make on someone’s life can be immeasurable.’

Finally, second-time mentor, FIDI Board Member Gordon Bell summed up: ‘If there is anything to learn, I hope to learn from my mentee.’

As we conclude the second round and begin the next chapter of the Mentorship Programme, we are excited about its potential for improving our business. We have been inspired by our mentors who have expressed their gratitude towards the programme and have now become our strongest promoters.

We encourage all FIDI 39 Club members to take part in the programme, and the wider FIDI membership to support future generations with your expertise. Embracing mentorship is not just a choice; it’s a strategic investment in the future of our industry.

Thanks to our mentors and mentees
Mentors: Linda Rovekamp, Max Chorus, Mark Neave, Gabriela Humeniuk, Gordon Bell, Brian Loud, Luis Duarte, Al Amin, Dawn Hasli and Andy Marshall.

Mentees: Joanna Dowling, José Pena, Eliud Hamdan, Tuomas Katainen, Juan José Andrade, Xenia Kostara, Vanessa Tamara, Thanh Doan, Ivonne Gutierrez and Katlyn Witherspoon.

The 39 Club Board would like to thank the support and vision of the FIDI office and FIDI Academy in setting up the Mentorship Programme. We especially thank Chantal Fera and Lydia Cope for their outstanding work, guidance and patience.

To learn more about the FIDI Future Mentorship Programme, please contact

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