Interview with Esther Herber, New Advisory Board Member at IT4Kids

Esther Herber, 57 years old, married to Bob, mother of three children, and treasurer & shareholder of 706 Seating Group, joins the advisory board of Stichting IT4Kids. With an impressive background as an entrepreneur, leadership coach, wedding officiant, and her involvement in charities, as well as a personal motivation to help children in poverty, she brings experience, knowledge, and passion to the foundation.

Esther is a true entrepreneur. When she commits to something, she does so 100%. She has founded and led multiple companies, including successful ventures in the hospitality sector and the furniture industry. “Among other things, I led a company that produced chairs and office chairs and exported them worldwide to 28 countries. This caused me to travel extensively. Yet at some point, I felt something was missing.” Seeking more meaning in her work, Esther decided to become a wedding officiant in addition to being an entrepreneur.

How did you manage to attend over 250 weddings? “I always worked with my head, but I longed for something where I could also use my feelings. That’s why I became a wedding officiant as a side job. In four years, I officiated 250 weddings. It was a wonderful experience to be part of such special moments in people’s lives. I learned to make real connections and to meet people at home, which is essential to make the ceremony personal.”

What motivates you to help children? Esther’s involvement in charity work began ten years ago when her husband Bob pointed out the harsh reality that many children cannot afford to celebrate their birthdays. Esther: “This touched me deeply. If you can’t celebrate your birthday as a child, you miss such an important moment. I love parties, I never skip birthdays, and the idea that children have to miss this because there is no money was something I couldn’t bear. That’s when the idea arose to do something for these children, and together with Marco Peek of the Brothers Horeca Group, I organized the Spijkerbroekengala. With proceeds of €38,000, we were able to provide birthday parties for 1200 children through Jarige Job.”

The Spijkerbroekengala grew into an annual gala evening that has now raised over a million euros for various children’s charities. This year marks the 10th edition!

What motivated you to join Stichting IT4Kids? “When I was approached for IT4Kids, I didn’t have to think long. My family is sporty—I enjoy golfing and sailing. IT4Kids offers children the chance to play sports, something often not possible due to financial or physical challenges. I want to use my knowledge, experience, and network to help these children.”

Why can’t you say NO when it comes to helping children in poverty? “I grew up in a poor family, and I know firsthand how it feels to be excluded because there’s no money and the shame that comes with it. As a child, I once couldn’t go on a school trip. These experiences have given me a huge drive to help children in similar situations. Now I live in abundance, but I never forget where I come from. Follow your heart is my motto! And then I can’t say no to helping this group of children and giving them these opportunities.”

What do you hope to achieve at Stichting IT4Kids? “I want to use my knowledge and network to help IT4Kids grow further. It’s important to create awareness about child poverty and its impact. By telling the story, I want to show people how many children still need help, even in the Netherlands. Shame and exclusion are major problems, and if I can do something about it, I will not hesitate.”

Her dedication and drive will be a valuable addition to the advisory board as she and the team strive for a better future for vulnerable children by providing them with structural sports opportunities. Welcome, Esther!