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Hotseat - Jeremy Verheyen

778_0nA_hotseatAs brand manager at Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco, Jeremy Verheyen gets the pleasure of tasting a lot of great concoctions and gets to take part in the fun events and promotions the company organises. Verheyen, who is expecting his first child in April, describes himself as an outgoing, loyal, ambitious, determined and responsible person with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He gives deeper insight into who he is in this Daily Herald's Hot Seat.

Who is Jeremy Verheyen?

I live in Simpson Bay and was born in the Netherlands in the city of Venlo as a Leo. I have a beautiful American girlfriend, Shelby, who I met here on the island and we have been together now for over three years. Sadly, we have been apart for a while, but happily the reason for this is that she is currently in the US; where she is expecting our first born in April 2014.

Where were you educated? Tell us what you studied and why.

After the HAVO in Venlo, I got my degree in Hospitality Management from Hogeschool Zuyd. I also hold a European Marketing Certificate in Sales Management or what we call NIMA-B in the Netherlands. The choice for hospitality was easy, growing up in a family that owns bars and restaurants. I was practically raised in the hospitality industry.

How did you end up in St. Maarten?

Three and a half years ago, I met Alex Hoekstra, the owner of Sopranos and Tantra in De Keyzer – a famous bar in Amsterdam. When he saw me, the first thing he told me was that he wanted to bring me to St. Maarten because I got something (don't ask me what, because I still don't know). At that time, I worked as a freelancer, meaning that I had no real obligations to stay in Holland, so I said why not and I came to St. Maarten and ended up conducting mystery guest visits in his establishments in my first month here. I fell in love with the beauty, the people and the climate of the island.

And how did you end up at Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco?

Alex introduced me to one of his business partners, Mr. George Greaux, managing director of CLT, who was interested in someone with brand experience in the beverages and spirits industry. After reviewing my resume and interviewing me, he offered me my first and previous position as Sales Development and Promotion manager at his company in September 2010.

What's a typical day like for you as Sales and Marketing brand manager?

A brand manager's main job is to organise and oversee the promotion, sales and overall image associated with certain branded products or services. In my case, this includes a portfolio of 30 plus premium spirit brands including Stolichnaya, Jose Cuervo, Grand Marnier, Disaronno, Jim Beam, Hpnotiq, Ballantine's and El Dorado Rum. Much of what my job involves on a day-to-day basis depends on industry needs and product specifications, which can make setting out a universal set of duties somewhat difficult, but naturally in the spirits business, the main goal for a brand is liquid to lips, basically having people to try, taste and experience your products.

Favourite drink?

There are actually three, but it all depends on the time and moment of the day. My favourite beer is an ice cold Blue Moon served with an orange. I normally can't resist a Mojito made with El Dorado Three-year Old Rum. At night, my drink is Stoli mixed with Red Bull because it keeps me going all night long.

How do you occupy yourself when you are not working?

Sleeping and eating. That's the only time left in between working right?

What are your favourite pastimes?

My DJ/Producer alter ego Jayson Miro, you have probably heard of him. Besides producing music and organising our own parties or co-productions for the Ministry of Sound, one of the biggest dance labels in the world, with my music partner Simon aka Kaizer in the Caribbean (we just returned from Martinique for NYE); you will find me playing in hot spots like Le Shore, Tantra and Kokomo on a regular basis. Our new single "Drop That Ass," which was produced in St. Maarten, was released worldwide on Dutch record label Most Wanted International. People can grab a copy from all major download portals such as ITunes, Spotify, Beatport and Dance Tunes.

Biggest fear?

Losing people who are important to me; I also fear my hair getting messed up.

Pet peeve?

My number one pet peeve is when fellow road users don't use their indicators. You are waiting at a crossing where you don't have preference, all cars seem to go straight, but they turn and turn, so you wait and wait until finally someone takes a turn using their indicator.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Rich and famous in a big mansion on a beautiful island with my lovely wife Shelby and five kids.

Favourite type of music? What artistes do you listen to most?

With my work at CLT and hobby as a DJ and Electronic Dance Music producer, I don't have a lot of time left to listen to other genres besides EDM, but I do like all kinds of music styles to get inspired and listen to artists such as Jay-Z, Robin Thicke, Pharell Williams, Selah Sue, Ayo, Ellie Goulding and Jahneral Blunty, a local reggae artist who gave me one of his CDs which I put on occasionally.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

Will Ferrell, Richard Branson and Adriana Lima (don't tell my girlfriend). I would cook meatloaf; I don't know about the others, but Will Ferrell would love it for sure! Most likely, I would have to ask my girlfriend to cook; she makes the best meatloaf.