Influencer David Levy Maduro
Interview December 2019
Could you share with us some information of your family life?
I am married and have 2 boys, Nathan and Daniel. I have 1 sister. My parents are still alive. My father is a “Life” member of the Lions club, so in that sense I was inspired by him to become a Lion myself. When you are a child of a Lion, you are a Cub. I was a Cub for many years, whereafter I joined the LEO Club. I believe, that the fact that I am into leadership development, has everything to do with my father.
Could you tell me some more about LEO and LIONS Club?
We have two LEO clubs, one is from the age group 13 to 18 years (an Alpha LEO Club called Willemstad) and the other is from the age group 18 – 30 years old (an Omega LEO Club called Curaçao). The Alpha youngsters are still finding their identity and are dealing mostly with their schoolwork. When they are an Omega, they are involved in different issues, their jobs or businesses, their families that they want to start, in any case different things that they are concerned about. After you turn 30, you can become a LION. I started when I was about 16 years old and participated in the LEO club until I was 19 years. Back then, it was called LEO Club Peter Stuyvesant and was a “School-based” Club. 10 years ago, I joined the LIONS Club. This is my 6th year appointed as a LEO Advisor.
Could you share with us your educational and professional background?
I have worked different jobs, as I didn’t finish my high school, but became a person learning on the job and that is how I acquired my knowledge and skills, by doing lots of different things. I started as a 14 year old working several vacation and part time jobs as a busperson, barboy, which kind of initiated my passion for Food & Beverage. At the age of 17 I could start as a part- time Bartender and Waiter. I have this attitude that you need to show me and prove it to me, in that sense I am very unorthodox. I started my professional carreer at the Sonesta, where at 21 I was part of the opening management and staff of the Hotel in Curaçao. I started as a Room Service and Mini-Bar Supervisor. In my 2nd year, I won an award through Feffyk (in charge of vocational training in Curaçao), which paid for a summer school at “Hotelvakschool” in the Hague, Holland. Here I also learned Menu Engineering and Manipulation, which I guess was the start of my analytical mind. This very much helped me look at things in a complete different way, where I would have costed out the menu and it’s recipes and could manipulate the cost and sale of the items. This mindset, makes me quite succesful in the analytics of Marketing and also Social Media for a couple of years now, where I would have a completely different eye and feeling of things compared to others. I have also worked in the ICT-sector. The Sportsbetting industry with it’s online gambling gave me many more opportunities and knowledge and is imperative to what I do at the moment. I was even a Telecom Auditor in New York and Denver and for the last 14 years, I have done Sales & Marketing. When I was 21 years old, I left home to live on my own.
As of September, I have my own company called “Open Minded Solutions & Management” as I love to think out-of-the-box. I can quite easily adapt to rapid changing situations. Being able to make decisions and changes to plans “On the Fly” is quite a norm for me. I am also a partner in CX Pay, a FinTech company. We specialize in ePayment solutions, bringing international payment options to the local market. I am an entrepreneur and am open for new things. One thing you do not hear very often, is being “open for coaching”. I am never to old to learn more or something new. I firmly believe in synergy. The collaboration between people and companies which is based on each others strengths. Together we can achieve so much more. I also offer training and consultancy in the 7 industries I have worked and am working in currently. An example is, that I offer services to “mystery shop” for companies to check their customer service, phone etiquette and other services. I even advise clients on their menu cards, breaking it down completely, including the cost of the ingredients in their recipes all the way to the prices on the menu and sales mix thereafter. So I have been and am involved in lots of things.
It seems that you are a very curious person, right?
Yes, I am. I am eager to know , learn more. Also …….you can’t keep a secret from me for long. When I do something, I do it with passion, this is how sometimes, I can go from 6 am and still be completing tasks or meeting deadlines till 3 am. I don’t need much to be able to go long hours. The passion or the perfectionist I am, can motivate long hours! I remember having worked a 28-hour day on the 2nd of January 1994, where I started work at 3pm and left the next night at 7pm.
The other day I was talking to Lisette Van Lamoen-Garmers and she was mentioning how passionate you were working with youth in the LEO Club. I also know Sherlyne Eisden who had mentioned you before as her youngest son was also a LEO Club member. How long have you been working in this area that is Youth leadership development? What does the LEO Club members exactly do, how do they contribute to the local society?
At 15, I was in another Club (BBYO), where I participated in a Chapter Leadership course in Wisconsin, USA, which impacted me greatly. I was brought up that there is more to it, than just growing up and playing around with my friends. I was enticed to get involved in the LEO Club and with Leadership Development. In 1989 we organized a big regional LEO Club Convention for Latin America and the Caribbean. There were 300 guests and we used the UNA now UoC campus as venue for attendees to stay and for the conference. My father the Convention Advisor, and my Sister, who also joined the LEO Club, the Convention Director, we just did it, and it went well. So it is a way to develop leadership among youth and it is important to mention, that some of these youngsters are now respected citizens in our society. So it is very important to develop leadership among our youth.
What does being the LEO mean for the participants?
It stands for Leadership Experience Opportunity. Basically in the LEO Club, you are being taught how to enter in the society in the best possible way. Being a LEO means serving the community at the one hand, but also doing the hard work in committees, at times falling down and standing up again and those are the best lessons you learn. You have to go through all the hassle with people not acting according to what is promised and needed, find out-of-the-box ways and means sometimes to get the group going, it requires lots of communication, but in the end, when they succeed it is such a big satisfaction for all involved, me included.
What is you exact function in the LIONS Club?
The LIONs club sponsors / fosters a LEO Club. The LEO Club program falls directly under the LIONS Club as a community project to create opportunity and leaders. Currently I am the 1st Vice President. In the past, I was a 3rd Vice President, 2nd Vice President and even a 1st Vice President, but skipped becoming President the year thereafter. In principle, I should become the President next July. Staying on as LEO Advisor and even of both clubs (Willemstad and Curaçao) as it is right now, will not be a tough one. My greatest fear is to leave a void when I need to take over the function of President and while I really love doing this kind of work and will need to start grooming another LION to take over for me. This task requires constant and consistent effort. And this requires passion……lots of passion. You can’t do this differently. It is at least 2 hours of meeting with 1 of the Boards, another 2 hours of a General Meeting and this is not counting the many messages and calls during the week with short questions and follow ups per club.
Where would you want to be, let us say 10 or 15 years from now?
I want to be Financial independent so that I can do what I want and when I want.
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be whom you are right now?
My purpose is to give the LEOs a chance to become better than they ever planned to be.
Last March we decided to select a LEO of the year in Curaçao. So I approached another LION, who used to be a LEO many years ago as well as a LEO Advisor some years ago and we set up a list with criteria to make a selection between the LEOs for this LEO of the Year Award. The criteria included not only attendance, compliance to tasks and responsibilities given, always responds to requests…..but also excell in other things next to your duties…and we selected Zamir Narveaz.
As LEO of the Year, LEO Zamir received an all-expense-paid trip the 3rd LEO Leadership Forum in Arizona Last July. As we are part of District 35-N, which consists of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Bahamas and South Florida, we were not aware that they selected LEO Zamir as the LEO of the Year for the Multiple District 35, which also covers the rest of Florida. Then in August, we were surprisingly informed, that he was even selected as the LEO of the Year INTERNATIONALLY by LIONS International. LEO Zamir is a simple guy, but he is a very, very active guy who doesn’t like to say no and always wants to help everyone. Another great surprise was, that our District had more then 5 LEO Clubs and was eligible to start it’s own LEO District board. We were honored by our District Governor to appoint one of our LEOs for District President, to merit our activities of the previous year and how active the LEO Club program has been in Curaçao. As LEO Sheeney Magdalena (the previous LEO President) left to study abroad, we chose LEO Nathaniel Yzer, who is currently also the Alpha Club president. Both of these actions, made us, Curaçao, the members and families so proud.
I am a very humble person and at the same time so proud of these achievements. We as Curaçao are something else, aren’t we? I love to empower our youth, I create opportunities and enable them to grow. This is what makes me tick. Other then the growing up my sons…….this gives me purpose.
The 24th of November, you sent me a link where all the LEO Clubs (of the world) were requested to send in a video of 3 minutes showing off the projects that they are doing in their respective communities. LEO Club Willemstad also sent in their 3-minute video, showing off their Club and activities! What are the chances that they could be one of the winners is this competition?
I have shown you the video (see the YouTube video) and we only enabled them to do their own thing. They do almost all the work. I just look over the script and if there is not something really wrong…..I let it go! It is awesome to see how much talent is shown with Curaçao as the overall theme and this makes we feel very proud. We were just informed, that they were voted as the #3 of the world and this going up against much bigger countries like Japan, India, Colombia and many more.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
Staying consistent in my effort to have a participative leadership style, as I firmly believe that groups come up with better results, than individuals working on their own (solo). This is not always easy if you take into consideration the youngsters, adults in the other Club. But this is what I believe in.
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemma’s show up? How does that work for you?
I always doubt myself and I overthink myself many times. I aim for perfection and I always try to improve myself. As mentioned before….I am also a perfectionist.
What are your strengths?
I have lots of stamina, when I do something that I am passionate about, I am unstoppabble. I am ethical (high integrity). You can count on me and I am trustworthy.
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
Well….strangely enough, I am a Practical Shooter. I am a member of the oldest Practical Shooters Club in Curaçao and am a member of the International Organization ruling over our sport. I am also on the board of the Synagogue (in Punda), where in a certain way, I try to follow in the footsteps of my father. I am currently responsible for funerals, which in our tradition is treated with great reverence. I used to be well toned and even participated in 3 triathlons, but…….I chose a busier lifestyle, where I will need to change my “flohera” and start sports again SOON!
When I want to get “back into my zone”, I like to download some TV series and movies and am able to complety zoom out to reset and be ready for a long day or week.
I like to brainstorm with younger LEOs. This is where I am inspired or shocked of how the youth thinks and acts. I love spending quality time with my family. Most weekends we try to do things together. I say most of the time, since I do get rolling eyes when there is a meeting or activity.
If you as David would meet a stranger in the bus (let say in Holland or the US) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
Oef…if they would ask what do you do? I would most likely tell them…… what are the things that I don’t do (yet), ha, ha, ha.
I love to engage in discussions. Even the ones which can become quite heated. Like, don’t start a discussion with me on FinTech. The is merely, because I am a very curious guy and would challenge you to have a discussion, exploring the boundaries of the subject matter that we are discussing. I even tell many…..I love to be proven wrong….this is when I can learn! The other day for example, I went to Bonaire for the installation of the LIONS Club Board of Directors. After the event, I got engaged in a discussion with some mothers and their children for only 4 hours. I learned a lot from discussing some issues with the youngsters (and mothers) and how they live or act in certain situations and handle and resolve others. It’s awesome really. You get a good insight on how youngsters react, how they deal with technology, school, work and social media.
How would you describe David in one word or one sentence?
Whom are the persons that have inspired you the most in your life?
I have had a tough life, I have gone through some hardships and it is not always easy. I am an extravert but at the same time a very humble person. What I would like to do is, not to become indispensable. I look up to my father at the way he directed a meeting and his vast knowledge on many subjects.
What is a trait that you want to work on and improve?
To improve my ability to sell myself better, as I am very good at selling everybody else but myself. I need to work on this. But also, towards myself, I never stop trying to prove to myself, that I can do better. But then again, when I look back after having achieved something, I will often tell myself, That I couldn’t have done it better. I am not easily satisfied and I had to teach myself to “lower this bar”. When I am recognized or receive a praise for the work I do, I often tell myself that I didn’t deserve this and there were other people, who better deserve this. But on the other side, I am quite an emotional guy when I look at my LEOs – they are like my extended family – achieving their goals or on their way to achieve their goals, it touches me and sometimes catches me by surprise.
What was a defining moment in your life?
The birth of my 1st son Nathan, as it was a mixed feeling, happy because of the birth, but also a reality check for the feeling of responsibility that comes along with his birth. This was the most planned event of my life (next to my wedding). The same happened when I asked my wife to start a relationship and to engage 5 years thereafter, it was planned. Also coming to terms with my wife to conceive our boys, but even though it was planned, when he was born it really hit me, that there was more responsibility involved now for both us, my wife and I. Definitely a defining moment.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends and others to say about you let’s say 30 years from now as they are celebrating your birthday?
You are in your own comfort zone, you are doing what you love and you have found your self.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao?
I am from this island. We have to succeed on this island, and I firmly believe that together we will progress and succeed.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I don’t like talking about myself. I prefer to enjoy how other people achieve successes. We have a big and noble task in front of us and our challenge is to make our progresses stick. I am happy on how things are moving and this is the way we should prepare our youth for the future, even tough it is a never ending process.
I am really appreciative of my wife. Through thick and thin. If she was not and is the person who she is……I could have kissed this whole LEO Club and bringing the Clubs to what they are right now…..goodbye. She is the Ying or the Yang, I am the other one…… When you hear that the wife is the one who supports the husband to become successful, guess what….it is so true! While she is accepting and supporting my actions, she is achieving and elevating herself at the same time at her workplace as well.
Off course I appreciate both Nathan and Daniel, my two sons, for accepting when I can’t be there for them all the time, when I am either working long hours or in a meeting or other activity, preventing us to be able to do something together.
One of the 250 influencers
David Levy Maduro is an entrepreneur owner “Open Minded”, co-owner of CX Pay, he is a trainer and consultant, but most of all a person with a Big Heart in terms of community service. As the upcoming next President of the LIONS Service club, he is actively preparing to prevent a void, as it will not be easy to find his replacement as an advisor to both the Alpha (Willemstad) and Omega (Curaçao) clubs that are so actively into developing leadership skills among the youth for 6 years now. David is a humble man, but the results speak for themselves, as of late a representative from LEO Club Willemstad (Zamir Narveaz) was chosen as International LEO of the Year by LIONS Club International. By their District Governor, they were honored to appoint a LEO District President, to merit their activities of the previous year and because of how active the LEO Club program in Curaçao has been. For this LEO Nathaniel Yzer was chosen, who is currently also the Alpha Club president. This week they heard that the video LEO Club Willemstad sent in to the video competitions of LIONS Club international among many LEO Clubs from different countries, was voted as the #3 of the world and this going up against much bigger countries like Japan, India, Colombia and many more. David firmly believes that groups come up with better results, than individuals working on their own (solo) and in that sense he also represents a collaborative mindset creating impactful changes in our society and is therefore, as a representative of the business sector, 100 % aligned with the Share2Uplift goals and definitely one of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao.