Influencer Shirley Treurniet-Martis: a Charismatic Leader

Date of interview : November 12, 2018

Shirley, we have come to know you as a very dynamic, ethical person and Influencer in our society. You are involved in so many organizations during all these years. Shirley could you tell us something about you?
“I was born in Curaçao. I am married and have 3 sons and have 9 grandchildren. I come out of a family with 5 sisters and 6 brothers. I have lived, worked and made my career in the health sector all these years. I have been the director of Wit-Gele Kruis for years and now I am on the supervisory board of Besteda, IFE and Thuiszorg Bandabou. I was in the Supervisory Board of SEHOS from 2006-2012.

I am also very active in the Roman Catholic Church in Curaçao. As such I still have lots of responsibilities, but I believe that I have been prepared to deal with these challenges, because of all of my past experiences. I am of the opinion, that I can master my own destiny and should not wait for things to fall in my lap. By deciding to be like this, it also means working long hours at times. But my faith gives me lots of strength.

I have always liked to hone my knowledge and skills levels. I have studied from being a nurse till graduating with a master’s degree in Nursery. I love meeting different kinds of people and I like helping people. I love reading and this has always been my passion since I was young. I always was leading and I like organizing conferences. I also enable others to grow. In that sense, I am an abled communicator, I can connect with people and I can connect dots and align as part of a deliberate effort.”

what would you answer?
“I would introduce myself as passionate helping people in need, caring, I am good at listening and counseling in the palliative care. I still feel the “nurse” in myself. And last but not least, I am a professional born with the mission to lead especially in the healthcare sector.”

How would you describe Shirley in one word or one sentence?
“A charismatic Leader”.

Your leadership capacities are obvious, but where did this come from?
“After 6 years that my mother had no children, I was born and after me 3 younger brothers and sisters were born. Because of that, I had to be their role model, as my father would always say. I was born with this mission I guess.”

Whom are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
“In fact there were a couple of people that inspired me, they were Nurse Jos Wouter, Rigoberta Pieters and Souer Coleta. I looked up to their leadership, caring and professional skills. They have taught and inspired me a lot.”

What are some of the challenges, lessons learned, that you have encountered in your life when you ultimately discovered your talents and strengths?
• “I had experienced big challenges in my career, like after one year working in the Homecare, I was asked to take over the management of the whole Institute. That was a big challenge;

• During the years, I had also passed through many different board of directors during my career which at times used all kinds of unfair tactics towards me, but I survived many of those challenges, as I worked as the director for 36 years;

• I managed the growth of the organization. When I started, we were only a group of 28 nurses and when I ended as director there were 230 people working with me in the Homecare;

• Another Big Lesson learned was, when I lost one of my sons in an accident. It was during that moment I knew, that I had really profound faith in God and I accepted everything in a very peaceful manner. My faith gives me a lot of strength to do all the things I do;

• Ultimately as a last defining moment in my life, I would like to mention a setback that later turned out to be a great blessing. The moment I had to stop working at Homecare as the director, I had a small pension. The blessing was, that I started on my own as a consultant. I had never thought before of working on my own as an entrepreneur. But it was a blessing, because I knew for sure that my God would provide in all my needs. And it so happened.”

We have always experienced you as a very dynamic and opiniated person? You influence a lot of people, while you have worked in a variety of postions of responsibility. You have very good people’s skills. What are your other strengths?
“People say that the peace that shines from me, is what they admire the most I me. I am furthermore a very down to earth and simple person.”

What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be whom you are right now? Is it spiritual or something else?
“Yes, I love what I am doing after working for many years and I still believe I am not done yet and I am working consistently and diligently to accomplish my mission.”

Where do you want to be 5 to 10 years from now?
“My goals for the coming years are to see the transformation of nurses to be accepted as professionals in Healthcare and that is what I am striving now.”

What would you want your sons, your Loved Ones, family, friends and others to say about you let’s say 10 to 15 years from now?
“I hope, that they will look at me as their role model and most of all things, that my children and grandchildren to appreciate me as their mother

What makes you stay optimisitc about the future of Curaçao?
“I love my Island and I am still hoping to see a new Leader born, to lead us to a better future. That is my prayer.”

As the coregroup of Share2Uplift we love and deeply respect Shirley Treurniet-Martis deeply, because of whom she is, serving our community especially in the health care sector during her whole life basically and still relentessly working on her mission. We definitely consider her one of the 250 ethical leaders of our Island, that continuously works at connecting dots and creating value for the whole of the society.

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