Husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Interested in a well-steered and balanced society (in full respect for the natural environment), forest ecology, history and (photo)graphic design.
Following a Masters Degree at Wageningen University (cum laude) I am qualified as a Chartered Engineer in Forest Ecology as well as in Social Psychology. I held a number of project, city and chief executive management posts in the private and public sector. Former pianist (still a tiny part), decathlete (Daley Thompson fan), tennis player (Roger fan), forest steward (by heart) and chartered lifeguard (soul).
In 2021 awarded as Officer in the (Knights) Order of Orange Nassau for leading the professional network related to public (risk & resilience) governance and developing a highly usable portfolio, that connects different players involved in public governance in Europe and is focused on sharing knowledge.
He is convinced that with the ever-present segmentation and fragmentation of interests of people and organizations, connecting worlds and insights is a great thing. Connection is the word for the effective management of municipal society, the city and the management of public organisations, the municipality that serves this purpose. Looking beyond one’s own border or being able to see through the different layers is necessary. Organizing that various (scientific) insights can meet, is essential. He is committed to holistic understanding. Since his retirement – on September 1, 2020 – he has been working as a freelancer on various projects.
Jack has set up an online gallery with daughter Michelle. In May 2018 the idea arose to offer fine art prints. What started as a joint photo project after the death of father Ad Kruf (2009) led in 2010 to the exhibition ‘Handwriting of a Photographer’ – at the Heemkundekring Halchterth in Halsteren – with works by his father Ad Kruf. The opening of this exhibition was performed by the mayor of Bergen op Zoom, Han Polman.
The exhibition and the contacts with photographer friends grew into a further discovery of the power of images and led step by step to this initiative. The goal is actually simple: to take beautiful photos that express the essence of things, develop them as a quality product on fine art paper in particular and offer them as wall art or table art.
Jack Kruf is founder and Hon. founding President of PRIMO Europe (2005), a European non-profit organization concerned with good governance and risk management in the public domain. In 2006 he also founded PRIMO Netherlands in The Hague. PRIMO is active in various European countries.
Improve the world?
Jack Kruf completed his secondary education in Bergen op Zoom, at the high school Juvenaat H. Hart. A beta man: Mathematics I and II, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. But also a musician. He completed his 9-year classical piano training (cum laude) at the age of 17 and seemed to be on his way to the conservatory. But the report The Limits to Growth (1972) of the Club of Rome by a group of European scientists changed everything. The famous report advocated a new kind of leadership, an actual stewardship, over the earth. The first facts of large-scale looting and loss of valuable ecosystems were on the table and made a big impression.
Like his mother, he was (and still is) deeply committed to nature. At the end of his high school years, a new ambition was formed. Jack Kruf then decided to go to Wageningen University to also study the issues at hand. First as a student of environmental hygiene to switch to forest ecology in the third year of his studies . From organic and physical chemistry with a lot of laboratory work to living systems with real outdoor work. So ultimately no conservatory with Bach , Chopin and Shostakovich , but the university and vast forests of Europe. The visits to the Białowieża . primeval forest in Poland, the Black Forest , Sherwood Forest , the reforestation projects in North Africa (Tunisia/Sahara) made a big impression. The forest areas such as Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom were rediscovered through research and study.
Because the protection of forests is a social issue, he expanded his studies to include social psychology. The perspective – perception and appreciation of forests – from people, companies and society fascinated and proved necessary to be able to lay the first piece of the puzzle. Most people have no idea what nature actually is, how it ‘works’ and why it is so fragile. It is a broad container concept with many forms and interpretations of people. A very surprising discovery in his research.
He completed both studies in Wageningen cum laude. What is special is that he worked for a year as a forest worker in the vast forest areas of the Black Forest, Germany. He wanted this to get to know both the forest company and the forest itself in all its facets better. Not only the contact with forest and nature, but also the deeper understanding of it and the knowledge of the profession of stewardship were the driving shafts.
Jack Kruf graduated in 1982. He started with a job at Natuurmomenten and worked at Staatsbosbeheer and the Bosbureau Wageningen. Here he made many plans for forest and nature areas and estates. After four years of forest and nature, he became a project manager at Ingenieursbureau Oranjewoud BV where he led numerous policy projects for municipalities, recreation and water boards. Subsequently, Jack Kruf became a senior management consultant at CGI, an IT company. He helped develop the IT business for the company around the national Environmental Policy Plan. He was recruited from Oranjewoud for this.
In 1994 Jack Kruf made the switch to government. He joined the municipality of Breda as Head of Research/Deputy Concern Director for Policy. He subsequently led the entire facility organization of the municipality and subsequently became director of City Management/Outside Space. In 2000 he became municipal secretary and general director of the municipality of Roosendaal, a position he fulfilled with great pleasure and passion for twelve years. In 2012 he chose the path to re-enter the consultancy world and worked for almost 6 years at WagenaarHoes Organisatieadvies for numerous clients throughout the country.
Jack Kruf is currently President of the European organization PRIMO (Public Risk Management Organisation) Europe. As of March 1, 2018, he has formally become director of PRIMO in the Netherlands and is actively involved in the activities in Flanders. The PRIMO association provides its members (municipalities, water boards and provinces) with numerous services aimed at good management. Topics include leadership and governance related to water issues, privacy legislation, climate change, cyber security, energy transition, social domain and collaboration between organisations. He is no stranger to public entrepreneurship .
His focus is increasingly on photography – as a child of 8 years old, Jack Kruf was handed his first camera by his father. He was born in Halsteren, West Brabant, on the border of sand and clay, of high and low, of dry and wet, of Catholic and Protestant, of vast forests with soft-swishing maritime pines and the tranquil, wide polder landscapes of Flanders, Brabant and Zeeland, of the disaster area with 6 meters of seawater (1953) and the safe and high village on the Brabantse Wal.
His own sports were tennis, futsal and athletics (decathlon). Later, mountain bike and long track skates were added. And now beach walks are a favorite.
At the moment he lives on the outskirts of Breda with his partner. He has three daughters and three sons-in-law and two grandsons. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family. Jack Kruf also likes to spend his spare time graphic design, photography, reading – especially history, culture, philosophy and graphic design – and keeps a blog.