Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 06:16
Written by

My name is Erik Hommel, 51 years old. I live in the Netherlands in a small village called Brummen(between Apeldoorn and Arnhem) with my wife Floor, our 2 youngest children and four Siamese cats. Our 2 oldest kids have either left home or are in the process of doing so. My working career in ICT started in 1988 as an RPG programmer on the IBM S/38. Having moved past positions as technical consultant, project manager, IT manager and ERP consultant I call myself a CiviCRM project manager/consultant/developer and love it!

CiviCRM has been part of my life since 2010 I think. The first official date I can find is a certficate from a CiviCRM Developer Training in Brussels in February 2010. At the time I was working together with Erik Brouwer as EE-atWork and we were mainly working with Dutch housing corporations as software implementors and consultants. In 2009 we bumped into Drupal when we were developing our own website, and as we focused on CRM within housing corporations we obviously looked for a nice customer relationship module that would fit nicely with the non-profit character of Dutch housing corporations.

In 2010 we started our first big CiviCRM implementation at De Goede Woning, and from that point onwards we have been active members of the CiviCRM community. We attended CiviCon and sprints, organised CiviMeetups and sprints in The Netherlands, assiststed with the documentation, fixed a couple of bugs, took part in the API team etc. Up to 2012, CiviCRM was about 50% of our work. The rest of our time continued to be devoted to (interim) management and consulting.

During 2012 we noticed an increased interest in CiviCRM, and had conversations with Xavier Dutoit on getting some kind of co-operation. The idea was that we needed to work together to be able to support bigger projects and do maintenance and helpdesk too. This eventually led to the formation of CiviCooP, EE-atWork taking part in CiviCooP and me taking on the role of chairperson. In the CiviCooP coöperative framework we provide all CiviCRM services to customers. CiviCooP itself does not employ people nor is a profit oriented organisation. It is meant as a single point of contact for our customers, but we all continue to work as 1 or 2 man bands.

We set aside a small amount per hour to pay for admin, marketig, CiviCRM partnership fee and sponsoring CiviCon. If any money is left at the end of the year we donate that to the CiviCRM community. We have just donated our 2013 leftovers to the CiviCRM Continuous Testing project.

Since the inception of CiviCooP we have done implementation and support projects with larger and smaller organizations like De Goede Woning, MAF Norway, PUM, EPSU, VKW, Amnesty International Flanders and Wikimedia Netherlands. Some of these organisations take an active role in the community and have shared/will share their stories at CiviCon. We hope to do continue to be able to help NGO's to reach their goals and do our bit in making the world a better place (and earn our daily bread doing so). For me the continuing attraction of the CiviCRM community is to be able to support social enterprises and to do so with new kinds of organizations and networks.

For me the combination of earning a living and having some impact on society too is what keeps me going. It is the social good that really drives us all in the community!