On Thursday 26 April, Jos van der Vegt received a royal honour from Mayor Aboutaleb. The former director and President–Commissioner of Rotterdam Ahoy was named an Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau in City Hall’s Citizen’s Hall.
Van der Vegt received the distinction because of his merits on many fronts. Among other things, Mayor Aboutaleb referred to the renovation of Stadium De Kuip, his being the chairman of the Rotterdam Marathon, his many successes for Ahoy, his many ancillary positions and his voluntary efforts for society and for the Rotterdam business community. “As a ‘boy from South Rotterdam’, Van der Vegt was inspired at an early age. He has a talent for bringing people together and inspiring them”, according to the Rotterdam mayor.
Van der Vegt responded with delight: “I’m mainly very surprised. I am rather down-to-earth, but the realisation that so many people are involved with this and have gone to such effort is really special; this touches me.”
From 1996 to 2011, Van der Vegt was the General Manager of Rotterdam Ahoy. During this period, he was responsible for the new construction and renovation of Ahoy 2000, having Ahoy become independent in 2006, the renovation and expansion of the Ahoy Arena and the start of the development of the area around Ahoy and Zuidplein. He has delivered remarkable achievements and shown merit during his career – things that go beyond what can/may normally be expected from a person. Since passing the gavel to the current directors Jolanda Jansen and Peter van der Veer in 2011, Jos van der Vegt has always remained closely involved with the Rotterdam event location.