Our team has grown strongly over the past year! Two new colleagues joined the team last month and we would like to introduce them to you! Meet Bahar Gök and Martin Loyen. Bahar will work as a project manager in our events department and Martin will strengthen the meetings project management team.


Bahar and Martin, tell us a bit more about yourself.

Bahar: I recently moved to the Netherlands from Ankara, Turkey. I am married, and the human mother of three cats. I earned my bachelor's degree in communication and design in Turkey and my master's degree in sound design from the University of Edinburgh. Throughout my career, I've primarily worked in the area of communication, and coordinated a wide range of events. When confronted with a problem, I try to think outside the box and come up with a novel solution. I enjoy looking around me and picking out little tidbits of information about the people and places I'm in. The more people I get to know and learn from, the better I am able to reflect on my experiences and comprehend the needs of others. To empty my mind, my hobby is rowing on a calm body of water, such as a lake or river, so  I am currently searching for a rowing club in Maastricht.

Martin: My name is Martin Loyen and I’m 27. I now live in Habay-la-Neuve after living in Brussels for 9 years. I studied Interpretation atISTI, and after graduating, I taught English for 3 years in Brussels. I wanted to go back to ‘la Gaume’, the place where I grew up,  to find a new professional adventure closer to what I studied, so I applied to Presence as a multilingual events PM because it seemed to tick all the boxes! 

During my free time, I like doing both individual and team sports, I also enjoy spending time with my friends and family, and I really like to learn new things!


What distinguishes you from the rest? What is “typically you”?

Bahar: My beliefs are founded on my experience in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. I to be critical of myself in the interest of promoting the health of my mind. I am giving importance to the way in which I act toward other people, and I am trying to appreciate the things that other people share with me as much as I possibly can. Because I firmly believe that each one of us is genuine and unique in our own right. In addition to this, I make an effort to spend time alone and get in tune with my own thoughts and feelings before reflecting on how I react to other people. And in addition to these, I just can't refuse a sweet treat when it's offered to me! As a result, I make it a habit to carry a bag of candy with me wherever I go.

Martin: I like to be in front of challenges and try to find the best solution to overcome them. I always stay level-headed, even if I’m in a stressful situation. I also try to always see the fun side of things! 


What do you hope to accomplish after 3 years at Presence?

Bahar: It is my dream to organise international events centred on the topic of climate change for corporations and other types of organisations. We need more events that bring together different kinds of institutions and give them the opportunity to discuss how to address the challenges posed by climate change. I believe that intersectionality is essential to finding a solution to the current global crisis, and I would very much like to organise activities that bring together a variety of people.

Martin: I hope to be well settled in, and to be able to be in charge of meetings, as well as to be able to help my colleagues if they need it. I would also love to interpret in some meetings organised by Presence, and help Presence grow even further! 


What is your favourite charity and why? 

Bahar: My go-to charitable organisation is called "Young Peacebuilders," and their mission is truly inspiring. Finding a voice for peace and becoming leaders who can unite the world is an extremely important goal for young people to work toward. In addition to this, I really admire their organisation's profile and the way in which they are supportive of helping young people improve their inner peace and spread that to other people. If we want to make a difference in the world, cooperation, not conflict, is what we need. 

Martin: I would say ‘le Patro’. It’s not really a charity, but rather a youth movement, in which you learn to live with other people and to respect them and the nature surrounding you. I was in this movement for over 10 years.


What is your favourite motivational quote and why? 

Bahar: “There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can't know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you've reached it. I believe this.” ― Alice Munro 

This is always the quote that comes to mind whenever I have the urge to affirm that “this is it”, because it reminds me that I need to find my own inner peace. In order to be more productive and to have the awareness that we are vulnerable, we need to learn to say "stop" when we are in pain and begin taking care of ourselves. 

Martin: “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” It’s a quote from Dumbledore from the first Harry Potter book and I can’t agree more with it. Indeed, I tend to plan way too much ahead, and sometimes I don’t enjoy what is happening right now because of it, and I need to work on that. :D


Thank you so much for your time! Looking forward to working closely with you both!

Want to meet the rest of our team?