Blue Water's first trainee celebrates 50th anniversary
On July 1, Claus Bæk reaches a very special milestone: 50 years of employment at Blue Water
When Claus Bæk walked through the door at Blue Water as a teenager in the summer of 1973, he was the company's first trainee - and employee number four - at the small office at Esbjerg Airport. Claus Bæk certainly did not imagine that he would stick around for half a century, but that is how it turned out. One exciting job followed another. Tasks changed and responsibilities grew in an alternating environment of hard work and fun experiences.
"It has been very exciting. I have had the opportunity to try my hand at many different tasks, so I have enjoyed being at Blue Water all these years. We have definitely worked hard, but there have also been many good and fun experiences with colleagues and customers. I have always felt comfortable with the job and colleagues, and throughout the years we have had a very special culture and community in Blue Water, so I have never been tempted to look for a job elsewhere", says Claus Bæk.
During his education, he worked with transportation primarily to and from England from the office in Esbjerg, and as a graduate in 1975, he travelled to Manchester for a year to help start up Blue Water activities. In 1981, he returned to Manchester and became General Manager. After nine years, he travelled back to Esbjerg and became a salesman. In 2000, he became Head of the Exhibition department. He has held on to this responsibility and has also been Key Account Manager and Head of the Solutions department.
Always appreciated the collaboration
It was Blue Water's founder, Kurt Skov, who hired Claus Bæk back in 1973, and he has been very satisfied since.
"I am happy and proud that I hired Claus, who has always been a skilled, well-liked and hard-working colleague. We have experienced many good and fun things together over the years, and I would like to thank him for choosing to spend his entire working life at Blue Water," says Kurt Skov.
Claus Bæk himself is certain of the most decisive factors to why he has stayed with the same company for 50 years:
"If it was not for Kurt Skov, I would not have stayed so long. He has been - and continues to be - a great inspiration to me and many others at Blue Water. He has created a company with a unique culture, and I have always appreciated our close collaboration," says Claus Bæk.
He explains that Blue Water has of course changed a lot from the four people in that small office: today, there are over 2000 colleagues in more than 70 offices around the world. But they have managed to maintain and strengthen a culture where people take responsibility for each other. Where people work dedicatedly together to solve tasks. Where you respect differences, care about each other and laugh together.
"I feel good when I walk into the office. There is a positive atmosphere. I think everyone makes an effort to ensure that we have a good workplace where we take pride in giving customers the best service - even when it requires extra effort," says Claus Bæk.
Commitment and passion
Blue Water's CEO, Søren N. Thomsen, is excited about the anniversary, even though it is so special that the celebration is not described in the employee handbook. However, the celebration, which includes a reception to be held in August, is well underway.
"It is a pleasure to work with Claus, who always shows tremendous energy, commitment and passion for what he does. The fact that we are now celebrating his 50th anniversary is quite unique and congratulations to Claus. But also congratulations to the three other colleagues who can celebrate their anniversary on July 1st," says CEO Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.
The date also marks the 40th anniversary of Thomas Jensen, Blue Water Esbjerg, the 25th anniversary of Shahin Ismaylov, Blue Water Baku, and the 10th anniversary of Tarje Højgård Tilseth, Blue Water Bergen.
"Blue Water wants to be an attractive workplace where employees thrive and have the opportunity to develop throughout their careers. Therefore, I am pleased every time we celebrate a colleague's anniversary, as it is both a recognition of the employee and of us as a workplace," says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.
Claus is married to Rie, and together they have two children: Karen and Peter and two grandchildren Nicolaj and Mikkel. Claus Bæk, who was himself a very skilled handball player, can often be found at Team Esbjerg and EfB's home matches. Otherwise, he spends his free time with family, friends, summer cottage and golf.
Claus Bæk’s 50 years in Blue Water:
1973-1975: Freight forwarding trainee, Esbjerg
1975-1976. Freight forwarder, Manchester
1976-1981: Freight forwarder in the UK traffic, Esbjerg
1981-1990: General Manager for Blue Water Manchester
1990-2000: Key Account Manager, Esbjerg
2000: 2023: Head of Exhibitions, Solutions as well as Key Account Manager, Esbjerg