Michel Paul De Vriendt
The dedication to the Service Projects he is involved is legendary and the energy and love he puts in them makes a huge difference: Michel Paul De Vriendt. Not only that he invites guests to Rotary Meetings, he also sponsors many new members. Michel holds the chair of Rotary Foundation at Rotary Club of Shanghai. Pagoda portraits the person behind the office.
When did you join RCS and who was your sponsor?
I joined in 2005. My sponsor was Hendrick Homan, a Dutchman who later helped to set up the Rotary Club of Chengdu. Our weekly meetings where at the Regal Asia Hotel on Hengshan Road at the time. I attended Rotary International Conventions in Bangkok, Seoul and Toronto and was recognized with a Meritorious Service Award by the Rotary Foundation in 2018.
Where are you hailing from?
I was born 1962 in the 13th Century Classic Flemish City of Gent in Belgium but lived more than half of my life in Asia Pacific, between Jakarta, Sydney and currently Shanghai.
What are you doing professionally?
I moved to Shanghai in 2005 as a senior partner providing bespoke financial advice to mainly expatriates. These days I run my own Premium Finance Group, specialized in advice for venture capital property development projects in Berlin and that deliver social impact in Asia.
What would you like to share with our readers about your family?
My wife Emiko who is originally from Tokyo and I have been married for 29 years and we have 2 children. Our daughter Julie is 28 years has a Degree in Environmental Toxicology and works in the Netherlands. Our Son Kevin is 27 and preparing his Phd. in Hydrogeology at IDEA Spanish research council in Barcelona. I have 5 brothers who are all entrepreneurs and we have a Min UN family with nearly every continent represented. My father, grandfather and great grandfather have been involved in social charity in Belgium going back to 1920.
What are your hobbies, apart from RCS?
Yoga, Sand Up Paddling, Mountain Bike, travel and long distance nature walking.
How do you recharge your battery?
by practicing Yoga and regular visits to nature in remote Japan and also by spending time with our family around the world.
Best/Last book you read and why
FactFullness by Hans Rosling, professor of International health and Global Ted phenomenon. Hans tells the story of the secret miracle of Human progress as only he can. Ten reasons we are wrong about the world and why things are much better than we think.
What is your favorite place in Shanghai?
Ginger restaurant where east meet West located at 91 Xingguo Road.
What is your advice to any new member of RCS?