Rolf van Rijn

Rolf van Rijn

SVP of IT

Senior Vice President of IT at Red Diamond Coffee & Tea, Rolf van Rijn, spoke to Technology Magazine about his career digital transformation

Rolf van Rijn is the SVP of Information Technology at Red Diamond Incorporated. A major player in the American coffee and tea market, Van Rijn manages the IT department at Red Diamond, including all the infrastructure and the software development.

A tall order that may be for some, but not so much for Van Rijn considering his lofty origins. He realised his gift for basketball in his teens, aided by the fact that he is 7ft 2. “Prior to Red Diamond, I actually played professional basketball in Europe for a couple of years,” he added.

Managing to even represent his country of the Netherlands internationally, he was recruited to play for the US College, Butler University,  based in Indiana. But Van Rijn was always keeping an eye on another pursuit: coding. He was introduced to technology as a child since his dad worked for Phillips; this influence got him into programming.

“I started coding when I was 12 years old. I did a couple of commercial programs in my teens. After that I got into basketball because of my height and coding took a backseat for a while, so ended up playing in college and playing for the Dutch national team. After a few seasons, I noticed a trend, with some of the older players going into coaching and I wasn't keen on coaching teams, so I went back to what I enjoyed doing, and that was coding.”

Retirement from sport would eventually come, but equipped with a Computer Science degree, Knauf Insulation would offer him an opportunity as a Programmer. He would go from Developer to Architect in ten years.

“The environment was very challenging and I had projects that required multiple strategies to get working solutions within different areas of the company,” he explained.

“One of the major projects that I worked on was a carrier routing system that allowed the shipping department to ship products out using multiple carriers. It was a fairly hefty project and a big challenge for the whole team because of a major deadline, but I really enjoyed that.”

But it is at Red Diamond that Van Rijn has really flourished, working his way up from a Developer/Analyst all the way to the top of the IT tree as Senior Vice President of Information Technology.

His many successes include the migration from manual reporting to automation using the company’s ERP system, the integration of a custom state-of-the-art Scolari coffee roasting and blending system, and even a custom computing interface between the warehouse robots that stack the shelves.

Van Rijn was also recently nominated as a 2021 Finalist for the Alabama CIO of the Year® ORBIE® Awards, the premier technology executive recognition program in Alabama.

 

Read the full story HERE.

Share

Featured Interviews

Featured

Jeff Uphues

CEO at DC BLOX

DC BLOX is the data centre provider with a difference. By connecting communities in the Southeast to the world, they are enabling massive economic growth

Read More

Ifan Evans

Executive Director of Strategy at Digital Health Care Wales

Ifan Evans, Executive Director for Strategy at Digital Health and Care Wales, on digital transformation and digital transformation across the NHS in Wales

Read More
“Our strategic approach was reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic response - there was stronger national direction, digital and data were the main enablers, and all the emphasis was on prevention and on delivering services outside hospital, into communities and homes.”
Ifan Evans
Executive Director of Strategy at Digital Health Care Wales

Andres Andreu

Chief Information Security Officer at 2U

Andres Andreu, Chief Information Security Officer at 2U, a leading EdTech player, explains why security is critical to the present & future of education

Read More

Martin Baschnagel

CTO and Group Chief Enterprise Architect at Migros Group

Martin Baschnagel, CTO & Group Chief Enterprise Architect, Migros Group, reflects on his career, proudest achievements & future trends in the tech industry

Read More

Jonathan Eaves

CEO at Edge Centres

Jonathan Eaves, CEO of Australian data centre firm Edge Centres, discusses his background, experience, and even learning to fly to build his business

Read More

Jeff Uphues

CEO at DC BLOX

DC BLOX is the data centre provider with a difference. By connecting communities in the Southeast to the world, they are enabling massive economic growth

Read More