The Holland on the Hill Heineken Award honors an entrepreneur who has made a substantial and positive contribution to the US-Dutch economic relationship, exemplifying the best of both worlds. Chosen by an awards committee, the recipient is an innovative industry leader who combines entrepreneurial drive with a transatlantic focus.
The award embodies the spirit of Freddy Heineken, whose grandfather founded in 1864 the brewery that bears the family name. Freddy Heineken began working at the brewery in 1942, when he was just 18 years old, but failed to prove himself to management during his early years on the job. Uncertain what to do with the young man, management sent Freddy Heineken to the United States as the sales manager. The new job was perceived as a dead-end career move because the company had sold little beer in America and had few plans for expansion.
But Freddy Heineken proved them wrong, increasing US sales 260 percent in his first year abroad. He continued using innovative marketing skills he learned in America, and transformed the Dutch company into one of the world’s most recognized brands today.
The Holland on the Hill Heineken Award is part of a new effort to celebrate the values that the Netherlands and the United States have shared for more than 400 years, including freedom, justice, and entrepreneurship. Holland on the Hill is a joint project of the Netherlands Embassy, the Dutch Caucus, the Netherlands business community and the Netherland America Foundation to strengthen the ties surrounding these values on an economic, political, and cultural level.