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In the seat next to you: Jesús Medina Molina, Global Account Manager

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When he's not providing the best experience for our customer, Jesús organizes outdoor chess events to improve social cohesion in the Netherlands. Today, you'll uncover for what particular reason Jesús started playing chess.

How does someone with Spanish heritage end up in the Netherlands?

My parents come from Córdoba in Spain. In the early 1960s, they decided to leave and headed to the Netherlands in search for work and a better life.

Next year, we’ll celebrate an important milestone: 50 years of the Medina Family in the Netherlands

Why did you start at Amadeus?

Well, I worked for Iberia for almost 13 years. Then, one day, a head hunter approached me and offered me a job at Amadeus, right when I was looking for a new challenge.

Of course, I knew Amadeus as a reservation system. After I did some research myself, I was convinced that Amadeus was a good company… and that it is much more than just a reservation system (laughs).

How would you define a ‘good company’?

I took a few factors into consideration before deciding whether Amadeus was a good company or not. First of all, the turnover of its employees was rather low. I noticed that a lot of people worked for Amadeus for a long time. That said, the turnover is still low to this day.

Secondly, I knew that more and more clients were joining the Amadeus network. As customers became more accustomed to IT and technology. That number is still increasing, luckily.

On your LinkedIn-profile, one of your colleagues described you as “a glass half full”-person. What does that mean

Mmm (thinks for a while). Rather than pondering whether the glass is half full or half empty, I’d say I am more intrigued by the question: Where is the water tap? What’s the real issue?

Customers ask a wide variety of questions – while often remaining on the surface. It’s my task to uncover the underlying issues.

As a Global Account Manager, I assume you travel often?

One would think so. Especially since my largest client is active in more than 40 countries.  However, its headquarter is located right here, in Amsterdam. So traveling is rather rare.

Do you like to travel in your spare time?

I should make more time to travel, to be honest. My dream destination is Italy. Over the years I have visited its largest cities: Rome, Venice, Naples,… Italy feels like coming home. The open culture and the food,… I could get used to that.

At the top of my bucket list? Japan. You see, I used to practice Aikido, an ancient Japanese sport. Also, I have this fascination with learning languages. I started taking Japanese lessons recently to improve my grammar.

Our previous guest, Dina Salvador, told us you were a chess expert?

That started a few years ago. My oldest daughter had some trouble with her math exercises so I did some research and discovered that chess improves both your focus and spatial planning skills.

Now, she beats me fair and square (laughs). Later on, I thought: Perhaps chess tables in the public space could lead to more social cohesion?

I started an online petition to convince our municipality that I was not alone. Surprisingly, my petition went viral. Susan Polgar (Olympic Chess Champion), Hikaru Nakamura (4x American Chess Champion), and Jordan Van Foreest (Dutch grandmaster) all backed my petition.

Wow, that’s impressive!

Thank you. Today, my social initiative hosts chess tables in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Apeldoorn, Amersfoort, Doetinchem, Gorinchem and Schiermonnikoog.

Now, I want to design Urban Chess Courts in public areas. You see, often, children do not start playing chess naturally. Whenever they notice a chess table while walking through the city center, they might ask questions. That’s the first step in taking up the chess pieces and become interested.