Benelux H.O.G. ® Customer Experience Lead Anna Marie Deary explains why working for Harley-Davidson is so much more than just a job.
In 2008, having recently graduated at the age of 25, I joined Harley-Davidson Benelux. I remember seeing the vacancy for a marketing assistant and immediately thinking 'wow,
that's cool!' but at the same time 'I'll never get it'. Fortunately, I turned out to be wrong- having lived in France for a number of years I could speak French well, and with two marketing diplomas I had the skills for the job.
At that time I had no experience with motorcycles, but when I was young I used to ride mopeds (I had a Puch that I particularly loved), so I immediately went for my motorcycle licence. Not long after, I bought my Iron 883TM, which I still ride today. I won't be getting rid of my Black Beauty any time soon!
The first thing that struck me from the earliest days working at Harley was the great enthusiasm that everyone has for the brand. I was able to attend the Benelux H.O.G.® Rally soon after joining H-D, and that event really opened my eyes: the love of those people for their brand and their bikes, it was so sincere and overwhelming! It was one big party and it made a lasting impression on me. When I see a group of Harley® riders and enthusiasts together, at a rally or a ride-out, I always remember that no other brand can bring people together like Harley-Davidson. It feels like one big family in which you, as a new rider, are immediately included. The brand really connects people, and you won't find that anywhere else.
In 2014, I became Marketing Manager for H-D Benelux. I worked for the Benelux organisation for a total of nine years, until I started to get an itch to go and see more of the world. After a sabbatical year, I got the great opportunity to work for Harley- Davidson International in Oxford for a year. Then I said goodbye again, this time to become a mother. I had mixed feelings, because I didn't really want to bid farewell to the Motor Company, but happily I was able to come back to H-D Benelux last year, in 2019. It felt like coming home, back to my former colleagues and the dealer network I had worked with for years.
In my current position as Customer Experience Lead, I am responsible for the Harley Owners Group® and for organising all kinds of events and experiences for customers in the Benelux region. My love for the H-D brand is strong. Many of my most treasured memories are linked to motorbike journeys, such as the fantastic press trip I took to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Closer to home, a road trip to Wheels & Waves in Biarritz in 2015 and the trip I took to the 115th Anniversary celebrations in Prague with a Dutch H.O.G. chapter also stick in the mind.
I feel very lucky that I have been working for a wonderful company like Harley-Davidson for 13 years now. I am very curious to see how the company will develop in the coming years, and I'm excited to be a part of that.
In the meantime, I hope to be able to ride many more miles on my Harley, and I hope to meet many of you on the road!