The Key People
The Better Globe Group of companies is like any other successful business run by people who want to achieve a lot, have visions, and are prepared to do the job.
We are proud to say that everyone involved in our social enterprise is essential to our success. In the different companies of the Better Globe Group, we find people of integrity who are highly driven within their area of expertise. However, a few personalities clearly position themselves as the key people for our shared goal of creating social change in East Africa.
Camilla Solberg Eikeland
Camilla is educated as a Market Economist and as an assistant nurse. She worked for 13 years with the elderly and the mentally disabled. Camilla also worked for seven years in school administration in Rygge Municipality before taking over the position as Managing Director in Better Globe AS in 2017. Camilla lives in Norway, is married, and has two children.
Rino Solberg is Chairman of the Board of the Better Globe Group and the founder and principal owner of Better Globe AS and Better Globe Forestry Ltd (BGF).
Rino is from Norway and has worked within a wide range of areas as a serial entrepreneur for more than 50 years. It was in 1991 that Rino, together with his Ugandan born wife, Julie Solberg, began to create what would, among other things, lead to the Better Globe Group of companies.
Rino founded the “Solberg Children’s Help Organization” together with his wife in 1991. This organization later became Child Africa International, which is a prominent non-profit organization in Uganda. As Rino and Julie were increasingly in contact with the problems of poverty, corruption, and crime, they got an idea of how to counteract these challenges effectively.
In 2004, this insight led us to see BGF planting their first trees in Kenya’s semi-desert areas, where no other major forestry contractor so far had chosen to establish themselves. Rino was and still is determined that this type of social entrepreneurship is an effective way to combat poverty and fight corruption and crime in East Africa. And by now, it is evident to any observer that he was right in his conviction.
Jean-Paul Deprins was born in Belgium but has lived in Kenya for most of his adult life. He has been with BGF since the company was incorporated in Kenya in 2004. Jean-Paul was previously working as the Managing Director of Total Quality Management Leadership Ltd. in Nairobi, Kenya. Given his long experience with quality development and quality control within the Kenyan industry, he is very familiar with all levels within the Kenyan society. It has always been important for BGF to counteract corruption, and Jean-Paul’s experience and skills are necessary to meet this objective.
Jean-Paul is a patient, empathetic, and a very experienced business leader in social relations. His experience is needed to do business in a country like Kenya, where social skills, integrity, and determination are vital attributes. Without these principles and qualities, it is easy to fall for the temptations of bribes. For BGF, it is a matter of policy to never take or participate in bribes. Jean-Paul is the man who can safely manage a business world where bribery is an ongoing challenge.
Jan Vandenabeele was also born in Belgium, but he is a Kenyan citizen nowadays. Jan is a forest keeper and an agronomist by profession. He has more than 30 years of experience managing large projects in Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia, related to different areas of agriculture and forestry. He has worked on projects nationally or internationally funded to assist people and the environment in different ways. Jan has played a prominent role in these large projects, in a managerial capacity and regarding the implementation from a technical perspective.
Jan Vandenabeele has been Executive Director Forestry since BGF was founded in 2004, and was promoted to Senior Director Forestry in 2021. He is responsible for the technical implementation of the tree plantations, their operation, and everything else related to irrigation, ecosystems, and sustainability.
Jan chose to leave his assignments in the aid industry to work with BGF instead. One of the reasons for that is that Jan values sustainability. He wants to see the results of his and others’ efforts survive even after a project’s funding ends. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case during his past 30 years of work in the aid sector. BGF’s business model, on the other hand, ensures sustainability and value to all involved over a long time, and that is of great importance to Jan.
Jan-Tore is one of the co-founders of Better Globe AS. He was born and raised in Norway but is now living in the US with his family. Jan-Tore is responsible for many of the technical systems that Better Globe and the Better Globe Group uses to run its operation and business development efficiently.
Jan-Tore has a degree from the Norwegian Business School in Oslo. Since 1993, he’s been working with technical development as a consultant and in-house technician for big Norwegian clients, such as DNB, Posten, Denofa, Borregaard, and others. However, he desired to make a difference and help make the world a better place. It was this drive for change that got him, as early as 2004, to devote himself to BGF’s operation. Jan-Tore has thereby become one of the key figures. He brings invaluable technical experience to the development of the Better Globe Groups’ proprietary data systems.
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