It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our beloved colleague, Rima Deeb Granado, passed away on December 9th at the age of 59.
Rima graduated with a bachelor's degree in public administration from the American University in Beirut, in her homeland of Lebanon. Rima has been with our company from the beginning, starting on May 1st, 1995. Her training days with the company were very special, starting on our sailing vessel Rembrandt van Rijn, on which she took an oceanic repositioning voyage from Bermuda to the Netherlands. Surely the trip of a lifetime.
Rima was our director of sales in Houston, Texas, developing the US and Canadian market for Oceanwide Expeditions. In the beginning, our main focus was Belize, where we offered our first travel products in the form of diving and nature cruises. In 1996 we gradually shifted to our current activities in the polar regions, at which point Rima and her husband Andrew embarked on the Russian vessel Professor Molchanov for one of Oceanwide’s first voyages in Spitsbergen.
Rima and her team developed the marketing and sales in North America. For our agents and partners in the industry, she was the “face” of Oceanwide at travel fairs. Rima was a dedicated colleague who loved her work and defended the interests of Oceanwide, but she also listened carefully to the wishes of our agents and customers. She was a professional with great management skills, and she was also our sweet friend.
Rima suffered from cancer, and she had to fight it very hard. Throughout the years, she nonetheless found the spirit to recover and enjoy life. To deal with her medical difficulties and live with their uncertainties was extremely hard for her, but the love for her family and her faith in God kept her strong. Despite exhausting medical treatment, Rima kept positive and happy with her work, carrying on without a single complaint. I have never seen such a brave and amazing person.
Rima, I truly admire you. We will miss you so much. You will always be remembered. You will shine forever and remain in the heart of our company and our future activities. My thoughts are with her husband Andrew and her son Nicholas. We will be there to comfort you.
On behalf of all her colleagues,
Michel van Gessel