Jan Jaap van Weering has been interested in etiquette, style and good manners for a long time. He owes his knowledge of etiquette and sense of decorum largely to his upbringing and to the fact that he has served on the boards of various organisations with a strong representative character.
Jan Jaap was born in Hilversum, The Netherlands, in 1958. He grew up in Oegstgeest (near the town of Leiden) and in Indonesia. He completed his education at the IVA Business School (College for Automotive and Commercial Engineers) in Driebergen. Subsequently, he performed his military service with the Marine Corps. After his conscription, he joined the Marketing Retail organisation of Royal Dutch Shell plc, in The Netherlands, where he worked for over 28 years, always in commercial and communications positions. He coached trainees and colleagues in customer and client courtesy. His last position was that of Manager of House Style with Shell Sales Company. He left Shell in 2008.
Both in his personal life and in professional situations, Jan Jaap noticed that many people feel insecure about how to behave on formal occasions. This triggered him to explore the origins of etiquette and good manners. During the nineties, he started to give advice about these matters to friends and acquaintances. Gradually he developed the idea to do this on a professional basis. With this in mind, he established his company Distinguished in 2008.
In addition to conducting workshops on etiquette, Jan Jaap works as lecturer with Protocolbureau and as a guest lecturer with the IVA Business School, the Netherlands Defence Academy and at Stenden Hogeschool. Jan Jaap receives regular invitations from the Dutch broadcasting organisations AVRO, NOS, BNR, BNN, RTL and also the British BBC to contribute to their radio and television programmes. Jan Jaap has also contributed as a guest editor to the Dutch Financial Times and he is the author of the book ‘Distinguished’ about international business etiquette and manners.