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- 21 April 2020

Sad passing of an extraordinary figure and a wonderful BIG ambassador

Evelyn Gessler passed away on Easter Sunday having fought a brave and determined battle against metastatic breast cancer.

A Brussels native and key figure in Belgium’s social and cultural life, she founded the company Decitime (now Decider's) in 1982.

A lobbyist, corporate communications specialist and event organiser, Evelyn Gessler advised countless figures from the world of politics and finance, acquiring an impressive little black book over the years.

In addition to the various administrative positions she held, she also served as president of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in France as well as director of the French Chamber of Commerce in Belgium.

Her active work between the two countries earned her the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Légion d'honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour).

In 1985, Evelyn Gessler founded Club L Benelux, Belgium's first network of female business leaders.

Beyond her impressive career, she was a remarkable figure, a refreshingly candid creative thinker who was as likeable as she was capable. Good natured and generous, she was always happy to lend a helping hand to anyone who asked.

An eminent philanthropist and patron of Belgium’s federal opera house La Monnaie, Evelyn Gessler’s role as director of Brussels’s Quartier des Arts provided her with an opportunity to defend and promote the city. Working tirelessly for many associations behind the scenes, she was the patron of an orphanage in Senegal where she was inspired by the optimism of the local people. Her love of animals led her to support Pairi Daiza wildlife park in Belgium.

Three years ago, she joined BIG’s committee of Ambassadors, helping us immeasurably and opening so many doors in a relatively short space of time. BIG has lost an incredible ambassador.

Written by Nathalie de Merode, President of the Committee of Ambassadors