Nathalie Arteel

Per aspera ad astra - through hardships to the stars
You increase what you praise

Nathalie Arteel (1967) is a passionate entrepreneur, who is convinced that the future belongs to those organisations who manage to successfully focus on building a positive company culture. She advocates the importance of ‘connection’ on the work floor and strongly believes that a happy family, good health and a successful career are perfectly combinable.

Nathalie is convinced that leading a successful life has little to do with luck or the home you grew up in, and her own life story is tale-telling: in spite of her challenging childhood, marked by many hardships, she nevertheless reached the stars - perfectly in line with her life motto! Nathalie managed to lift herself out of those childhood hardships and grow into the top manager she is today - a strong woman, who next to her company equally runs her family and an average of 50km per week, daily ventures out into nature with her beloved dog and makes a point of being socially engaged.

Inspired to grow

If anyone would have told the young Nathalie that her resume today, at the age of 50, would look the way it does, she would have considered that person completely crazy! As a child, Nathalie used to look up to people, without ever having the slightest glimmer of hope that she too had the potential to grow into an inspiring female role model. Nathalie grew up in a poor and broken family. Her mother was hardworking but had to face life on her own, while Nathalie seriously struggled with her health and had a hard time at school. Nathalie: “It is thanks to the special people that crossed my path that I managed to turn my life around and grow into the happy, healthy and successful woman I am today. That is why I made it my mission to help other people bring out the best in themselves too.”


At the age of 19, Nathalie decided to quit her studies so she could help her ill mother-in -law run the family shop. A few years later, at the age of 22, she and her husband Yves Arteel took over from Yves’ parents. In the years that followed, Nathalie and Yves managed to transform the original small downtown gift shop into a solid and successful company that these days exports to no less than 39 countries! Apart from the production and sales of traditional gift concepts, they specialised in helping other companies motivate and appreciate their employees through online and offline tools.

It was a long and rocky road for the young and insecure Nathalie, one marked by many ups and downs - both on a personal and on a professional level. But, now, Nathalie couldn’t be happier or more grateful for the fact that she persevered and never stopped fighting for her ideals.

European Ambassador

Nathalie’s perseverance didn’t go unnoticed.

In 2010 and 2012, she was nominated for the Belgian Women Awards. In 2011, the European Commission selected her to become one of the 10 ambassadors to promote female entrepreneurship. In 2013, she was the only Belgian lady shortlisted for the Woman in Sales Award in London. And in 2016, Nathalie published her very own book “Dare live life.”

Over the years, Nathalie’s company “Arteel Recognition Solutions” has managed to establish itself as the European market leader in recognition solutions. In 2012, Arteel was awarded the SME Laureate Award Vlaams Brabant for its innovative technological developments and dynamic approach to entrepreneurship. And in 2017 alone, the company reached no less than 150.000 people with its programs!

Nathalie is very grateful that she and her husband managed to create a fantastic company culture within their very own organisation, and that 82% of the best Belgian employers choses to work together with them.

And there is even more to it than all that: Arteel is also active beyond Belgian borders through the partnership it closed with Rideau Recognition Solutions - without a shadow of a doubt THE Canadian and American reference when it comes to recognition solutions.

Personal happiness

Nathalie is very happy that, next to her challenging professional track record, she also built a loving family. “As a young woman, judging from her own childhood experiences, I swore to never marry, let alone have any children! But life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans: in the meantime, I’ve been happily married to Yves since 1987 and has become the mother of two fantastic children, Michaëla (1996) and Tim (2007). On top of that, I am the happy owner of a German Shepherd, Onyxx, who challenges me - day after day - to step out of my comfort zone. “

In 2012, Nathalie was the only woman to be selected from a group of approximately 500 entrepreneurs to go undercover and participate in the TV show “Stille Weldoeners” (“Silent Benefactors”), where she committed herself to help support less fortunate people in our society. Nathalie is extremely grateful that, in spite of her poor health as a child, she has nevertheless managed to grow into a strong and healthy woman with high energy levels: “As a young girl, I was always the last one of my class to cross the finish line. Nowadays, I come in anything but last! In 2017, I got 9th place in the women’s ranking of the Ardennes Trial Run, a course with an 800 meter height difference.”

Other than that, Nathalie is and remains your eternal student. Whenever she is not at work, with her family or playing sports, Nathalie spends her time investing in her own growth and self-development. That is why, for the last 5 years, for example, she has been participating in mastermind training courses by absolute top coaches in the United States - something which she finds fascinating and at the same time an eye-opener of how much more potential for growth there is!

What she believes…

Nathalie is convinced that every person is born with an elaborate set of talents and potential, most of which most people are not even aware of!

“Companies can play an important role in bringing out this undetected potential. First and foremost by focusing on building a strong and positive culture, in which their employees feel supported and appreciated. A company culture in which people are given the trust and confidence to work autonomously and creatively, so they can grow and develop within a set framework. Connection is a very important aspect here: the stronger people feel connected to the organisation and its mission, values and leaders, the more motivated they are to give it their all. And the happier they feel! And that in itself has an extremely positive impact on both their physical and mental health.”

“I strongly believe every person has to keep on investing in him- or herself, on both a physical and a mental level, regardless of age. I myself am your prime example! Even after a 30-year long, intense career, I have never been healthier or felt more energetic. Because a healthy state of being is so crucial in my own life, all employees at Arteel get to practice sports without limit during office hours - that is our policy!”

How do you grow and evolve into a healthy, happy and successful person?

Entrepreneurs, HR, Corporate Culture, Creativity, Innovation, Leadership, Strategy, Motivation, Socially responsible Entrepreneurship, Work Life Balance, Personal development, Healthy Life, Inspiring

As a young woman, Nathalie Arteel used to be convinced that leading a life of good health, happiness and success was strictly reserved for the happy few - that it was a matter of sheer luck. Life has taught her, however, that nothing is less true: “We are far more in control of our lives than we often think we are. It all comes down to applying the right method to create the right habits. Just ‘working hard’ simply won’t do the trick if you want to lift your life to the next level.”

In this keynote speech, Nathalie relies on her own life story as a guideline to share her 3 most important personal insights into what you yourself can do improve your quality of life - both on a professional and on a personal level. She tells you how to successfully realise the ambitions you foster and how you can make sure that, in the long term, you can cultivate higher energy levels than your average person. How you can become more productive and how you can learn to positively influence people that cross your path so you can build strong and sustainable relationships on every level. “Our society is in dire need of more role models: ambitious people who walk their talk by showing others that a successful career doesn’t have to go to the expense of your health, and that both of these - on top of that! - are perfectly combinable with a warm and happy family life.”

How do you get your people to feel truly connected to your organisation so they can give the very best of themselves - day in, day out?

Business & Management, Entrepreneurs, HR, Corporate Culture, Leadership, Strategy, Management, Motivation, Topmanagers, Socially responsible Entrepreneurship, Work Life Balance, Personal development, Healthy Life, Inspiring

Even though people have never been offered bigger and better wage packages than they are being offered today, most companies nevertheless don’t succeed in truly tying their people to their organisation. More often than not, companies don’t manage to motivate their people to show more responsibility and ownership, to do their utmost. Company values are beautifully displayed on the office walls, but haven’t found their way into the hearts of employees. In spite of the luxury terms of employment, employees nevertheless tend to tune out - mentally or physically or both.

Nathalie Arteel: “In my own company, I too struggled for a long time to build a truly positive culture. Until one day - about 15 years ago now - we decided to completely change course. Now we help other companies build a positive culture, so their employees are eager to come to work - day in, day out. The key word here truly is ‘appreciation’. No less than 82% of Belgium’s best employers are customers of ours!”

The more people feel appreciated and connected, the stronger their engagement. In her keynote speech, Nathalie elaborates on the 3 essential building blocks necessary to build a positive company culture and approaches the subject hands-on by addressing a couple of simple ways in which you can get started right away.

“I first met Nathalie on the Vlerick HR Day in 2017, where she gave one of her speeches.
Nathalie has a natural flair when it comes to addressing her audience. By honestly bringing her own personal story, she puts herself in a vulnerable position – something which, in the end, makes the message she wants to put across all the more authentic and powerful! Nathalie is a strong woman who has accomplished a lot in her life. But she is not hesitant to make it very clear that the road to success can sometimes be a rocky one, requiring persistence and perseverance. Listening to Nathalie is a true delight: both her story and the way in which she brings it, give you the energy to start chasing your own dreams too.”

editor - Katherina Swings Associate Partner ’The Bayard Partnership’
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Languages of the keynote
English, Dutch