Accent on cultural diversity at Co-Logic

Auckland-based security firm Co-Logic is a haven of cultural diversity.

Auckland-based security firm Co-Logic is a haven of cultural diversity.

Founder Arjen De Landgraaf emigrated from the Netherlands and his staff comes from Russia, Croatia, the US, Scotland, Germany, and one of the few Kiwis is a Muslim.

He has also employed Chinese, South Africans, Fijians and the English.

De Landgraaf came to New Zealand in 1984 and was a consultant at KPMG and others; he has also taught programming at universities in Australia and New Zealand. He launched Co-Logic, which has 10 staff in Albany, in 1995.

His employees, who have a say in hiring, say such a wide range of nationalities at the firm has arisen by accident.

De Landgraaf says he does not decide on who joins the firm.

“We are a really unusual company. We do breakthrough things in IT security. These are the people that are inspired to do it,” he says.

Among them are Russian Julie Orlova, who began working for Co-Logic as a contractor two years ago in web design. The masters graduate has been in New Zealand four years and previously worked at Odessa University.

Michael Lubicich came to New Zealand in 1996 and is finishing a computing diploma at Unitec. The systems engineer handles web analysis and firewalls. The Serb from Croatia came with his wife and son from the Dalmatian coast. His home town was demolished, though the family house still stands.

Joe Mann from Scotland is a student and works part-time in database entry.

American Susan Blass came to New Zealand in 1998 after meeting Kiwi Muslim Medina Watkins in Kuwait. She handles technical issues and sales.

And German Stefan Seitzer, who came here in 1985, is a special adviser to both the company and to De Landgraaf.

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