Tessa Pietersz was born and raised on the island of Aruba. A forty-five year old mother of four who is settling into what she considers the most peaceful part of her life even amidst the current global chaos. Pietersz’ children, one son and three daughters varying in age from seven to nineteen, are the loves of her life. She says that they give her life “a lot of love, action, spice and soul.” Pietersz comes from a close knit family who enjoys spending their weekly Sunday barbecues together. She speaks fondly of her father manning the grill while she works in the kitchen.
Although she was raised Protestant, she considers herself to be more spiritual than religious. “I have been practicing to better understand life experiences, and to understand how our response to these experiences affects how we mold our present and future. Coming from a highly ambitious, performance driven lifestyle of run run run, I now cherish pacing my steps and myself into a more balanced life.”
Pietersz attended a Dutch Protestant school which provided her with a strong educational structure which eventually resulted in her achieving the highest honor of Valedictorian at her high school. Her honors include Chemistry, Biology and English. Pietresz says, “This led me to choose the study of Biochemistry in College in the States afterwards.”
Pietersz explained that she left Aruba after high school and headed to the United States to attend Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida following in the footsteps of her father and brother who previously attended the university. “It was a fun and eye opening experience during which I learned a lot and made some mistakes. In hindsight, the mistake I regret most is not opting for pre-med instead of taking the biochemistry route that eventually lost my interest,” Pietersz disclosed.
When I asked her if her time in the United States prepared her for her career in journalism, her response was much different than I could have imagined. “I think that participating in the Miss World competition prepared me more for my career in the television industry than my college life did because it was during that experience that I realized that I am maybe more a free spirited, creative soul than I ever realized.”
So when I asked her what prompted her to pursue a career in journalism: Pietersz replied, “It was while I was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my new found clarity that I was invited to cast for a new television station called ATV- Aruba Broadcasting Company that was about to open. I got accepted as the first group of talent and immediately got into intensive, hands on training during which we learned the ins and outs of television journalism and broadcasting. What followed was extensive on-the-job training and the result was a top quality television station extremely revolutionary to the island and at a level of medium sized television newscasts in the US. It was truly something to be proud of.”
Pietersz television career evolved especially due to her role with the NBC affiliate in Aruba. She explains her role and how she made her own niche in the industry. “I loved broadcasting, but was not crazy about working for the news department. After anchoring our English newscast and producing news, I realized that I wanted to produce television programs and host them…. So I did. Various local and international projects including series shot in Curacao, Bonaire, Holland and Italy followed as well as the iconic Trend Alert program which got its debut 1st of April 2004 and is now a digital platform.”
When asked about her connection to the Aruba Tourist Channel, she explains, “That’s what happens when two people with a passion for quality broadcasting meet. Aruba Tourist Channel’s owner and director Ishwar Daryanani has a clear vision and the ambition to match which I relate to. It was only natural for us to join forces with him behind the camera and me in front. All I can say is, that we are merely getting started.”
So what is on the horizon for Tessa Pietersz? “This year started in January with me taking a sabbatical to reflect which culminated in a mandatory sabbatical due to the COVID-19 induced quarantine that the island’s government issued for the local community. Between all the fear and uncertainty, I found peace and clarity. I now know how I want to live my life with peace, family and philanthropy as my priorities.”
Written by Chrissy Gates