Focus on what you share, put your differences aside - interview with John Melis At the annual meeting of RAVON on November 12th 2011, John Melis received the Lenders Award for all the energy he had put into both initiating and professionalizing RAVON activities in the northern province of Friesland. Due to his efforts in motivating a large group of volunteers and setting out transects, a great number of records have been collected. Not only has his work led to the media giving more attention to the presence or decline of amphibians, reptiles and fish in this part of the Netherlands, it has also influenced regional policy, leading to an improvement in the development and management of natural areas. In this way, John has made a valuable contribution to the growth of RAVON as a national nature conservation organization. The Lenders Award was established in 2006, to honour those who have distinguished themselves in their efforts to protect native amphibians, reptiles and fish. It is named after Ton and Rob Lenders, two brothers who played an important role in the study and protection of these species in the Netherlands.