Managing editor, Biz Events Asia
Lauren leads the editorial direction of industry-leading publication, Biz Events Asia, and is responsible for the brand’s digital content and quarterly print magazine.
Lauren is a highly qualified journalist with a demonstrated history reporting on the business events industry across the Asia-Pacific region.
Not afraid to ask the tough questions, Lauren travels across the region to provide on-the-ground video reports from major industry trade shows, and regularly interviews business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining Biz Events Asia, Lauren was digital editor at CEI Asia, and before relocating to Singapore in 2015 she worked with micenet Australia as assistant editor.
Having experienced the difficulty of finding basic faith-based needs as a frequent Muslim traveler, in 2008, Fazal founded CrescentRating, in a quest to make travel easier for Muslims.
Since its launch, CrescentRating has grown to key markets across the globe. It is now the world’s leading authority on Halal Travel, providing insights, research, consultancy, training & rating services to the tourism industry. In 2014 HalalTrip platform was launched along with its mobile app with a vision to become the trusted trip advisor for Muslim travelers.
He was listed among the 20 "Life Power List 2016" of Singapore's Straits Times, recognized as one the "Top 50 Leaders of the Islamic Economy" by "Islamica 500" in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Andrew Baxter has been successfully leading major professional services firms for well over a decade. This included time as the CEO at Ogilvy which saw the agency create iconic campaigns such as AAMI's “Rhonda and Ketut” and Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke”. He is a sought-after speaker on Marketing and Communications, and in 2017 was awarded the Australian Marketing Institute's Sir Charles McGrath Award for his significant contribution to the field of Marketing. This, along with 30 plus years’ experience as a non-Executive Director, has proven Andrew to be a strong strategic thinker who drives growth in his own and his clients’ businesses. He’s a respected leader of teams, and a trusted advisor to Boards, CEO’s, CMO’s and CIO’s.
Bank of America
DEBORAH CALDWELL is the Asia Pacific head of Event Marketing for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, based in the Hong Kong office. Deborah oversees a team of event planners located in five markets across the Asia Pacific region. They are responsible for planning and executing a variety of client events and senior leadership meetings for the bank.
Previous to her current role, Deborah was co-Head of Events, EMEA for Nomura International based in London, before being relocated to Hong Kong in 2011 to become Head of Events for Asia ex-Japan. She also held roles at Lehman Brothers in London covering EMEA events and worked for an events agency in Sydney, Australia.
Deborah holds bachelor’s degrees in Commerce and Tourism, both from Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand.
As a leading talent development business leader, Avinash has extensive experience working with a broad portfolio of clients and regularly consults global companies and international associations in areas of Leadership, Talent Development and Strategy. His global experience includes living and working in the United States, Europe and Asia with projects implemented in over 30 countries.
His track record as a strategist and pioneer in Learning and Development combined with his ability to design and implement modern day learning experiences within organisations has been recognised by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) who awarded Avinash a Fellowship in 2014. Avinash continues to play an active role in all aspects of the Learning field including his membership of the International Association of Facilitators as well as serving on the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Committee.
Avinash’s depth and breadth of experience includes establishing an internal corporate L&D Institute for MCI Group, offering a broad portfolio of learning programmes, online and offline for 2,500 employees in 61 offices, 31 countries across 5 continents. Recent accomplishments include the digital transformation of learning strategy by integrating Artificial Intelligence and pioneering digital solutions to create a personalised Learner Experience (LX) centred ecosystem within the organisation.
Beyond strategy, Avinash is an acclaimed speaker, facilitator and moderator focusing on a portfolio of topics covering Talent Development, Future of Work and Workforce, Leadership Effectiveness, Cross-Cultural Awareness and Building High Performance Organisations. He is a qualified licensed practitioner with the Culture-Active System (Richard Lewis Communications) and Insights™ Personal, Team and Leadership Effectiveness Model.
Darren currently serves as the Chair of the Marketing Society and Regional VP of PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association). Darren’s most recent position was Managing Director of Uniplan Hong Kong where he was responsible for driving brand experience transformation and innovation with global brands across Asia including Mercedes, Huawei, Audi, UBS, Google, and Hong Kong Jockey Club.
He has played a key leadership, strategic and client partner role across multiple high-profile global projects, brand campaigns and product launches in Asia. Projects included the highly anticipated Asia debut of the world‘s premier modern and contemporary art show Art Basel, the 5-Star equestrian horse jumping show Longines HK Masters, Formula E Hong Kong, Lumieres HK and the Grand Opening of The Parisian Macau and Studio City.
Darren is a regular and current contributor to industry publications including CAMPAIGN, MARKETING MAGAZINE, CEI, Hong Kong Economic Times, and TTGMice Magazine.
Darren is also holder of more than 60 premiere creative marketing awards including EFFIE, PROMAX, CLIO, WEBBY and CINDY, Event Agency of the Year, MARKETING and CAMPAIGN awards. Was also awarded by Marketing Magazine Event Star for pushing the boundaries of building innovative brand events.
Hawaii Convention Center
Lee Conching is responsible for the oversight and management of all day to day operations of the sales department of the Hawai‘i Convention Center (HCC). He works closely with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Global Meeting, Convention and Incentives team and convention center staff to identify and secure citywide conventions and tradeshows for Hawai‘i’s largest meetings facility.
Conching’s hospitality career spans more than 30 years most recently serving as the Center’s director of sales since 2004 supporting sales efforts for citywide conventions and was responsible for maintaining productive relationships with clients in North America. In that role, his duties also included client services support and strengthening relationships with industry stakeholders where he exceeded all annual sales goals during this time in that position.
Prior to HCC, he served as director of marketing at Bishop Museum from 2002-2003, marketing manager at Hilton Hawaiian Village from 1998 to 2002, and director of sales at Kapalua Bay Hotel from 1994-1996.
Conching is an active member of the American Society of Associate Executives (ASAE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). He is a graduate of Kapiolani Community College and St. Louis High School.
Janine is a global thought leader on powerful networking, collaboration and unleashing leadership brilliance. She is passionate about building high performing leaders and teams and bringing brilliant people together to achieve remarkable results. Janine spent 20 years working her way across the world putting together award-winning marketing campaigns and strategies for high-profile brands like Ralph Lauren, Oroton, Jaeger, Sainsbury’s Homebase and Citizen Watches. It was whilst working as a senior leader that she learnt about the power of connection and what it takes to unlock the brilliance in teams and leaders.
Asia Global Institute
Noeleen Heyzer, a social scientist, was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2015). She was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership, the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development. She was at the forefront of many innovations including for regional disaster preparedness, inclusive socio-economic policies, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, energy security and regional connectivity. She was also the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development in fragile states.
As the previous Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women, she was widely recognized for the formulation and implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security and undertook extensive missions to conflict-affected countries worldwide.
Dr. Heyzer served on numerous international boards, including the High-level Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen. She is currently on the United
Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation; a member of the Kofi Annan Global
Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age; and an Eminent Person of the United Nations
Regional Commission for Asia Pacific. She has received major international awards for leadership, including the Dag Hammarskjold Medal in 2004, for her work on Women, Peace and Security. The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is given to “a person who has promoted, in action and spirit, the values that inspired Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General of the United Nations and generally in his life: compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation”.
She holds a BA Upper Hons and MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University. Dr. Heyzer is a popular keynote speaker in high demand by the public and private sectors, think tanks and by civil society. Her leadership journey and insights received the highest rating and have been described as “extremely inspiring” by the 2012 and 2014 editions of the UN Leader’s Programme.
Fredrik Härén has quickly become one of the most talked-about names in the field of creativity, innovation and ideas generation. He is an accomplished author and speaker who deliver presentations, lectures and workshops across the world focused on creativity, idea generation and entrepreneurship.
Fredrik Härén has written 10 books now, including The Idea Book, a book-cum-notebook designed to awaken creativity, has been translated into 17 languages and has sold over 200,000 copies across 40 different countries all over the world. It was also included in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You.
Fredrik has given over 2000 lectures in 67 countries over 6 continents -- and spoke in 18 countries in 2018 alone.
Wartsila North America
Banu Kannu has been GM - Marketing at Wartsila Corporation since 2013, overseeing the global marketing strategy, planning and activation for Energy Management. Her role involves creative concept development and campaign plans around future fuels, alternative energy scenarios climate impact-minimising solutions. Part of this role saw her spear-heading the inaugural Gas Fest in 2017 (Amsterdam), and its follow-up in 2019 (Lisbon). Banu believes in 'starting with why' when it comes to event design and ending with vivid memories when it comes to event delivery.
Yeonjoo is Sr. Director for Employer Branding in Global HR team of Schneider Electric.
She defines the Global strategy for Schneider Electric employee value proposition, University Relations, and reinforces Schneider Electric positioning as an employer of choice.
Prior to this role, Yeonjoo led the Marketing Communications and Digital Customer Experience team for Schneider Electric Korea and Taiwan Cluster.
She has a wide range of brand marketing, trade marketing and sales experiences in both B2C and B2B environment. Her previous employers include PepsiCo and British American Tobacco.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology as well as a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Seoul National University.
Jimmy Viet Tuan Pham emigrated with his mother and four older siblings from Vietnam in 1974, eventually settling in Australia in 1980. Jimmy’s professional background in tourism and hospitality management brought him back to Vietnam in 1996. He first witnessed the plight of at-risk youth on the streets of Hanoi, and KOTO was born.
Beginning: From humble beginnings as a sandwich stall manned by nine street youth in 1999, KOTO has grown to be an internationally recognized and award- winning non-pro t social enterprise, providing a 24-month intensive internationally-accredited vocational training program in hospitality training (Front of House and Back of House/Cookery), crucial life skills and English language for at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. This is delivered through KOTO’s national training center in Hanoi and its training restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Almost 1000 trainees have graduated from KOTO and at any given me there are 180 trainees undertaking the program. Jimmy continues to take a strong interest in every KOTO trainee. He personally knows the story of every single trainee that has been or going through the KOTO program!
Awards: In 2016, KOTO became the first legally registered entity operating as a social enterprise in Vietnam, after much-sought changes to the national law on Enterprises. Recent awards include KOTO being named as a finalist for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy’s Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in 2013. In the same year, KOTO was awarded the inaugural UNICEF Vietnam Zero Award for Social Innova on for its work championing the rights of children and youth. In 2017, KOTO was awarded a Pioneer in the field of Social Enterprise by the Centre for Social Initiatives Promo on and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). In 2018, the Department of Foreign A airs and Trade (DFAT) through the “Her Turn: Women’s Economic Empowerment Project in Vietnam” funded KOTO to provide vocational and/or entrepreneurial skills training to rural and/or ethnic minority women. In addition, a number of KOTO female alumnae will receive in-depth women’s leadership and entrepreneurial skills training.
Pacific World Meetings & Events Singapore Pte Ltd
Paul K. F. Sin
PSA Consultants (Shanghai) Limited
Mr. Paul K. F. Sin, holder of BEng (Hons) in Building Services Engineering and MSc in Facility Management from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is a registered engineer in UK’s EC and also members of various professional engineering institutions from UK, USA, Australia and Hong Kong. Paul had served Hong Kong Government in Resettlement Department and Public Works Department then left and worked in private companies such as J. Roger Preston Partnership and Hutchison Boag Engineering Limited. His last job was with Shui On Land Development Limited as Senior Manager in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering. Paul retired in December 2009 after having served for Shui On Group for more than 22 years. In addition to his E&M engineering experience exceeding 40 years, Paul offered expertise Feng Shui consultancy advice to the whole Shui On Group’s projects in Hong Kong and all over China. At the same time Paul acted as amateur Feng Shui master to provide Feng Shui advice (such as master plan design, interior and exterior lauout/arrangement of buildings, ground breaking ceremony, auspicious date selection, naming for new companies and new born babies, sales launching etc) to other large organizations/companies/individuals in and out Mainland China (including Hong Kong Government’s Science and Technology Park in Tai Po, N.T.). Also Paul has conducted many Feng Shui seminars for large organizations/firms such as BOC, HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, Chartered Bank, DBS, UOB, Citic Ka Wah Bank, China Guangfa Bank, Chong Qing Municipal Government Cadet Officer Training Scheme, City University of Hong Kong, PI-UK China, AIIB, HKCCC, Shao Xing Chamber of Commerce, Finland Pavilion Opening week in 2010 EXPO…etc. In actual land development daily work, with his vast and mastery experiences, Paul integrates successfully Feng Shui with Architecture, Interior Design, and Building Services Engineering. The Feng Shui arrangement and settings for Shui On Group of Companies’ projects in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Dalian, Qing Tao, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Fushan, Guizhou, Chongqing and Chengdu are all designed and managed by Paul to achieve a good environmental, healthy and prosperous living/working/leisuring condition for owners, tenants and customers. After retirement in December 2009, Paul has continued to develop and promote the Chinese traditional ancient culture - Feng Shui by operating a firm named PSA Consultants (Shanghai) Limited. He is appointed as the in-house Feng Shui Master for the Shui On Group of Companies as well as the private Feng Shui Advisor to the Chairman Mr. Vincent H. S. Lo. Paul expects that throughout close encountering with customers or friends from different nations or districts of the world by means of open seminars/talks/knowledge exchange, the Chinese Geomancy Technology (Feng Shui culture) can be established and accepted as a special culture and spread famously internationally.
Parfums Christian Dior