Eric Bakermans

NBTC Holland Marketing
After a successful completion of Hotel University in 1989, Eric started off his career in the hotel industry, soon to be followed by the meetings & events industry when he continued at RAI Amsterdam Exhibition and Convention Centre. Destination Marketing for business events in the Netherlands at the Netherlands Convention Bureau was the start of his career within the national DMO.Eric is now director at the Meetings & Congress department within the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions. Eric has and is holding several board positions within the (inter) national community for marketing business events for a destination. He is a past board member of ICCA, co-founder of the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe and board member of the Dutch Pre-Finance and Guarantee Congress Fund. Eric has supported numerous national and international associations over the past years and plays a key role in the Dutch and international Destination Marketing Sector for business events. Eric is married and father of three children. He lives in a small town near Amsterdam. In his spare time, Eric is an avid sailor.

Sami Benchekroun

Sami Benchekroun is the cofounder and CEO of Morressier, the company that aims to accelerate scientific breakthroughs by building the home for early-stage research. His vision is to create a single place for pre-published research to be discussed, shared, analyzed, and discovered by the entire scientific ecosystem. Sami has over ten years of experience in academic conferences, scholarly publishing, and entrepreneurship, and a background studying business at ESCP in London, Paris and Berlin.

Oscar Cerezales

MCI Group Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Oscar Cerezales, born in Barcelona (Spain), is chair of the PCMA APAC Advisory Board as well as Member of the Scientific Board for the Latin American Association of Convention Bureaus. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors for PCMA Oscar currently works at MCI Group as Global Executive Vice President of the Corporate Division as well as COO of Asia Pacific. MCI is a company with 61 offices in 31 counties and 2,500 talents. MCI Group is dedicated to empower associations, companies and brands to activate their employees, channel partners, customers and members. Creating face-to-face, hybrid and digital experiences. After managing the Global Association Services Network from Barcelona, Oscar moved to Sao Paulo (Brazil), to manage MCI throughout the Americas region. Oscar currently resides in Singapore and manages the Asia-Pacific region. Oscar has been a professor at universities in Barcelona, London, and Milan. In addition to collaborating with various industry publications. Oscar is the father of three children and loves endurance sports like ultra marathons and triathlons.

Simon Evans, PIEMA

Simon is an experienced project manager of sustainability strategy programmes for multinational companies. Simon has 10+ years’ experience in the designing, implementation and strategic communication of sustainability strategy for brands who want to maximise positive environmental and social impact. He is also a strategic advisor to Eco-Age, the sustainability and communications consultancy driving positive change through environmental and social strategies/initiatives and awareness raising communications backed by robust science.

Amy Funderburk

Amy Funderburk is a brand communications and marketing expert with more than 25 years’ experience in global corporate functions in the United States and Germany. A U.S. native fluent in German, she has worked at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, for 21 years. Amy currently leads the Brand Voice/Naming function at SAP, part of the wider Global Brand team in the SAP Marketing organization. As head of Brand Voice/Naming for the past nine years, Amy is responsible for aligning SAP's marketing and branding strategy into a consistent and engaging communication strategy. Her team leads efforts for overall naming and top-level positioning for SAP products, services, programs, and major events. Amy helped create the SAP writing style, which works together with corporate brand design to promote a clear, insightful, approachable, and optimistic (CIAO) tone of voice for SAP. Amy has a dual B.A. degree in English and German languages from Drew University, NJ, USA, and is a happy expat who has made Germany her home.

Andreu Gusi

Andreu has been the Executive Director of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, a non-profit organisation where scientists and physicians involved in clinical bone marrow transplantation share their experiences and develop co-operative studies, for the last 10 years. Prior to this he has gained over 13 years of experience working for Médecins Sans Frontière, Spain, where he worked in director, management and finance roles in various out-postings in Palestine/Israel, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco and South Sudan Currently, in his role as EBMT Executive Director he is focused on the strategic alignment of EBMT’s activities towards its mission & vision, which is to save the lives of patients with blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases by advancing the fields of blood and marrow transplantation and cell therapy worldwide through science, education and patient care. Operationally he actively participates in the design and implementation of the strategic planning process by supporting the organisation in implementing a more transparent, accountable and efficient governance and organisational structure. Andreu holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Economics from the University of Barcelona as well as Non-profit leadership courses completed with ESADE in Barcelona.

Fredrik Härén

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 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.

Maria Ireland

Valkiria Hub Space
Maria Ireland, Executive MBA'92 Oslo, worked in corporations for the last 30 years in Managerial positions and Executive boards, such as Armstrong Insulation, Volkswagen, ABB, PPG, Norsk Hydro, among others. Last year she embraced entrepreneurship and started her own consultancy firm with one Mission for my clients: Challenge status Quo, revisit the basics, learn from the past, and design the future. She also joined Valkiria Hubspace Spain an advanced developer of motivation, transformation and innovation programmes in companies, as a moderator and Innovation Business Developer.

Davi Kaur

Davi Kaur, Head of Communications - European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC Graduating from the University of Wales College of Cardiff in 1993 with an Honorary Degree in Applied Biology, Davi joined the Institute of Nephrology at University of Wales College of Medicine, where her research focused on the effects of peritoneal dialysis fluid on inflammation where she gained master’s in philosophy. Davi currently serves on the PCMA (Professional Conference Management Association) advisory board and recently completed a Master of Business Administration degree at Vlerick Business School.

David Meade

David Meade Ltd
David Meade is a first-class honours graduate from Ulster Business School and his work as a lecturer and researcher in International Business and Strategy with the University of Ulster has built his reputation as one of Europe’s most sought after motivational and organisational speakers, trainers, and facilitators. Over 85% percent of David’s diary is spent working at the executive level, motivating and inspiring some of the largest and most diverse organisations. He’s worked with organisations such as: Apple, PwC, BT, Saba, Harvard in Boston, the Cabinet Office in Westminster, Bombardier and the Bank of America.

Kandarp Mehta, PhD

IESE Business School
Kandarp Mehta is a PhD from IESE Business School, Barcelona. He has been with the Entrepreneurship Department at IESE since October 2009. His research has focused on creativity in organizations and negotiations. He frequently works as consultant with startups on issues related to Innovation and Creativity. His doctoral thesis was about the process of creativity in the context of motion picture industry. He has conducted several Negotiation and Creativity Workshops for corporate executives and management students in Europe, USA and India. Before coming to Spain, he was at ICFAI Business School in India where he taught Corporate Finance. He is also actively involved with Creative Industries. He has been actively involved with theatre, as a director, script writer as well as a performer. Several movies and short films where he participated during his PhD dissertation have been exhibited at prestigious film festivals.

Mohamed Mezghani

UITP (International Association of Public Transport)
Mohamed Mezghani is the Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) establishing offices for the Middle-East and North Africa in Dubai. With over 28 years in an international and multidisciplinary context, he has organized several events worldwide, including the UITP World Congress and Exhibition. Moreover, Mezghani has managed and led numerous membership-related services including knowledge-related activities for UITP members: professional training, research projects, thematic studies, technical advice, conferences, networking activities, information centre and more. Mohamed Mezghani earned his bachelor of science in industrial engineering and holds a masters in transport.

Kim Myhre

MCI Experience
Kim Myhre is an intersectional design thinker, thought leader, innovation activist and brand storyteller with a unique combination of strategic, creative, commercial and international experience. Kim has a strong background in strategy and planning, creative and talent management. As well as an action-oriented executive with a track record of winning new business, creating results for clients and driving agency growth.

Adrian Ott

Adrian is Chief Executive Officer of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT). He has more than 15 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. In his current position his focus is the strategic alignment of EFORT activities towards its mission & vision: strengthen the European Orthopaedic and Traumatology Educational Platform, raising the organisation’s profile in priority within the European health agenda in the area of musculoskeletal health, but also globally. Operationally his priorities are change management, developing creative business relationships and stimulating effective governance aimed at committee work and profiling HCO stakeholders. Prior to EFORT he worked in the convention business and later at the World Heart Federation, a non-governmental healthcare association fostering the control and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and stroke worldwide. In his capacity of Director of the Congress Division he led the operations of the biennial World Congress of Cardiology. Re-assessments of congress strategy and new business ventures were part of his mandate. He is currently President of AC Forum with a term of office is of two years. AC Forum, The Association & Conference Forum is Led by Association staff for Associations and comprises more than 30 member organisations with a focus in healthcare, but not exclusively. Networking, sharing and educating to promote excellence in association and congress management in a trusting and confidential environment encapsulates the vision of the Association’s mission. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Science HES-SO in Tourism Management of the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland.

Geir Ove Pederson

Geir Ove Pedersen a former Graphic Designer from Norway almost discovered Snapchat by a coincidence. Five years later Geir Ove is known as one of the most creative people you can find in the app. With his creator name Geeohsnap he has built himself an impressive portfolio working for many of the top brands in the world. Today Geeohsnap works fulltime as a Content Creator, Social Speaker, Illustrator Artist and runs two popular Snapchat Shows recieving millions of views.

Marcos Picallo Aguilar

Lawyer, entrepreneur and a professional in the Sports Industry, nowadays Marcos Picallo Aguilar is managing Barça Innovation Hub Universitas as well as the academic and institutional relations of the Barça Innovation Hub. Before joining FC Barcelona he worked in business development for Formula E and Indy Car Series in the US. He also worked in Marketing & PR in the Orange County SC of the USL in California. As well as collaborating in the formation of FEVeS, the Spanish Federation of Videogames & eSports in collaboration with Chapman Group, a Sports Marketing Agency. He is also Co-Director of the master’s degree in Sports Management in Legal Skills of ISDE and the Global Executive Master in Sports Management with ESADE Business School, both programs are part of the BIHUB Universitas project. He received his bachelor’s in law per the Complutense University of Madrid, diplomate in Marketing per the University Centre Villanueva, master’s in business & Sports Management per the University of California and MBA in Sports Management in the Real Madrid Business School (European University Laureate).

Annalisa Ponchia

AIM Group International
Ponchia Baccara, a member of PCMA’s EMEA Advisory Board, has 30 years of international experience in events management and deep roots in the industry, having organized conferences and events around the globe for the corporate sector, government and associations. She spent nearly 12 years as ESOT CEO during which she gained substantial knowledge of the association environment and processes. Recently appointed Director of Innovation and Customer Experience, at AIM Group International, a new strategic position within the Company, with the task to drive the innovation across all the company’s functions and stakeholders and raise the added value offered to clients. Her career includes previous 10 years of experience as entrepreneur running her own PCO company (with a staff of 20 people and several outsourced consultants, sales and assistance staff) specialised in medical meetings. Ponchia is a certified meeting professional, with CMP and CMM designations, and is active as speaker at numerous association and industry events.

Meredith Rollins

Meredith Rollins, Chief Community Officer, PCMA and Executive Director, PCMA Foundation As PCMA’s Chief Community Officer, Meredith Rollins leads the community engagement team. The team delivers programs and services that strengthen the connections between PCMA members, facilitate knowledge sharing and advance the network of professionals in the global business events industry. Her key areas of responsibility include community and chapter engagement, volunteerism, research and social impact initiatives. Rollins joined PCMA in 2007 and held roles in project management, global development and account management with the PCMA partnership program. She was Director of Strategic Development for the Association for Corporate Growth, a global community for middle-market M&A business leaders from 2012 to 2015. Rollins became Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation in 2015. Rollins received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Felix Rundel

Falling Walls Foundation
Felix curates the annual Falling Walls Conference in Berlin, an international platform gathering cutting-edge scientists and the world’s most influential thinkers and decision makers to discuss the question: Which are the next walls to fall? In addition to expanding a truly international network, Felix develops programs and events in order to drive forward the Falling Walls mission of connecting communities for global change. He is a lecturer at Technical University Berlin and gives talks and workshops on purpose-driven meeting design and the future of impact-oriented events and communities.

Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno

AIM Group International
Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno has been the Managing Director of the Congress Division at AIM Group International for more than 15 years and is currently Vice-President of AIM Group International. She is speaker at major international Meeting Industry events and she teaches tourism management and marketing at several University Master’s Programmes (Rome, Milan, Glion). Patrizia also serves also co-Chair of INCON (Global Partnership also in Conferences and Events). As a volunteer leader, Patrizia is Secretary General of FIMAC, the International Foundation Doctors for Central Africa, which is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the health conditions of people in Central Africa through cooperative humanitarian projects.

Bonny Shapira

Cisco International Ltd
Bonny is the Cisco Live Europe leader. He joined the Cisco Live team just after the conclusion of Cisco Live 2012, making the 2019 event his seventh Cisco Live. Bonny’s responsibilities lie in the overall vision, strategy and program management. It is his job to make it all happen and connect with Cisco’s overall vision and strategy. He is also responsible for the content program, leading a team of Cisco professionals responsible for the selection and creation of the educational sessions (breakouts, techtorials, panels, case studies). Bonny is passionate about swimming, Spanish, Negronis and his wife and three kids.

Katrina Sichel

Wit and Word Communications sprl
Katrina is a London-born, now Brussels-based moderator and communications specialist with a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University. As part of an eclectic career path spanning steel-trading in Africa to business development in the former Soviet States, she spent four years as co-Director of a broadcast PR company. Here she produced news packages for the BBC, Sky News, Channel 4, AP and Reuters, interviewing well-known figures from the arts, sport and political arenas. Since 2007, Katrina has been moderating events covering diverse topics and policy areas, from R&I, social affairs, development, finance and digitisation, to agriculture, environment, energy, fisheries and health. Alongside, until 2017, she managed the creation and roll-out across Europe of multimedia, multi-lingual communications campaigns targeting the public, and EU and national stakeholders from diverse sectors. Katrina speaks fluent French, rusty Russian and a dash of German alongside her native tongue.

Rik Vera

Keep experimenting. That’s part of the message Rik Vera, a change management thought leader and author, delivers when telling business leaders how to survive the day after tomorrow. Rik and his nexxworks business partners, Peter Hinssen and Steven Van Belleghem, inspire companies to lead in the New Digital World, take groups to innovation hubs like Silicon Valley and China, excite frustrated enthusiasts with innovative bootcamps, and — above all — encourage people to get ready for the future. He is the author of “Managers the Day After Tomorrow: Connect to Many, Engage Individuals.”


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