Speaker Bios

Damion Angus, Managing Director, Montgomery / Angus Montgomery (UK)

Damion Angus

Damion Angus is currently Group Managing Director of Montgomery. He started his career in the exhibition industry working for Single Market Events and running what was then the London Programme Market. In 1998 he changed careers to work in Brand Management and spent seven years developing children’s intellectual properties for TV, video, publishing and consumer products. In 2005, he moved to South Africa and completed an MBA at the University of Cape Town. On coming back to the UK in 2006 he returned to the exhibition industry and joined Montgomery as New Business Development Director. Damion has spent the last ten years growing Montgomery as an ‘umbrella’ brand that represents the interests of over fifteen different companies. These companies manage a wide range of businesses across the exhibition industry covering trade shows, consumer shows, art and photography fairs, awards programmes, agency sales and consultancy. Montgomery is also the largest shareholder in the Johannesburg Expo centre. As Managing Director, Damion continues to develop the Montgomery business across Europe, Africa, The Middle East and Asia and to look for new opportunities within some of the more challenging global emerging markets.

David Ashdown, Managing Director, Spintelligent Pty (South Africa)

David Ashdown

MD at Spintelligent- Leading Spintelligent Pty in Cape Town, South Africa, and at Clarion Events West Africa (CEWA) in Lagos, Nigeria, David is responsible for the sustained performance of these business units and development, as a group, across the African continent. With 20yrs experience in the Exhibition and Conference industry across SE Asia; Central & Eastern Europe and Africa, David has extensive knowledge of working within the dynamic and often challenging nature of emerging markets.

Matthias Tesi Baur, Consulting Partner, MBB Media (UK)

Matthias Tesi Baur

Matthias Baur is ‎Founder and Senior Consultant in International Business, Exhibitions and E-commerce at MBB-Media. Baur has more than 17 years’ experience working for the world’s largest trade show and media companies including Messe Frankfurt, Reed Exhibitions, United Business Media and he has deep knowledge and connections in the global exhibition, conference and digital B2B industries. He has built B2B businesses in all major economies from France, Germany, US and the UK to Brazil and Australia. A special focus of his business development activities has been in Asia – specifically China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia. He has many years of experience in launching market researched based business cases, event acquisitions, event new launches and B2B sales, marketing and growth strategies. He has been key note speaker at many conferences around the world covering topics such as social media, international business development and innovation in matrix organisations. He is also appointed Chairman of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee.

Mark Brewster, CEO, Explori (UK)

Mark Brewster

Mark is CEO and founder of visitor satisfaction research specialists, Explori. In this role he works closely with exhibition organisers who know that visitor and exhibitor experience is key to their success. With clients including ITE, Informa, Clarion Events, Reed Exhibitions and Messe Frankfurt, Mark and his team help organisers around the world understand and refine their visitor experience.

Selin Cakici, Vice-Chair of the Board, HKF Trade Fairs Fuarcilik A.S. (Turkey)

Selin Cakici

Selin Cakici has been working for her family business HKF Trade Fairs in Istanbul since May 2011.
She has held several positions including: Customer Relations, International Sales, HR, PR & Marketing. Cakici studied Media & Entertainment Management (Major Event Management) at the Holland University of Applied Sciences in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Prior to moving to Turkey to work for HKF Trade Fairs she worked for Beaumont Marketing & Communications based in Amsterdam. She participated in the UFI EMD programme and received the UFI Exhibition Management Degree in 2014. Currently Cakici is involved with foreign publicity and attendance at their various fairs.

Gary Corin, MD, Specialised Exhibtions Montgomery (South Africa)

Gary Corin

Gary Corin has been with Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery for 21 years, holding the positions of marketing director and chief operating officer prior to his becoming Managing Director. He has gained experience in all facets of exhibition organising, including sales, marketing and services. Marketing has been his forte with a direct responsibility for the delivery of visitor audiences being the focus of his role for the early part of his career. He now leads a young, dynamic team. Gary has attained a BTech in marketing from the University of Johannesburg, is an accredited chartered marketer and completed his MBA through the University of Hull in the UK.

Jimé Essink, President & Chief Executive Officer of UBM Asia Ltd (Hong Kong)

Jimé Essink

Jimé Essink joined UBM Asia as Chief Executive Officer in November 2007 and was appointed President & Chief Executive Officer in March 2009. He has more than 25 years’ experience of leading and growing B2B media businesses in emerging and developed markets throughout Asia and Europe. Jimé was previously with VNU Exhibitions as CEO of VNU Exhibitions Europe and President of VNU Exhibitions Asia. Before joining VNU, he spent seven years as Managing Director of Miller Freeman Netherlands (now UBM EMEA), UBM Asia’s sister company in Europe. This office was responsible for the very successful international food ingredients and pharmaceutical ingredients shows in Europe, Asia, South and North America and other international shows in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Jimé studied private and commercial law in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Stephan Forseilles, Chief Technology Officer, Artexis Easyfairs (Belgium)

Stephan Forseilles

Stephan Forseilles is acting as Head of Technology and Digital Transformation of Artexis Easyfairs. He is responsible for supervising the strategic development of the company's technology solutions and digital transformation. Forseilles was previously Operations Director EMEA, Anti-Piracy, for the Motion Picture Association of America. He worked for Belgacom from 1996 to 2003, first as Operations Director/IT & Network Director for Belgacom Skynet, then as Belgacom's Internet Services Director. For two years Forseilles served as a Vice President of the Belgian Internet domain name registration organisation, DNS.be and he is a member of UFI’s Digital Innovation Committee. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Jean-Claude Girot is Executive Manager of the Paris Motor Show (France)

Jean-Claude Girot

Born on August 2nd 1952, after following accounting and business studies, Jean-Claude GIROT began his career at the Finance department of Chrysler Europe. In 1981 he started his long business career first at Volvo France and, from 1986, at Renault Trucks (Volvo Group since 2001). He was Director of External Relations at Renault Trucks from 2010 to 2014 when he became the Director of Public Affairs of the Volvo Group France until March 31 2016. Jean-Claude GIROT is the President of the AFGNV (the French non-profit organization of natural gas for vehicles).
7th Dan Kendo, former Captain of the French national team, then coach for the French teams, he has won the European Champion title 6 times and the French Champion title 9 times.
Jean-Claude GIROT is Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour and of the National Order of Merit.
Since the 1st June 2016, Jean-Claude GIROT is Executive Manager of the Paris Motor Show.

Martin Glynn, CEO, MAD Event Management (USA)

Martin Glynn

Martin Glynn is the CEO of MAD Event Management who owns and operates several conventions, including Long Beach Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Expo, New Jersey Comic Expo and C3: Comic Creators Conference. MAD recently produced an inaugural conference, the C3: Comic Creators Conference Havana Edition in Cuba. Glynn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Farleigh Dickinson University. Glynn has been involved with event production for over 30 years, his last position being the CEO and co-Founder of Metropolitan Expositions, a general contractor based in Moonachie, New Jersey, USA, which was sold in 2016. In his role as CEO, he oversaw the operations, finances and business development of the company, as well as those of the sister companies, MetroMultiMedia and Metro Transportation.

Gilan Gork, Mentalist (UK)

Gilan Gork

There are not many mentalists in the world, and certainly not many who have found a way to show executives surprisingly e ective ways to ethically enhance their ability to in uence within the areas of leadership, sales and negotiation power.
Gilan Gork, the stage and TV star and author of the bestselling book Persuasion Games, teaches managers and executives how to become more in uential with their sta , clients and colleagues, thereby increasing their personal and professional e ectiveness. Whether enlightening audiences with keynotes or conference and training programmes, his primary aim is to o er practical tools that employees can work with every day. He is particularly adept at shifting conference delegates out of ‘graveyard shift’ slumber! With over 18 years of experience, he has become something of a celebrity whose sleight-of-mind repertoire leaves his audience wondering “How does he do it?”. An advocate of teamwork, he believes the greatest success can be achieved by working with others, which is why he also likes to assist in teambuilding and facilitate strategy sessions. Anyone can learn to read people better and become more intuitive, and Gilan demonstrates how this can be used to advantage when interacting with colleagues, clients and even competitors. He draws on ‘soft’ skills rooted in psychology and non-verbal communication to show how in uence can be exerted ethically.
Importantly, he does not claim to have psychic or supernatural powers – or indeed any powers beyond those of observation and applied psychology. His brand of mentalism is largely practical and he is quick to point out there is no ‘magic’ to it. As a speaker, he o ers a memorable experience, since his keynotes are empathic and interactive. His results-driven sessions nudge audiences to explore the way they think and break habitual patterns. He is currently o ering a new talk on the six universal principles of infuence.
Sessions are typically entertaining but highly focused – Gilan employs humour and case studies to get his point across, and he likes to energise and instruct his audiences simultaneously. Ultimately, he enjoys teaching people to develop the power of influence – something that can only be advantageous in today’s challenging business environment.

Alex Granger, Global Business Speaker & Author; CEO, The Possibility of YOU (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)

Alex Granger

Alex has worked his way up from being a driver in a car rental company, to Sales Director. Alex is Chief Executive Officer of The Possibility of YOU (Pty) Ltd, a specialist consulting, training, and development firm that focuses on people, purpose, passion, and possibilities. He is also CEO of Metro Conference Centre in Morningside, Sandton. He holds an executive leadership qualification from the Gordon‘s Institute of Business Science with a distinction in leadership. He is also a certified NLP practitioner. Alex has worked in executive and senior leadership positions for blue chip companies such as Bidvest, Imperial, Standard Bank, Altech Group, G4S Solutions and Tsogo Sun. Alex is also the author of two books: “FIND KEEP GROW: The Radical Art of Sales”, and “The Possibility of YOU: What Shapes You?”

Peter Hall, Managing Director Trade & Consumer MENA and UK (UAE)

Peter Hall

Peter was appointed Managing Director, Trade & Consumer MENA and UK, Informa in 2014 and is based in Dubai. He is responsible for a range of business to business and consumer events organized from offices in Dubai, Cairo and London, covering real estate investment, electricity generation & distribution, security, automotive, wedding, agriculture, printing & packaging, logistics & transport and renewable energy sectors. Prior to this, Peter held various senior management roles across Informa’s exhibitions, business information and conference divisions, having joined the company in 2000. Peter is a graduate of the University of Leeds with a 1st Class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering; he also holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

Gunnar Heinrich, CEO & Managing Partner, Adventics (Germany)

Gunnar Heinrich

Gunnar Heinrich has extensive management experience in international management consultancies. He was managing director of a subsidiary of Messe München and is an internationally renowned expert on "Innovation in the exhibition industry" where he works with exhibition managers around the globe consulting on corporate strategy, business development, CRM, marketing, innovation, organization and process design. He is also is long standing member of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee.

Richard Hobbs - Co-Founder of The HUB (China)

Richard Hobbs

Richard has been based in Hong Kong for almost 30 years and is an entrepreneur and business operator in the Fashion arena. He co-founded the HUB as a "non-traditional" fashion trade event in Hong Kong and Shanghai five years ago. He has previously spoken at UFI events and is currently developing a digital showroom concept focused on fashion design and product development.

Rutendo Hwindingwi, Associate Director, Deloitte (South Africa)

Rutendo Hwindingwi

As an Associate Director in one of Africa’s ‘big four’ auditing, accounting and consulting firms, and with a PhD in International Business Strategy with a focus on emerging markets, you wouldn't necessarily expect Dr Rutendo Hwindingwi to deliver his keynotes to pedigreed business leadership at high-level conferences and conventions with red boxing gloves on. But the African business strategy mastermind also excels at knowing what it takes to capture an audience and tell a good story with an inspiring message. He has an insatiable desire to see exponential growth on the continent and navigates volatile business environments on a daily basis to achieve this. Having led business development teams in Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Australasia in he previous role as a senior executive at Sage Africa, Dr Hwindingwi is perfectly poised to assist such organisations. His leadership lessons, drawn from his own experiences and spiced up with infectious humour, bring genuine gravitas not only to South African boardrooms and conference venues but to the rest of the African continent.

Kathryn James, Managing Director, the NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions (UK)

Kathryn James

Kathryn joined the NEC Group in 2007 as Managing Director of the NEC, one of Europe’s leading exhibition and live event venues. Her role has since evolved to include the management of the International Convention Centre (ICC) and the Vox Conference Centre, so she now oversees all exhibition and convention activity in the NEC Group’s home venues.
Prior to joining the NEC Group, she was Managing Director at London Luton Airport – the fifth largest UK airport – and was responsible for an operation handling nearly 10 million passengers every year. She was previously a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and has a First Class Honours Degree in Accountancy in addition to an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration for her services to Bedfordshire. Kathryn also sits on the Board of the Association of Event Venues (AEV) and Event Industry Alliance (EIA) and is Treasurer of both.

Rod Kamleshwaran, Partner, GainingEdge (Australia)

Rod Kamleshwaran

Rod leads the Convention & Exhibition Centre Development advisory team at GainingEdge, a global consulting firm advising exclusively to the convention & exhibition industry.
Rod’s expertise is in development advisory and asset management of Convention & Exhibition Centres. Having advised on projects across all continents he brings a very global perspective. Some of his engagements include Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway and Singapore.
His advisory experience includes feasibility studies, design reviews, and operator selection. He has advised new and existing venues. He has over 20 years of experience in this industry. He started at PwC he was involved with numerous feasibility studies. As a regional CFO at IHG he was involved in development and asset management of hotels and venues. Rod is an MBA and a Chartered Accountant.

Katharina Keupp, Business Developer, Messe München GmbH (Germany)

Katharina Keupp

Katharina Keupp is a Business Developer in the corporate strategy department of Messe München GmbH.
In her role she develops concepts for new events and business models by analyzing market trends and benchmarking competitors. As an in-house consultant she furthermore supports the strategic development of existing trade fairs of Messe München in Munich and abroad. Keupp studied business management with a focus on innovation, project and change management in Munich and thereafter started her professional career in HR consulting.

Victor Kgomoeswana, PPC Director, Business Development and Author of 'Africa open for business' (South Africa)

 Victor Kgomoeswana

Victor Kgomoeswana, born in South Africa, is a freelance conference speaker, programme director, workshop facilitator and consultant on African business development. Kgomoeswana is the author of Africa is Open for Business book. The book shares 50 stories of innovation and opportunity behind the business headlines of the last ten years on the African continent. From the introduction of M-pesa in Kenya to changing the image of Nigeria as Africa’s fraud capital, and from Rwandan coffee farmers to Ethiopian Airlines, and other remarkable stories

Ben Leyka, Executive Director, African Agri Council NPC (South Africa)

Ben Leyka

Over the years, Ben’s love, passion and commitment towards the development of the African continent has been the driver behind his work at the African Agri Council, the Pan African Parliament and the African Leadership Academy. Combined with years in the conferencing industry, Ben has excelled in forging and developing key partnerships with global stakeholders within the public and private sector across different industries.

Mike Lord, Reed Venue Management (South Africa)

Ben Leyka

Mike Lord is a specialist in the field of venue management in Africa having previously overseen the management of the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg for many years. He currently consults on numerous venue designs and operations throughout the continent. With over 21 years experience in the management of venues and risk liability to the Events Industry in Africa, Mike has seen what the African continent has to offer.

Nomathemba Ndlovu, General Manager, Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC), (Zimbabwe)

Ben Leyka

Nomathemba Ndlovu is a seasoned marketer, with close to 20 years’ multi-disciplinary experience in various sectors including manufacturing, retailing, communications, brand development, exhibitions and event management. She is currently the General Manager of the Zimbabwe’s largest exhibitions and events organiser, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company. Situated in Bulawayo-Zimbabwe, the company organises the multi-sectoral Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (one of the largest intra-regional trade fairs south of the Sahara )as well as other sector specific exhibitions annually. ZITF Company also owns and runs the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC) the largest purpose-built exhibition facility in the country.

Martin März, Founder & CEO, fairtrade Messe und Ausstellungs GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)

Martin März

After studying German literature, philosophy and economics, Martin got into the China business in the Eighties. When the Berlin wall came down, Martin founded fairtrade Messe in 1991 and started organizing professional trade fairs in emerging markets, especially in Eastern Europe, Iran and North and Sub-Saharan Africa. A father of three sons two have already found their way into the company. fairtrade organizes technology b2b-shows in Agrofood, Building, CIT Solutions, Energy, Environment, Industry and PlastPrintPack.

Neo Mohlatlole, Co-Founder and Business Development Director, Seven Colours Communications (South Africa)

Neo Mohlatlole

Neo Mohlatlole is the Co-Founder and Business Development Director for 7Colors Communications, a communications agency focused on events, exhibitions and public relations. Mohlatlole has worked in the exhibition industry across various sectors, having worked on exhibitions in décor, literature, construction and most recently “stokvels”. He co-founded the first exhibition for the stokvel market. Through 7Colors Communications they work on creating exhibition platforms that speak to the majority of South Africans. Mohlatlole also serves as an executive member of the South African Event Greening Forum where he fills the position of treasurer.

Cathy Oates, Customer Insight Director, UBM (UK)

Cathy Oates

Cathy has over 26 years of experience leading events across a wide range of industries from food and drink to IT and gaming through to interior retail and design. Her career began at EMAP in publishing before moving to what was then Blenheim (which became UBM after a number of iterations) and she has been with UBM since. Throughout her career she has always been passionate about crafting standout experiences that drive customer advocacy and loyalty. She has developed a keen interest in how we can better understand our customers in order to design customer experiences which elevate the event experience and drive customer value.
In June 2013 Cathy was appointed Customer Insight Director for GEM from her position of Interiors Group Director. GEM is UBM's Global Events Momentum initiative of international best practice, devolution, customer experience development and growth innovation which spearheads the group's Customer and Event excellence agendas. In her work as GEM’s CID she has led the embedding of consistent customer metrics globally and approaches to customer segmentation in support of better CX design and innovation. She is currently helping to lead projects around developing deeper insight capabilities and applying Design Thinking to drive innovation.
Cathy has a BSC (Hons) in Geography from Plymouth University and recently qualified as a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP).

Thomas Revell, Sustainability Manager, GES (UK)

Thomas Revell

Tom Revell has worked with GES EMEA as the Sustainability Manager for over a year having previously studied in the UK achieving an MSc in Sustainability and Business. His focus is on the implementation of international standards such as ISO20121 as well as investigating ideas within the business to promote innovation and sustainable development. Recently the business has been focused on renewable energy, the introduction of electric vehicles as well as working closely with their supply chain to ensure sustainability at every level of the business.

Johan Reyneke, Founder & Owner, Reyneke Wines (South Africa)

Johan Reyneke

Johan fell in love with the land and viticulture as a young philosophy student during his holiday job as a vineyard labourer. He slowly found himself drawn to the Rudolf Steiner approach to agriculture. This was in reaction to an early 20th Century agricultural industry. Today with hyper-industrialised farming, this paradigm shift is increasing in importance and it is people like Johan that are leading the way. Johan Reyneke has gone one step beyond organic and created South Africa’s very first biodynamic vineyard and winery. Johan is a keen surfer who narrowly missed being lunch for white sharks, and he won the Masters category of the 2009 Vintners Surf Classic. He is also an owner with a social conscience who was honored by the news network CNN for his cornerstone programme to encourage home ownership and education for his workers and their families.

Stefan Rummel, Managing Director and Member of the Management Board, Messe München GmbH (Germany)

Stefan Rummel

Stefan Rummel is Managing Director and Member of the Management Board of Messe München GmbH since January 2015. Rummel is responsible for Messe München's capital goods fairs, i.e. bauma, IFAT, EXPO REAL, transport logistic and ceramitec, around the world. He is also in charge of Messe München's international business, the Mergers & Acquisitions Department and the IT-Division. Rummel joined the company in 2010. As head of the Central Division Corporate Strategy, he has played a major role in shaping Messe München during the last few years. His expertise is in the areas of strategy, innovation and internationalization. Before joining Messe München, Rummel worked at the Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), Horváth and Partners and an Entrepreneurship Center for Start Ups in Munich.

Diana Salman, HR Strategic Change Manager, IFP Expo (Lebanon)

Diana Salman

Diana Salman joined the IFP Group in 2015, tasked to lead its HR organisational transformation. Working as a HR consultant for the past six years prior, having designed, led and implemented organizational transformations for regional businesses in the middle east that were at their tipping point, Salman was well suited for the role. Leveraging her technical expertise and consulting methodology, she transformed the company’s human resource unit from a support function to a powerful driver of innovation. Alongside her job at IFP Group, where she works daily with the Co-CEOs, enabling strategic change Salman volunteers as the Vice President of FoodBlessed (a Lebanese hunger-relief NGO) with a passion for helping others.

Gillian Saunders, Deputy CEO, Grant Thornton (South Africa)

Gillian Saunders

Gillian Saunders is Deputy CEO of Audit Tax and Advisory Firm, Grant Thornton in Johannesburg and Head of Advisory Services in South Africa. Gillian has a long track record, of more than 28 years in her specialty: consulting to the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries. In 2012 Gillian was appointed Global Sector Leader, Hotels and Tourism for Grant Thornton and leads a team of experts in various fields from over 25 countries. Gillian has consulted extensively in all aspects of these industries for the public and private sector through-out Africa. Prior to consulting she worked in the industry in Europe and South Africa, with stints with EUREST (a contract catering subsidiary of Nestle and Wagon Lits), in France, and with Sheraton in Germany and Switzerland, before joining the Southern Sun Group in South Africa in 1982. Gillian is the author of a number of articles and a regular commentator in the media, particularly on mega events. She is Chairperson of the board of the University of Johannesburg’s Kerzner School of Tourism and Hospitality and is passionate about education and education in the Hospitality and Tourism sector.

Atul Todi, CEO, 10 Times (South Africa)

Atul Todi

Atul Todi is the Co-Founder of 10Times, world's leading event discovery platform. A graduate from Purdue University, he is leveraging technology to bring efficiency in event marketing. Reaching over 40 million eventgoers, his company aims to drive exponential growth for events by generating more footfall.

Jochen Witt, President & CEO, jwc GmbH (Germany)

Jochen Witt

Jochen Witt is President and CEO of jwc GmbH, a management consulting firm. jwc provides consulting services in the areas of strategy and business development, pricing of trade fair services, mergers and acquisitions, planning and construction of venues, as well as business intelligence. jwc’s clients are publishing companies and trade fair and congress organisers, venue owners, private equity companies, service providers and governments in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

Ricard Zapatero, Director of International Business, Fira de Barcelona (Spain)

Ricard Zapatero

Key facts: - International Business Director in Fira Barcelona
- Ceo of Fira Barcelona International
- Member of Fira Barcelona’s Consortium Executive Board
- 16 years of experience in the MICE industry
- Having organized and managed more than 600 top fair events in all economical sectors around the world
- 20 years experience in Top Management Positions Professional experience:
International Business Director, Fira Barcelona, Spain
Leading International business partnerships, benchmarking strategies, international operations and Mice projects all over the world Commercial Director, Fira Barcelona, Spain
Managing a portfolio of 48 fair events, responsible for all marketing and sales activities and leading a team of 70 people Marketing Director, Skôda, (VW Group), Spain Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard, Spain Academic background:
Master in Business Administration, ESADE Business School
Master in Law, University of Barcelona