Jury members

2017 JURY

Hans Daems, Group Public Affairs Officer at Hitachi Europe – CHAIR JUDGE

Hans Daems

As Group Public Affairs Officer for Hitachi Europe, Hans Daems holds responsibility for Hitachi’s corporate communications, branding and CSR activities across Europe..
Reporting to Hitachi’s Chief Executive for Europe, he leads the overall co-ordination of Hitachi’s Corporate Communications activities in Europe as well as Brand Management, Public Relations, Internal Communications, Advertising, Sponsorship, Events and Exhibitions and Website Management. Hans is also responsible for Hitachi’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme in Europe.
Hans is Chair of the Board of Directors of CSR Europe and a regular speaker at national and international conferences.
He has more than 15 years of experience in corporate communications. Before joining Hitachi’ European headquarters in the UK at the beginning of 2008, he worked in different communication roles in the oil and chemicals sector in Belgium, France and The Netherlands.

Max Mickelsson, Director Government Affairs, Microsoft, Finland

Max Mickelsson 

Max Mickelsson is Director, Government Affairs for Finland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Working for Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA) organization.
Work can be divided in three categories; lobbying and government relations, corporate social responsibility and public sector sales support.
The biggest project has been related to the acquisition of Nokia Devices & Services business and first landing the deal in Finland, integrating and working with the government affairs team joining Microsoft and later mitigating the closing of the mobile hardware R&D in Finland including supporting the people loosing their jobs and finding solution with central and local government to help in the transition.
Policy work is related to expanding the potential cloud market and drive a reagulatory framework supporting cloud adoption.

Sari Suono, Chief People & Culture Officer, ISS Palvelut


Chief People & Culture Officer Sari Suono (LLM, MBA) is performance oriented leader who is also an experienced and inspirational speaker. During her early career she worked at Finnair operations as a manager starting to lead resources and people processes at global ground handling operations. After 15 years in aviation business, she focused to her legal expertise by top performance as an in-house counsel at Finland Postal & Logistics Services. Later on leading the major business division Mail Communications as a Vice President, Human Resources. Before being the Executive Vice President of HKScan and building the global Human Resources processes, she worked for private equity owned business the European A-Katsastus Group. Currently she enjoys building ISS Finland Facility Services towards their vision of becoming the World’s Greatest Service Organization. She lives at Espoo with her lovely teenage daughters.

David Meltzer, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, Sports 1 Marketing

David Meltzer


Dave Meltzer is the CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, a firm in which he co-founded with Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon.  Sports 1 Marketing is a global marketing agency whose projects include the Super Bowl, The Master’s, and Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Unstoppable Foundation.

Dave has been recognized by Forbes as a Top 10 Keynote Speaker, named by Entrepreneur as a Top 5 Entrepreneurial Speaker; honored for his philanthropic work as Variety Magazine’s “Sports Humanitarian of the Year”, and a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  He is a #1 national and international best-selling author of Connected To Goodness and Compassionate Capitalism.

Cristian Gheorghe, Managing Partner at Nexus Consulting

Cristian Gheorghe


Cristian has more than 20 years of experience on human resources services. Between 1997 and 2007 he designed and delivered training programs for managers of some of the best companies operating in Romania: Leadership, Communication, Personal Development, Management Orientation - contributed to the development of human resources in successful companies such as Dr. Oetker, Tymbark, Coca-Cola, HBO, Freescale Semiconductor, Siemens PSE, British American Tobacco, Austral, HelpNet Farma, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Mobexpert. Cristian, has also coordinated business consulting projects. He is now the Managing Partner of Nexus Consulting International, company he founded in 2000.
During 2007 and 2011, Cristian held the position of General Manager of BIA, HR a company with activities in executive search and recruitment, payroll services and temporary work agent. In his term, the company's services have been strengthened and diversified, sales increasing from 500 000 to 1.4 million euro.
Cristian graduated from the EMBA IEDC Bled School of Management, Slovenia in 1999 and the University of Economic Studies, Trade, Tourism and Services, in 1994 in Bucharest. Between January and June 2000 he was a consultant for CARNet, Croatian Academic and Research Network in Zagreb, Croatia.

Laurent Roux, Entrepreneurship Officer, European Institute of Innovation & Technology

Laurent Roux


Laurent joined the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), as Entrepreneurship Officer in September 2013. He is mainly responsible for the EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs) Entrepreneurship and Business Creation activities across EU-28, including synergies with other EU and National Business Creation programs, and also focuses on the EIT Monitoring of the KIC activities, through Key Performance Indicators, Scoreboards, including H2020 ones, and on site in-depth broader strategic Evaluations and Reviews focusing on Results, Impact and Financial Sustainability. Laurent also leads the EIT Women Leadership and Entrepreneurship activities, and the organization of the annual EIT Awards, as a member of the organizing team of EIT annual Innovation festival INNOVEIT. Laurent represents EIT on the board of the EIT Alumni association. Laurent is a graduate from the INSEAD MBA program and holds a MScEE from INSA Lyon, France. Before joining the EIT, Laurent worked for the French Ministry of Finance Trade Commissions in North America and Asia Pacific as Head of IT, and for US MNCs in corporate business development roles. In the past, he’s also advised Internet start-ups and has been an active Angel Investor in San Francisco and Singapore.

Joonas Ahola, CEO & Co-founder, MeetingPackage.com

Joonas Ahola 


Since 2014 Joonas has been in the journey of building MeetingPackage.com to be the Globally used marketplace for booking and managing off-site meetings & events. Joonas has grown the team to more than 35 people and got many well known advisors and investors to join his journey of disrupting the meetings & events industry.

Before that Joonas worked as an Entrepreneur for more than 7 years in the meetings & events industry in the Capital Region of Finland. During that time he organized thousands of corporate and consumer events. He founded the company at the age of 16.
Joonas is a young and enthusiastic JA Alumni that has been involved in the development of the alumni network in Finland and is still actively mentoring and helping young entrepreneurs in their careers.


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