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Frédéric Marion

Deputy CEO - Flaine
Compagnie des Alpes

Sophie Perret


Sophie Perret is a director of the London office of HVS, the leading global specialist hotel valuation, consulting, asset management and brokerage firm which was founded in 1980. HVS operates from thirty offices worldwide, with the London office responsible for work carried out throughout Europe and Africa. HVS was named Management Consultant of the Year in the IHIF Awards for 2011. Sophie holds a dual French-Argentinean nationality and speaks English, French and Spanish. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management at the Ateneo de Estudios Terciarios (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and then went on to work at the InterContinental Buenos Aires, where she was part of the opening team. Upon relocation to Paris, she completed an MBA at IMHI (Essec Business School, France and Cornell University, USA). She went on to complete an MSc in Real Estate Investment and Finance at Reading University in July 2014, and is working towards obtaining her RICS qualification in 2015. Sophie joined HVS Madrid in 2003, and relocated to London three years later. Since joining HVS, she has advised on hotel investment projects and related assignments throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East and is specifically responsible for the development of HVS services in France and the French-speaking world. Sophie has worked in more than 20 markets in Africa over the last few years.

Michel Augier

Director of Finance, Managed hotels EMEAI
Wyndham Hotel Group

Michel started work at Hotel Meurice in Paris, then part of the InterContinental chain where he spent 28 years. He soon moved to an owned hotel in London and in 1991 got his first Financial Controller position at the InterContinental Stuttgart in Germany, a leased property.

In 1993 he moved to a similar role in a managed hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and after several Operations and Finance roles in Gabon, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, he joined the then Bass Hotels and Resorts MEA divisional office where he took the role of VP Finance and Business Support, assuming the leadership of the hotel and the corporate Finance teams from 2000 until 2007. Soon, after a demerger from its pub business, BHR became InterContinental Hotels Group.  As a member of the divisional executive committee he was closely involved in managing and developing the IHG brands in the region, primarily under management agreements. During this period, he worked on the introduction of 2 new brands to the region. In 2006, he was appointed Acting COO for 8 months.

In 2008, he took a similar role in the UK where IHG managed a large single owner portfolio with many centralised functions and processes. The focus quickly moved to managing the worse recession to hit the hospitality industry in living memories, and he was instrumental in reshaping the business to mitigate the impact of the declining revenues.

In late 2011, Michel moved to Scotland where is family is based, and joined as Director of Finance the Cameron House management team which was re-launching and repositioning the hotel after an extensive renovation. He actively supported the material revenue growth, and he reinforced the financial discipline in the business.

In 2014, he joined the Wyndham Hotel Group management team in Dubai to support the growth of the managed properties portfolio in the region.

Magdaline Oesi Baffour

Senior Hospitality Analyst
HTI Consulting

Magdaline started her career as a human resources consultant at Ellis Fairbank International.  Magdaline decided to develop her career in the hospitality industry joining as a junior Management Controller the ACCOR Head Office in Paris. Thereafter, she took a specialization in Corporate Finance at EDHEC Business School combined with a Real Estate dimension. In June 2011, she started working at BNP Paribas Real Estate Hotels as a consultant with the consulting and valuation division. Magdaline has significant experience in single asset and portfolio valuations. Magdaline joined HTI Consulting in March 2014 and has worked on feasibility, asset management, operator selection and due diligence assignments in: Congo, Uganda, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Kenya. Magdaline speaks the following languages: French, English & Twi (Ghananian Dialect)

HE Alain Saint-Ange

Minister of Tourism and Culture
Republic of Seychelles

HE Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr

Minister of Tourism & Air Transportation
Republic of Senegal

H.E. Jean Kapata

Minister of Tourism and Arts
Republic of Zambia

 Honourable Jean Kapata MP, currently saving as Minister of Tourism and Arts is an elected Member of Parliament for Mandevu Constituency in Lusaka the capital city of Zambia. She was appointed Minister of Tourism and Arts on 26th March, 2014

 Hon. Jean Kapata MP was first elected as Member of Parliament in 2006 the ticket of the Patriotic Front Party.

 In October, 2011, her party won the Presidential and General Elections and she was appointed Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health

 Before her appointment to the current portfolio as Minister of Tourism and Arts, she served as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

 Hon. Jean Kapata has a healthy sector background where she worked as a registered nurse until when she joined politics and subsequently elected as Member of Parliament. She has over 20 years of professional experience in the health sector.

Viacheslav Romanov

Head of Analytical Department
Bank of Moscow

Elena Lysenkova

Chief Executive Officer
Hospitality Income Consulting

Oxana Nabok

Area Human Resources Director - Russia & CIS

Govind Mundra

General Manager - Business Development (Africa)
IHMS Hotels (SA) (Pty) Limited

Govind (34) is based in Johannesburg and takes care of the expansion of Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces in Africa & Indian Ocean Region as General Manager – Business Development. Taj Hotel Group own and operate 119 hotels including palaces, private islands and resorts, spanning 66 destinations in 10 countries across 5 continents. Besides India, Taj Hotels are located in USA, UK, UAE, Australia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Langkawi and Bhutan.
Taj Hotel Group operates in the luxury, premium, mid-market and value segments of the market through the following brands - Taj, Vivanta by Taj, The Gateway Hotels, Ginger, Taj Holidays and Jiva Spa. The current focus of the group in Africa is to grow Upper Upscale Brand – ‘Vivanta by Taj’ both in city and resort locations via management contract model.

Govind, an Indian national, has more than 12 years of hospitality development, real estate and construction experience in emerging markets like South West Asia & Africa. He started his career in 2002 as Junior Engineer with a design consultant in North East India. In 2004, He joined Ambuja Realty Development Limited - a premier real estate developer in East India and held several positions with them, last one in 2010 being Asst. General Manager – Design and Development. Post completion of his Master’s in 2011, he briefly worked as Senior Manager – Consulting at DTZ International Property Advisors in Delhi. His list assignment before joining Taj Hotels was with Wyndham Hotel Group as Senior Manager – International Development (Indian Ocean) based in Delhi, India.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Hospitality Administration from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne -Switzerland, Diploma in Construction Project Management from NICMAR – India and Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Visveswaraiah Technological University - India.

Benyam Bisrat

CEO & Co-Founder
Jupiter Hospitality Group

Benyam, 38, is one of the young Ethiopian business leaders that are increasingly steering the country’s robust economy. Studying business management at York University in Canada, he returned to Ethiopia to become chief executive of the Jupiter Hospitality Group in 2006. Currently, the group manages two hotels, but it is developing a further 5 throughout the country and the continent.

Benyam is passionate about the hospitality industry and was a primary driver in the restructure of the Addis Ababa Hotels Owners Association. He serves on the board of AHA as a chairman. His many years of hands-on approach and his dedication to the hospitality industry make him the ideal person for the position of AHA Chair.

Constantin Zabrodin

Chief Executive Officer
Zavidovo Development

Constantin Zabrodine was born on April 26, 1964 in Rostov-on-Don. After graduating from school he entered Lomonosov Moscow State University physics department.  After obtaining the graduation certificate with high honors he 
went onto further postgraduate study in Moscow State University physics department. At the same time Constantin Zabrodine carried out research in quantum physics in General physics University of Academy of Sciences of the USSR and he also run teaching profession in The Lomonosov Moscow State University.
In 1992 at the age of 28 Constantin Zabrodine not only had candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences degree but also he was operational director of Moscow Apple Computer representative office.
Constantin Zabrodine decided to undertake further management and corporate finance studing abroad in The Boston College. After that for a few years he worked on senior position in Global Data Trade (Switzerland) and CNET Networks (USA).
From 2007 till present Constantin Zabrodine is project executive of Zavidovo integrated development and general manager of Zavidovo Development, the company which carries out execution of this unique project.
Married, has three children. Fluently speaks English and French.



Забродин Константин Николаевич родился 26 апреля 1964 года в городе Ростов-на-Дону. После окончания школы поступил на физический факультет МГУ им. Ломоносова. Получив диплом об окончании университета с отличием, продолжил образование в аспирантуре физического факультета МГУ. В это же время Константин Забродин вел научную работу в области квантовой физики в Институте Общей Физики, Академии Наук СССР и преподавательскую деятельность в МГУ им. Ломоносова. А уже 1992 году в возрасте 28 лет Константин Забродин не только имел степень кандидата физико-математических наук, но и являлся директором по операциям, а затем и генеральным директором, представительства компании Apple Computer в Москве. Продолжил образование Константин Забродин решил за границей в Бостонском колледже, по направлению менеджмента и корпоративных финансов. Затем несколько лет работал на руководящих должностях в Global Data Trade (Швейцария), CNET Networks  (США). С 2007 года и по настоящее время Константин Забродин является руководителем проекта комплексного развития территории «Завидово» и генеральным директором  ООО «Завидово Девелопмент» - компании, которая занимается реализацией этого уникального проекта. Женат, имеет троих детей. Свободно владеет английским и французским языками.

Jonathan Faiman

Tempest Capital AG

Neway Moges

Managing Partner
Calibra Hospitality Consultancy

Nasser Al-Mugheiry

Grant Thornton Ethiopia

Nasser Al Mugheiry founded his own firm Abu Timam in March 1995.

He managing Partner Abu Timam Grant Thornton Oman. He is also Senior Partner Grant Thornton Yemen and Ethiopia

He started his career in 1981 with Deloitte Haskins + Sells in London. In 1989 he joined Coopers Lybrand in Oman and left Coopers as Audit Manager in 1995 to launch Abu Timam. He has more than 30 years rich and extensive experience in statutory audits of various industries including financial institutions, insurance, internal audits, management consultancy, project management and HR consultancy.

He is also a Tax Partner and Consultant with in depth knowledge of the Omani income tax system and assessment. He represents our clients at the Ministry of Finance for any tax related matters.

His strong technical background allows him to get involved in various large assignments both at the private and publicly listed level. He has also been imparting training at workshops and active participates in business forums

Aschalew (Lewis) Belay

Aschalew Belay Hotel Projects (Golden Tulip Addis)

Aschalew Belay has earned his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Computer Science from Beijing University, China and Certified with Business Administration from Coventry University of England. He started private business as Exporter back in 1993 in China. Starting from 1996 onwards, he has been working as Representative to Ethiopian Shipping Lines in China. He lives in between Ethiopian and China and owns a company named “Tianjin Worldwide (Fareast) Co. Ltd.”, a private export, clearing and forwarding company registered in China.

His portfolio of businesses in Ethiopia include the following and he is the major shareholder in most of these investments:

 System Technology PLC, IT equipment supplier established in 2001.
 Elegant Interior Design and Engineering PLC, supplier and manufacturer of finishing materials and sole agent of Mitsubishi Elevator and Escalator for buildings established in 2003.
 Shareholder in United Bank Sh. Co.
 Lewis Construction-major share holder
 Golden Tulip Addis Ababa Hotel
 Belay Ab Enterprises PLC ,Belay Ab Cable Manufacturing PLC and Belay Ab Vehicle Assembly PLC

Rezene Ayalew

Managing Director
Tsemex Hotels and Business Plc (Crowne Plaza Addis)

Mr. Rezene Ayalew Biru Owner and MD of Tsemex Global Enterprise P.L.C have started his business as major importer of spaghetti and Macaroni from Italy since 2001and also importing different commodities in addition to exporting ‘Niger seeds’ for U.S.A market. He has diversified its business and become one of the Leading Importer and Distributor of Water work related materials for sale but mainly for the delivery that the Enterprise has been winning for the supply of Government and NGO international tenders. He also owns a transport company with more than 60 fleets and Grade I Construction Company.
His company is an exclusive importer and distributor of WHO rated finest water tank in the world, Pioneer Water Tanks, for Eastern and Central Africa with a range and quality that no other water tank can produce.
He is also developing a Crowne Plaza Addis Ababa hotel which is co-financed with IFC/World Bank closer to African Union Convention Center.

Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi

Head of Tourism & Conservation
Rwanda Development Board (RDB)

A multi-lingual professional with a strong educational background and practical training in International Business, Diplomacy, Operations Management and business negotiations, Amb. Yamina Karitanyi has developed a sharp eye for leading corporations into new and developing markets. She has also gained significant expertise in developing and implementing government and corporate strategies and has played key strategic roles in the execution of several international initiatives by various institutions.
Amb. Karitanyi is currently the Head of Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board since March 2014 and her core mandate is to drive the growth of Rwanda’s Tourism Sector as well as spearheading the conservation efforts and programs for Rwanda’s Biodiversity.
Prior to this appointment, Amb. Karitanyi was the High Commissioner of Rwanda to Kenya since September 2012. Amb. Karitanyi joined the Mission in August 2010 as the Minister Counselor where in addition to attending to diplomatic matters, she was responsible for Trade and Investment portfolios and also managed image building activities within the Mission.

H.E. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Republic of Ghana

H.E. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Republic of Ghana

H. E. Walter Mzembi

Minister of Tourism
Republic of Zimbabwe

H.E Amin Abdulkadir

Minster for Culture and Tourism
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Irina Sheshero

National Investment Association

Irina Sheshero is one of the oldest specialists in the branch of investment engineering. She has basic financial education, is a PhD in economic sciences, has big experience in investment raising and deal structuring, as well as big experience in managing work in banks and companies.  In investment business - from middle 90s. She knows personally all representatives of financial-bank community of Russia, as well as many representatives of the banks and funds abroad.

Irina Sheshero was born in Moscow to the family of the First division chief - Deputy Minister of Finance RSFSR, graduated from Moscow Financial Institute (now Financial University under Government RF), then occupied top positions in many banks and companies. Supervised the departments of development, investment raising and deal structuring, IR (investor relations).

Being Aide of Deputy of the State Duma RF, created National Investment Association, which assists enterprises of raising investments. At present she is also a Deputy Chairman of the Expert Council of economic policy and investments of the Committee of economic policy, innovative development and enterpreneurship of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

Andrea D'Amico

Regional Director - Italy, Eastern Europe and Middle East Africa

Andrea D’Amico, Regional Director at, has been working in the online hotel industry since 1998 when he started his career at

In 2003, he joined in Cambridge and moved to Amsterdam after 2 years.

In 2006, he was given the task of developing the Italian market by promoting services to Italian hotels, and advising them on how to maximize their revenue. He opened the Rome office that same year.

In 2010, he relocated to Singapore and for 3 years he was in charge of developing the business in the APAC region.

He is now back in Rome in the role of Regional Director. He is responsible for Italy, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Pushpendra Uprety

Vice President
HTI Consulting

Pushpendra has over eight years of experience in real estate and hotel advisory, having worked with wide spectrum of clients including funds, developers, corporate and financial institutions.  

Pushpendra has worked on a variety of assignments covering various real estate components such as commercial, residential, hospitality, retail, industrial etc.
His prior experience includes working with international property consultancies: JLL and DTZ in the advisory side; hotel operator: Hilton on the feasibility side and hotel owners on the development side. He has been actively involved in the complete hotel development cycle of opportunity identification, site selection, evaluation, feasibility, due diligence, negotiations, contract structuring and contract execution.

Natalie Chibrikova

Head of the Real Estate Client Management Department
Sberbank CIB

Helaway Tadesse

Senior Vice President
Zemen Bank S.C

Helaway Tadesse is the Senior Vice President of Zemen Bank, a specialized private bank that works mainly with corporate and institutional clients.  He chairs the Bank’s Management Credit Committee and also oversees its lending and domestic banking operations.  Before joining Zemen Bank at the time its establishment in 2009, he was a Washington-D.C. based Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund, where he spent ten years on a varied group of country assignments that included Jordan, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, Malawi, and the Caribbean.  Helaway is a graduate of Reed College (BA, Economics) and Princeton University (MPA, Economics & Public Policy).

Haile Gebrselassie

Olympic gold medallist and hotel investor

Jurgen Hautmann

VP Asset Management
Kingdom Hotel Investment

Giorgi Pertaia

Georgian National Investment Agency

Giorgi Pertaia holds the position of director at Georgian National Investment Agency (GNIA) since July 2012 .Throughout his career, he gained substantive experience with previous appointments- including the position of Business Ombudsman of Georgia; Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia; Independent Consultant - Trade Specialist at Booz Allen Hamilton; on Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Anti-Corruption and Anti-Fraud Project; Head of Trade and Transport Committee at American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham); Lecturer at Tbilisi State University; the customs expert at EU funded customs project: “Technical assistance to the development of secondary customs legislation and customs management at Georgia”; Head of Planning and Control Division at Customs Department at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia.

Giorgi Pertaia has received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia and Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.

Petra Devereux

Recruitment and HR
Hotel Partners Africa

Petra Devereux is a professional Talent Acquisition Specialist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has a wealth of executive management experience within the hospitality, tourism, project management, construction and property development sectors.

Her  professionalism ethos being placed on the importance of having the right employees, as the key, to successful business practice, prompted her to diversify into the HR field of Talent Acquisition. Petra has operated her own agency for over 6 years, successfully sourcing and identifying talented staff for clients both in Africa and abroad in various sectors.  Having recently partnered with Hotel Partners Africa, the plan to extend the existing service offering is on course to expand tremendously.

Petra received her MBA through the London Thames Valley University in 2002 and believes that her varied experience in business from a young age has given her an added advantage in understanding and interpreting her client’s requirements and as such recruiting the best possible candidates for them.

Al-karim Nathoo

Managing Director
4C Hotel Group

Al-karim Nathoo is a Director of the 4C Hotel Group, who joined the organisation following his graduation from University College London in 2004

4C Hotel Group is a privately owned hotel development and management company, with a focus on site acquisition and development, ownership and operations of full and limited service hotels in major markets across the United Kingdom, Middle-East, Canada & East Africa.

The Group owns and operates Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn, Doubletree by Hilton, Comfort Inn, and Easy branded hotels.

The group currently have 3 operational hotels in East Africa, and have a pipe-line of a further 5 Hotels in locations including Bujumbura - Burundi, Kigali – Rwanda, & Mtwara – Tanzania.

Al-karim continues to focus on acquiring existing hotels and development sites.  Al-karim also sits on the Board of Redefine Hotels.

Brad Davidson

Projects Director, Design, Construction And Engineering EAME,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Brad Davidson is an experienced hotel professional with over 25 years’ experience in Hospitality design and planning in many parts of the world.

As an Architect and Interior designer he has been responsible for projects in the US, Latin America, Asia, India, Africa and the south Pacific. He has lived in many countries including Australia, the US, England, Malaysia and Tonga.

For the last 8 years brad has work as a Technical Services Director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts based out of Brussels and working throughout the Division on new build projects and Major renovations of existing properties.

Anastasiya Kremenchuk



In 2009, Anastasiya graduated from the Journalism and Writing Institute with specialization in Broadcast Journalism.
From 2009 to 2012, she received her second university degree at the Chernomyrdin Moscow State Open University, the Faculty of Business and Management, with specialization in Organization Management.
From 2010 to present, she is receiving her third university degree at the Moscow City University of Psychology and Education, the Department of Psychology (to be graduated in 2013).

Professional Experience:
From 2004 to 2005, Anastasiya took the position of Editor with, a project by Artemy Troitsky.
From 2005 to 2006, she was engaged in establishing and development of a restricted-access online project focused on topographic surveys, military off-road vehicles and automotive navigation.
From 2006 to 2008, she took the position of News Editor for and information and analysis web portals.
From 2008 to 2010, she advanced to the position of Deputy Editor in Chief for and information and analysis web portals.
From 2010 to present, Anastasiya Kremenchuk is the Editor in Chief for and

2010 — Anastasiya Kremenchuk became the winner in the Best Contribution on Construction, Reconstruction and Real Estate Market nomination among information agencies and online mass media in the IV PROEstate Media Awards Russian National Journalists Contest.
2011 — Anastasiya Kremenchuk became the winner in the Best Contribution on Construction, Reconstruction and Real Estate Market nomination among information agencies and online mass media in the V PROEstate Media Awards Russian National Journalists Contest.
2011 — Anastasiya Kremenchuk became a finalist in the Pro Development and Interview of the Year nominations in the JOY 2011 Awards.

Keith Aki-Sawyerr

Managing Director
Cape Sierra Co Ltd

Keith, a civil structural engineer with extensive experience in the design, funding and construction of accommodation projects in the UK, now operates in West Africa after making the transition from engineering to strategic leadership and management.  Keith started his career in the UK with Sir William Halcrow & Partners and where he spent eight years and became a chartered civil engineer. He then moved to Lloyd’s Register where he was involved in risk assessments and the approval of designs and manufacturing processes.  Keith has spent the past 15 years specialising in designing, structuring and implementing PFI or Project Finance Transactions.

Matt Luscombe

Chief Commercial Officer, Europe

As Chief Commercial Officer, Matt is responsible for developing and delivering IHG's brand and commercial strategies in Europe, driving performance through leadership of the sales, brand marketing, revenue management, commercial marketing and loyalty functions in the region.

In more than eight years with the company, Matt has held a series of senior commercial and operational positions, most recently running IHG's Franchise business in the EMEA region. Before joining IHG, Matt worked as an Engagement Manager for Marakon Associates, a strategy consultancy firm, where he advised a number of Fortune 500 businesses in sectors including hospitality, consumer goods, telecoms, financial services and pharmaceuticals.

Matt has degrees in Economics and Management Studies from the University of Cambridge. Outside of work, Matt is passionate about sports, particularly rowing, and coached his wife, Jo, to a silver medal at the World Championships.

Luc Gesvret

SVP Sales, Distribution & Loyalty Russia Georgia & CIS

Luc Gesvret, graduated from ESCP Europe is VP Sales Distribution and loyalty for Accor Russia, Georgia and CIS.

With an extended International knowledge of the hotel business, and distribution, Luc Gesvret has led the implementation of the new technologies and digital plan in several Eastern Europe countries, in a ever evolving environment to secure the best return on investment  on customer value for ACCOR and its affiliates.

Michael Sudarkasa

Africa Business Group

Michael E.M. Sudarkasa is a U.S. trained attorney and African economic development consultant based in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Michael has experience and expertise in facilitating trade and investment projects involving business expansion within Africa, as well as between Africa and other parts of the world.  He has significant sector expertise in agriculture/ agribusiness; energy; broadcast media; infrastructure; healthcare; tourism and oil and gas. He also has significant experience working with public sector institutions (municipal, provincial, national and multilateral) developing local economic development strategies, trade promotion and investment attraction strategies, and in managing related implementation projects and processes.  Michael’s background in law is in the area of commercial law with a special focus on cross-border transactions. 

To date, Michael has over 20 years of experience providing international trade, investment, economic development, legal, research and business analysis services related to African economic development with a particular focus on private sector development.  He has travelled, worked, or provided training and development assistance in 53 countries throughout the world (including 33 in Africa).  He has also authored several articles and publications related to African trade and investment.

In addition to undertaking independent consulting projects, Michael heads the Africa Business Group (ABG), an economic development company that focuses on economic and business development consulting, sector focused project development and management, and capacity development (training, facilitation).

Suma Venkatesh

SVP Development
Taj Group

Suma Venkatesh, Vice President – Development, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd., heads the Taj Group’s initiatives for growth through green field developments, acquisitions, licenses and management contracts and also planning of large scale renovations of various hotels within its portfolio. Over the last 12 years with the Taj Group, she has been involved in doubling the Group’s inventory to 127 hotels with 15500+ keys.

Ms. Venkatesh is an Electrical Engineer by training and holds a Masters Degree in Management Studies from the Mumbai University in India. She has over 22 years of cross functional experience across industries. Before joining the Taj Group, she has worked in different functions across multiple industry sectors in India.

Kevan Moses

Stauch Vorster Architects

Kevan was initially employed as Design Architect at Tyser Pellegrini Architects, where he then became a Partner in 1988.  He then joined Pentagraph, a multi-faceted design company, in 1992 to assist in establishing an architectural component to the company.  Kevan established a new architectural practice with Michael O’Malley in late 1993, trading under the name of O’Malley Moses and Associates.  O’Malley Moses then amalgamated with a Zimbabwean practice in 1994 to strengthen African base.  The new entity traded as Mwamuka Mercuri O’Malley Moses, based in Johannesburg, Harare and Bulawayo.  The regional practice focused on a broad range of sectors, including Corporate offices, Retail and Educational. N.U.S.T University and Joina Centre, Harare, being two of the major projects.

MMOM amalgamated with Stauch Vorster Architects in 1997 to establish a broad geographical and sector focus in South Africa and the African continent.
Kevan’s primary focus in the practice has been quality design in the built environment across most building sectors. Kevan’s particular interest and skill has been in the mixed use, commercial and hospitality sectors, with projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.Sustainable design has always been a focus, starting with a highly successful (off grid) project in Gaborone breaking new ground.  Kevan has recently taken up the co-chair of the International Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, representing South Africa. 

Andrew Linwood

Head of Design,
Areen Hospitality Design

Andrew has designed interiors for the world’s leading hotel operators, holding senior positions at well-renowned hospitality specialists.

After studying Interior Design in London and working in the UK and Europe, Andrew became Senior Designer and then Managing Director of regional Interiors group GTD in Hong Kong and Singapore. He went on to became Senior Project Designer with globally-renowned hospitality specialists Hirsch Bedner Associates in Singapore and London, designing luxury projects in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia and Thailand.

On his return to the UK he worked at Richmond International- part of the Areen Group- and in 2008 he established Areen Hotel Design, now known as Areen Hospitality.
As Head of Hospitality Design, Andrew is involved in and monitors all aspects of a project, from conception through to on-site installation.  Areen Hospitality is currently working on projects in India, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Samuel Tafese

Founder & President
Sunshine investment Group

Samuel Tafese is the founder and the CEO of Sunshine Investment Group, Sunshine Construction plc, Sunshine Business plc, Sun sister trading and Sunshine philanthropy foundation.

His first company, Sunshine Construction Plc is a company that was established in 1984 as a sole proprietorship and later in 1993 transformed into a private limited Company. After three decades of a successful engagement mainly in the construction sector, it evolved into and become Mother Company to the three autonomous businesses and philanthropic entity.

His 30-year experience in road projects, real estate and now hospitality has made him one of the leading contractors in Ethiopia.

Road Projects- Completed 16 major road projects.
Building Projects – Completed over 12 major building projects.
Real estate- 210 G+1 & G+2 Villas in Meri-Luke, 33 G+4 residential apartments with 37 shops in Gerji and 15 G+1 &2 Villas and 500 villas and Apartments in CMC.
Hotel – Marriott Executive Apartments, 109 rooms a valued cost of 45 million dollars.
Quality award from the International Quality Summit in New York in 2012.
Platinum award from the Century International Quality ERA Convention in Geneva, Switzerland in 2014.

Berhane Demissie

Managing Director
Schulze Global Investments

Ms Berhane Demissie has been the Managing Director of Schulze Global Investments-Ethiopia since 2008. SGI-Ethiopia manages a private equity fund exclusively focused on investing in Ethiopia in various sectors of the economy. Former positions include Senior Consultant to Ethiopia's Public Financial Enterprise Agency , and various positions with Citigroup in London. Ms Demissie holds an MBA from Imperial College, London and Bsc (Hons) in Computer and Communication Systems, Greenwich University, London.

Frank Mustaff

Managing Partner - Germany
Horwath HTL

Frank Mustaff has more than 25 years of management and consulting experience in various industries. His expertize lies within strategic management and economic tourism development. As the Managing Partner of the Horwath HTL Germany office his assignments in various countries in Eastern Africa included the development of Tourism Master Plans for dedicated areas as well the development and implementation of Tourism Regulation for Rwanda. He is a specialist for facilitating promotion of the tourism sector be it via SME, roadshows or cross-border investments.

Michael Johnston

Chief Executive Officer
Regional Hotel Chain LLC

Michael took over leadership of the Regional Hotel Chain LLC in May of 2014 and is responsible for strategic development and general management of the company.

Michael is a US Citizen and a seasoned hotelier that has built, operated and exited branded hotels in the United States while running a captive hotel investment and management company. Additionally, Michael is a Thunderbird MBA graduate with seven years experience in the CIS working in Private Equity and Investment Management where he focused on acquiring under-capitalized operating businesses and high growth companies. Prior to joining RHC, Michael spent several years as both Head of Private Equity for KPMG and Deloitte in Russia as well as a Director of Strategy in their respected Global Strategy Groups where we was recognized as a strategically minded professional with expertise in developing businesses in complex environments. Prior to overseeing the Private Equity initiatives for Deloitte and KPMG, Michael was Managing Director of Las Brisas Hotel Group, a California based hotel investment and management company, as well as an Investment Director for one of the largest institutionally backed Private Equity funds investing in the CIS.

Norberto Pereyra

Undersecretary of Coordination
Ministry of Tourism Argentina

Michael Pownall

General Manager
Taj Cape Town

Michael Pownall is the General Manager of the Taj Cape Town. Born and schooled in the metropolitan borough of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, Michael graduated at Blackpool Hotel School where he earned his degree in Hotel Management during the 80’s. He has since then traveled the world, working and living on four continents before settling down and taking up permanent residence in South Africa – a country from which he draws his inspiration. 

Michael has managed high profile hotels in USA, the Carribean and South Africa for over a decade, where he has played a pivotal role in assuring optimum performance and effective daily property operations of some of the industry’s finest hotels.

Apart from managing and continuously improving the hotel’s five key result areas (guest service, employees, sales/marketing, property appearance, and profit/financial control), Michael is forever actively pursuing opportunities and projects for the hotel to get involved in- from local art and design to fashion and food- as part of his passion for the rejuvenation of Cape Town’s inner city. “Many of Cape Town’s best attractions are within easy walking distance of the hotel, allowing our guests to immerse themselves completely in a historical and cultural experience. We need to ensure we don’t miss out on projects and events happening in our neighbourhood,” says Michael.

Mario Delicio

Managing Director
Hotel Verde

Jean-Marc Farini

General Manager Rosa Khutor
Compagnie des Alpes

David Kelly

Head of Special Projects

Castlebrook is a hotel property interior solution provider. Initially it designed and manufactured furniture and it has evolved into a business with full FF&E capacity. It has recently completed a project in the Le Meridian in Cairo airport. Its other notable projects in Africa were the completion of the FF&E in the Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa and the refurbishment of the 600 room Fairmont hotel in Cairo. David is leading Castlebrook’s Special Projects division. He has been in the hotel sector as an asset manager, developer and investor for 15 years. Among the projects he was involved with was the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort in Ponte Vedra, Florida where he was an investor and board member. David is an economics graduate of University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts in Ireland having qualified while working with KPMG.

Milos Jokic

Head of Engineering Unit
Plaza Lotus Group

Olga Arkhangelskaya

Partner, Head of the Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction sectors in the CIS

Olga Arkhangelskaya, Partner, Head of the Real Estate, Transportation, Infrastructure and Government & Public Sectors in the CIS, EY
Olga has more than 15 years of experience in Real Estate, specializing on real estate valuation, feasibility studies, financial analysis, real estate portfolio strategy development, concept development cluster analysis, hospitality, financing and transaction structuring. Olga was the first RICS Chairwoman in the CIS; she is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Steering Committee in Russia. In 2010 Olga won the prize "Personality of the Year" at the Annual Commercial Real Estate Moscow Awards. Her personal and professional achievements have made Olga one of the most influential real estate market experts.

Ольга Архангельская, Партнер, руководитель группы по оказанию услуг компаниям секторов недвижимости, транспорта, инфраструктуры и государственным компаниям в СНГ, EY
Ольга имеет более 15 лет профессионального опыта, специализируясь в области оценки объектов недвижимости, подготовки технико-экономических обоснований, финансового анализа, разработки стратегий в отношении портфеля недвижимости, проектов комплексного развития территорий и кластерного анализа, в гостиничном бизнесе, привлечении финансирования и структурировании финансовых сделок. Ольга является членом управляющего комитета Urban Land Institute (ULI) в России, Сертифицированным  специалистом Института Коммерческих Инвестиций в Недвижимость США (CCIM), Главой рабочей группы по финансированию и инвестициям в рамках Комитета по недвижимости Ассоциации Европейского Бизнеса, а также занимала пост первого Председателя Правления RICS в России. В 2010 года Ольга награждена премией Commercial Real Estate Awards в номинации «Человек года».

Francois Carle

Global Hotel Solution Business Development Director
Schneider Electric

Francois Carle is the Global Hotel Solution Director of Schneider Electric. Driving global business development, Mr. Carle is charged with the responsibility of developing, expanding and implementing the Hotels offer which represents more than €100 million turnover for Schneider Electric.

Strategically based out of Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Carle leads the development of energy efficiency measures and  maintain personal relationships with hoteliers worldwide. Mr. Carle also coordinates the international deployment of the Schneider Electric Buildings Business Hotel & Guestroom management systems.

Backed by 20 years of experience with Schneider Electric, Mr. Carle has proven adept in a variety of international climates, eventually coming to encompass the majority of all company offerings. Some of these concentrations and positions have included: Hotel Strategy Director, Marketing Manager, Key Accounts Manager and International Project Manager. His professional career at Schneider Electric has led him to work with many different cultures and in several part of the world, including Europe, Asia and Pacific.

A dual emphasis on engineering and business administration, as well as personal and professional proficiency with 4 different languages, has succeeded in making Mr. Carle a true asset to the international initiatives of Schneider Electric. In his personal time, Mr. Carle has three children and professes an interest in traveling. He also actively participates in a variety of sporting activities, including golfing, scuba diving, and triathlon competitions.

Gottfried Hart

Senior Director, Energy Optimisation,
The Rezidor Hotel Group

Edward Kirathe

Chief Executive Officer
Acorn Group

Edward Kirathe is a Kenyan Entrepreneur and Real Estate Developer.  

He is the founder and Group Chief Executive Officer at Acorn Group. Acorn Group is a leading property development and project management company in East Africa Region. Recently, Britam a listed diversified financial and insurance group acquired a 25% stake in Acorn. 

Through this partnership, Acorn and Britam are embarking to establish Akwa Hotels, a local brand of midscale hotels to serve the needs of the discerning business traveler visiting and conducting business in the cities and towns across the East African region.

Edward is credited with setting the trends in East and Central Africa region by managing the development of iconic and landmark buildings such us the head office of Coca Cola East and Central Africa (Nairobi) and Deloitte East Africa.

He’s vision is about creating a positive impact on peoples’ lives through real estate, enhancing the environment and philanthropy.

He has over 20 years of experience in real estate.

Dmitry Amunts

Federal Agency for Tourism, Ministry for Culture of the Russian Federation
Deputy Head

Родился в 1962 году. 
В 1984 г. окончил Московский Институт народного хозяйства им.Г.В.Плеханова по специальности  экономическая  кибернетика.
Работал в системе внешних экономических связей, в том числе в Торгпредстве России в Республике Гана. Руководил проектами в коммерческих структурах. Являлся заместителем Генерального директора ОАО «Аэрофлот» по корпоративному и стратегическому развитию.
С 2001 по 2004 гг. - Председатель Фонда «Инвестиционный Комитет Содружества Государств».
С 2004 по 2008 гг. - заместитель Министра культуры и массовых коммуникаций Российской Федерации.
Затем  Президент Объединенной Промышленной Корпорации, Председатель совета директоров Группы Компаний «АТЛАС».
С июня 2012 г. – советник Министра культуры Российской Федерации.
В январе 2013 г. назначен заместителем Руководителя Федерального агентства по туризму.
Кандидат экономических наук.
Владеет английским языком.
Женат, имеет сына.

Antoine Guego

Chief Operating Officer, Africa & Indian Ocean

Antoine Guego joined the Accor Group, the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Africa, in 1987. He spent his whole career abroad starting as Hotel General Manager and being mostly Director of Operations. From 2008 to 2013, he was COO for Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

On January 1st, 2014, Antoine Guego was appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer Accor HotelServices for Africa & Indian Ocean and he set up the headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco. In parallel, he assumed the role of CEO of Accor Morocco Management Ltd.

Antoine Guego’s priority is to develop, manage and animate Accor hotel networks in his regions while reinforcing brands’ image.

Alan O'Dea

Senior Vice President - Africa
Movenpick Hotels & Resorts

Alan O'Dea is the Senior Vice President of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts – Africa and a member of the Executive Committee of the Company since January 2013.

With his 19 years of experience in the Hospitality field, O'Dea enjoys a wealth of experience and strong relationships with various business partners in Africa.

Ireland born, O'Dea has held several senior positions with Le Meridien and IHG before joining Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in 2005 as VP Revenue Management till 2009.
From 2010 till 2012, O'Dea was the VP Revenue Strategy & Development during which time he played a key role in signing and opening several hotels across Africa Continent.

Alan holds a BA Degree in Hotel & Catering Management from GMIT Galway, Ireland.

Tsotne Ebralidze

Managing Director, Hospitality and Real Estate
Georgian Co-Investment Fund

Tsotne Ebralidze is Managing Director of Hospitality and Real Estate of Georgian Co-Investment Fund since September 2013.

Prior to this role Mr. Ebralidze held a position of Deputy Director of the Corporate Banking Department of TBC Bank where he was responsible for budgeting and development of the bank’s strategy and new products  within the Corporate Banking Division. Mr. Ebralidze has accumulated extensive experience in the real estate sector, particularly through his work at ARCI, a real estate development company, initially as Head of Marketing and Investor Relations and later as Deputy CEO. Prior to this Mr. Ebralidze worked at Synergy Group, a management consulting company, as a consultant.

Mr. Ebralidze holds BSc in Economics from the Tbilisi State University and MBA degree from the London Business School.

Sven Versteegh

Executive Director of Theme Park
Sochi-Park JSC

Sven took over PartyCompany  in 1989, then three locations, and expanded this company in the nineties  to 19 companies with diverse activities in the sector of leisure and entertainment. Under the name All Events Group, he managed together with Mignonne  an Artists Agency, Ticketing Agency, Incentive Agency, Convention Bureau, Outdoor Center, and nine Group Restaurants and Party Locations.

Since 2002, Sven has focused on developing new concepts and formulas. He expanded ID&Consult Company and enlarged the work area to Europe and Russia. In the last 10 years, many international projects were initiated, managed and implemented.

In terms of concept Sven is an all-rounder with a broad view on opportunities in promising areas.

Anton Protsentov

Chief Executive Officer
GOST Hotel Management

Anton Viktorovich Protsentov began his career in Snowland Company in 2001 starting with development and startup of a skiing complex at the Lake Baikal. The operational profitability was reached in 6 months after the launch.

In 2004-2005 as the General Director of non-core social assets of  Evrazruda OJSC Mr. Protsentov increased the profitability of the company by a third at the same time improving the level of offered services which positively reflected on the facility’s appeal to the clients.

In 2005 – 2006 implemented the system of financial and management reporting as well as the launch of gambling zones in Macedonia.

In 2006 – 2008 as the General Director of the hotel Foresta Festival Park in a short term reached the required profitability levels starting from the startup of the project. 

In 2008 Mr. Protsentov joined GOST Hotel Management as the Head of Development of Russian Hotels chain.

In 2009 – 2011 Mr. Protsentov as the General Director managed Volna Hotel in Nizhniy Novgorod. Anton Victorovich managed to renovate the hotel significantly, increased the financial results and rebranded the Russian Hotels trade mark

In 2011 Mr. Protsentov as CEO headed GOST Group subsidiary company Grand Baikal. During this period many facilities of the company were modernized, a new sport complex was built, increased the investments in the objects’ infrastructure and the financial results increased noticeably. Several of the hotels of the company were rebranded to Russian Hotels trademark.

Since Novemeber 2013 – Deputy General Director of GOST Hotel Management. The main efforts at that periods are targeted on organization of  service for more than 2500 members of the Olympic and Paralympic family in Ayvazovsky Hotel Complex and hiring of nearly 1000 temporary and permanent employees as well as a short term Olympic project startup and closedown.  

Since September 2014 – General Director of GOST Hotel Management and Director of Operations of GOST Group.

Dirk Bakker

Head of EMEA Hotels
Colliers International

Dirk is Head of Hotels for Colliers International EMEA region, based in Amsterdam. The Colliers EMEA team is part of the Colliers International Global Hotels team with specialists across EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Dirk is also a partner for Colliers International in the Netherlands.

Dirk has over 25 years experience in hotel consulting in the global market, with a focus on transaction advisory and brokerage. Dirk and his team of 80 hospitality professionals work worldwide, with a particular focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Dirk is an experienced entrepreneur. He started his hospitality career with initially a focus on customer loyalty programs and hotel consultancy with his company ICS. He executed over 200 hotel loyalty card programs for all the major brands in 27 countries across Europe, the Middle East, India, Brazil and Russia. He was a founding partner of Kayak Systems, which later became combined his expertise as an entrepreneur and a hotel operations specialist and incorporated the current Hotels division of Colliers International in the Netherlands in 2010 and took the Colliers Hotel department to market leadership in the Dutch market with a 40% market share over the past 5 years in the Netherlands.

Sergey Vladimirov

Head of Development Projects
Airport Development

Sergey has more than 15 years of experience in Real Estate development, including concept development and hospitality. He has worked in leading Russian companies such as Vedis, Inteco, Mosinzhstroi and Unicor.

In 2013 Sergey joined “Airport Development” (BASEL Group), he is responsible for "AirportCity" development in Krasnodar, Sochi, Anapa and Gelendzhik.

Before joining “Airport Development” Sergey managed the construction of Swissôtel Kamelia Sochi.

Sergey graduated from the State Academy of Management.

Sergey Vereshchagin

Chief Executive Officer
Northern Caucasus Resorts

Sergey Degtyarev

Managing Director
Degtyarev Club Georgia


Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. Economics department
Accounting, analysis and audit
1993 – 1996
Moscow Business School
MBA, Strategic management
2010 – 2011


Managing director
from November 2011 to the present time

Investment consulting in material objects (fixed assets) and the tools of business in Georgia (Caucasus) (for private equity funds, for institutional investors, for private investors)

Consultations on risk management in Georgia (Caucasus)

DUE DILIGENCE in Georgia (Caucasus)

Managing director
December 2009 - November 2011

Retail selling of Prada and Miu-Miu clothing, accessories and shoes.
- creation of friendly relations with the suppliers and state authorities
- involving of employees in managing process in accordance with strategic goals and corporate culture
- managing of constant improvements
- risk management
- managing of business processes
- managing of the quality of sales
I gained the experience of business startup in Russia in worldwide famous FMCG company

Managing director
July 2004 - December 2009

Financial outsourcing.
The main responsibility is to run the company.
Major achievements:
- development and introduction of motivation and assessment system for employees based on KPIs
- 6 times increase of sales during 5 years

Senior auditor, consultant
February 2001 - July 2004

- organization and conducting of audits
- organization and conducting of due diligence for foreign startups
Major achievements:
- successful projects of tax planning, organization and introduction of internal control in FMCG sector, development and introduction of documents flow and cost optimization in production sector
- successful litigations against tax authorities

Natalia Tischendorf

European Director, Head of Corporate Finance
JLL Capital Markets

Yury Sapozhnikov

Commercial Director

James Stuart

Managing Partner
The Brand Company

James founded The Brand Company in 2002.

He has helped to create several of Asia’s most notable new hotel brands, including The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Opposite House in Beijing, Langham Place Hotels and East Hotels. He has also helped re-shape some of the region’s longer-standing brands, including Shangri-La Hotels, The Peninsula Hong Kong and New World Hotels, part of the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts group.

Based in Hong Kong his work takes him to all corners of Asia and beyond. Current projects cover South Korea, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Hong Kong and Kenya.

His business passion is shifting the prevalent view within the hospitality industry from one where brands are equated with marketing and packaging to one where brands are recognised as the central and unifying driver of organisational purpose, culture and financial success.

He is a regular speaker at global conferences, an active writer for Asian newspapers and hospitality journals and has lectured to several universities on the subject of brand-centred management.

In early 2014 he published his first book on the sometimes uneasy relationship between the hospitality industry and brands: Hotel Brand Bites.

Paul Ziegler

Onlime Business Communications

Paul joined the Group from Gateway Communications, which was acquired by PCCW Global, where he was Executive Director responsible for Business Development across Africa and the Middle East.

At Gateway he was a Business Development Director in 2006, in 2007 was promoted to Commercial Director Carrier Services and as of 2008 was Executive Director responsible for Business Development, managing a culturally diverse and dispersed sales team across the EMEA region.

With over 22 years of international voice, data networking (satellite & terrestrial) and telecoms experience, his deep customer understanding and market knowledge of EMEA is highly respected across the industry.

Prior to joining Gateway, Paul has held various positions at AT&T that include Regional Manager EMEA responsible for Service Management, Business Development Manager EMEA, Account Director for MEA responsible for sales of Wholesale voice and data solutions and finally Sales Director EMEA responsible for AT&T’s Wholesale overall data portfolio in the region.

Paul was awarded “AT&T Leaders Council Award” and the “AT&T Presidents’ Award” in 2004.

Stuart Cook

Managing Director
Protea Hotels East Africa

A British National, certified by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, with over twenty years of experience in the hospitality industry, the first ten years of which was in South Africa, Stuart Cook is the Managing Director/Managing Partner of Protea Hotels (U) Ltd, the Master Franchise holders for Protea Hospitality SA in the East African region, which he runs from their Head Office based in Kampala, Uganda.

He has an intimate knowledge of the opportunities and challenges that exist within the EA region acquired through his passionate, hands-on approach to both the development of branded properties and management consultancy provided to unbranded units. He sits on the Executive Council of the Hotels Owners Association in Uganda and was recently appointed by the Minister of Education to the Board tasked with Reforming Vocational and Educational Training in the country.

During the last the last ten years in East Africa he has over-seen the Protea brand development and unit roll-out in countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

The Protea portfolio, recently acquired by Marriott International, consists of 10,148 rooms in ten African countries including South Africa.

Remmy Nwachukwu

Manager Business Development
African Export-Import Bank

Holds B.Sc and MBA degrees from the Universities of Lagos and Nsukka, Nigeria respectively. Also an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School, Pan Africa University, Lagos.

Experience started with journalism and later moved into development finance with a stint at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva. Spent several years at Fidelity Bank Plc Nigeria with experience cutting through various departments – Corporate Banking, Telecommunications, Oil and Gas and Corporate Finance. Rose to position of Assistant General Manager and Head of Corporate Solutions with responsibility for Capital Issues, SME funding, Asset Management and Real Estate Debt funding. Presently at Afreximbank as Manager Business Development with responsibility for deal origination within the sub region

Paul Blackmore

Managing Director
CIMC Modular Building Systems

Paul is the Managing Director of CIMC Modular Building Systems, CIMC MBS is a division of the $10Bn turnover CIMC group with headquarters in Shenzhen, China.  CIMC MBS are a supplier and constructor of modular building units for use in budget and mid-market hotels, student accommodation, care homes and social housing.

Prior to joining CIMC Paul worked in various manufacturing positions globally with the French group, Saint Gobain.  Paul was employed by Saint Gobain whilst still at high school and funded through University by the company.

Since joining CIMC in 2006 Paul has taken the company from a concept business to a multi-million Dollar business with projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Paul has developed the business model from a modular supply only business to today’s business model, where CIMC are capable of providing a full turnkey solution with a finance offer, through CIMCs Capital division.

Paul holds a 1st class degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Sheffield University.

Aidar Utkelov

Astana Property management

Aidar Utkelov is headed by a development company Astana Property Management since April 2013, Being one of the most experienced and qualified specialists in the sphere of real estate development in Kazakhstan, Aidar invested all their skills to the new project - Talan Towers.
Under his management Talan Towers went from ideas and preliminary concept to real implementation. At the moment of the final project concept, design works are completed, the designers have started the design of internal premises, completed the installation of bored piles. Under the strict guidance of Aidar Utkelov collection of international professional team, which includes professionals in project management, architects, designers, specialized consultants, building contractors, etc.


Aidar Utkelov founded and led by NGOs such as the Association of Realtors of Almaty and Kazakhstan club mortgage brokers and appraisers, was a member of the American chamber of Commerce in Georgia. Today he takes a part in the green building Council of Kazakhstan, actively lobbying the interests of developers and promotion of green building in Kazakhstan.
Since 1997, Aidar started working in the field of real estate development on the international level. Among the projects implemented under his management, 2 five-star Radisson BLU hotel in Tbilisi and Batumi, several office buildings A class in Almaty and Tbilisi, concert hall in the Crimea, as well as many other residential and commercial real estate.

Education and qualifications

Aidar Utkelov has the qualification of a specialist in ecological genetics (KazGU. Al-Farabi), certified specialist in environmental Economics (University of Missouri and Hartwick College), MPA (Kazakhstan Institute of management Economics and strategic research of the President of Kazakhstan), MBA (Maastricht school of management), PMP (Project Management Professional, George Washington University).


Айдар Уткелов
Директор Astana Property Management
Текущие обязанности

Айдар Уткелов возглавляет девелоперскую компанию Astana Property Management c апреля 2013 г. Являясь одним из самых опытных и квалифицированных специалистов в сфере девелопмента объектов недвижимости в Казахстане, Айдар вложил все свои умения и навыки в реализацию нового проекта – Talan Towers.
Под его управлением Talan Towers прошел путь от идеи и предварительной концепции до реального воплощения. На данный момент окончательно сформирована концепция проекта, завершены проектные работы, дизайнеры приступили к проектированию внутренних помещений, завершается устройство буронабивных свай. Под чутким руководством Айдара Уткелова собрана международная профессиональная команда, которая включает в себя специалистов по проектному менеджменту, архитекторов, дизайнеров, узкоспециализированных консультантов, строительных подрядчиков и т.п.

Айдар Уткелов основал и возглавлял такие общественные организации, как Ассоциация Риэлторов Алматы и Казахстанский клуб ипотечных брокеров и оценщиков, являлся членом Американской коммерческой палаты в Грузии. На сегодняшний день он входит в Совет по зеленому строительству Казахстана, активно занимается лоббированием интересов девелоперов и продвижением зеленого строительства в Казахстане.
С 1997 г. Айдар работает в сфере девелопмента объектов недвижимости на международном уровне. Среди проектов, реализованных по его руководством, 2 пятизвездочных отеля Radisson BLU в Тбилиси и Батуми, несколько офисных зданий А-класса в Алматы и Тбилиси, концертный зал в Крыму, а также множество других объектов жилой и коммерческой недвижимости.

Образование и квалификация
Айдар Уткелов имеет квалификацию специалиста по экологической генетике (КазГУ им. Аль-Фараби), сертифицированного специалиста по экологической экономике (Университет Миссури и Hartwick College), МPA (Казахстанский институт менеджмента экономики и стратегических исследований Президента РК), MBA (Маастрихтская школа менеджмента), PMP (Project Management Professional, George Washington University).

Ainur Kuatova

Deputy Chair
Astana Expo 2017

Kuatova Ainur Sainovna was born on October 13, 1973. In 1994 she graduated from Kazakh state academy of management with a degree in «Finance and credit», in 2004 – graduated from Business School under Middlesex University with a degree in «Master of business administration». She has a master degree in business administration. Kuatova A.S. has nearly 20 years of experience. Her professional experience includes both work in the state bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and work in different commercial organizations, including in senior positions. She has the skillls of carrying out expert examination in such shperes as financial sector and oil&gas industry. In recent years she participated in the development of such state programme documents as the Concept of a transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to a green economy, State programme of water management. She is fluent in English.

Since January 2014 she is working as a Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Joint stock company «National company «Astana EXPO - 2017».

Deborah Haines

District Director Radisson Blu Russia
The Rezidor Hotel Group

Deborah Haines has an extensive background in the hotel industry. In 2000, she joined Rezidor as Executive Housekeeper at the Radisson SAS Hotel Manchester Airport and later moved to the position of Rooms Division Manager in the same property. Deborah transferred to the Radisson Edwardian Hotel at Heathrow Airport as Operations Manager in 2003. In 2004 she was appointed Executive Housekeeper at the Radisson SAS Hotel London Stansted Airport and was promoted to Director of Operations a year later. In 2006 she transferred as General Manager to the Park Inn Hyde Park in London. In September 2007 she worked as General Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham and in 2010 she became General Manager of the Radisson Blu Grand Hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since April 2012, Deborah has been working as General Manager of the Radisson Blu Belorusskaya Hotel, which is her most recent position.

Nikolay Golubev

Managing Partner
Smart Company

Natalia Nedzelskaya

Tver Marina Project, Chief Operations Officer
Group of Companies "Status"

Stefano Carosi

Head of Unit Financing, Real Estate Finance
UniCredit Bank

Stefano has joined Unicredit Russia in Febraury 2014 as head of Real Estate finance.

Before joining Unicredit, in April 2006, Stefano worked 8 years at DTZ Moscow office. From 2006 to 2011 as head of Investment Department and afterwards as Managing Director. During this period, he closed several re-financings in Moscow and St. Petersburg for class A commercial properties.

Previously moving to Moscow in 2006, Stefano was based in Germany, working for Aareal Bank Ag (Wiesbaden) as Senior Credit Analyst, providing financial analysis on investment and related to any Real Estate asset class for different kind of Clients (high net worth individuals, developers, German open-end Funds, UK opportunity funds and international investors). 

His experience in finance, banking and risk valuation is over 16 years since he previously worked as Analyst for Interbanca Spa (Corporate Finance, Italy), Zuerich Financial Group and IBM Global Financing.

Stefano graduated from “Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” University in Milan and has a degree in Economics.

Stefano speaks Italian, English, German and Russian and is member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Arthur Gillis

Former CEO
Protea Hotels

Arthur was part of the founding TEAM at Protea Hotels in 1984, and from 1988-2014 Arthur carried out the role of group managing director for what has become Africa’s largest and leading hotel group. On 1 April 2014  Marriott International, Inc purchased Protea Hospitality Holding’s three brands and management company. Some time ago both parties started talking about the unrealised potential in Africa. A reasonable conclusion was drawn that Protea’s alignment with a global hospitality giant such as Marriott ensures that Protea Hospitality Group can realise its full potential and that Marriott will gain a substantial footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.  Arthur’s new role is Non-Executive Chairman, Africa Development, Marriott International.

Ivan Kiseev

Vice President

Ivan has joined JLL in March 2013. Based on 8 year experience of hospitality consultancy Ivan’s current role involves driving the investment component of JLL Hospitality practice in Russia and CIS and partially supervising the projects both development and operator selection tenders. As a separate function, he assumes part of responsibility for business development.

Key responsibilities of the current role are: managing ongoing sell-side/buy-side mandates, key clients relations management, lead in operator selection tenders, business development, participation in key transactions, lead in feasibility projects including development potential assessment and concept development.

Prior to joining JLL Ivan worked in several recognized real estate firms and was involved in more than 100 of different nature including feasibility, operator selection and valuation.

Tom Devonshire-Griffin

Head of Capital Markets

Ara Aramyan

Deputy General Director
MC Dynamo

Has worked on a wide variety of development projects each time focusing on creating properties of enduring value. Has almost two decades of experience and specific expertise in the construction industry working senior top management and business strategy positions. Holding the honors degree in Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) embarked on his professional career in 1994 as a real estate specialist. In a span of 3 years negotiated and conducted signing of over a hundred real estate lease agreements with leading Russian and international companies. At one time joined Mostechnostroy Company, Mosinterstroy Group. During his tenure company stocks shortly began to rise and went from $200 thousand to a nearly $20 million acquisition. Assisted in setting up effective management facilities and newly established departments’ administration. Head of the capital raising division made investment recommendations and established close links with leading banks and companies such as PARIBAS, Albert Abela, Hyatt, Rosh Credit, Ebel, U. Dori, Grasseto Construzioni, Incombank, Menatep, Sberbank of Russia, Alarko, Yapi Ve Credi, Mosbusinessbank, Industrial and Construction Bank and many others. In 1999 joined Conzern Lusine Group as an Executive Director where he worked successfully on Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow Hotel Project ($64 million) from the concept design to the end product raising funding, providing asset management services and technical leadership, contracting, promoting efficient business models, negotiating with the largest hotel operators like Hilton, Starwood, Accor, Radisson. Was the first to establish effective relationship with Hyatt and attract it to operate the hotel thus fostering hotel industry in Russia evolve and new hospitality standards set. Other notable career success includes work in Mirax Group, one of the largest development companies in Russia where he moved into a challenging role to head many unique and innovative architectural turn-key projects such as two high-rise buildings Federation Tower and Mirax Plaza, Grand Hyatt Moscow Residences and Spa at the total cost of almost $1,5 billion and others. Currently Commercial Part Project Director at Management Company Dynamo managing a 700,000 sqm VTB Arena Park Project comprising sports, entertainment, commercial and residential facilities and providing excellent upscale services and amenities.
The author of 11 scientific publications and articles.

Olivier Jacquin

Mangalis Hotel Group

Olivier Jacquin, is the Chief Executive Officer of Mangalis Hotel Group since March 2014.

He has more than 25 years of extensive experience in the hospitality industry. Jacquin led for 10 years the marketing, distribution and sales of Carlson Rezidor as a Senior Vice President. Previously, he was the Global Sales Director of Europcar, and before that he was the Corporate Director of Sales at Concorde Hotels & Resorts.

Jacquin acquired the INSEAD Advanced Management Program. He also has a degree in Sales and Marketing from l’Institut Supérieur Européen de Gestion in Paris.

He is 47 years old, passionate about contemporary art and design, he also has great interest in culinary. Currently, he resides in Barcelona with constant travels to Europe and Africa.

By 2019, Mangalis Hotel Group will be among the largest hotels group active in Africa reaching the 70+ properties milestone, while being the industry undisputed reference, well beyond the African borders.

Fatih Cigal

Vice President, Marketing & Sales (Central Europe)
Turkish Airlines

Murat Bas

Vice President of Marketing and Sales
Turkish Airlines

Özgür Özaslan

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture

Yaşar Döngel

Member of the Board
IC Holding

Mr. Döngel was born in 1964 in Zonguldak, Turkey.  He graduated from University of Ankara, Business Administration division of the Faculty of Political Sciences.

In 1986, he joined audit department İstanbul office of Coopers and Lybrand.

Later he joined Valeo, French group, leading automotive systems producer and held management positions in finance, sales, business development functions both in Turkey and France.

İn 1997, he participated privatization of Antalya Airport terminals, first BOT model in aviation sector in Turkey.

For the last ten years, he is working as the Turkey Representative of Germany based Fraport Group, airport investor and operator worldwide.

Currently holding member of Board of Directors positions within the affiliates of this Group, including but not limited to ICF Airports a Fraport and  IC Ictas JV operating Antalya Airport.

Cahit Şahin

General Manager
The Montgomery Maxx Royal Golf Course

Cahit SAHIN serves as General Manager THe Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Course.

In this role, Mr. Şahin is responsible for directing all aspects of the development activities, which include identifying and analyzing target markets for the company; developing and executing a strategic plan for the region;and structuring, negotiating and closing management and other related agreements. he is currently manage golf course.

Cahit SAHIN, with in over 25 years of international experience in the hospitality and leisure industry, started his career in the hotel management with İberhotels Turkey, Thereafter he has held senior management positions with several Resort and hotel group companies. His experience includes all aspects of hospitality , leısure and golf course development, and construction consultancy and management.

Şelale Kadak

Business Columnist
Sabah Newspaper

Kadir Topbaş

Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Gianluca Laterza

Territory Manager Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta

Gianluca Laterza began his TripAdvisor career in the London office as an account manager for EMEA markets, having previously worked as an account manager for Naval Interior in Italy. Before that, Laterza worked as Business Development Manager at Robert Half International in Rome and as Sales Manager at Hotel Europa in Taranto. Laterza has a law degree from Bari University and an International MBA from MIP Politecnico di Milano.

Diego Lofeudo

Senior Director of Market Management for the Middle East and Indian Ocean

Diego Lofeudo is senior director of Market Management for Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean and Eastern Med for the Expedia group - the world's leading online travel company. Diego manages a large team of local market hotel experts and oversees business development and hotel relationships across the region.

Prior to joining Expedia in 2001, Diego spent 10 years in the travel industry working for various retailers, franchises, wholesalers, incoming agencies and e-commerce companies.  His experience includes; consulting for Atinera Ltd, a joint venture between Amadeus and Fourth Dimension software; consulting for; and working as a fulfilment partner manager for a company with investment from CNN, AOL and LVMH.

Diego, 44 and from Argentina, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Travel Industry Management from Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires.  He also completed post graduate studies in International Management for the Travel Industry at Ecolle Suisse de Tourisme, C.D. Tur and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.

Alexey Chernyshev

Counselor to the Chairman
Sberbank - Head Office

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations
Golden Tulip MENA

A veteran hotelier since 1988 Paul Z. Diab has vast experience in managing hotels thorough knowledge in the MENA region.

Graduated from the Michigan State University, in the year 1985, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A) in Hotel Management, specializing in Food & Beverage Operation, Paul Z. Diab started his career directly after as a Management Trainee, with the Marriott Hotel, in Torrance, California, until 1988 where he joined Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dubai, as Banquet Manager, in the Food & Beverage Department, to his a first step in 1992 towards a long journey, enhancing his Middle East experience.

In 1995, he moved to Sultanate of Oman, Muscat to join Rotana as Director of Food & Beverage after spending 2 years in Marriott Hotel Jeddah as Food & Beverage Manager.

Continuously climbing the Ladder of Success, he joined Sheraton Sana’a Hotel, Yemen in 1999, as EAM, In-charge of Food & Beverage, until 2001 where he was promoted to the General Manager position of Sheraton Hotel, Aden.

In 2003, he joined the Flamingo Hotel Management, as General Manager, in Kuwait to move later, in 2004, to Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, as General Manager of Golden Tulip Seeb. 

Flamingo Hotel Management being the exclusive representation for Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts in the Middle East & North Africa, currently having under its portfolio more than 55 hotels between managed & franchised Hotels.

In 2005 Paul Z. Diab was appointed as the Director of Operations at the Golden Tulip MENA head office in Dubai.

Being the Director of Operations for the MENA Region, his responsibilities cover under one umbrella, all Golden Tulip properties, in Oman, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Tunis, Algeria, KSA, Egypt and other countries like Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Juba, monitoring and maintaining, high standards of services, and ensuring that, policies and procedures, are implemented, and adhered to.

As an active participant in the Pre-Opening of new hotels, he has made immense contributions, in all areas, of the newly achieved property, paying attention to every detail, with an open mind, carrying out evaluations, at every stage of construction and technical service assistance, so as to ensure that, the entire project, bears fruit, once completed, and in full operation.

To name but few some of the hotels where Paul Z. Diab was an active member and the leader of the task force team in the pre-opening, the Golden Tulip El Mechtel & Golden Tulip Sfax in Tunis, Golden Tulip Galleria, Golden Tulip Jiyeh Marina & Golden Tulip Serenada in Lebanon, Golden Tulip Seeb, Tulip Inn Muscat, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Golden Tulip Al Barsha, Golden Tulip Tecom & Golden Tulip Khatt Springs in the UAE, Golden Tulip Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Golden Tulip Al Jubail and Golden Tulip Dana Bay in KSA and many others across the region.

Over the years Paul Z. Diab has delivered many speeches and shared panels at leading conferences, trade shows, seminars, workshops, with other leaders of the industry, such AHIC, Hotels & Restaurant Show, Gulf Food, Spa Summits and others.

In 2013 Paul Z. Diab contributed in the development of the Golden Tulip, Royal Tulip and Tulip Inn brand across the MENA region acquiring new hotels in Tunis, KSA and Algeria mostly whether managed or franchised agreements, to expanding to new countries such as Erbil, and to new areas where the brand already exist.

In 2014 he was appointed as the Vice President- Operations for the Golden Tulip MENA working closely with the President of Golden Tulip MENA Amine E. Moukarzel to expand the brand by opening one hotel every month, maintaining the standards and the guidelines of the brand from the construction period, to technical service assistance until the opening and fuill operation. 

Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts and Louvre Hotels, making the group the 2nd largest European group and the 8th largest worldwide group with the brands: Royal Tulip, Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn, Kyriad, Campanile and Premiere Classe, is planning to expand in the MENA region to reach more than 60 hotels by 2014.
This shall capitalize on the success factor of Golden Tulip MENA achievements in the region.

Adrian Jossa

Co-Founder & Owner
Muse Hotels de Luxe

Adrian was born and raised in France, from Italian and American heritage. He grew up in a highly artistic environment (mother pianist and father architect, partner of Marcel Breuer), graduated from the Paris conservatory in classical flute, and went on to study Law and Finance for which he received a double Masters in 1997. For the past 17 years, Adrian has worked in the financial industry in several global banks such as Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, but became personally involved in the hospitality business, as advisor and investor on hospitality related transactions. Adrian became co-owner in 2001 of Nikki Beach St Tropez and of several other F&B outlets in the south of France. Adrian then moved to Dubai in 2004, as part of the initial team that worked on setting up the Dubai International Financial Centre. He has kept Dubai as his permanent residency since then.  In 2007, he put together a team and created the first luxury 5 star luxury boutique hotel in St Tropez, Muse Hotels de Luxe. The group has now expanded to 4 additional assets in Malaysia, Thailand, United Kingdom and Spain.  He is passionate about Dubai, the UAE, and its ever expanding Hospitality industry, and is currently working on several locally based projects.

Dr Martin Berlin

PwC Partner

Martin is a partner within the PwC Deals Strategy team in the Middle East based in Dubai. He has over 10 years of experience working in senior strategy and operational positions at real estate development companies in the Middle East.
While his core expertise is in strategy, he also gained experience in business development, deal making, marketing and operations.
With his experience in McKinsey & Company, he combines a consulting advisor perspective with a operational expertise that he acquired working for Procter & Gamble and Dubai Holding.

Ertuğrul Karaoğlu

Chief Executive Officer
Intra Tourism Group

Ertugrul Karaoglu was born in 1956 in Eskisehir. He completed his high school education in İstanbul at Kadıköy Maarif College and graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Business Administration.

Ertugrul Karaoglu started his tourism career as a local tour guide in 1976 and took the TMGT (Turkey National Youth Federation) Tourist Guiding Course in 1977. In the same year he started to work for the TMGT Travel Agency.

In 1980 he was one of the founders of Intra Tourism and Travel Agency, which celebrates its 34th anniversary this year and has, since its inception, made a positive contribution to Turkish Tourism.

Currently, he acts as the president of INTRA HOLDING and is very active in the fields of tourism management and operations. Intra Holding is made up of a number of well-known tourism companies: Intra Tours, Intra Latin Tur, Intra Travel•Mice and Intra Transport and is also co-founder of  Teamcon Congress Company.

Between 2003-2013, he was elected three times as a member of the executive board of TURSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) and presently appointed Consultant to the TURSAB President.

He has also been officiating  as Turkey Chapter President of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) since July 2009.

He is a member of DEIK’ (Foreing Economic Relations Board) European Union Business Councils and performs as an executive board member of  Turkish – Italian/Spanish and Polish Business Councils.

Ertugrul Karaoglu speaks English and Italian fluently, and also intermediate level Spanish, German and French. He is married with one child.

Notes :
Intra Tours is the leader in the Italian market. Via its partnerships it creates a strong presence in the coastal resort areas, thereby increasing its effectiveness in the mass market and expanding rapidly into new markets. This company is also running an air brokerage under the brand of Inair and has created its own on-line B2B system.

Intra Latin Tur  is the leader in Latin markets including: Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American, U.S.A-Hispanic as well as the Balkan States and Greek incoming markets.

Intra Travel•Mice has already been active for many years in the incentive market. It also provides handling services to the incoming sector from the U.S.A, Canada, U.K.

Burak Akgüç

Executive Vice President - Corporate Banking and Project Finance

Burak Akgüç was born in Istanbul in 1964 and graduated from the Department of Political Science, Boğaziçi University. After having worked three years for İktisat Bank T.A.Ş. from 1989 to 1992, Mr. Akgüç joined TSKB in 1991 as a Specialist in the Financial Analysis Department. After serving in a variety of positions, he was appointed as the Head of the Loan and Investment Department in 2001. He was promoted to the Executive Vice President in 2005 and is currently responsible for the Project Finance and Corporate Marketing Division which includes Ankara and Izmir Branches.

Serhat Çeçen

Board Member
IC Holding

Born in Ankara in 1975, Mr. Serhat Çeçen has a degree of Bachelor of Science in Management from Hacettepe University in Ankara and Bentley College in Massachusetts, USA. He has majored in the field of International Finance.

After gaining experience and knowledge specifically in the fields of energy, construction, tourism, aviation, infrastructure investment and industry by taking on different positions and functions in one of Turkey’s pioneer investment holdings, namely IC Ibrahim Çeçen Investment Holding, Mr. Serhat Çeçen has contributed a great amount of effort in the realization of partnerships specifically in the fields of tourism, transportation infrastructure, and energy investments of IC Investment Holding and he is currently the Executive Chairman of the referred sectors.

Between the years 2005-2009, Mr. Çeçen was Member of the Board of Antalya Airport 2nd International Terminal which is one of the important investments of IC Investment Holding in the sector of infrastructure investment. Since 2007, Mr. Çeçen is the Chairman of the Board of Fraport-IC Içtas Antalya Havalimanı Terminal Yatırım ve İşletmeciliği A.S. which is the operator company of all Domestic and International Terminals of Antalya Airport including CIP Terminals. Mr. Çeçen is also the Chairman of the Board of IC Energy Group of companies.

In addition, Mr. Çeçen plays an active role in the social activities of IC Investment Holding. At present, he is actively involved in educational and cultural activities of IC Foundation and Agrı İbrahim Çeçen University project. The foundation has provided scholarships for more than 3000 university students; education being an area which Mr. İbrahim Çeçen and his family value the most.

Mr. Serhat Çeçen was the Vice President of Fenerbahçe Sport Club between the years 2004-2013.

Mr. Serhat Çeçen is married, has three children and speaks fluent English.