WEConnect International Europe Conference 2018 - Speakers

Catherine Attfield
Head of Nutrition & Wellbeing, Nutrition-Bites, part of the Artizian Group - a certified women's business enterprise

Catherine joined Artizian in 2012 and is responsible for driving all aspects of the company's nutrition and wellbeing strategy for both Artizian’s clients and employees. On the back of an increasing interest in nutrition as part of an employee wellbeing strategy, she co-founded Nutrition-Bites with Artizian’s MD Alison Frith in 2017.

Nutrition-Bites creates and delivers highly-impactful, award-winning nutrition and wellbeing solutions to support workplace wellbeing, providing employees with the foundations they need to perform at their best. Over 50% of what employees eat is consumed whilst at work and learning how to fuel oneself better is of paramount importance particularly when it comes to supporting emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Catherine has been instrumental in creating Nutrition-Bites’ monthly digital subscription as a low-cost employee assistance programme to help companies support their employees to eat healthily whilst at work. With over 25 years’ experience working in food, Catherine has become an essential part of Artizian’s senior management team driving their intelligent eating programme to encourage clients and their employees to move from mindless eating to conscious eating through educating, informing and inspiring people to eat well at work.

Catherine has had an extensive career with some of her previous roles including: Account Directorship for McCann Erickson, GGT and Publicis, creating prestigious advertising for blue chip FMCG companies and as an academic and clinical tutor for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Catherine has a BEd (Hons) and a post graduate qualification in nutritional therapy from the Institute of Optimum Nutrition and she is mBANT and CNHC registered as well as being a past winner of Health & Vitality Honours: Corporate Communication and Engagement 2017 and Cost Sector PS100 2017: Health and Nutrition Award and finalist in Food Service Catey’s: Extra Mile Award 2015 and the prestigious Catey’s Health and Nutrition Award 2017.

Verena Beckhusen
Founder and CEO, frankly speaking - finding words and partner within the exprobico network, a certified women’s business enterprise

Verena is a management consultant and communications expert living near Bremen.

In 2004, she earned a degree in Global Management from the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, Germany. After her graduation and before starting her career in the maritime industry, she obtained professional experience in the automotive industry at DaimlerChrysler in east London, South Africa as well as in Rastatt and Bremen. Moreover, Verena gained valuable insights in the logistics sector by working at FINDUS in Paris, France.

Beginning in 2006, she served as the head of the corporate business and project development department of the maritime shipping company Beluga Shipping in Bremen, later also serving as Beluga's director of public relations and business communications. She piloted the enterprise into new waters as it expanded beyond its concentration in heavy-lift transportation and entered into the vocational-educational realm and established philanthropic projects as well.

As the founder and CEO of frankly speaking – FINDING WORDS, she specialises in finding literally the right words for a broad range of business clients. Additionally, she has been a networking partner of exprobico since 2012. She also serves as a business English trainer.

Website: www.exprobico.de | Twitter: @exprobico1

Fi Bendall
Chief Executive Officer, Bendalls Group - a certified women's business enterprise

As a 2018 and 2017 International Stevie Winner of the Most Innovative Woman of the Year, Fi is a highly respected thought leader. She has been described by CEO Magazine as "The CEO's Secret Weapon and is acclaimed for championing female entrepreneurship empowerment". As an expert and pioneer in behavioural digital strategy and with over 24 years’ experience in the digital / tech sector over three continents - Europe, USA and Oceania - she has a depth of understanding that is unique globally.

After beginning her career in the consumer electronics industry, Fi moved to developing key digital strategies in London and New York for large companies such as the BBC and Virgin. During this time she developed key advocacy programmes with unique IP, deploying emotional data solutions to identify “effective advocate” customers and employees. Driven by her passion to empower others, Fi founded The Female Social Network (TFSN) to bring together the leading business and parenting networks from around the country as a collective entity to strengthen the relationships between brands and the end consumer. This is a collective network of 25+ communities reaching over 12.1 million women and 660,000 female entrepreneurs - all influential decision makers. TFSN acts as a gate keeper to this highly engaged community of women allowing unprecedented access to tap into genuinely engaged women. They use the power of their influence to build credibility, visibility and positive brand endorsement resulting in a “word of mouth army” that when managed correctly, will snowball to provide an exponential increase in brand awareness.

Fi is a recognised and well-regarded speaker having spoken at a wide range of international conferences and she is an incumbent specialist speaker to the highly regarded CEO Circle.

Website: www.tfsnglobal.com | Twitter: @TFSN7

Maggie Berry
Executive Director for Europe, WEConnect International

Maggie is the Executive Director for Europe for WEConnect International – a global organisation supporting supplier diversity in procurement and helping majority owned women’s businesses to connect into the corporate supply chain. She has had lead responsibility for the management and development of WEConnect International’s activity in Europe since December 2012 and her role involves developing corporate and public sector support as well as growing a network of majority owned women’s businesses across Europe.

Prior to joining WEConnect International, she ran womenintechnology.co.uk – an online job board, recruitment and networking forum for women working in the technology profession in the UK. Maggie continues to run the Women in Technology Network on an informal basis in her spare time and is a Freeman of the Information Technologists' Company.

Fiona Blades
Chief Experience Officer, MESH Experience - a certified women’s business enterprise

Fiona is the founder and Chief Experience Officer of MESH Experience, a data and analytics agency helping Fortune 500 companies, like Delta Air Lines and LG Electronics, to optimise their marketing investment. She began her career in pet food marketing and at advertising agencies, like Leo Burnett, before setting up MESH to fill a gap in the research market.

Fiona believes in taking an experience driven marketing approach and has pioneered a new way to capture people’s experiences with brands – Real-time Experience Tracking (RET). The approach, described by Harvard Business Review as “a new tool (that) radically improves marketing research”, has led to many awards including the International Business Excellence Award in Dubai for creating a one number Marketing Impact Score in May 2017 and the Delta Air Lines Woman Owned Business of the Year award in March 2017.

Now living and working in New York, Fiona is a Fellow of the Market Research Society, a member of the Marketing Society, has contributed to the Cranfield MSc Practitioners Advisory Board and is a board member for Women in Research.

Website: www.meshexperience.com | Twitter: @FionaMesh

Leanne Bonner-Cooke
CEO and Founder, Evolve-IT Consulting

Leanne is founder and CEO of award-winning business, Evolve-IT Consulting and has over 20 years’ experience in senior management in the technology sector. Passionate about using people, process and technology to provide positive change in business, Leanne launched and self-funded her software development company in 2007 and has nurtured and grown an impressive client base of large blue-chip organisations since inception.

Leanne has been recognised as an individual and a business leader for her entrepreneurialism, professionalism and innovation which has been recognised by multiple award success, including; Business Woman of the Year – The Niche Magazine Business Awards; Entrepreneur of the Year – Leicester Mercury Women in Business Awards; Innovation Award – Leicester Mercury Women in Business Awards; International Business of the Year – Forward Ladies in Business Awards (Midlands regional winner and UK national winner). An inspirational leader and natural innovator, Leanne has also invested much time and energy into inspiring young people interested in STEM subjects through talks at schools and colleges and at women in business groups. Her work has also been recently recognised in her MBE for Services to Women in Business as part of the New Year Honours List 2018.

Leanne plays as hard as she works and enjoys staying fit and healthy by walking her two dogs across the Leicestershire countryside and cycling up hill and down dale on her road bike.

Sherry Coutu
Founder & Chairman of the Board, Founders4Schools

Sherry is a former CEO and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. She chairs Founders4Schools and is a non-executive member of Cambridge University (Finance Board), Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press and the London Stock Exchange Group. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Linkedin.com.

Philanthropically, she supports the Prince's Trust, the Crick Institute and serves on the Harvard Business School European Advisory Council. Sherry has an MBA from Harvard, an MSc (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons with distinction) from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to entrepreneurship in the New Year's Honours List 2013, is author of 'The Scale-up Report' on UK economic growth and serves as an Ambassador for London.

Evelyne de Gruyter
Certification Assessor, WEConnect International in Germany and Head of Press and Public Relations, Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen – VdU

Evelyne has been the Head of Press and Public Relations at the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen – VdU) since April 2016. She is also in charge of the international projects within the VdU. Prior to her appointment, she was responsible for the marketing department at the Vivantes Prevention Center, a subsidiary of the largest German hospital group in state ownership and she worked for the family owned hotel chain. Evelyne holds a Master in Business Administration from the Technical University (TU) of Berlin and she took part in the Professional Development Program at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

VdU represents the interests of more than 1,800 women entrepreneurs who account for annual sales of €85 billion and 500,000 employees in Germany. The association brings together small to medium-sized enterprises across all industries. Membership of the global umbrella association FCEM (Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales) gives VdU connections to businesswomen in over 120 countries. Networking with businesswomen across the globe forms part of the association’s philosophy. The VdU International Team (VIT Committee) is actively involved in international projects, such as cooperative ventures with businesswomen’s organisations in the MENA region. VdU also represents Germany in the Women20 Engagement Group at the G20.

Website: www.vdu.de | Twitter: @vdu_ev

Alastair Eadie
Procurement Director Worldwide, GP Commercial, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Alastair has spent his entire career working in business to business relationship management across a diverse range of sectors, predominantly in procurement but he also spent two years working in sales and marketing.

He discovered procurement by chance. Having applied for the general management graduate scheme with the NHS in England, he was steered towards purchasing and supply. The profession immediately caught his attention as one that gave insight across an entire business, generated material results and above all achieved success by developing effective relationships with people, both inside and outside the organisation.

Website: www.bms.com | Twitter: N/A

Chris Feltham
Industry Technical Specialist, Cloud Service Providers, Intel UK

Chris is an industry technical specialist working with leading cloud service providers in Europe and is responsible for assisting customers in their use of Intel products and technologies to enhance their offerings and grow their businesses. In particular, Chris is focused on areas including software defined storage, artificial intelligence / machine learning, workload and infrastructure acceleration and enterprise digital transformation as it relates to service provider businesses.

Chris has held a number of sales and marketing positions during his 18 years with Intel including key account management, product and technical marketing roles in Europe and the US, business development roles for a number of Intel product lines and roles supporting digital transformation initiatives with G500 customers around the world.

Chris holds a degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Computer Systems) from Brunel University in London.

Website: www.intel.com | Twitter: @IntelUK

Andrea Fimian
EMEA Supplier Diversity Program Manager, IBM

An engaged supplier diversity leader, located in Zurich, Switzerland, Andrea has run IBM’s supplier diversity programme for Europe, Middle East and Africa since the beginning of 2015.

Driven by spreading the word about supplier diversity in European countries where this topic is rarely known and by showing the impact supplier diversity has to the economy, for corporations and diverse owned businesses. In 2017 IBM won the European Diversity Award for their global supplier diversity programme and they were recognised in the prestigious 2018 Catalyst awards for their innovative diverse corporate initiatives in the workplace and supply chain.

Website: www.ibm.com | Twitter: @ibm

Heather Fisher
Rugby 7s Player, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mentor and Radio Presenter

Heather is one of life’s achievers. She has been active on the international sporting stage for over 10 years competing for GB bobsleigh before crossing over very successfully into Rugby 7s where she has competed in four world cups, an Olympic Games and she was a medallist at this year’s Commonwealth Games over on the Gold Coast.

Heather’s aspirations stems from defeats and learning to be the best version of yourself when your back’s up against the wall. Sport was a tool that she used as a young girl that led her to where she is now. The saying “be brave” is a moto used regularly in Heather’s life and talks. Heather is currently striving towards the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 as well as laying down the foundations for herself to transition into life post professional sport. She is an ambassador for Alopecia UK and works with young people to grow themselves through confidence. She says, “Life is about creating, believing and being brave. You never know your limits until you truly need to look within you.”

Gudrun Frank
Founder and CEO, exprobico

Gudrun is a German mechanical engineer, an occupational scientist and a factory planner who knows her trade from the manufacturing halls up and into management boardrooms. Having been a competitive swimmer in her youth in East Germany, Gudrun learned at an early age that the springboard to success demands conditioning, self-confidence and stamina – as does surviving in the shark tank of a man's business world. She is the founder and CEO of exprobico – the experts for career, training and competence.

Gudrun's experiences as an international consultant in HR matters inspired her to develop an innovative competency measurement process. Her core concept, the 5-C Principle, enables clients to meet and manage digital demands by identifying, assessing, cultivating and supplementing their proficiencies. She attaches great significance to the cultivation of social competence as it's not just about hardware, it's about soft skills as well.

Gudrun explicitly values inclusion and human resource development, viewing these objectives as being the best guarantors of success. She has lectured and published with respect to industry and 'Workplace 4.0'. She is an active member of various committees including at the RWTH Aachen in the research advisory board of the intersectoral research and education institution FIR, in the service standardisation entity KVD and at the Technical University of Ilmenau. She is also an IOSD practitioner (Master Class).

Website: www.exprobico.de | Twitter: @exprobico1

Sandra Garlick
Founder, Woman Who

After a corporate career and having completed her own business journey, experiencing first-hand the whole business cycle from start up through to exit, Sandra shares her knowledge to support both small business owners and senior executives.

After working for almost 20 years, Sandra qualified as a solicitor. She studied law at the University of Warwick and was sponsored by one of the largest international law firms to complete her legal studies at Nottingham Trent Law School. On qualification Sandra worked in the firm’s business law team and in 2007, she started her own law firm. She soon became the “go to” person in her field and the firm became a niche Legal 500 Employment Law practice. Sandra merged the firm in 2014.

Having a background in sales and marketing helped Sandra to grow her business quickly but she learned the hard way about running a business, making numerous mistakes in the early days, her “learning curves”. However, she always ensured that her profile was active and soon secured positions on various committees and boards.

Since she stopped practicing as a solicitor, Sandra now acts as a non-exec and mentors small business owners and senior executives, using her unique skill set and her own experience to help them grow their personal brand, and their business.

Sandra is the Founder of Woman Who… a women in business community which holds annual awards in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Sandra sits on the FSB’s Women in Enterprise Taskforce, is the author of I Am a Woman Who, a collection of stories from women in business who share their business journey, and she co-founded the UK Speaker Academy.

Jenny Garrett
Managing Director, JennyGarrett Global

Jenny is an award-winning coach with over 12 years experience of running a global business. She is a Freeman of the Guild of Entrepreneurs – City of London and was listed in Brummell Magazines Top 30 City Innovators 2016. She uses her years of experience in coaching and leadership development to inspire and motivate people, working with them to deliver career and life changing results beyond expectation. A client recently described Jenny as a ‘yoga stretch for the career!’ and Jenny’s work is characterised by having depth, personalisation and meaning, or some would say, ‘soul’.

Jenny has written an Amazon bestselling book ‘Rocking Your Role’ on the taboo subject of female breadwinners. She has reached an audience of over 30,000 through her speaking engagements, including two TEDx Talks and she has coached individuals all over the globe from Australia, to Botswana, the US, Mexico, Spain and the UK – putting over 3,000 coaching hours under her belt. Jenny gives back through her social enterprise Rocking Ur Teens. Her recent clients include Mastercard, EY and the NHS.

Jenny is a regular commentator on Sky News and LBC radio and she has been featured on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, in The Telegraph and in Glamour magazine amongst many others.

Claire Harvey
Director of Culture and Inclusion, EDIT Development - a certified women's business enterprise

Claire is an experienced senior manager, inclusion expert and Paralympian. Previously working as a senior consultant in inclusive leadership at KPMG, Claire now works as part-time CEO for Diversity Role Models and champions CSR. She specialises in areas including diversity and inclusion, change management and employee development.
Claire has a strong professional background in both the public and private sector. She has worked within the criminal justice system, notably as a prison governor, managing a resettlement prison that achieved a recidivism rate of 2%.

In 2008, an accident left her as a wheelchair user. Unable to be operational in a prison, she returned to work as young adult offender policy lead in the Ministry of Justice, making radical and significant improvements to the system. She also took on the role as the Equality and Diversity Lead, and later joined the FSA as Head of Corporate Responsibility. In 2012, Claire became the Captain of the Paralympics GB London team. Following this, she worked as Assistant Director in the charity Youth Sport Trust.

In 2014, Claire returned to the corporate world and took up position as a senior consultant at KPMG, focusing on Inclusive leadership, culture, and staff engagement. As Head of Inclusive Leadership, she led the implementation of the KPMG strategy, introduced proportional representation in decision making and realigned the staff networks to add value to the strategy implementation. In 2017, Claire was awarded an MBE for her services to both sport and inclusion.

Website: editdevelopment.com | Twitter: @harveysprout

Karen Hayes
Managing Director, World Wide Pictures - a certified women's business enterprise

As the managing director of World Wide Pictures, Karen is a highly respected and well established name in the world of broadcast media. At the helm of this leading global video and content production company, Karen and her team specialise in providing first class live event production, streaming services and content distribution. With an extensive client list that encompasses many brand giants, Karen uses her wealth of experience to produce live event, film and video solutions that really deliver.

Karen first established her business in 2006 and has carefully steered the company through numerous management buyouts until the merger with World Wide Pictures in 2014. Founded in 1935, World Wide Pictures is a multi-award winning video production company, winning two BAFTAs, an Oscar as well as awards from the IVCA, New York Film Festival and Worldfest. More recently, the company has excelled in broadcasting live events including Major Tim Peake’s launch to the International Space Station in 2015 and HRH Prince William’s speech at the TUSK Time for Change event in 2016 which was watched by 2.3 million people globally.

Always keen to embrace new technology and an avid believer of thinking outside the box, Karen and her team now offer the perfect blend of creative flair and forward thinking to clients looking to harness the power of broadcast media in the digital age.

Karen is an advocate of diversity in the workplace and is deeply proud of her position as a successful woman in the world of media. Karen joined WEConnect International and became a certified WBE (Women's Business Enterprise) in 2013. She is an active member of the WBE Council, allowing her to continue to support fellow female business owners and entrepreneurs across a range of industries.

Website: www.worldwidepictures.tv | Twitter: @wwpic_

Arine Huijboom
Certification Assessor, WEConnect International in the Netherlands and Founder & Director, Netwerkpro

Arine has over 15 years of experience in management and empowering projects for women from various cultural and social backgrounds to become financially and socially autonomous. She spent five years working for the Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers where she set up several reception centres and developed successful family programmes. She has a postgraduate in communication with refugees and asylum seekers. To gain commercial business experience, she moved to an IT corporate company where she was the sole woman on the management team responsible for client services and help desk groups.

After three years there, she started her own company, Netwerkpro, in 2015 to guide women to work - she has developed a programme that combines training and coaching to empower the participants and makes them part of a business network. Netwerpro works on a long term basis with local government, national, businesses and corporate companies to support them with their CSR programmes. A future focus will be to start entrepreneurial development within the EU. She is also the founder and chairman of the foundation “Vrouwen aan de Amstel” (Women on the Amstel) that runs community programmes for women and Arine is the certification assessor for WEConnect International in the Netherlands.

Website: netwerkpro.org | Twitter: @ArineAdam

Jude Jennison
Director, Leaders by Nature - a certified women's business enterprise

Jude writes, speaks and coaches globally on how to lead through uncertainty and evolve leadership as a human race in a technological world. She integrates 16 years senior leadership experience in IBM with executive leadership, coaching and team development skills, as well as the pioneering approach of working with a herd of horses who respond to every thought, intention, emotion and action, providing challenging and visceral learning for CEOs and executives.

Her methods are unconventional, yet hugely successful. Indeed, one of her clients turned a loss-making business into a profitable one in just three months, with a return on investment of 4,000 % – and that was after working with Jude for just one day!

Website: www.judejennison.com | Twitter: @judejennison

Bettina Lillelund
Global Sourcing & Procurement Program & Supplier Diversity Lead EMEAC, MSD

Bettina manages the EMEAC regional economic inclusion & supplier diversity programme for the global sourcing & procurement function at MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company. For more than a century, MSD has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Kenilworth, NJ, USA. Through their prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, they work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions.

Bettina is a keen advocate for providing small and diverse suppliers an equal opportunity to be included in the strategic sourcing and procurement process at MSD. She has extensive experience in global logistics, transportation, supply chain and strategic procurement at MSD and previous companies. In 2016, Bettina received the MSDUK Supplier Diversity Advocate Award.

Website: www.msd-UK.com | Twitter: @MSDintheUK

Tamara Littleton
CEO and Founder, The Social Element - a certified women's business enterprise

Tamara founded The Social Element in 2002 before the explosion in social media. She had previously run the online webmaster team for BBC Online which fuelled her love of online communities. From the early days of moderating online chatrooms and branded communities, she recognised the potential of social media engagement and great content for business. When Facebook launched in 2004 and then Twitter in 2006, the business took off and her prediction about the future of social media was realised.

The Social Element is a global social media agency that delivers social media strategy, content, engagement and insights to some of the world’s biggest brands including Oreo, Toyota, Primark, HSBC and Nissan. The business is now the largest independent agency in its space. It has a team of 300 people working across the world in more than 50 languages with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. Tamara set up the business differently, challenging the conventional agency model. Social media is a 24/7 global business and needs a business model that can be flexible enough to adapt to a fast-changing market. She pioneered and built a fully flexible and distributed workforce model that is truly innovative in the digital agency market and enables the company to deliver social media campaigns to global clients 24/7, across multiple time zones, cultures and languages.

The Social Element has been named as an International Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards, A Rising Star of the Year at the UK’s Private Business Awards, a City AM Leap 100 company and they are listed on the Sunday Times Tech Track and Export Track 100.

Andrea Mason
Partner, EDIT Development - a certified women's business enterprise

Andrea is a partner in EDIT Development, heading up the operational side of the business. Andrea is an experienced senior leader bringing over 20 years of experience in managing high performance and building client relationships. She has a proven track record of developing teams and individuals to deliver excellence and results and she works with a range of EDIT’s global clients on delivery of game changing leadership development programmes. Andrea has a passion for developing individuals through creating an engaging environment, helping individuals and teams to find their best performance and be the best version of themselves.

Andrea is known for service and has for many years developed strong customer service cultures within teams promoting long term relationships with internal and external stakeholders. She works across 80 EDIT clients from blue chip companies to non-for-profit organisations, leading our channel partner relationships in India, South Africa, Singapore, Germany and the US. Andrea has a particular interest in diversity and inclusion work and has sat on the National Council of Managers and the HSBC Diversity Board.

Lara Morgan
Owner, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor, Functional Fragrances - a certified women's business enterprise

Lara is the CEO, MD and owner of, or investor in, several businesses. She has global experience and a record for delivering exceptional growth.

Lara is an inspirational leader with a legacy of building world-class teams and aligning organisations behind a clear strategy. Her portfolio is made up of Scentered, YOGI-BARE, KitBrix, Gate8, dryrobe and Global Amenities Direct.

She is mother to three teenage girls and a committed volunteer and philanthropist. She is also involved with various global non-profits as a trustee/board member or advisor.

Website: laramorgan.co.uk | Twitter: @iamlaramorgan

Kerri Murphy
Director of Certification & Innovation, WEConnect International

Kerri manages the certification and self-registration of women-owned businesses globally and works closely with all of the WEConnect International in-country teams. She is also Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa which involves overseeing operations for the region and working closely with team members in-country. Kerri previously worked at the William James Foundation where she focused on programmes to support fledgling social entrepreneurs around the world and organisational management and she supported Women Thrive Worldwide on advocacy and fundraising.

She is the first individual to graduate from American University with an MA in Social Enterprise, holds a BS in International Business from Bryant University and a certificate in business studies from Grenoble Ecole de Management. She is a StartingBloc Fellow and has formerly been a Women Effect Investments Fellow with the Criterion Institute and Investor's Circle. Kerri is originally from New York and is a Pilates devotee.

Ben Ngobi
Global Procurement Sustainability Lead, Accenture

Ben leads Accenture’s Global Procurement Sustainability, as well as its Northern Europe supplier inclusion and diversity programmes. Ben is responsible for the strategy to embed environmental, social and governance factors into purchasing decisions, working closely with multiple stakeholders in the company.

Ben was responsible for enhancing Accenture’s UK small and medium enterprise agenda, which incorporates under-represented suppliers. Ben also continues to support the steps Accenture is taking to enhance their processes to better support human rights reporting in their supply chain and he was part of the team that developed their first UK Modern Slavery Act Statement, published in early 2017.

Website: www.accenture.com | Twitter: @AccentureUK

Kathrin Puhan
Certification Assessor, WEConnect International in Switzerland and Founder, you advance GmbH

Kathrin is the founder of you advance GmbH located in Zurich, Switzerland. She serves clients as a trainer, coach and moderator with her work built around the central topic of organisational performance improvements. Her main fields of expertise include principles of entrepreneurial training and advice, communication skills and moderation/facilitation. Her industry experience include working with companies like Novartis, Roche, Merck, UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom as well as retail and branding and marketing agencies. On a regular basis she moderates for service organisations such as the Professional Women’s Group and Advance Women.

Furthermore, she serves as the WEConnect International certification assessor for Switzerland. Kathrin holds a master's degree in history and an MBA in business engineering from St. Gallen University, Switzerland. She is also a certified MBTI coach and a Leadership Circle Certified Practitioner (360° Feedback). Kathrin loves travelling abroad, enjoys good food and would call herself a networking aficionado and purpose economist. She lives with her family in Zurich.

Giselle Rufer
CEO, DELANCE Swiss Watches - a certified women's business enterprise

A successful businesswoman, Giselle feels that she has a mission to inspire and motivate others to be all that they can be. She draws on her own experience to tell others that they too can have a goal and the determination to achieve it.

Her creation of the Delance watch brand serves as a model of creativity, courage and excellence for all entrepreneurs, women and men alike. As a featured speaker at many conferences, Giselle has shared her knowledge with all those who dream of creating their own business.

The driving force in Giselle life is to be in harmony with herself, to do what she loves doing, for those whom she loves. She is a creative, receptive and open person who loves to use her energy and enthusiasm to impart her working philosophy to others.

Megan Stowe
Greater European Region Procurement Director, Corporate Strategic Procurement and International Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager, Intel Corporation

Megan has been at Intel for 22 years and has worked in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. During this time she has covered a variety of roles including sales and marketing, travel, relocation, immigration and HR procurement. She has predominantly held global positions, setting global procurement and supply chain sustainability strategies, performance metrics and managing global teams (LAR, NA, APAC and EMEA).

Currently, Megan looks across the indirect services/procurement supply chain working with the different verticals (sales and marketing, HR, travel, IT, logistics etc) within the EMEA region working with her team on implementing global strategies locally and driving local strategies where it is needed. In addition, she is managing the international supplier diversity and inclusion programme which has a key focus on women-owned businesses in the Intel supply chain. The key objective of this programme are to ensure Intel are working with an inclusive supply chain and to increase their spending with women-owned businesses across the globe at the tier 1 and 2 levels whilst developing their pipeline of inclusive sourcing opportunities. In 2017 she represented the UK at the W20 in Germany and attended the Global Citizen event and G20 to promote what Intel is doing in this space. She is a board member of WEConnect International, Advisory Chair and board director of WEConnect Europe and she co-chairs the WISE Young Women’s Board. She works closely with schools and universities ensuring STEM is promoted to girls. Megan’s passion is to promote the education and empowerment of women and girls especially around the STEM and business areas.

Website: www.intel.com | Twitter: @meganstowe

Sabine Van Egeraat
Co-Founder, Global Business Academy - a certified women's business enterprise

Sabine is the co-founder of Global Business Academy, a video-based e-learning platform that combines consultancy to increase the performance between western and Indian teams. They deliver their services to the Fortune 500 companies in the US, Canada, Europe, India and South East Asia. Sabine is responsible for the global sales and marketing activities, overseeing a team of seven people worldwide. She is strong in analysing the needs of their clients and she believes that the success of a company lies in building sustainable relationships.

When she was 18 years old, she left to study in Portugal. In December 2012 she returned to the Netherlands, after spending about six years in Brazil and six more in the south of Europe. She has set up several businesses from a language school to a company in communication consultancy for brands expanding abroad. Her passion lies in connecting people worldwide using one of the strongest weapons every single person possesses: communication. Her mission is to use her passion and translate that into measurable performance results for international companies.

She is also a board member for a not for profit organisation that supports young women to succeed in finance and she supports young entrepreneurs in scaling up internationally. In 2015, she received an Honourable Mention for the International Enterprising Woman of the Year Award in the US.

Website: www.globalbusiness.academy | Twitter: N/A

Elizabeth Vazquez
CEO and Co-Founder, WEConnect International

Elizabeth is the CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a corporate led non-profit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets.

She is a world leader in women’s economic empowerment and global supplier diversity and inclusion and is the co-author of the book “Buying for Impact: How to Buy from Women and Change Our World.” She sits on the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment and is a W20 and B20 Representative. She also sits on the Walmart Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative’s International Advisory Council, the Procter & Gamble Supplier Diversity Advisory Council and the Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE Girls’ and Women’s Committee. She was born in Mexico and has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Peter Zerp
Supplier Inclusion & Diversity Manager, Accenture

Peter is part of a team of eight that drives and supports Accenture's global supplier inclusion and sustainability programme. Accenture empowers entrepreneurship by opening up marketplace opportunities for smaller and diverse businesses; driving and contributing to (collaborative) entrepreneurial skills development programmes including Accenture’s own Diverse Supplier Development Programme, supporting sustainable business growth for small- and diverse businesses and driving and contributing to business development / marketplace organisations, including WEConnect International, connecting entrepreneurs to (global) corporate supply chains.

Accenture is co-founder and collaborates with WEConnect International in 16 countries (in Europe: UK, Ireland and The Netherlands). Peter serves on the WEConnect International Global and Europe board. Peter’s focus also includes LGBT owned businesses as well as persons with disabilities and he is one of the drivers of an initiatives to increase accessibility of all vendor managed IT services for Accenture.

Website: www.accenture.com | Twitter: @PeterZerp