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Speakers and Trainers 2012

Elina Sviklina

SviklinaElina Sviklina is Manager of Report Services at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Report Services provides support for all organizations that use GRI’s Reporting Framework. The department’s Sustainability Disclosure Database is a major platform for capturing reporting trends and innovations. Elina also leads the XBRL Taxonomy project team and Certified Software and Tools Program at GRI.

Elina holds Master’s Degrees in Public Administration from the University of Twente, Netherlands, and in Information Science from the University of Amsterdam. Before working at GRI she worked in the Planning and Development Department at Valka Regional Council in Latvia. Her main fields of expertise are sustainability reporting, innovation, business information systems, XBRL and public governance.


Derwin Johnson

derwin1Derwin Johnson an independent senior communication consultant with more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, communication executive and educator who has served as U.S. Director of Media and Communications Training for one of the largest global public relations companies and spent seven years at Columbia University as Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Journalism.

He advises clients how to anticipate media conduct and drives local, national and international media relations campaigns. Mr. Johnson conducts messaging, media and presentation training workshops, enabling clients to hone and deliver messages effectively to internal and external audiences.

Mr. Johnson provides strategic and tactical guidance and is counsel to financial service firms, law firms, governments and Fortune 500 companies representing a wide range of industries, including airline, professional services, technology, pharmaceutical, health care, hospitality and beauty and fashion.


Dr. Annie Pearce

PearceDr. Annie Pearce is an Associate Professor in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech specializing in sustainable facilities and infrastructure systems.

Throughout her career, Annie has worked with practitioners in both public and private sectors to implement sustainability as part of building planning, design, construction, and operations.

Her specific areas of interest include metrics of sustainability for built facilities, green building materials and systems, cost modeling to support sustainability implementation, and in situ performance of sustainable facility technologies.

Annie has served as a lead investigator for research related to sustainable facilities and infrastructure for external sponsors including the US Army, Air Force, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Army Environmental Policy Institute, the National Science Foundation, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and multiple private corporations and state agencies.

Annie has represented organizational sustainability initiatives at over 50 conferences and symposia both nationally and internationally, and has developed and taught lectures and courses of varying lengths on sustainable facilities and infrastructure reaching hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students and over a thousand practicing professionals around the world.

Along with others in the Myers-Lawson School, Annie is pioneering a new paradigm of construction research, education, and outreach that combines and synergizes inputs from stakeholders in the construction industry with new technologies and research efforts to promote sustainable innovations.


Constantine Tsolakidis

tsolakidisConstantine Tsolakidis is a Civil – Environmental Engineer B.S., M.S.E. and Chartered Environmental Surveyor – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).

Specialised in the financial implications of sustainability and environmental protection in the insurance and banking sectors, he holds the position of Assistant Manager, responsible for Environmental Insurance & Renewable Energy at Interamerican Hellenic Property & Casualty Insurance Co. S.A.

Member of: UNEP Finance Initiative’s Insurance Commission, European Insurance and Reinsurance Federation Environmental Liability Taskforce and Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies Environmental Liability Sub-committee.


Benjamin Gill

GillBenjamin Gill, BA, MA (Cantab), MSc, CEnv, MIEMA

International Project Manager, One Planet Communities Ben currently oversees the One Planet Communities Programme ensuring all projects are on track to meet the Common International Targets.

He was previously Director of BioRegional Consulting where he has worked on a diverse range of projects such as developing Sustainability Action Plans for clients, including Defra, looking at both community developments and management of businesses.


Dr. Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos

panagiotakopoulosPanagiotis (Panos) is the founder and managing director of Close the Loop.

He has extensive scientific knowledge in the fields of Sustainability, Environmental Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ecolabel Strategies and Organizational Development, both from his postgraduate studies as an Environmental Engineer, and his research during his Ph.D.

He has an extensive teaching experience on these fields both at an academic (Democritus University of Thrace and National Technical University of Athens) and a professional level, through the delivery of specialized seminars to numerous organizations and companies.

His research and teaching experience has contributed to the provision of high-level specialized consulting services to various public and private organizations.

He is Greece’s National Eco-Innovation Expert for OECD, member of the Scientific Committee of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Associate of the Chamber of Environment and Sustainability and a member of the Network of Project Managers in Greece.

Dr. P. Panagiotakopoulos has served as assessor of the IPMA International Project Excellence Award, while the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has assigned him as a Quality Control Consultant for its Certified Training Programs in Greece.


Dr. Ioannis Tomkos

TOMKOS 0349Dr. Tomkos has served as the Chair of the International Optical Networking Technical Committee of IEEE Communications Society (2007-2008) and as Chairman of the IFIP working group on “Photonic Networking” (2008-2009).

He is currently the Chairman of the OSA Technical Group on Optical Communications (2009-2012), Chairman of the IEEE Photonics Society Greek Chapter and editor for IEEE/OSA JLT & JOCN journals.

Dr. Dr. Ioannis Tomkos is with AIT since Sep 2002. In the past, he was senior scientist (1999 – 2002) at Corning Inc. USA and research fellow (1995 – 1999) at University of Athens, Greece. At AIT he founded and serves as the Head of the “High Speed Networks and Optical Communication (NOC)” Research Group that was/is involved in many EU funded research projects (including 8 running FP7 projects) as well as in national projects, within which he has a consortium-wide leading role.

Dr. Tomkos has received in 2007 the prestigious title of “Distinguished Lecturer” of IEEE Communications Society. Together with his colleagues and students he has authored about 450 peer-reviewed archival articles.


Dr. Christoforos Kachris

kacrisHe received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands in 2007, and the diploma and the M.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece in 2001 and 2003 respectively. In 2006 he was a research intern at Xilinx Research Labs, San Jose, CA, working at the Networks Group.

From February 2009 till August 2010 he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Crete, Greece and visiting researcher at the Institute of Computer Science in the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) working on the HiPEAC NoE and the SARC European research projects.

His research interests include reconfigurable computing (FPGAs), embedded systems, network processing, and data center interconnects.


Ioannis Karampasis, D.Phil. (OXON)

KarampasisIoannis Karampasis studied at the University of Patras (Chemical Dept), and at the University of Oxford (D.Phil., Physical Sciences, Chemistry).

He worked for the creation of the National Documentation Centre at the National Hellenic Research Foundation and he contributed for thirteen years to its consolidation. Main specialized contributions was the creation of the “National Archive of Doctoral Dissertations” and the implementation of the Hellenic Research Antenna (HERA) Greek – European Project, which led to the operation of the two Innovation Relay Centers in Greece.

Following step was to take the Position of the Managing Director of Patras Science and Technology Park SA. He comes back to Sustainable Development through Innovations working as a Consultant.

In 2009 he co-founds Green Evolution SA a company dealing with aspects related to environment, energy and carbon finance which offers specialized related technological – financial services. His business function since then, focuses on “green sustainable business and organizations operation”, carbon footprint accounting and labeling, sustainable development, with an emphasis towards the assimilation of technological and organizational innovations, and on business projects for obtaining/ awarding environmental and climate related green labels.

He has contributed for the development of the “CO2 Neutral Seal” Certification Scheme of Green Evolution by embodying to it practices, recommendations and guidelines of the respective international standards and protocols and combined and articulated internationally accepted best practices into this so as to become a compact system which every stage been transparent and traceable.


Michael Spanos

spanosMichael Spanos is co-founder and has served as the Managing Partner of EuroCharity since its foundation in 2006.

Michael is a graduate of the Production Engineering and Management Department of the Technical University of Crete, Greece, with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration; and speaks Greek, English and French.

He commenced his career as a Consultant for an Athens-based venture capital firm, and later on he was Head of Research and Analysis Department and a Member of the Investment Committee of an Athens-based investment firm.

For the next five years Michael had been working for ICAP Group, Greece’s largest business information and consulting firm as Senior Manager in risk management projects.

At this capacity, Michael also brought a wide range of expertise in business plans for private investments, company feasibility and valuation, business training and project management.

Michael attends and delivers speeches at several seminars, educational events and conferences, while for five years had been a regular speaker at the Hellenic Bank Association.


Dimitris Apostolidis

ApostolidisMr. Dimitris Apostolidis graduated from University of Dundee with a BEng in Manufacturing Engineering and Management in 1998, and in 1999 he obtained an MBA with specialization in Finance.

Prior to his placement in KPMG, he had been employed by Arthur Andersen in the Business Consulting sector and his summer placements included Arthur Andersen in Edinburgh / UK (Audit & Business Assurance) and Hellenic Cables in Greece.

He currently holds an ACCA Professional level I certificate and is a member of the Hellenic Institute of Internal Auditors (2009).

Mr. Apostolidis was hired by KPMG in May 2000 and at present he holds the position of Supervising Senior Advisor.

During his placement and until today he has been engaged in a number of projects for a variety of clients in the public and private sector including government organizations, retail automotive, cement manufacturing, power generation, oil and gas, telecommunications, broadcasting, banking, airport operators, food and beverage and consumer goods. Countries of experience include Albania, Egypt, Kosovo and Turkey.

Specifically in the area of Climate Change & Sustainability, Mr. Apostolidis is a member of KPMG’s Global Climate Change and Sustainability services network, having extensive experience in:

  • Assurance of Corporate Responsibility Reports, according to assurance standards ISAE3000 and AA1000AS.
  • GRI G3/3.1 Reporting Guidelines implementation and compliance reviews (assurance and GRI table third party checked services).
  • Assurance / review of adherence to AA1000APS, ISO26000 (2010), the United Nations Global Compact and its Communication On Progress.
  • Sustainability reporting procedures / controls development and implementation (inclusive of environmental data gathering, sustainability report compilation and review), sustainability reporting readiness reviews (pre-assurance).
  • Processes / management systems development to monitor and report CO2 emissions, safety reporting procedures and development of environmental management systems according to ISO 14001.
  • Corporate Governance compliance, risk identification and assessment.
  • Internal controls development and reviews.


Kiara Konti

kontiKiara Konti works with Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS), with subject-matter knowledge and experience in sustainability assurance and advisory. Prior to joining Ernst & Young in 2008, Kiara worked for leading Corporate Responsibility boutique consultancies in Greece since 2004.

She has an MSc in Business and Community (University of Bath, UK) and a BSc in Business Administration (Deree College, Greece).

Kiara is a GRI Certified Trainer, with specialist knowledge of sustainability assurance (ISAE3000 & AA1000AS), management and reporting standards.

Kiara demonstrates significant experience in sustainability assurance and advisory, having worked with leading Greek companies in the financial, insurance, energy, utilities, telecommunications and airport operator sectors.

She has published a number of articles on sustainability, and has contributed to an international book publication titled “The World Guide to CSR”.


Vanya Veras

verasVanya Veras is a European Public Affairs and Communications Professional specialised in Environmental affairs, Waste management and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Expertise in the European legislative process, in particular IPPC, Waste shipments, Waste management legislation and implementation into Member State legislature, Environmental Liability, Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies and Public Procurement. Following 11 years in Brussels (1995 to 2006), she has excellent knowledge of the EU Public Affairs environment with an extensive Brussels network and is an accomplished influencer.

Also a successful campaign and event organizer, she is a multi-lingual individual with international exposure and multi-cultural understanding.

Vanya advised the Mayor of Piraeus, Mr. Vassilis Michaloliakos, on waste collection and management strategies in the beginning of his term as Mayor (2011/12), with proven 100% increase in the recycling rate in the municipality in the first six months.

This continued, showing a lasting step-change, with an improvement in the quality of collected recyclables within the following six months.

She is currently Secretary General of Municipal Waste Europe, implementing her understanding of the public sector issues at European level.

She was closely involved with the development of sustainable resource-use policy from her position as Secretary General of the European Federation for Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD), which she held from 1999 to 2005.

Vanya has also worked as Environmental Affairs Manager with Coca-Cola Hellenic at the Group offices in Athens and later remained in Greece to assist companies of all sizes with Green development, from start-ups to multi-nationals, building their environmental and CSR strategies and reports as well as representing NGOs in the environmental field.


George Tsiakalakis

TsiakalakisGeorge Tsiakalakis is Business Development Manager at EuroCharity. His function is to develop and generate new business opportunities.

He is responsible for the acquisition of new projects and services. He researches new business opportunities, develops sales plans and strategies, and undertakes presentations to and negotiations with prospective customers.

George has also worked for International Organization for Migration (IOM), in Athens. As Social Marketing Manager, he developed a Social Marketing vision and strategy for IOM, coordinating with stakeholders, managing relationships within Social framework, both internally and externally and acting as an internal central liaison and administrative contact for procedures, policies, reporting, controls, forecasting and annual reviews.

George speaks Greek, English, Turkish and Romanian. George has graduated from the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies (Economics and International Business Specialization), at University of Macedonia.

He has a master degree in Political Science, from Panteion University.


Ilektra Liberopoulou

LiberopoulouIlektra Liberopoulou serves as Marketing & Communications Manager at EuroCharity.

She is responsible for corporate communications and advertising, while she is also involved in company’s publications.

Prior to her joining EuroCharity, she worked as a journalist at Direction Publishing Group, where she was Editor-in-Chief for the “CSR Review” and “CSR Reports” publications, de-livering articles on sustainability, climate change and corporate responsibility issues. Ilektra has also worked for Livanis Publication Group, other publication companies and TV networks, with special focus on international affairs and economy.

She is an experienced professional in the field of communication as she has worked for Spin Political and Corporate Communications, where she was in charge of handling and supervising strategically various key accounts.

Among her specialties were corporate communication, media relations, government and stakeholder relations, crisis management and advertising.

Ilektra has graduated from Communication and Media Studies School at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and she has a master degree in International Law and Diplomacy Studies, from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.

In addition, she is a native Greek speaker, fluent in English and with knowledge of French, Spanish and Russian language.


Maria Kokkinos

kokkinouMaria has experience in providing consulting services, with reference to a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to Talent Management (Executive Selection as well as Competency Assessment, Leadership Development), to well-established Greek and multinational companies in the private and public sector, representing various industries.

She has helped clients both at a local and international level, to achieve their strategic goals and business results, by selecting the right people for the right positions, by strengthening their employees’ competencies, as well as, by unlocking their potential to excel in their line of work and lead others efficiently to ensure organizational success.

She currently works as a Certified Executive Coach/ Free Lance Human Resources Consultant and provides primarily Executive Coaching services both to companies and executives (private practice).


David Trakantzidis

TrakantzidisCo-Founder and Head of Marketing, Think Plus-Advertising.

David was educated in Germany, he gained an honor degree in business studies at the Technical-Business College of Munich before venturing on to complete his studies at the University of Hertfordshire / England in Business Administration.

After his graduation, David commenced his career within the food, beverage and service sector.

By creating different established hotspots in Athens, he gathered a strong following in the industry, allowing him to propagate onto software industry and develop an unique management & monitoring device.

The rights of the integrated biometric system where sold in 2010 to the german company “JAM – IT communication systems” after the second month’s preface.

David realized that he had to distinguish himself from the service sector and concentrate in the sector of integrated forms of communication, offering high quality of corporate image and event management through social media.

In 2010 he co-founded Think Plus – Advertising operating through the lens of targeted communication utilising specialized applications and marketing tools, by managing the reputation of its clients and providing services exclusively designed for every communication need.

The company is operating till now on the principle that anything is possible and this moto remains at the heart of the company.


Petros Rellos

rellosPetros is an enthusiastic and pro-active web developer and designer who makes easy to use websites and applications by discovering how users really think.

With 10 years of experience in designing and developing websites and web applications, he has an excellent understanding of how technology can be used to align the requirements of both the business and the customer.

He is constantly seeking for a new challenge in a progressive and customer-centric organisation where he can make the most of his love of technology and his knowledge of user-centered design techniques.

His passion for learning means that he can continually offer the latest technology, practices and ideas to the team, ensuring the company is at the very forefront of customer experiences.

Petros is a high energy, results-driven, innovative leader with interactive marketing and social media skills. With extensive hands-on expertise indirect response marketing, SEO/SEM, customer acquisition, conversion optimization, online advertising, social networks and word of mouth, he has the ability to develop visionary interactive solutions that yield a high rate of return and success.

Petros is an expert in online strategy and tactical marketing, best practice digital relationship marketing, e-commerce, marketing communications, and lead generation. He has experience in developing integrated direct response strategies which incorporate search, display, email and social media platforms to maximize customer relationships. Petros is a focused and results driven executive who has developed and implemented many successful campaigns that have achieved budgeted results for multinational as well as small and medium sized firms.