H.E. Mr. Najib Mikati is the Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister. H.E. Mr. Mikati began his political career in 1998 as the Minister of Public Works and Transport, and remained in post until 2004, under three consecutive cabinets. In 2000, he was elected for the first time as a Member of Parliament representing Tripoli. In 2005, he became Prime Minister of Lebanon and during his mandate, he steered the country towards what was qualified as notable democratic elections. In 2009, he was re-elected Member of Parliament representing Tripoli for a mandate of four years.
H.E. is the Co-Founder of M1 Group, a family-owned holding with interests in various sectors such as telecom, real estate, aircraft financing, fashion and energy.
H.E. Mr. Mikati graduated from the American University of Beirut with an MBA; he also followed advanced management programs at INSEAD, and Harvard University. A philanthropist, H.E. is engaged in a number of social activities, spanning Lebanese and international medical, academic, and charitable associations and organizations which he founded with his family.
Mr. Malas is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Majid Al Futtaim Group.
Prior to joining Majid Al Futtaim Group, he was Regional Director for South Asia for International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Between 2000 and 2004, Mr. Malas was the CEO of Fleming CIIC and then the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Asset Management at Egyptian investment bank, EFG-Hermes.
Mr. Malas holds an MBA from George Washington University in Washington DC. He is qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Mr. Abchee is the Chairman and CEO of Admic s.a.l., a venture that holds Master Franchise Agreements for “BHV”, “Monoprix”, “Géant Casino” and “Galeries Lafayette”.
He has led Admic to become one of the leading companies in the retail sector, expanding in Lebanon & abroad.
Mr. Abchee graduated from the University of Toledo, Ohio, with an Electrical Engineering and a Master Degree in Engineering Management from the Georges Washington University in Washington DC. Following his engineering degrees, he pursued a PhD in Management Information Systems (ABD).
Mr. Heller leads New Business Development across EMEA at Google.
He was formally leading the Media & Publishing team at Google in the European Strategic Partnerships group.
He has a rich history of innovation, primarily across mobile, television and online, & was selected by the Global Telecoms Business publication as one of the top-40-under-40 in the industry.
Prior to joining Google, he worked for MTV Networks UK & Ireland, where he created the digital strategy and led new cross platform social initiatives.
He founded Degrees of Separation, a technology consultancy and eBusiness network, linking blue chip organizations throughout North America with specialized software development firms.
Mr. Heller holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and an MBA from the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Gerald Lang is Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at BEM Bordeaux – KEDGE Business School since 2008 and associated Researcher at the Management Research Center of Ecole Polytechnique (PREG-CRG) in Paris. Prior to this, he held various positions as Strategy and Development Director as well as Project Director within different companies (Bertelsmann, PPR…), responsible for international operational improvement as well as strategic marketing repositioning in the retail sector. He is responsible professor for the teaching module "Retail and Distribution" at BEM - Kedge and teaches as well international management and marketing. His current research is focusing on the supply chain management and organizational impacts of multi-channel retailing and innovation in the retail sector, as well as the key success factors in SME development. He is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker on these subjects.
Mr. Haslauer heads a business consultancy practice in the areas of branding, market positioning and business development in New York.
As an associate working in partnership with AR New York and Visionaire Publications he has spearheaded branding and international positioning programs for companies spanning from fashion conglomerates in Brazil to multimillion dollar merchandising and branding campaign initiatives for the Macy's Group of 800 department stores in the USA.
Mr. Haslauer holds several degrees including Corporate Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions & Global Strategy Management from Harvard Business School – Cambridge, USA.
Ms. Dana Armstrong is the Managing Director of InspireRD.
Prior to founding InspireRD she was Development Director and a member of the Board of Asda Stores.
Dana holds a BA (Hons) from De Montfort University and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Marketing Society and a member of the European Professional Women’s Network.
Tony Fitzpatrick is the managing partner of Franchise Your Business.
He provides a complete franchise development service for both start up and established franchisors.
Besides creating and developing franchises for many clients he has managed his own master franchise and uses his vast experience to show others how to succeed in this booming industry.
He is a member of the Board of the Irish Franchise Association and is the author of a book “How to Franchise a Business.”
Mr. Fitzpatrick serves on the Advisory Board of the Romanian Franchise Association.