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MISF 2023 Keynote Speakers
Keynote speaker
Dusan Borovcanin

Dr Dusan Borovcanin's journey to success is truly remarkable. Holding the position of CEO at the Serbia Convention Bureau, he played a vital role as a project manager in the preparation of the bid dossier for the EXPO 2027 Belgrade candidacy. Dusan can be a source of inspiration not only for the tourism industry, but also for various other business sectors.

He is a Vice dean at the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Singidunum University in Belgrade. In 2022 he was elected as the visiting professor at the University of Strasbourg, EM Business School in France.

Dusan received "The meeting star" award as the most influential destination representative by Kongress Magazine in 2021 and most influential individual in 2022. As a professor, he is currently serving as a member of the editorial board for the SCOPUS-indexed journal “Academica Turistica - Tourism and Innovation journal” and “International Journal of Business Events and Legacies”. His professional background includes working for some of the largest hotel chains and a regional hotel management company. He speaks fluently French, English, and Italian. Dusan is passionate about education and research, tourism and business events industry and sports . He is a proud marathon finisher and a recreational tennis player.

Keynote speaker
Christina Russe

Christina Russe serves as the Deputy Secretary General of ECTAA, the leading European umbrella organization representing travel agents and tour operators, whose mission is to foster sustainable growth and enhance competitiveness within the European travel industry. Christina brings over 23 years of experience in advocacy and public affairs to her role.

In her capacity as Deputy Secretary General, Christina serves as a vital link between EU decision-makers, industry stakeholders and member organizations, addressing a wide spectrum of issues crucial to the tourism sector. Among other, her areas of competence include tourism, industry trends, the promotion of sustainable tourism practices, and taxation.

Based in Brussels, Christina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. She is fluent in English, French, and German.

Christina is an ardent champion of the fundamental right to travel, the integration of seamless travel, and the promotion of sustainability, extending her advocacy beyond the boundaries of the tourism industry.

Keynote speaker
Marta Mills
Senior Sustainable Tourism Project Manager, TOPOSOPHY

Marta Mills is an international sustainable tourism specialist with over a decade of experience as a sustainable tourism consultant in the Caucasus, the Balkans, and the UK. Since 2021, she has been a senior consultant at TOPOSOPHY, where she conducts research and advises on issues related to tourism and climate change. Master of Science (Distinction) in Responsible Tourism Management.

Marta has led the research on the "Net Zero Hospitality Roadmap" report published in September 2023 by HOTREC, and will present the key findings. The report analyzes the key challenges, opportunities, and available support for companies in the European hospitality sector aiming to achieve net-zero emissions, assesses the sector's progress so far, and provides recommendations and best industry practice.

Dimitri Laspas
Managing Director, Publisher and Founder of BML International-UK and MICE & TOURISM around the World e-Magazine

Dimitri has been in the travel, tourism and events industry for over 25 years. His career began in advertising agency handling the Greek National Tourism Board account for the Middle East and Scandinavian countries.

In 1995, he then launched his own consulting company supporting private and public organisations expand into new markets. This included working as the Greek Sales Representative for Reed Travel Exhibitions and among others, and brought a greater Greek and other countries presence to the organisers portfolio of events including to CIS Travel Market and Arabian Travel Market.

In 1997 he launched a paper newsletter for his clients. Today it is a global online trade only e-Magazine and one of the more unusual independent publications in the sector. This led to supporting small and large events; from B2B workshops to big international exhibitions, as an International Media Partner.

A move to the UK in 2003 brought wider business opportunities, including working for over 10 years with Singaporean and Chinse exhibition organisers taking several from European and the Middle Eastern national pavilions to the Chinese market.

The business developed and has established a growing tailor-made hosted buyer recruitment service for many events in tourism and MICE from around the world.

At the heart of everything is Dimitri’s questioning mind and thinking beyond the box. This had led him to take part in the 1st MISF to challenge the motives, challenges and future of ESG and beyond in this new era of eco-friendly sustainability for the sector.

Iwona Majewska
Deputy Director of the Mazovian Regional Tourist Organization

Practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in building and impressing integrated development and communication strategies, tourism and tourism product development strategies, tourism product creation, development and management of human resources in tourism and building tourism information systems in Europe and Poland. European Union expert in international projects. Expert in tourism project management. Dealing with the meeting industry within Mazovia Convention Bureau.

Passionate about creating projects together with people and : "tailor made"!

Łukasz Lewandowski
CEO EV Klub Polska

A long-time practitioner, enthusiast and expert in electromobility. Since 2017, he has been associated with the energy sector and the eMobility industry. Co-author of many publications and industry reports. He has conducted several hundred training courses on the use of electric cars and charging infrastructure. Organizer of electric car users’ rallies. Graduate of Managerial Economics at the University of Economics in Cracow and technical studies at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow.

Maximilian Wenger-Oehn

Maximilian Wenger-Oehn is a native of Salzburg, Austria, where he was born and raised.

Maximilian embarked on a multifaceted educational path, completing both a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) at the prestigious EU Business School, with campuses in Barcelona and Munich, from 2009 to 2012.

He joined Liberty as a Business Administration Manager in Munich in 2015 and later became the Head of Business Administration & IT in Salzburg until 2020. In September 2020, he was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer, showcasing his exceptional skills and leadership. Maximilian Wenger-Oehn is a dynamic and accomplished professional who balances his career with personal interests, making him a truly remarkable individual. He has been deeply involved in the world of beekeeping for over a decade, earning the moniker "Bienenboss" for his dedication and expertise in this field.

Magdalena Heinrich

Procurement professional with many years of experience - in the pharmaceutical and telecommunications industries. Currently Procurement Manager PL/CE/Baltics at AstraZeneca Pharma Poland. Certificated hotelier, licensed meeting planner, master's degree in journalism. Procurement and industry expert, among others in meetings & events organization. Winner of the MP Power Awards in the category: Meeting Planner in the Purchasing Department.

Ambassador of partnership in cooperation. Leader of the working group within the project "Marketing Communications White Paper", i.e. a set of recommendations and best bidding practices in the event area. With high ability to cooperate with Stakeholders, manage projects and initiate change. Involved in the subject of ecology / sustainable development. Mom of Henry and Frank.

Liu Ping

With more than twenty years’ experience in the industry of meeting, incentive travel, conference, and event (MICE), Liu Ping is the founder of China Star, a Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) and a Destination Management Company (DMC) based in Beijing, China. She is active in the international industry associations such as Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and IAPCO (International Association of PCO). She was the first international board director of SITE (2008-2014) from mainland China and is one of the founders of World PCO Alliance (WPCOA). Liu Ping is highly recognized in MICE industry internationally and received Frankfurt IMEX Academy Award in 2009. She was the past president (2019) of SITE China Chapter.

Liu Ping likes writing. Her first autobiographical novel “My Chinese Dream – From Red Guard to CEO“ was published in 2012 and 2014 separately in English and Chinese.

Elżbieta Rivest

Head of Indirect Strategic Sourcing Division ZF Polpharma. She has been with Polpharma since 2004. Since 2007, she has been responsible for Indirect Procurement, which include:

  • marketing services: media buying, ATL, BTL, marketing research;
  • event services: MICE & business travel;
  • purchase of promotional materials and services;
  • purchasing of company-wide and professional services;
  • IT purchases;
  • car fleet purchases.

In addition to her local responsibilities, she was also responsible for many years for Indirect Procurement in the Group outside Poland, where she actively implements the best purchasing and tendering solutions developed in Europe. As part of her work at the Group, she organized tenders on an international scale for the purchase of media, business travel, IT or professional services.

Within the framework of Group cooperation, she also supports Herbapol Lublin S.A. in terms of Indirect Procurement

Leader of sustainable development initiatives in the area of procurement. In 2018, for the "Sustainable Supply Chain" project, it received an award for second place in the "Procurement Leader" competition organized by PSML.

From 2022 she is Advisory Board Member to Accor Masters of Travel initiative.

Prior to Polpharma, she worked for 9 years at Citibank in the Public Relations Department.

Patrick Richards

Patrick is a Founder / Director of TerraVerde; an innovative and business-friendly sustainability consultancy. TerraVerde is dedicated to the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, working across all its segments to support clients on their journeys to a sustainable / low carbon future. The company combines insights from decades of leadership experience in tourism, with the know-how of professional advisory. This helps clients to future-proof their businesses, whilst also minimising impact on the natural world. We understand the challenges facing our clients and support this with expertise in environmental science, project management, supply chain analysis and communications. Partnerships are in place with trade associations and media groups to help spread awareness and sustainability education.

Over a 35-year tourism career, Patrick has been a strong advocate for sustainable growth of the travel and tourism sector. Leadership & transformational roles have been held at Tour Operators, Bedbanks and TMC’s. A long stint on the managing executive committee at GTA; was followed by similar roles at Travelport, Kuoni and Cox & Kings (where he was the Chief Commercial Officer, as well as being a Director of its on-line division Ezeego1.) Patrick Chaired the leading European travel trade association ETOA between 2007 and 2014. In addition to TerraVerde, today he holds Directorships at LVG Learning www.lvglearning.com a leader in on-line skills development for the travel sector, and www.nordictoursimcollective.com ; which promotes tourism across the Nordics and Baltics. He is based in West London, United Kingdom.

James Aitken

Owner and Founder of Cashel Travel, a destination management company and incoming tour operator specialising in the UK and Ireland. He has over 30 years of experience in the travel industry, working at a senior level in a variety of roles.

James established Cashel Travel in 2000, and the company has grown rapidly since then. Today, Cashel Travel has offices in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Dublin and Sofia, Bulgaria, and employs over 30 staff. The company works with some of the largest incentive companies in the world, organising events for groups of all sizes.

James is a passionate advocate for the travel industry, and he is actively involved in a number of trade organisations. He is currently the Chairman of UKinbound, the UK's national association for inbound tourism, and he has also served on the travel trade steering group of VisitScotland.

In addition to his work in the travel industry, James is also a keen salmon fisherman.

Biography Highlights:
  • Owner and Founder of Cashel Travel, a destination management company and incoming tour operator specialising in the UK and Ireland
  • Over 30 years of experience in the travel industry, working at a senior level in a variety of roles
  • Passionate advocate for the travel industry
  • Active member of a number of trade organisations, including UKinbound, Euromic and SITE
  • President of the SITE chapter in Scotland in 2016, during which time the chapter won the Chapter of the Year for membership
  • Served on the travel trade steering group of VisitScotland
  • Director and Treasurer of UKinbound since 2016,
  • Chairman of UKinbound since 2019

James Aitken is a highly respected figure in the travel industry, and his leadership has helped to make Cashel Travel one of the leading destination management companies in the UK and Ireland.

Paweł Lewtak

Pawel Lewtak brings over two decades of extensive and varied experience within international and Polish hotel chains, as well as distinctive independent hotels. He is the General Manager of the iconic Polonia Palace Hotel in Warsaw and serves as the Managing Director and Board Member of Syrena Hotels, which includes the Polonia Palace, Metropol, and MDM Hotels. In his distinguished career, he has been instrumental in the openings of The Westin Warsaw and the Qubus Hotel in Krakow.

As the Vice President of the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA), a non-profit organization established in Rome in 1974, Mr. Lewtak is an active contributor to the hospitality industry. The EHMA is dedicated to supporting Hotel General Managers of first class and luxury hotels, and it has grown to include nearly 400 members across 23 European countries.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Mr. Lewtak is also an academic instructor at leading business schools in Warsaw, where he shares his expertise with students pursuing degrees in hospitality management.

A graduate of the Canadian Executive MBA program offered jointly by the Warsaw School of Economics and the Université du Québec à Montréal, he also completed the General Manager Program at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in the USA.

Mr. Lewtak’s excellence in the field has been recognized with prestigious accolades, including the Hotelier of the Year Award in Poland (2018) and the European Hotel Manager of the Year (2021).

Filip Dudek
Director of Sales, DACH Poland & Scandinavia, Barceló Hotel Group

Filip Dudek stands as a vanguard in the hospitality industry, directing sales initiatives for the DACH region and Scandinavia within the Barceló Hotel Group, Spain’s second-largest hotel chain and a formidable force with a footprint in 25 countries. With a decade-plus tenure in hospitality, Filip’s profound impact is palpable in the Group's strategic growth and prominence, fortified by nearly five years of dedicated service at Barceló.

Barceló Hotel Group commands a global stage with 208 hotels and upwards of 62,000 rooms. Renowned for its 'Advanced Hotel Intelligence,' the company weaves a legacy of three generations into a modern tapestry of innovation, aligning with evolving market dynamics. Its portfolio encompasses four distinguished brands, each synonymous with exceptional guest experiences, from urban explorations to serene beachfront stays.

A recognized authority in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) sector, Filip’s strategic acumen elevates Barceló’s positioning as an industry leader, enhancing the brand’s capacity to host and manage premier events globally. His vision is anchored in creating intrinsic value and superior management practices, which are the cornerstones of Barceló’s operational excellence.

Filip’s leadership also champions Barceló’s pioneering sustainability ethos, epitomized by the Barceló REGEN strategy. This initiative propels the brand toward the forefront of regenerative tourism, striving to cultivate an economy that benefits people and the planet alike. Filip's esteemed experience fortifies Barceló's mission to not only meet the luxury and service benchmarks but to do so with a commitment to a sustainable, inclusive, and future-focused hospitality model.

Agnieszka Majkowska

By profession – teacher & linguist, by passion – traveller. Currently in the position of Agent Experience Director in Prudential Polska I am responsible for and committed to complex incentive programme design from business strategy phase until execution of the incentive events. Present in the MICE segment of the business since 2002, I watched the changes in the corporate preferences, market challenges as related to macro-economic environment, industry trends and end clients profiles as well as regulatory pressures.

I am determined to deliver programmes that have stories behind that allow to build emotional dimension of the travel experience and build unique feeling of belonging. I love putting people in the venues with character and let them explore, touch and feel the destination with all their senses and emotions. My intent is always to design the programme that allows for growth – intellectual & emotional. I believe travelling makes people sensitive to the world around – whether in human/ social or natural dimension.

Agnieszka Stryjecka
Head of Marketing, SIXT Polska

Marketing executive with over 15 years experience in marketing and communication for international corporations. Responsible for the development and implementation of the marketing strategy and PR communication for SIXT Poland, earlier for DNB Bank Poland. Extensively experienced in planning and managing projects in the field of corporate marketing, effective in integrating all marketing tools, including events, digital, ATL, PR and social media. Previously associated with mBank, responsible for external projects supporting women in business.
Jury member of the largest event industry competition in Poland - MP Power Awards.

Paweł Tyszkiewicz
SAR – Managing Director

Born in 1963 in Poland, Master Degree in Philosophy, wife, four children

  • (1991-1996) Consul in Polish Consulate in Los Angeles and Montreal.
  • (1996-2000) General Manager In Polonia Cup – Polish Motorcycle Road Racing Championship (1996-2000) organizer
  • (1998-2000) Ducati Importer
  • (2000-2003) Trainer and manager in business trainings companies; Cedho , Chiltern.
  • (2005-2020) Board member in ZKDP – ABC Poland
  • (2007-2009) Chairman of Polish Advertising self-regulatory organization „Rada Reklamy”
  • (2003-    ) Managing Director in Polish Marketing Communications Association SAR
Kamil Gosławski

A graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and the National Defense University in Warsaw. For over eight years associated with the financial market in the field of data management services. An expert in the field of digital transformation projects, automation of business processes and implementation of management systems, data processing and storage.

Since 2014, he has been associated with Iron Mountain, where he was responsible for servicing strategic clients, mainly from the financial sector and global clients. Currently, since 2022, Senior Key Account Manager at CRIF, where he is responsible for the implementation of services and systems for the banking sector.

Stephan Baresel

With over 15 years of professional experience in the dynamic realms of Marketing and Sales, Stephan Baresel stands as the Director of Sales and Marketing Operations at Placces GmbH, a leading player in the location and event services industry. His journey in this field has been marked by a decade-long immersion in the vibrant Berlin Hotel and Cultural Scene.

Stephan's expertise lies in cultivating a deep understanding of customer needs, a skill that spans both the retention of business clients and regular customers, as well as the strategic acquisition of new ones. His proficiency extends to skillfully positioning unique selling propositions, thereby contributing significantly to the long-term development of brands under his purview.

What sets Stephan apart is not just his business-oriented thinking but also his proactive approach to building and leveraging a substantial network across Germany. This network not only facilitates business growth but also positions Placces GmbH strategically within the industry landscape.

Placces GmbH, under the leadership of its founder Dr. Joachim Köhrich and dynamic visionary Stephan Baresel, operates with a clear mission. Located at the bustling Heckmannhöfe on Oranienburger Strasse, the company is dedicated to providing impeccable support to its customers. Stephan, working alongside content managers and editors, ensures that location providers and event service entities receive a high-quality online presentation.

Wojciech Bagiński

Wojciech is an international lawyer qualified to practice in the U.S (New York), Poland, England and Wales.

He is the co-founder of Impactiv, a boutique cross-border law firm with a lens on sustainability. Wojciech has been promoting B Corps in Poland since 2012. He is a member of the board of directors of B Lab Global, and Co-founder of The Interdependence Coalition, supporting the EU in the introduction of a directive on stakeholder corporate governance in Europe (CSDDD) which will mandate companies to shift their business operations to a more socially responsible model.

Wojciech is a Chairman of the Foreign Commission at the Polish Bar Council (Naczelna Rada Adwokacka) and a member of the District Bar Council in Warsaw. He is also a member of the ESG Committee at the National Chamber of Commerce (Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza).

For years, Wojciech has been encouraging all companies to define and implement their purpose (broader than profit) in their corporate documents, in key company agreements and statutes, as well as contracts with suppliers.

Cezary Wilemajtys

The founder and president od United Partners agency, Cezary is recognized for his innovative aproach in the MICE market in Poland.

The President of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Poland (2018-2019), long-term member of the board of the Society of Incentive Travel Organisers (2012-2018). He is the author of the original idea of meetingplanner.pl portal designed for the MICE industry, the columnist of the MICE Poland magazine (2004-2011), a founding member of three associations: the Society of Incentive Travel Organisers, Meeting Professionals International chapter Poland (2010) and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (2015); a jury member of the MICE industry competitions: The Personality of the Year (2009-2011), MP Power Awards (2012-2018). The award winner of MP Power Awards (2014, 2017), Golden Arrow (2016, 2019). The passionate lover of travel photos and films, the author of travel video blogs, including trips to Rwanda tropical forest gorrilas, jeep safari in the Colorado Canyon US, visit to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valey of the Incas in Peru, safari in Tanzanya at the birthplace of the Great Migration, a trip to Iguazu Waterfalls in Argentina and more.

He finished the English Faculty at Warsaw University, English Law at Cambridge University (3 semester course at University of Warsaw) and post-graduate studies at the Warsaw School of Economics.

Operator of the Meeting Industry Sustainability Forum 2023
Travel Bidder Sp. z o. o.
ul. Smyczkowa 12/31
02-678 Warszawa, Poland
e-mail: contact@congressesg.com
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