Peter RushChairman & CEO | New York
Michael BrooksCFO | Atlanta
Ralph Vasami, Esq.President | New York
Neil FosterExecutive Vice President | Atlanta
Travis RushExecutive Vice President | Washington, D.C.
Greg SchultzExecutive Vice President | Chicago
John FerraroSenior Vice President | Washington, D.C.
Paul HagarSenior Vice President | New York
Phelps Hope, CMPSenior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions | Atlanta
JerrieLynn KindSenior Vice President | Kansas City
Holly KoenigSenior Vice President | New York
Russell LemieuxSenior Vice President | Atlanta
Jeannie MilewskiSenior Vice President | Atlanta
Michelle MillerSenior Vice President | Chicago
Robert RankinSenior Vice President | Washington, D.C.
Bonnie SonnenscheinSenior Vice President | New York
Robin ApplebaumVice President | Atlanta
Emily BurchVice President | Chicago
Patricia FaisonVice President | Atlanta
Michael FischerVice President | Washington, D.C.
Shavonne GammageVice President Human Resources | Atlanta
Tom GoodingVice President | Washington, D.C.
Doug JohnsonVice President | Atlanta
Mardi MountfordVice President | Atlanta
Alexandra Smith OzerkisVice President | New York
Meredith TaylorVice President | Chicago
Martin BayVice President | Atlanta
Chairman & CEO
A visionary in the fields of association management and communications, Peter Rush continues his long history of achievement as he guides the steady growth and success of Kellen. Peter provides leadership to the company’s seven offices worldwide and is the guardian of the firm’s vision, mission and values.
Peter joined Kellen in 2001 and was named Kellen Chairman and CEO in 2008. He has led the company’s rapid growth both domestically and internationally as Kellen has expanded its footprint with acquisitions in Chicago, Washington, DC, Denver, Kansas City, Brussels and Beijing.
An expert in the areas of governance, board development, strategic planning, marketing and public relations, Peter has served as Executive Director of more than 10 associations in his career. His clients have ranged from AT&T to AlliedSignal to the U.S. Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as dozens of trade and professional organizations. He began his career as a journalist with the New York Times Company and as a magazine editor at Harcourt Brace.
Michael has more than 25 years of experience in accounting, finance, strategic planning, business development, and operations including shared service centers and information technology. He is responsible for ensuring an efficient and effective infrastructure, directing all information technology, administrative operations, risk management and financial planning and analysis activities for Kellen and its clients.
Michael manages the company’s accounting, information technology and operations departments. He has extensive senior executive experience in the professional services and consumer products industries, as well as with a “Big 4” CPA firm, Deloitte & Touche, where he passed New York’s CPA exam. Michael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Emory University and a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Finance from Wilkes University.
Ralph Vasami, Esq.
Ralph Vasami, Esq has a broad background in engineering, business management, operations, finance, strategic planning and law. He is actively involved with leading clients’ efforts to modify and enhance National Building Codes, and is regularly called upon to facilitate client strategic planning meetings.
Ralph is a pioneer in the vinyl window and door industry. As chairman of the Vinyl Window & Door Institute, he was responsible for gaining Model Building Code acceptance for vinyl as a fenestration product. He was also instrumental in setting up testing and standards for the products as well as the current industry certification program.
Ralph received a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University and a law degree from Pace University. He is a member of the New York State Bar.
Executive Vice President
Neil oversees day-to-day accounting and financial management across Kellen and our global client portfolio.
Neil brings more than 35 years in financial management, technology, planning and analysis to Kellen, having previously served renowned companies around the world through consulting roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey & Company before taking on senior leadership roles with Bertelsmann Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
Neil holds a finance degree from the University of Toronto as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Executive Vice President
Travis is responsible for Kellen’s increased engagement with 501c3 organizations and the ongoing support to cause-based groups through operational efficiencies provided by Kellen. Travis has provided strategic development and implementation plans for the Copper Development Association, the Cruise Line International Association, the Window Covering Safety Council, the Interior Design Educators Council and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
He has established dozens of unique marketing and media programs, leveraging demographics and behavioral history to create value and enhance the user experience. A graduate of The George Washington University, Travis is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE) and Green Spaces.
Executive Vice President
Greg Schultz has been the driving force behind innovative and successful strategies and programs for association growth for more than 30 years. With Kellen, Greg creates invested, results-driven client teams, providing Kellen vision and strategies for growth to Kellen clients and staff teams, and market analysis and business development.
Greg began his career in 1984 as a writer and editor for trade journals with an association management company. In 1991 he and John Waxman bought the firm and renamed it The Sherwood Group. The Sherwood Group merged with Kellen in 2015.
Greg has served as the chief staff executive for a number of organizations, including founding executive director and marketing strategist for the International Society for Stem Cell Research, setting a course for the organization’s growth from a startup to the international focal point for the field.
Greg is Chair-Elect for the Association Management Company Institute (AMCI). He has chaired several AMCI committees, including Market Expansion and Membership Development. He has served as a board member on the American Society of Association Executives’ Association Management Section Council.
Senior Vice President
John Ferraro has over fifteen years of association management, government relations, and legislative affairs experience, including more than eleven years with Kellen managing operations for trade associations in the transportation, health care, building construction, and manufacturing sectors.
John’s association management responsibilities include providing direct oversight and executive management of activities for associations. In this capacity, he oversees all functional teams and areas of operations, including membership development, conference management, communications and marketing, information technology, education services and accreditation programs, government affairs, and financial / investment management.
Currently, he serves as the executive director for the Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association (XPSA), Composite Lumber Manufacturers Association (CLMA), and American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA).
John has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and International Affairs and a Master’s Degree in American Politics and Policy, both from Florida State University.
Senior Vice President
Paul focuses on understanding big-picture goals, diving into the business, and doing the detailed work it takes to establish engaging communications and marketing programs. He has deep experience with technology, luxury home goods, and building and architectural products, having worked on both traditional and digital campaigns in those markets for over 15 years. He particularly enjoys finding and testing ideas that address challenges and create new opportunities for organizations. Paul brings a diversity of experience to the table, having grown up in Montana, then graduating from Princeton, and working in a range of businesses, from consulting firm D.H. Brown Associates, to e-commerce startup Tapestria.com, to leading architectural and window coverings manufacturer Hunter Douglas. He joined Kellen in 2018 to lead its digital team and to direct communications for a number of clients.
Phelps Hope, CMP
Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions
Phelps R. Hope has more than 30 years of experience in meetings, events and tradeshow management and holds the Certified Meetings Professional (CMP) designation, an indication of both his experience level in the meetings industry and his dedication to excellence.
He is familiar with every nuance of the meetings, tradeshow and events production process, and places the highest priority upon the delivery of unique creative solutions that help to deliver on the strategic goals and objectives of Kellen client conferences and events.
He is an active member of the Georgia Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, Skal International, and currently serves on the board of the Professional Convention Managers Association (PCMA).
In 2014, Phelps was awarded the PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year. He was recognized for his vision, commitment and passion for the evolution of the meetings industry, creating exceptional value for clients expanding their reach into new global arenas.
Senior Vice President
JerrieLynn Kind has brought success to professional societies and trade associations for more than 25 years and has been serving Kellen’s clients for 15 years. JerrieLynn provides executive oversight to 13 associations based out of the Kansas City office. She also serves as Executive Director for the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society.
She has a broad background with membership associations, financial planning, and project management. Prior to joining Kellen, JerrieLynn worked as membership director and career development manager to national associations in the golf industry.
JerrieLynn is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Kansas City Society of Association Executives and has been active in committees and educational activities. JerrieLynn is also an approved facilitator of ASAE’s Certificate Program in Association Management.
Senior Vice President
Holly Koenig provides executive oversight in marketing and business development as well as strategic support to Executive Directors in the company’s New York City office. She is a highly-skilled association executive with over 25 years of experience leading complex organizations at the international, national and local levels.
Holly has served dozens of nonprofits, trade groups and professional societies in the capacity of Executive Vice President or Executive Director including New York Women in Communications, the National Society of Healthcare Foodservice Management and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York City Chapter.
Holly currently serves on the Board of Directors of New York Society of Association Executives. She is a speaker on many association and organizational subjects and she conducts internal training and educational workshops on such topics as Board development and sponsorships. Holly has published numerous association management articles, enjoys career coaching and mentoring young professionals.
Senior Vice President
Russell Lemieux has more than 30 years’ experience in the association management industry. Russell has extensive experience as chief staff executive, conceiving and directing a variety of association programs, including public relations, marketing and branding. He is also an experienced strategic planning facilitator, writer, editor and speaker and is regularly quoted in print and broadcast media as an industry spokesman.
Russell serves as Executive Director for the Airline Passenger Experience Association, and is the senior executive advisor for several additional Kellen association clients, including the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals, Research Chefs Association, National Pecan Shellers Association and the Association of Fundraising Distributors and Suppliers. His primary responsibilities include strategic planning and counsel, marketing, membership development, administration, meetings and trade show management, public relations and government affairs.
Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.
Senior Vice President
Jeannie Milewski is the executive director of the Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS), a 160-member international trade association. She focuses on strategic direction, executive committee and board support, organizational leadership, priorities management, quality assurance and directing the general operations of the association. Additionally, Jeannie serves as executive director for The Vinegar Institute and leads the Fruit Spread Section and Concord Grape Section of the Juice Products Association.
She has more than 17 years of association management experience and has worked for several Kellen clients in the food industry. Prior to joining Kellen in 1995, Jeanie was involved in the foodservice sector with responsibilities including research and development, specifications and training.
Jeanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science and a Master’s in food Science from the University of Tennessee.
Senior Vice President
With over 20 years of association management experience, Michelle provides strategic oversight and guidance to various client organizations with focus on trade groups. She specializes in re-aligning organizations towards profitability and identifying growth opportunities, ensuring governance structures are aligned with strategic initiatives, solution orientated with emphasis on problem identification and conflict resolution, staffing utilization, developing staffing models to support organizations and transitions.
Michelle currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council and manages Kellen transitions/onboarding of new client organizations. She is a graduate of Northwood University in Midland Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing. She lives in the Western suburbs of Illinois with her husband and two children.
Senior Vice President
Robert Rankin has over 15 years of association experience, with particular expertise in food industry issues management. Robert joined Kellen in 2005 and has consistently delivered strategic solutions to address complex regulatory, legislative and administrative challenges.
Robert has broad experience in the food and food ingredient industries, and is fully engaged in a number of activities which utilize his areas of expertise. He has worked closely with officials at key US Government agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture, and has also worked with regulatory agencies in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. He also has extensive experience in the development and communication of industry positions and has testified before U.S. state legislatures, the World Health Organization and local authorities on industry issues.
Robert earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. He currently serves as President of the Calorie Control Council, Executive Director for the Infant Nutrition Council of America and Executive Director for the International Food Additives Council.
Senior Vice President
Bonnie Sonnenschein has been leading branding initiatives and developing and directing integrated marketing communications programs for corporations and associations for more than 25 years. Firms have ranged from the U.S.-based Steelcase and Burlington Industries to European-based luxury writing instrument manufacturers LAMY and Caran d’Ache.
Currently, Bonnie manages a team of accounts that range from the global testing and certification firm Intertek to the Copper Development Association (CDA), the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), the American Down and Feather Council (ADFC) and its international parent group, the International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB).
Bonnie holds a B.A. in English Literature and Political Science from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Public Relations Communications and Administration from the Newhouse School of Public Communications of Syracuse University.
Robin is a seasoned communications executive with extensive agency experience in New York and Atlanta. She leads Kellen’s communication team in Atlanta, which has a proven track record of providing clients strategic communications programs that help grow their brand and positively influence their target audiences using custom integrated marketing, public relations, and online/social media plans. Robin is responsible for clients such as the Airline Passenger Experience and the Infant Nutrition Council of America, and has previously led PR efforts for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s childhood obesity program, the 93rd PGA Championship, Chanel, and Sony Pictures, as well as numerous B2B and B2C marketing programs and campaigns. As a former TV producer, Robin has a strong, proven track record working with many national media outlets including TODAY, CNBC, Bloomberg, New York Times, Associated Press, and USA Today, to name just a few.
Emily Burch is an association management professional with extensive experience serving organizations in the healthcare industry. She serves as Executive Director for the Association of College and University Auditors, the Association of Oncology Social Work and the Society for Pediatric Pathology.
Additionally, Emily provides oversight and strategic guidance to account staff within Kellen’s healthcare portfolio. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree from Millikin University.
Patricia Faison has over 25 years’ experience in association management and the food and beverage industry. She currently serves as Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs for the Association for Dressings & Sauces (ADS) and Technical Director for the Juice Products Association (JPA). Her responsibilities include monitoring current legislative and regulatory activities affecting the food industry, providing reports to members and facilitating various projects undertaken by ADS’ and JPA’s working committees. Patricia has developed numerous comments on regulatory, legislative and technical issues to federal, state and international agencies.
Patricia received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Savannah State University and holds a master’s degree from Purdue University. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).
Michael Fischer has been in the building products industry for 33 years, holding management positions in regulatory affairs, manufacturing, and marketing. His involvement in building and energy codes, environment and sustainability issues, product standards, regulatory affairs, and product safety issues within the industry provides a comprehensive background to deliver responsible advocacy for Kellen clients.
Mike is a member the International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, and ASTM International and serves on the Technical Committee of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC).
Mike has provided strategic representation before the US Department of Energy and Consumer Product Safety Commission, the California Air Resource Board, the California Energy Commission, the California Office of the State Fire Marshal, and state code adoption bodies in Florida, New York State, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, and other building and energy code official agencies.
He has testified before legislative bodies and helped to lead successful client strategic efforts from product standards through code and regulatory development. Mike is a respected contributor to trade publications and a frequent presenter at building industry events and conferences.
Vice President Human Resources
Shavonne is a results oriented Human Resources leader, with extensive experience aligning HR strategy with organizational objectives for both Fortune 500 companies (i.e. Target and First Data) and mid-size companies (i.e. The Insurance House). She has a proven track record for driving organizational change, through creating a collaborative and engaging environment. Her extensive experience includes strategic HR planning, training and development, performance management and employee engagement.
As the VP Human Resources for Kellen, Shavonne will develop and execute the company’s HR strategies and partner with senior management to execute Kellen’s global vision. She will also provide HR advisory services as it relates to leadership, coaching, employee relations, talent acquisition, engagement, culture, performance management, and training and development.
Shavonne is a graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, MA with a B.S. in Business Management and holds a MBA from Kennesaw State University located in Kennesaw, GA.
Tom leads Kellen’s corporate business development efforts and oversees a number of shared services teams, including client technology, design and corporate partnerships sales. He also provides strategic guidance to several trade associations focused on federal advocacy in the technology, energy and transportation industries.
Prior to Kellen, Tom served as a senior executive at an innovative software firm funded by The Blackstone Group that provides fundraising and deal management solutions to leading global private equity firms and as a sales executive and project manager with Bluewolf, an IBM Company.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.
Doug Johnson directs Kellen’s IT department, responsible for supporting and maintaining the company’s network infrastructure including a wide area MPLS network. Doug and his team are responsible for internal web servers and communications infrastructure based on Cisco VOIP products, in addition to the company’s association management software systems and databases.
Doug has more than 20 years of systems experience and expertise, with extensive knowledge of all major software applications, operating systems, networking hardware, communication systems, and association management software systems. He is a certified network engineer and has received extensive training from leading manufacturers such as Microsoft and Cisco along with AMS software vendors such as TMA Resources.
Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Science from Bridgewater State College.
Mardi Mountford is the executive vice president of the Infant Nutrition Council of America (INCA), a trade association representing infant formula manufacturers. In her role at the INCA, Mardi oversees state, federal and international legislative and regulatory issues as well as technical and scientific industry issues. She serves as an industry media spokesperson, and has testified before congressional and legislative committees.
Mardi also serves as vice president on the Governing Board of the International Special Dietary Foods Industries, of which INCA is a member, and has been closely involved in the transition of the organization from its former Paris location to Kellen’s Brussels office.
Mardi has more than 30 years of experience in association management. She received a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and biology from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina, and a master’s degree in public health, with an emphasis in nutrition, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alexandra Smith Ozerkis
Alex Ozerkis brings over 14 years of experience in public relations, marketing communications, and event planning with knowledge in a wide range of sectors, including science & technology, food & nutrition, beauty & wellness, consumer products and nonprofits. At Kellen, Alex has overseen communications programs and teams for clients, including the National Pasta Association, Toy Industry Association, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership and Copper Development Association, among others.
Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Cornell University and serves as a Cornell Almuni Admissions Ambassador. She has lectured on the topic of public relations at the National Society of Association Executives, New York Women in Communications, Fashion Institute of Technology and The New School in New York City.
Meredith is an association management professional with a focus in the media and communications fields. She manages the transition process for new clients into Kellen and oversees a portfolio of clients in the media and communications industries.
Meredith has supported the College Media Association (CMA), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and New York Women in Communications (NYWICI). She was honored with the New Star Award from New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE) and the Young and Aspiring Association Professional Award from Association TRENDS.
Meredith graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with majors in linguistics and public relations.
Martin has over 25 years of meetings, events, and tradeshow management experience. He is responsible for the technical and professional development of the Kellen meetings staff, for the procurement of all contracted meeting space and sleeping rooms for over 200 contracted events annually, and is the lead solutions provider for all Kellen clients.
Martin has experience in both the corporate and association meetings management industries, and specializes in processes and procedure management. His professional passion and his meticulous attention to detail has made him a leader in the meetings management industry, and he has developed an expertise with the technological aspects of our field.
Martin is an active member in the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), for whom he serves on the board of the Southeast Chapter. He is also a former member of the United States Canoe/Kayak Team, an avid bicyclist, and his interest in international travel has taken he and wife Nancy to over 21 countries, including a two-year residence in Cairo, Egypt.
Alfons WestgeestExecutive Vice President, Europe | Brussels
Hans CraenVice President | Brussels
Maria Teresa ScardigliVice President | Brussels
Nele DevolderAssociation Director | Brussels
Dani KolbAssociation Director | Brussels
Jean-Christophe KremerAssociation Director | Brussels
Raquel Ponte CostaSenior Association Manager | Brussels
Patrick FoxSenior Association Manager | Brussels
Francesco GattiglioSenior Association Manager | Brussels
Adriana NosewiczSenior Association Manager | Brussels
René SchroederSenior Association Manager | Brussels
Executive Vice President, Europe
Alfons Westgeest leads Kellen’s global development and operations, from our offices in Brussels, Belgium and Beijing, China. He is also responsible for Kellen’s strategic affiliates in Asia, Middle East and South America.
Alfons is involved in client board and member meetings, strategic planning and government affairs. He is a member of the Kellen’s Executive Committee and is responsible for preparing and implementing the company’s global expansion. He has expertise in various sectors including automotive, engineering, electronics, food, health care, construction, and financial services.
Alfons leads a team of 30 European professionals from 13 nationalities who advise, manage and represent European and U.S. based associations in various industries. He is also responsible for Kellen’s Beijing office, which has recently expanded to serve multiple international associations in China.
A graduate of Leyden University in the Netherlands, he holds a Master degree in Commercial and European law and was previously a partner at EY. Alfons is a former Board member of ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) and ASAE Fellow since 2006. He represents Kellen at Chambers of Commerce in Europe and Asia and received the 2011 ‘Outstanding Contribution to EU Public Affairs’ award.
Hans Craen joined Kellen’s Brussels office in 2003. He specializes in EU affairs, with a focus on environmental, construction and energy policies. Hans acts as secretary-general for several of Kellen’s European clients including the European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) and the European Window Film Association (EWFA).
As secretary-general, Hans supports the Board in its strategic thinking, implementing public affairs and public relations activities and representing the organization in front of the European and national legislative bodies. He is also involved in several consulting projects for Kellen’s global clients.
Before joining Kellen, Hans worked as an EU Affairs coordinator for Hitachi’s liaison office in Brussels, covering environmental policy issues. Prior to that, he worked as a trainee in the legal department of the European Ombudsman’s office in Strasbourg.
Hans holds a law degree from the Antwerp University, as well as a European law degree from the Liège University. He also obtained a post-graduate degree in Business Management from the Vlekho Business School.
Maria Teresa Scardigli
Maria Teresa Scardigli serves as the executive director for several associations, managing projects for clients in food drink and chemical sector. Her main responsibilities include supporting the Board in its strategic thinking, chairing of meetings, coordinating public affairs and public relations activities and representation of the organizations towards third parties.
Maria is the executive director of the International Stevia Council representing the interests of the producers and manufacturers of the natural, zero calorie sweeteners. She is also involved in consulting projects with Kellen clients, including the facilitation of strategic planning sessions, the legal and governance support to associations to establish themselves in Europe, among others.
She graduated from the University of Rome with a Law Degree, and received her Master’s Degree in European and Community Law from the European University Center of the University of Nancy in France.
Nele joined Kellen in 2001 and specializes in marketing and communications. She is involved in strategic advice projects and consulting for trade associations and professional societies on a global level. She has an extensive experience in the management of national, European, and international associations.
Her current assignments include the International Association of Lighting Designers, for which she serves as their European office Manager, and the European Utilities Telecom Council, for which she is the Senior Manager of Operations in Europe. Nele also serves as the Executive Director in Europe for the EU-Russia Industrialists’ Roundtable, a business platform composed of leaders of multinational companies from the EU and Russia. She also leads the Kellen team that serves as the secretariat of the CEC, the Co-ordinating European Council for the Development of Performance Tests for Fuels, Lubricants and other Fluids.
Nele has experience in several industries and sectors and has mainly worked with associations active on an international level, several of them in the healthcare field; such as the International League Against Epilepsy and the American Health Information Management Association. Nele studied Communications at the EGON Hogeschool in Gent, Belgium. She is Belgian of Dutch mother tongue and speaks English, French, and German.
Dani has 12 years of experience managing international associations and professional societies, particularly those in the healthcare sector. Dani specializes in E.U. affairs, marketing, communications, and strategic advising.
Prior to Kellen, Dani worked for the Union of European Soft Drinks Associations (UNESDA). She was a trainee in the European Commission, the Parliament, and the Permanent Representation of Germany to the E.U.
Dani is Vice President of the Society for European Affairs Professionals (SEAP), and, within the Center of Association Leadership (ASAE), Dani has chaired the International Section Council.
Dani studied European Business and Management, followed by a Master’s program in European Studies & European Integration. She also holds an M.B.A. in Wine & Spirits from the Bordeaux Management School.
Jean-Christophe has 15 years of experience with Kellen. He leads two trade associations in the food industry; ISDI, the International Association for Special Dietary Foods Industries, representing infant, medical, and other specialized foods, and FEDIMA, the European Federation of Bakery Ingredients Suppliers.
He most frequently works with members on strategic positioning and contact building with governing bodies such as the European Union, the World Health Organization, and Codex Alimentarius Food Law.
Before joining Kellen, Jean-Christophe was a political advisor to a Member of the European Parliament and worked in public relations. He holds a Master’s in History from KU Leuven and an additional Master’s in European Political Studies from the College of Europe.
Raquel Ponte Costa
Senior Association Manager
Raquel specializes in EU regulatory affairs and digital communications. She has been responsible for the public relations and communications activities for a number of Kellen clients, including the European Window Film Association, Global Facilities Management Association, Association of European Automotive, and Industrial Battery Manufacturers.
Currently, Raquel acts as the Executive Director of VIPA International, the Vacuum Insulation Panel Association, and as General Manager of EASEE-gas, the European Association for the Streamlining of Energy Exchange – gas. In addition, she is also involved in consulting projects with Kellen clients, including the facilitation of strategic planning sessions, reputation analysis, governance support, review of internal structures, and establishment in Brussels, among others.
Before joining Kellen, Raquel worked as a trainee for both the International Wool Textile Organization and the European Parliament with a Portuguese MEP. After graduating with a degree in European Studies and International Politics in Portugal, Raquel continued her academic career at the Institute for European Studies of the Université libre de Bruxelles, where she concluded a Master’s in European Studies. Raquel is a Portuguese native speaker and is fluent in English and French.
Senior Association Manager
At Kellen, Patrick works as the Secretary General for the European Association of Manufacturers and Formulators of Enzyme (AMFEP) and the European Food and Feed Culture Association (EFFCA).
He specializes in the scientific, trade, and health & safety aspects of the food industry, including the REFIT exercise for general E.U. food law.
From 2012 to 2016, Patrick was Manager for Food Policy, Science and R&D with FoodDrinkEurope, the European federation representing the food and drink industries across Europe.
Patrick, an Irish native, has a Bachelor of Commerce from University College in Dublin and a Master of Science from the Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Senior Association Manager
Francesco has over six years of experience in association management and communications. He is the E.U. Affairs Manager of EUROBAT and the Association of Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, as well as a policy officer to the Vacuum Insulation Panel Association.
Francesco specializes in public affairs & advocacy and digital communication in energy and transport markets.
Prior to Kellen, he worked at the European Commission’s DG Environment and as a trainee at Burson-Marsteller, the Portuguese NGO “Doctors of the World”, and the Italian Embassy of Caracas.
Francesco has a B.A. in International Studies and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Florence. He has also a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick. Francesco is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish as well as basic French and Portuguese.1
Senior Association Manager
Adriana has spent the last decade working with European associations. A lawyer by training, Adriana spent two years in the legal profession before leaving her native Poland to move to Brussels.
Adriana is the Secretary General of the European Potato Processors’ Association. She specializes in E.U. regulatory affairs and environmental & sustainability issues for the International Stevia Council along with strategic advisory services.
Adriana, a Polish national, holds a Master’s degree in Law from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun. She is fluent in Polish, English, Italian, and has a basic understanding of French and Dutch.
Senior Association Manager
René has over 12 years of experience in E.U. regulatory affairs. He is the Executive Director of EUROBAT, the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers. He works with leading European and global companies on the positioning of the battery manufacturing industry and advocating the sustainable applications for mobility and energy services.
His expertise centers around policymakers with experience as a policy officer with the European Waste Management Federation FEAD, between 2007 and 2013, and with the European Chemicals Federation (Cefic), the European Parliament, Siemens, and the E.U. delegation in Washington, D.C.
René holds a postgraduate Master’s degree in European studies from the College of Europe as well as a Master’s in Political Science from the University of Rostock.
Steven BasartVice President, Asia | Beijing
Jean XuSenior Account Supervisor | Beijing
Maria WangSenior Account Coordinator | Beijing
Vice President, Asia
Steven Basart serves Kellen’s international associations through strategic planning and by identifying global market opportunities for their industry or profession. He has guided clients on the implementation of their strategy for Asia by successfully establishing their government relations, communications, membership development programs, as well as overseeing their local Chinese website launches.
Steven has served as the former director China for the Drug Information Association during which time he actively built strategic alliances with local counterpart organizations and government agencies including the Commissioner of the SFDA, key players at the Ministry of Health, and leading pharmaceutical and healthcare industry media. He has also supported international questions on Chinese food laws and delegations at the Codex Committee meetings on food additives.
Steven represents Kellen and their clients at the Beijing-based European, American, and Benelux Chambers of Commerce. He holds a Masters in Chinese Studies and Bachelors in Law with cum laude distinction from Leiden University.
Senior Account Supervisor
Jean XU has over 10 years of experience in the areas of government affairs and monitoring, as well meetings management, marketing, business development and sales administration. Jean leads regulatory monitoring and related projects for Kellen clients in China, including Food and Pharma related industries. She also coordinates the China activities for the International Food Additives Council, including coordinating submissions to relevant government agencies and local counterparts.
Prior to joining Kellen, Jean served as Assistant Director and Marketing Supervisor for the Beijing International Finance Forum, a United Nations backed organization that provides a platform for world financial leaders to contribute to the revitalization of the international economy. At the forum, Jean was responsible for the coordination and management of all conference logistics, as well as all public relations and marketing endeavors.
Senior Account Coordinator
Maria Wang is the Senior Account Coordinator for Kellen’s Beijing office. Maria has extensive experience in coordinating and arranging delegation visits, as well as membership services, meetings/trainings support services, website content management, data analysis, and desk research. She coordinates the initiatives and planning for the China advisory body of a global association, representing companies engaged in research, development, and manufacturing of veterinary medicines, vaccines, and other animal health products.