Advisors to the Board of Directors
- Charles RuffoloAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Charles served and retired after 20 years from the military and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and served as a Battalion Sergeant Major. He earned his MPA/MBA degree in his free time in the military and fine-tuned his natural talent for linking (networking) common interests. Ruffolo is an International Speaker, Author, Publisher and Trainer that has spoken in many countries, presents over 100 times each year and is the most asked American speaker in Europe.
Charles has hosted Stedman Graham numerous times in Europe; twice Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of The United States; Sir Richard Branson (Virgin); General (ret) Wesley K. Clark (Former NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe); Vice President Al Gore in Aruba and Tom Houck, Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr, Personal Driver and Assistant. He was instrumental in setting up the TV Station 24Kitchen. He also created The NetworKing Academy Online course, a first in the world!
The cardinal rule of networking is giving back. Ruffolo believes it’s so essential that in 1999 he founded the Giving Back Foundation. Giving Back is a non-profit Foundation committed toward bringing critical resources to the youth that need them. The Giving Back Foundation helps high-school students whose career perspectives, due to their backgrounds, are not on the same level as their talent and ambition. These students, who may potentially be role model in Dutch society and for this have the ability to develop themselves best, are offered a group and mentor program to help them broaden their knowledge and experience. Giving Back only functions from private donations from companies and people who want to give back to society.
- General Wesley K. Clark, (ret.)Advisor to the Board of Directors
Wesley K. Clark is a businessman, educator, writer and commentator.
General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Chairman and Founder of Enverra, Inc. a licensed investment bank; Chairman of Energy Security Partners, LLC; as well as numerous corporate boards including BNK Petroleum and Equinox Gold. He is active in energy, including oil and
gas, biofuels, electric power and batteries, finance, and security. During his business career he has served as an advisor, consultant or board member of over ninety private and publicly traded companies. In the not-for-profit space, he is a Senior Fellow at UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations, Director of the Atlantic Council; Founding Chair of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock, and Founder of Renew America Together. A best-selling author, General Clark has written four books and is a frequent contributor on TV and to newspapers.
Clark retired as a four star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served in his last assignments as Commander of US Southern Command and then as Commander of US European Command/ Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. He later commanded at the battalion, brigade and division level, and served in a number of significant staff positions, including service as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5). He was the principal author of both the US National Military Strategy and Joint Vision 2010, prescribing US warfighting for full-spectrum dominance. He also worked with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the Dayton Peace Process, where he helped write and negotiate significant portions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. In his final assignment as Supreme Allied Commander Europe he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, a 78-day air campaign, backed by ground invasion planning and a diplomatic process, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He has also been awarded the Department of State Distinguished Service Award and numerous honorary doctorates and civilian honors.
- Michael KhaitAdvisor to the Board of Directors - USA Operations Advisor
Michael is a CEO & Partner of KVG Associates. Under Michael’s tenure, KVG won major Tier-1 industrial customers for strategic business development and innovation advisory services, including several Fortune 500 companies. In 2018, KVG formed a strategic joint venture alliance with Arthur D. Little, voted as #8 management consulting firm in the world by a prestigious Vault publication. Michael is also a lead advisor credited with bringing Starbucks to the US Army and Air Force in EMEA, currently servicing 65,000 troops and diplomatic personnel annually.
Michael is an Award-winning C-Suite innovation, emerging technologies acceleration, and corporate strategy consultant & entrepreneur with 22+ years of experience in teaming with Fortune 500, SMEs and Start-ups to drive enterprise innovation, R&D, technology leadership and business development strategy. An entrepreneurial enterprise technology leader and relentless change agent, always challenging the status quo with a deep background in business development, the latest technology, R&D, and Industry 4.0 across many traditional industries, including aerospace, defense, high-performance automotive, supply chain management and finance.
In his past role as a CEO & Partner of ITTG, a boutique technology accelerator founded in 1989 (acquired in 2009), Michael commercialized over 60 of technology innovations in non-destructive testing for aerospace, new materials research for aerospace, defense, energy, and OEM. Michael also led technology exits to major publicly traded companies, as well as worked side-by-side with legendary American and Israeli scientists and innovators including the winner of the Outstanding Innovation Award of IBM's Research Division, as well as, ITTG’s founder and the winner of Hugo Ramniceanu Prize, received for the outstanding contribution to the development of the State of Israel.
Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., School of Business Administration, with degrees in Finance and International Business. Michael additionally studied International Finance and Comparative Business Policy at Oxford University, Brasenose College.
- Ambassador Dame Leith EatonAIM-X Foundation Ambassador to USA
Ambassador Dame Leith Eaton is a prominent philanthropist globally recognised for her contributions to the Arts. She was bestowed the title Ambassador Dame of Grace of The Knights of Malta, as a result of her decades of artistic and charitable endeavors and achievements as a “Modern Renaissance Woman”. The direct descendant of King Edward III and the direct blood relative of the American pioneer Daniel Boone, she has dedicated her life to charity and lived to the standards of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as her fundamental mission.
For over a decade, she was on the Auxiliary Board of Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. During her term she was founder of The Arts in Healthcare Program and the Lucy Curci Cancer Center of Excellence Healing Garden at Eisenhower Medical Center and a Board Member of the Atlantic Foundation of The Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale FL.
In December of 1998 she founded the World Federation of Nations Foundation (WFNF) with the mission of promoting world peace and global enlightenment through the use of Education and the Arts. Their work resonates key underlying synergies, and as such she was invited to be an Ambassador to the AIM-X Foundation to develop it’s activities in North America and advise on the strategy and direction with her experience.
- Roger HollandAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Roger graduated from the University of Southampton in 1979 with a B.Sc (Hons) in Accountancy & statistics. Initially in internal audit with RCA and Tesco, he then changed direction to sales & marketing roles before holding senior management positions in resort development across several countries in Eastern Europe.
Roger later ventured to Kazakhstan, Central Asia in 1994 and built a leading property consultancy business based in the city of Almaty. In 2007 the company became an affiliate of CBRE the global number one in property brokerage & consultancy. Roger was a President of The International Business Chamber of Kazakhstan. He was one of the founding members of ‘Amcham’, the American Chamber of Commerce and a Board Director. He was a founder and Board member of ‘Eurobak’, the European Business Association of Kazakhstan. He also served on the advisory board of Kazakhstan International School, and his firm sourced the land plot on which the brand new school was later constructed. In 2011 Roger won the American Chamber of Commerce ‘Entrepreneur of the year award.’ He was a regular speaker at the top 5 Universities in the city, specializing in ‘alternative’ management and entrepreneurship.
Roger created numerous opportunities for student interns to work in his firm in addition to several destitute orphans, which earned him huge respect from many parties.
He was a President of the Lions club and a honorary member of the Rotary club. Roger assisted in raising funds for many charitable projects including orphanages, hospitals, education, poverty-reduction, environment and disaster relief.
After 22 years in Kazakhstan Roger returned to the UK in 2016, where he is now Deputy Chair and Treasurer of the British Kazakh Society organizing regular business, economic and cultural events. In his home area he is a committee member of the cricket club and assists with the distribution of the local community magazine.
He is currently involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as an active investor and/or advisor. These include: a carbon capture and trading platform, a new waste to energy technology, an affordable housing initiative, a Sri Lankan spa resort and an ‘immersive’ football gaming experience designed to take-up large retail spaces.
Roger is also leading the Aim-X Foundation initiative as well as serving as Advisor to the Board of Directors
- Hassan HassanAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Hassan is an international businessman and entrepreneur focused on natural resource exploration and development in Africa.
Hassan is highly experienced in building strategic relationships and working effectively with stakeholders. He is skilled in negotiating with governments, major corporations, local businesses and communities to achieve positive outcomes for all parties. His key strength is his ability to negotiate and complete high value asset acquisitions.
- Eric GeutjesAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Eric Geutjes is an entrepreneur at heart and the owner, shareholder and investor in many companies. His 30+ years experience has been gained in the financial investment sector, petrochemical, construction and renewable energy (hydro power, solar, wind) sectors as well as business management, risk management, project and people management and commodities trading / general trading.
Focused, driven, result-oriented, fair, open minded, going the extra mile, high level of professionalism balanced with a great sense of humour are some of the observations made by those who have interacted and/or worked with him. He often finds himself in the role of mentor and trusted advisor given his extensive international experience, superior business acumen and expertise.
The environment, sustainability as well as safety in today's world are topics Eric cares deeply about and is closely involved in various related projects.
Eric is open to new ideas, establishing and growing businesses and bringing a successful outcome to any initiative he is involved in.
- Federico TauberAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Mr. Tauber has a broad range of experiences in Business Management, Investment Banking, and Corporate Restructuring in diverse sectors as Energy, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Real Estate developed over a career of 20 years in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where he spent 13 years.
As the President of Enegrow Latin America, Federico is focused in deploying advanced technologies for the Hydrocarbons and Mining sectors in association with developers and entrepreneurs from the Russian Federation.
He is a Board Member and previously served as CEO of Gemstone Real Estate Development LLC, the Real Estate arm in Dubai of the Saudi Arabia based Al Rajhi Holding and CEO of The Land Development Co., who developed more than 2,000 apartments across 8 projects in the prestigious The Pearl Qatar. He is also Board Member of AEP Investment Management a Global Real Estate Private Equity firm based in Singapore. He is also Board Member and Co-Chairman of the Investment Committee of Basil Trust a Global Real Estate Investment Fund based in Singapore with investments in Singapore and Australia. He was also Co-Chairman of the Investment Committee and Board Member of the very successful Securus Data Center REIT, which IPO in the SGX in 2013 gave birth to the current Keppel Data Centers REIT.
Mr. Tauber also served as Board Member and Member of the Executive Committee of ACWA Power, a Saudi Arabia based Global Independent Power Producer, leader in renewable energy.
Federico was the President and CEO of the Dubai based Tameer Holding Investment, where he took this responsibility in the 2009 crisis and successfully led the completion of 7 projects comprising more than 3,500 residential and commercial properties, including the iconic Princess Tower, tallest residential tower in the world.
Previous to that he was Vice President of Business Development of Al Rajhi Holding, one of the biggest private groups of Saudi Arabia. During his tenue in Riyadh he held the position of Director of Electroputere S.A. a producer of heavy electro-technical equipment in Romania and Board Member of Al Baraka Bank in Pakistan.
He was previously Managing Director of Citigroup responsible for the Global Transaction Services Business in Latin America South and Member of the Board of Directors of The Branch of Citibank in Argentina. During his career in Citigroup he was President of Citicorp Administradora de Inversiones S.A. and Director of Gire S.A., a Transaction Services entity owned by Citigroup.
Federico started his career in CAPSA, a vertical integrated producer of oil, gas and power in Argentina where he was responsible for the International IPO of Capex S.A. an Independent Power Producer and O&G operator based in Neuquina Basin (Patagonia-Argentina).
He holds a degree of Licentiate in Business Administration from the Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina).
- Ceren CercilerAdvisor to AIM-X Foundation
Ceren Çerçiler is the founder and CEO of Inside Counsels, a company dedicated to creating synergies and bringing businesses together around the same cause or project. She has also been the commercial representative of CNN International for Turkey and Angola since 2005. She has been involved in the production of several documentaries, commercials and printed press throughout her career. Her latest project is the production of a documentary film created by Liberatum on Climate Change, directed by Pablo Ganguli and Tomas Auksas, where individuals such as Cher, Mark Ruffalo, Marina Abramovic, Sir David Attenborough, Noam Chomsky, Dame Vivienne Westwood are appearing.
Since she began her career in Madrid in 2001, Ceren worked on a variety of fields ranging from building business liaisons and establishing diplomatic relations between countries to forming multilateral economic ties between companies and government institutions. She is highly specialised in markets such as Angola and Turkey, followed by Spain, UAE and the Gulf region. Today, she continues to build creative strategies and targeted networks to form successful, mutually beneficial businesses in new and unfamiliar markets such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey and Spain. Her living experience in 8 countries – Turkey, Spain, UK, Angola, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia – is an asset in performing cross country relations.
In 1999, at the age of 19, she graduated with the highest honors degree from the Faculty of Humanities at Bilkent University, majoring in English Literature. She then took a year to work on the script writing of a film on Turkey with the actor Michael Constantine. Following year, she received her Master’s Degree in European Studies from Cardiff University (Wales) at the age of 21 and moved to Madrid to work for an International Media Company. 2 months after entering the company, she received the responsibility to head the image building media campaigns the company carried out for Indonesia, Tanzania and Angola.
In 2005, at the age of 25, she founded her own company and carried out the first television campaign for Angola on CNN International. She then worked on developing bilateral relations between Turkey and Angola, upon realising the lack of diplomatic ties between the two countries. She worked with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey in forming the first diplomatic relations with Angola. She organised joint Ministerial meetings among the two countries, helped open the first Embassies in both countries, organised an expo with the participation of 120 companies that increased the trade volume 528% in a span of 10 months, traded high volumes of products such as flour and cement herself as well as carrying out a series of editorial and commercial media campaigns with CNN International.
In 2009, she moved back to Turkey and designed the program called ‘Culinary Journeys’ on CNN International for her client Turkish Airlines. She carried out other projects on CNN for clients such as Ministry of Tourism or the G20 Summit. Alongside the media projects, from 2012-2015, she was asked to head a 70 million USD development project for the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum. Her responsibilities covered the whole spectrum, from the design stage with architects to the preparation of feasibility studies, relations with investors, funding and sales strategies.
Ceren is also a strong believer in philanthropy and has been supporting various projects with orphanages in Africa. She founded an Art Initiative in Istanbul, integrating the arts world with the world of economy, hoping to increase the influence of arts in global affairs. She is the Vice Chairman of the Board of the International Cooperation Platform. Under this year’s Summit, on December 1st 2017, she is organising a multi-disciplinary panel with prominent international speakers from the fields of Quantum Physics, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Arts and Architecture to talk about the topic of “Regenerating the Creative Impulse: Technology, Art, Community and Space”. She is a fluent speaker of English, Turkish, Spanish and Portuguese.
Ceren has kindly agreed to advise the AIM-X Foundation on strategy and to utilise her network to develop specific foundation projects within her areas of expertise.
- Kathleen CharlesAdvisor to AIM-X Foundation
Kathleen is a senior SME/agribusiness and investment promotion specialist, working with donors, governments, financial institutions and key stakeholders in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America to build and foster competitive industries. Conduct field missions to assess SME performance in agriculture production, mining, health care, and tourism. Forge smart public/private partnerships to design innovative, financially inclusive schemes for entrepreneurs, including women and youth. Promote and facilitate dialogue on key socio-economic issues in cooperation with FAO, UNIDO, AfDB, World Bank, IFC, USAID, DANIDA et al, focusing on investment promotion, formalization of SME, access to finance and value chain management.
Kathleen has over 25 years of field experience working with NGO, donors, DFI, financial institutions, and national governments to create enabling environments for business in developing countries. Design and implement projects led by the private sector that yield long term sustainable results, stimulating pro-poor inclusive growth through strategic partnerships in the field. Recent assignments include: SME Advisor to AMSCO to conduct Mid Term Evaluation of AfDB lending programs in 5 African countries including site visits and interviews with SME beneficiaries; Rural Finance Advisor to AfDB Private Sector/Agriculture Departments to craft new strategic lending programs for SME, Advisor to PSDAG USAID project for Bank of Rwanda Agriculture Lending Department, Strategic Advisor to GBF for SME agriculture and gold mining project in Burkina Faso, World Bank PRECASM Advisor to assess FI appetite for SME/ASM lending and identification of credit gaps, Senior Advisor to private bank in Tanzania working with government and private business to promote investment in SME, and SEZ spatial corridors, Work with MIT to facilitate a B2B matchmaking program for SME from Latin America (INTAL) with US Chamber of Commerce members. Facilitate workshops on SME capacity building, and present case studies on Agribusiness Investment Promotion programs for 22 countries under the aegis of FAO. She has also conducted training courses on: leadership management, policy planning, creation of sector wide export marketing strategies, and mobilization of resources for growing enterprises.