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.
- Philip CabanaAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Mr. Philip Steven Cabana, Chairman on Board of Gold Dragon International Holdings Ltd. has decades of experience in Media and Marketing, also in heading international organisations to earning national credits, awards and global recognitions. A few worthy mention names in his career span are Pittard Sullivan, One Magazine, The Hollywood Global etc. Mr. Cabana is the driving force behind introducing ‘The Better World Awards’, a successful collaboration between GDIH and Humanitad as an extended support to the UN ambassadors and key government officials. The Joint Venture is sponsored with the Noble Peace Alumni, The United Nations, The Global Impact Forum and the UN Awards.
Philip and Halim are personal friends for many years, and Halim also serves as a Director on the Board of GDIH First Response. The natural synergy of both companies, with their focus on social business, makes Phil a welcomed member to the advisory board of AIM-X Global LLP.
- 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.
- Laura de WitAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Laura de Wit is of Dutch nationality and studied law in Amsterdam. She has worked for 12 year in an international legal environment throughout Europe but has been based in Switzerland for the last 15 years where she runs several companies and invests in start-ups. Before that Laura lived in 5 countries and speaks 5 languages fluently.
Besides law, project management and development in commercial and residential real estate projects, her passions are bringing people and businesses together. Her wide range of skills and international networks allow her to successfully do this and perform many other functions.
Laura aims for the next few years to develop the above further and also focus on her skills as a public speaker, board adviser and business coach and has set herself high goals towards this. To be asked to advise the board of a company like Aim-X Global LLP and to work with the global network of advisors and senior management at this period in time is an honor for her.
Laura’s involvement with Aim-X is strategic as ‘NO’ does not exist in her vocabulary and she believes that everything is possible if you are ready to go for it. Her motto is ‘weather you think you can or you think you can’t, you are always right’
- 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).
- Richard KnoxAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Richard Knox First Response Director My specific responsibilities include, managing Global Sales with corporate logistical partnerships. In, addition training staff, personnel ensuring all Health & Safety measures are implemented with procurement management of international governmental contracts., I have a wealth of experience with operations, compliance and due diligence protocols.
- 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.
- Matthew AceAdvisor to the Board of Directors
Matthew has been assisting businesses and brands to grow for over 25 years, a strong brand builder with the expertise in sales and marketing and the ability to make things happen.
Starting his career in London with the launch of Absolute Vodka and working on many brands internationally including Grey Goose and Jagermeister. In 2009 Matthew moved into commodities and bank debt instruments working with international clients sourcing high volume copper, steel and oil from the African continent, spending much of 2016 in East Africa.
More recently Matthew has seen the international market change direction which is why using his broad range of buyers which include governments and international suppliers of medical grade products is able to assist this world wide problem we are all facing.
- Kathleen Anne 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.