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Laura Aalto is CEO of Helsinki Marketing, a company owned by the City of Helsinki, since September 2017. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, branding and corporate sponsorship. She served as a Marketing and Communications Director for World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 and Turku, European Capital of Culture 2011.
Laura has been transforming Helsinki Marketing and its business to new strategic framework. She has been leading the company’s change process from a traditional DMO to implementing broader city marketing and brand building. She has been supporting change processes within teams, building new networks and collaboration models. In addition, attention has been paid to employee skills, developing internal processes and changing operating culture.
Laura holds a MA from Helsinki University.
Fidan Aliyeva is a Brand and Marketing director at the Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) which is the destination marketing organization of Azerbaijan with the mission of increasing international arrivals, travel expenditure, and market share in order to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of Azerbaijan worldwide.
Fidan is responsible for the marketing, communications and brand development efforts of the ATB. In addition to strategic business development, she directs media relations, branding, digital advertising and website development. She has more than 17 years of experience in the marketing industry. Prior to joining the board, Fidan was Group Marketing Manager at the asset management group PMD, overseeing brand identity, social media and content strategy. Before that, she was at the helm of F1 European Grand Prix brand and also European Games's TRANSFORM award-winning brand identity, global social media and digital marketing strategies, leading both experiential and traditional advertising, and PR.
Over the past decade, through full-time roles and consulting work, Fidan has shaped brand architecture, created content, driven social media strategy, and built communities for everything from small businesses to global brands. Fidan's experience spans markets worldwide and includes the complete portfolio of marketing strategy and planning, corporate communications and PR functions.
She attended the Azerbaijan State University in Baku where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in International Law. Her academic focus was on legal marketing. She's also received her marketing diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Fidan is a member of The Professional Marketing fellowship (FCIM) since 2009.
Clare’s interest in the complex area of place branding was sparked whilst working on a series of Nation Branding Masterclass events, led by Simon Anholt, one of the first thought-leaders to speak about and promote the concept of place branding. Having listened to Simon address audiences in Accra, Delhi, Dubai, London and Singapore on how policy, governance, and symbolic actions need to combine with branding and marketing to create a competitive identity and drive economic growth, she continued to follow the growth in this sector. As Global Conference Director for The International Herald Tribune, now the New York Times, Clare also saw growth in advertising and storytelling around tourism and investment promotion strategy. Clare launched the first City Nation Place Global conference in London in 2015: CityNationPlace.com has been steadily building followers and in 2017, she launched the first City Nation Place Americas conference, in 2018 City Nation Place Asia Pacific took place in Singapore, and 2019 has seen the first City Nation Place UK, specifically for towns, cities and regions across the UK, and the launch of the first City Nation Place LatAm & Caribbean event. Clare manages the small team at City Nation Place alongside providing event consultancy and management for a number of clients in the publishing and trade association sector, including running the World Media Awards for the World Media Group and event consultancy for the UK Association for Online Publishers.
Tim Harris is the CEO of Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Tim previously served as Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Finance for the Democratic Alliance (DA). He holds a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Economics from the University of Cape Town. Tim currently sits on the board of the Cape Town Film Studios and BPESA.
In his daytime job Peter Kentie is managing director of Eindhoven Marketing, the organisation responsible for the place branding and marketing of the Eindhoven region, named Eindhoven365. The place branding strategy of Eindhoven is a long term project: to serve the community of Eindhoven and to raise self-esteem of the inhabitants as well as creating economic value and make local society future proof. The strategy was awarded Place Brand of the Year Winner in 2018 and made it to the City Nation Place Hall of Fame selection of place marketing and place branding and place marketing campaigns from around the world .
As a trained designer and marketeer Peter is fond of complex, multifaceted projects related to marketing and brand building. He has worked for different brands and organisations at senior level including PSV Eindhoven, Philips Electronics and ilse media, a Dutch digital publishing pioneer. Peter has published two books and is keen to share his knowledge and views through social media and public speaking.
Lisa LaVecchia is the President and CEO of Destination Ontario. In May 2013, Lisa joined Destination Ontario in the role of Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer where she led the organization’s Brand Management, and Consumer and Digital Marketing.
Since 2017, as President and CEO, Lisa is inspired to elevate Ontario as a preferred four-season, tourist destination in a globally competitive tourism market. Her dynamic leadership style motivates excellence in those around her and is a testament to the ‘power of team’ to achieve success. Her passion and forward-thinking approach to integrated marketing strategies have led to innovative brand campaigns that are progressive and powerful and showcase the best of Ontario, including the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games “Epic Is ON” campaign and the “Where Am I?” campaign, both award-winning campaigns.
Before joining Destination Ontario, Lisa led the development of mass marketing plans and implemented cross-channel integrated marketing for Indigo Books and Music. As Senior Director, Marketing Strategy and Advertising, Lisa played a key role in establishing Indigo as a leading retail destination.
Previously, Lisa was Director of Advertising and New Media for the Province of Ontario, where her portfolio included a variety of health, post-secondary and tourism projects. In her earlier career Lisa held positions with JWT as Senior Account Director, PEOPLE Magazine (New York) as Sales Development Manager, and Ogilvy and Mather (New York) as Account Supervisor.
Investment promotion and city branding specialist with professional background in management consulting. In recent years he has been working with various initiatives aimed at enhancing city‘s competitiveness and image respectively. During this period Kaunas has become the fastest growing Lithuanian city, leading in the country in respect to investments, new jobs creation and salary growth benchmarks. Moreover in 2018 Kaunas improved its inbound tourists’ number record.
Daniel Valverde Bagnarello has built a career in marketing for over 20 years. He holds both a Master in Digital Marketing and a Master in Management from IE Business School, a seat in the British School of Costa Rica's Advisor Committee, former Secretary of the Latin American Country Brands Counsel and most recently, pursuing a Ph.D in Communication degree at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.
Although he started in advertising, Daniel's career path has led him over the years from a copywriter’s desk at a BBDO network agency, to the commercial director's seat in one of the most successful company holdings in the Central American region devoted to global trade. Along the way he has skilled in the management of multinational marketing teams praising that success in his field lays on two major pillars: The first, embracing data as the main source to spark creative initiatives. And the second, committing to talent development as a KPI.
Currently, Daniel is the Country Brand Director behind "essential COSTA RICA", the country brand that showed the greatest annual growth in America according to the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking 2017/2018, won Place Brand of the Year at the City Nation Place Awards 2019 and received the Branding Award at the Place Marketing Forum 2020 in Marseille. He also leads the country brand's Technical Unit that comprises representatives from Procomer (Costa Rica's TPA), CINDE (IPA), ICT (Tourism Bureau), COMEX (International Trade Bureau), Culture & Youth Bureau and Costa Rica's Chancellery (Foreign Affairs Bureau).