Scott Blacklin is Principal and founder of Blacklin Associates, LLC, a specialized consultancy for businesses committed to developing and emerging countries. Blacklin Associates also provides accelerator and capitalization services for early-stage technology companies seeking to enter the U.S. market.
Mr. Blacklin has devoted virtually all of his professional life to furthering commercial and political ties between the United States and emerging markets, with particular experience in Russia and Eastern Europe. Mr. Blacklin began his career with the U.S. Department of Energy, where he managed energy technology issues and cooperative agreements with the USSR, Eastern Europe, and the Peoples Republic of China. He subsequently spent over ten years in Eastern Europe and Russia, leading the Moscow offices of several U.S. companies, including WJS Incorporated, Westinghouse Electric, and Motorola’s International Cellular Infrastructure Group. Mr. Blacklin culminated his work in Russia in 2001 as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.
In the U.S., Mr. Blacklin served as Director of the International Division of the State of Maryland, working to increase Maryland exports and attract foreign investment, and subsequently as Vice President for Cisco Systems Emerging Markets, and was responsible for driving sales of Cisco technology and services to public sector organizations in over 130 countries.
Mr. Blacklin graduated in 1975 from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and completed post-graduate work in Soviet Studies at The George Washington University. Mr. Blacklin also studied at Leningrad State University and speaks fluent Russian.
Sam has more than 15 years of investment banking, corporate finance and startup experience and provides capital structuring, financial modeling and investor due diligence support to growth stage technology and real estate companies. Sam is currently Finance Director at Olis Robotics, a Seattle-based startup developing next-generation software for pilot controlled robots. He is also a Director at Harvest Partners (HPCA LLC), a private equity and business advisory firm focused on technology enabled service companies. His diverse experience includes roles at Lehman Brothers, PwC, Expedia, Kymeta and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development where he managed finance functions and board level reporting for high profile investors including Bill Gates and Barry Diller. Sam received his BBA in Finance, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University and his MBA in Technology Management from the University of Washington.
Alex is an investment banker who worked for several premier investment banks, financial authorities and advisory firms:
• French, 24 years advisory experience
• M&A, financing advisory and emerging markets services
• Managing Partner and co-founder of Alexander Partners (Paris) - www.alxpartners.com
• Previously worked for Commercial Bank Qatar (Doha), Abu Dhabi Investment Company (Abu Dhabi), Rothschild (Paris, Abu Dhabi), Peregrine Capital (Hong Kong/Singapore), Lazard Freres (New York)
• HEC-ISA (MBA), Ms. ChE. Umass Amherst, Eng. ENSIC
• French, English. Notions of German, Russian, Arabic
• Implemented fundraising (2009-2010) for part of Sochi Olympic 2014 real estate developments and was in charge of the management of the 600M USD Qatar Pearl Real Estate Fund which developed the Qanat Quartier (2011-2013).
Michael assists clients with business strategy, organizational development and executive coaching. Michael has served as Senior Managing Director at Fujitsu Consulting and as the regional head of its financial services practice. At McKinsey & Company, he developed transformational leadership training and worked on corporate strategy. As Director of Strategic Planning at KPMG Asia Pacific, Michael developed strategy for building KPMG’s consulting practice in Asia and served as an adviser to business and government leaders. As Executive Vice President of Twenty First Century Venture Partners, Michael invested in and advised early stage technology companies.
Michael advised the major political parties in Taiwan, and organized and moderated that nation’s first election debate. He was a major party candidate for the United States Congress from New York. Michael has worked with several notable visionaries including Buckminster Fuller and Dr. Jonas Salk, and has provided policy advice to U.S. political and economic leaders during the recent near collapse of the financial sector.
Michael was awarded a B.A. with honors in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he was the President of the Student Government. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
NEBI HOXHA was born in 1964 in Skopje. He has a Master degree in Electrical Engineering. Comes from a family that deals with the processing of gold jewelry, since 1965. After graduation he continues with development of family handcraft workshop into known jewellery company, Smaragd 1969.
Since 2003 Nebi Hoxha also is a founder of American School of Kosova. ASK is K-12 education school accredited in Washington.
Since 2006, Hi is a founder of three furniture factories: Tefik Çanka, Divani and Deko.
Except production, Nebi Hoxha also is a founder of the company “Rubin Invest”, that deals with construction. Since 2006, it has built dozens of high residential and business buildings.
Since 2018 he is a founder of the newest innovative trading complex in Kosovo, FRV( Ferizaj Retail Village).
All these companies are part of the "OXA-Group", where he is also a founder and member of the board of directors. At the same time, in addition to the private sector, he was also active in the non-governmental sector as a member of the Board of Esnaf Association, member of the Board of Directors of the Albanian foundation for scholarships, Chairman of the Balkan Association of Jewelers, four years as a Board Member of the Economic Chamber of North – West Macedonia and almost eight years as a President of ECNWM. Six years as managing board member of South East European University. Three years sa a board member of FEMSH(Pan Albanian Economic Forum).
Nebi Hoxha during his career is certified in business administration certified by International Trading School (ITS) - Professional Forex Trading dealing with currency and gold trading.
Nebi Hoxha speaks Albanian Language as a mother tongue, Macedonian, Serbian and English fluent, while in Italian and Turkish medium.
His passion are hiking and diving, both with long experience.
Andreas is a former Deloitte & Touche Europe, Director in Corporate Finance focusing on acquisitions, capital-raising, and financial consulting. Outside consultant on project by project basis with such institutions as Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC)/InvestAD, Deloitte, and good working relationships with the principals of European, Canadian, Chinese and American public companies as well as with boutique investment banks in Europe and Asia.
Academic work includes undergraduate and graduate studies in international relations and economics from the School of International Service (SIS) / American University, in Washington, D.C (both thru the Fulbright program).
Andreas set up a small foundation (non-profit initiatives which are supported entirely by him and without any financial benefit or outside funding):www.andreaskaras.com
Andreas has CFA Level II passed and his main hobby is learning languages: Greek (native); English and Russian (fluent); French and Spanish (well); Portuguese, Arabic and Chinese (basic).
Mr. Kohler is president of Ridge Global and has served in the past in a number of roles for its affiliates including as Chief Innovation Officer for Ridge Global and Risk Cooperative and prior to that as Chief Executive Officer for Ridge Global Solutions and principal advisor to the strategic consulting practice. He previously served as the first president of Space Florida, a Florida Special District focused on economic development within the aerospace economic sector including the implementation of educational initiatives for students and educators centered around science, technology, engineering and math STEM using space-based technologies as the focal point. Before that, Mr. Kohler was the president of Winner Global Defense, a privately held company focused on military and non-military applications of aircraft countermeasures based on laser based detection technologies. Earlier, he served as senior vice president for Corporate Advisory Services for CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh. Mr. Kohler also served, then-Governor Ridge as Director the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor's Action Team, where he was responsible for the Team’s configuration of financial incentive programs for industrial and business expansion projects throughout the Commonwealth. He holds a BA in Urban Studies from Edinboro University (Edinboro, Pennsylvania).
Karen is CEO and Founder of Konscious Konsulting LLC. Karen promotes the business paradigm that focuses on people, planet, purpose and prosperity. She has over 20 years’ experience working with global brands including managing projects for celebrity brands such as George Foreman, Bob Marley and Akon. She is an MBA graduate of Thunderbird – School of Global Management, is bilingual and has travelled to over 70 countries. In 2014, Karen launched her own consulting company to support organizations with business development, sustainability strategies, marketing and communications, events and strategic partnerships. One of her first projects included a C-suite position at Akon Lighting Africa, which brought solar energy solutions to over 1 million rural households in over 10 countries. Here she managed communications, strategic partnerships and was the connector between governments, Heads of State and businesses to create public private partnerships. She is advising Akon on strategic partnerships for his Smart City initiative in Senegal. Karen is passionate about supporting scalable technology solutions such as those impacting clean energy and ocean plastics. She has attended the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) on Sr. Richard Branson’s Necker Island and she is an Ambassador for the Global Blockchain Business Council. One of Karen’s many skills is her ability to foster strategic partnerships between like-minded organizations. In her spare time, Karen supports youth education and entrepreneurship programs such as the Tony Robbins Global Youth Leadership Summit and the Cherie Blair Foundation providing training for 100,000 female entrepreneurs.
Larisa studied English and Political Science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. After her studies, she worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Secretary of Agriculture, and later for the Governor of Pennsylvania, specializing in public policy. Larisa has spent the last several years working for the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in several capacities. She was responsible for business development with a focus on sustainability, as well as building a large non-profit foundation, working with children in refugee camps in the Middle East and Africa.
Larisa now serves as CEO of Phoenix Global, a business consulting firm, working with companies, foundations, non-profits and government agencies around the world, focusing on sustainable business planning and development, marketing strategies, developing breakthrough business models, reputation management, sustainability reporting, market analysis, etc. Understanding the potential and importance of sustainable development in Africa, Larisa works with the leaders of several African nations (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia and Ghana, specifically) to explore beneficial development, infrastructure and business opportunities. Additionally, Larisa is the founder of Global Impact Africa, a non-profit organization, which focuses on the promotion of education, entrepreneurism, apprenticeship and vocational education programs for youth in Africa.
Dr Nebojša Stanković is Attorney at Law https://nebojsa.com/NebojsaStankovicPhD.html the founder and principal of Stankovic & Partners Law Office, Niš, Serbia. www.stankovicandpartners.com is a pioneer in promoting international business, investments and law in Serbia & South East Europe, representing some of the most relevant companies working in Serbia, including several banks. More then 30 years of extensive experience in ICT law, banking, corporate, commercial, litigation and finance law are confirmed by results in various proceedings under Serbian and international jurisdiction. He participed in projects of the World Bank Group, the World Justice Project, ECHR and is a member of: AmCham Serbia, the Deutsch-Serbischen Wirtschaftskammer (AHK), Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie France Serbie (CCFIS), the Camera di Commercio Italo-Serba (CCIS) and Canadian-Serbian Business Association (CANSEE). University of Nis award for the best graduated student of generation at Faculty of Law. The doctoral thesis "The influence of normative regulation of foreign direct investment on sustainable development of Serbia". Lecturer at the Academy of the Bar Association of Serbia. Ambasador of Serbia at Global Blockchain Business Counsil (GBBC). Languages: Serbian, English and French. More on www.nebojsa.com
From an early age, Ivan was engaged with his father's private company, which main activity was trading large quantities of precious metals, foundries, and appliances throughout Yugoslavia. The son of a political dissident, Ivan and other members of the family were exposed to attacks perpetrated by Yugoslavian-Serbian politicians since 1982 when he was seven years old. The whole family was forced to fight to survive and flee the country which was ruled by a totalitarian regime. He and his family were seen as enemies of the very state in which they had grown up. They managed to leave the country during wartime and were granted political asylum in Cyprus via the UN. This meant starting a new beginning in a foreign country and being left without friends and relatives, property, or financial resources in a completely new environment, with members in the family suffering with health issues due to the persecution they had just escaped from. Ivan restarted in Cyprus in the hospitality business as a partner, at a small construction company, worked in trading certain major brands. It was through these struggles that Ivan, a holder of dual citizenship, both Macedonian and Serbian, became determined to re-establish his family in the Balkans. He decided to create a project with deeper meaning and impact that would help establish closer ties for the broader region. It should bound the people both economically and culturally, provide more economic and educational opportunities for the young population and open the bridges to the West - thus help ensure what happened to him as a young man never happens in the Balkans again. Ivan speaks Serbian, English, Macedonian and basic Greek. .
Charles Waterman is the Chief Executive Officer and founding member of Jefferson Waterman International. Mr. Waterman’s decades of experience in the international arena translate into an exceptional ability to forge favorable political environments for clients’ political and commercial ventures. At JWI, Mr. Waterman both oversees firm-wide operations and directly manages client representation, particularly those related to his areas of special expertise. These include Africa and the Middle East, as well as petroleum and mineral resources.
Before founding JWI, Charles Waterman held several leading positions within the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. As Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, he oversaw production of intelligence estimates on global issues to support Cabinet-level economic, political and military deliberations. As National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, Mr. Waterman coordinated the intelligence input to policy deliberations in the Near East and South Asia. As a member of the Foreign Service, Mr. Waterman spent many years living and working overseas in Kuwait, Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Jiddah.
Mr. Waterman was awarded the CIA Intelligence Star and Medal and the CIA Meritorious Officer award. A recognized expert in the Middle East, Mr. Waterman has functional expertise in defense and petroleum industries, and has published extensively in foreign affairs journals.
Mr. Waterman holds degrees from Brown University in Rhode Island and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in the Middle East and was awarded the Christian Herter Fellowship for outstanding academic performance. He speaks Arabic and French.
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