NxG Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Mehrad Jaberansari

Sepahan Industrial Group, G3, Iran, NxG Leadership Team President

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Mehrad is a 3rd generation member of an Iranian enterprising family.

Born in Vancouver, raised in Tehran, and having lived in London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Madrid over the past 17 years, Mehrad is a global citizen with a strong belief in the family institution.

Before founding his own social enterprise in the pet industry, Mehrad worked as a Project Manager at Julius Baer in Hong Kong & London, where he was involved in the international acquisition of Merrill Lynch IWM, and later as Business Development Manager for ACC Aviation in Dubai.

Mehrad is an avid snowboarder, and enjoys maintaining a balanced lifestyle via fitness, nutrition, meditation and an active social life. Most notably, he is an ardent dog-lover who enjoys parenting his 2-year old pup Meeko. In his free time, he organises dog-friendly events to raise money for dog rescue & rehoming charities.

He holds a BA (Hons) in Development Studies with Economics from the University of Westminster, an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics (LSE) and an International MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

Roles within FBN-I:               

  • Member, Board of Directors
  • President, NxG Leadership Team
  • Ambassador & Former Chair, Entrepreneurs Community
  • Member, Polaris Committee

 
Key Topics of interest:

  • Social entrepreneurship
  • The environment & sustainability
  • Dogs & Innovations in the pet industry

Valentine Barbier-Mueller

Société Privée de Gérance, G3, Switzerland, Vice President NxG

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Valentine Barbier-Mueller is a third-generation member of the SPG-RYTZ Group in Switzerland, which operates in real-estate services.

Before joining the family business, Valentine worked with innovative organizations, such as Swiss project Solar Impulse, and Techstars-backed startup Codementor. With her sisters and cousins, she also founded Les Muses BM, an ethnic-inspired jewellery brand that perpetuates the century-old family tradition in the world’s arts and cultures.
Valentine is the Vice-President of the NxG Leadership Team. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from King’s College London and an MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from ESADE Business School.

Tommaso Fossati

GRUPPO SELLA, +G9, ITALY, VICE PRESIDENT NXG

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Tommaso is part of one of the oldest family involved in business activities in Italy, having established their very first company back in the 16th century, now, since 1886, the family has mainly been involved in the financial sector.

Born in Milan in 1994 and raised in Biella, he holds both italian and swiss citizenship. He graduated in law from Università Cattolica - Milano, in January 2020.

He has been involved in the italian chapter of FBN (AIdAF) since 2015, having an official role within the local NextGen Committee since 2017.

In 2016, he spent six months in the United States, studying law at the University of Iowa College of Law. Tommaso has also been involved in the family no-profit foundation (Fondazione Sella ONLUS) since 2015.

Dominique Otten-Pappas

Otten Family, G3, Germany, NxG Academic Expert

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Programme Committee Chair, Academic Expert, FBN-I NxG Leadership Team 
Otten Family, Germany (3rd Generation)  

Dr. Dominique Otten-Pappas was born in 1979 as second oldest of 14 cousins making up the third generation of a German business owning family. She graduated with a BA in French Studies and Psychology from Lancaster University in the UK in 2003. Afterwards she worked as HR project manager in a family owned retail business before completing her MBA in the Netherlands in 2010. 

She finished her doctoral dissertation about the career decisions of male and female successors in German family businesses at the University of Witten/Herdecke in 2014 where she continues to work as senior research fellow and assistant professor. 

Additionally, she is family manager and advisory board member to her family's business assisting the ownership and governance transition from the second to the third generation. She has been part of FBN Germany since 2010 and is currently a member of the German FBN board as well as academic expert to the FBNi NxG committee. 

Alara Naz Ekmekcioglu

Kilsan, G3, Turkey

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Alara was born in Houston/Texas, grew up in Istanbul, and now lives in Milan. 
She is currently studying International Economics and Management at Bocconi University. She wants to continue her studies in psychology of marketing and positive leadership.  
Alara is passionate about yoga, windsurf, skiing, photography, and mindfulness. She has also been involved in volunteer work seeking equality in Costa Rica, Spain, Turkey, and Italy.  

 

Clara Villoslada

Hevimar holding , G2, Spain

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Being CEO of a company at only 28 year old, an Olympic athlete at 26, traveling the world since 14, made Clara's mind open to the world and to any culture. Clara studied Journalism at the University of Navarra  and  Business Administration at the Complutense University-Madrid. Clara defines herself as a soul that loves to learn, she was educated on two bases: the impossibility is something you create in your mind, and love is the best weapon to fight. 
 
Since 2008, she is the executive director of Hevimar´s Family Office and co-chairman of Varadero company, the holding of the family group. Since 1960, Varadero is a Spanish family business group, active in real estate , promotion and financial investments, their principal activity came from warehouse construction. 
 
A pioneer in her country for being the first woman to compete in the snowboarding Olympics in 2006, some of her results: top 10 world ranking, 3º place in European final and champion of spain in several disciplines. She was a pioneer in the extreme-sports communication industry where she developed media and consultancy for different enterprises. 
 
Since 2014 she is partner of Surfer Rule Media Group, that for 30 years is leader in spanish board sports media. The media was transformed into surfer rule by HAPPICIDAD: the first media created as a social enterprise around board sports. Its missions: give visibility and scalability to: initiatives that try to preserve nature and oceans, collectives that promote sports practice, initiatives that innovate in any field around sports and give vision to all the NGOs around this sports and the sea. 

 

Daniel Aponte Prypchan

CRC Hospitals, G3, Australia

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Daniel Aponte Prypchan is a Venezuelan born Australian Chief Financial Officer, Producer and Certified Practising Accountant (CPA). Daniel’s extensive experience in management of financial affairs across a variety of industries including real estate, construction, finance, hospitals, tax planning, TV/Film, have given him an overall comprehensive understanding of businesses as a whole. Daniel has dealt with family businesses all his life having been raised and being part of two families with large investments across the hospital & pharmaceutical business, farming, banking, real estate and construction. Daniel has dealt with years of family feuds over inheritance and experienced first hand how dysfunctional family dynamics can destroy even the most successful business. Through this experience Daniel has acquired significant skills in conflict resolution, succession planning and a depth of understanding of family dynamics and how to change them. Daniel is certified conflict resolution consultant and a board member of the Family Business Australia (FBA) NSW chapter.  
In the non-for-profit area, Daniel is currently the General Manager for his family’s small non for profit organization Psychiatry, Philosophy & Arts – a small organization devoted to the promotion of young writers in Venezuela to write about the interrelatedness of psychiatry, philosophy and the arts. Currently starting a new program of scholarships in the poorest schools in Venezuela. 
As an artist, Daniel is a trained opera singer and actor with experience in both stage and film. He has also written, directed and produced several plays, short Operas and Cabaret performances. Daniel is currently promoting his new pop single “Tonight” 
As the Producer/Director at Human Productions, Daniel creates compelling and ever-expansive content that, not only entertains, but expands the views and experiences of the audience. Daniel’s passion is to work with content that changes collective consciousness, challenging people to be free from limited stereotypes, to challenge paradigms and to inspire average people to be all that they can be.  

Daniela Cepeda

Cepeda, G3, Colombia

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Daniela Cepeda is a third-generation member of Cepeda & Cia., a real estate company in Colombia. She is a political scientist with a masters degree in Social Policy and Development from London School of Economics. Daniela works in Colombia as a consultant in development at the national and local government.  

 

Gökçe Gülcüler

Gülcüler Insurance, G2, Turkey

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Gokce has a Bachelor degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Istanbul Technical
University earned between 2010 - 2015. In 2014, She founded a social enterprise,
whose mission is to develop local economies by supporting craftsmanship in Turkey.
Working passionately as a co-founder until 2017, later she has joined a private
corporation in Istanbul. She still works there as an aeronautical engineer. She is an
alumni-member of Entrepreneurship Foundation and Turkish International Women
Network.
In her personal time, she prefers to spend time with being active at book clubs, sailing
and running. Her personal interests are ; entrepreneurship and aviation. Her personal
motto is; “Following your heart”.

Ignacio (Nacho) Quintana

Relax, G5, Spain

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Nacho is 5rd generation of the family business Relax, which is one of the leading mattres manufacturing and one of the origins of rest in Spain. 

After studying Law, he started to work at the company at the end of 2012 in the marketing department, although he also always joined the sales department, which is his vocation. 

Having lived and studied in USA & Poland, nowadays he lives in Spain but whenever he can he is in a plane. For him, it is essential to travel in order to know and continue to grow personally.  

As a good spanish, he is an expert cook in spanish omelette and sangria and the next challenge is the paella. Of course the nap on a Relax mattress. 

Kanishka Arumugam

EKKI Group, G2, India

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Kanishka Arumugam is the Second-Gen member of EKKI Group. He is a Director of EKKI PUMPS, DECCAN PUMPS Pvt Ltd and is the Chief Executive of the Indo-German alliance EKKI HOMA Pvt Ltd.  

The EKKI Group is one among India’s advanced water technology companies that produces pumps and systems under the EKKI and DECCAN Brands. The privately held family owned firm shoulders transportation of water in an efficient and sustainable way for agricultural, building services, industrial and public utilities markets. 

Internationally EKKI is establishing its global presence. It has several distribution partnerships and manufacturing collaborations with Technology leaders and Global Distributors. Today EKKI’s products are sold in more than 10 Countries. The EKKI Group has an International Joint Venture Alliance with HOMA Pumpenfabrik GmbH of Germany, the world leader in waste-water pumps. 

Arumugam holds a Masters from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick (UK). He is an (Hons) Engineering graduate from Sheffield (UK) with a Certificate of Higher Education from the University of Leeds (UK). He is also an alumnus of the Stanford University’s SIGM program (USA).  

Before joining EKKI, he has interned at Xylem Water Solutions (Italy), the world’s largest producer of pumping systems, Forbes Marshall (India), a leader in process efficiency and energy conservation technologies and Rentropsche Vermögensverwaltung (Germany) a private investment firm. He has travelled to more than 50 Countries. 

As a next-gen member of the family business, he works closely in areas of Internationalization, Technology Management and New Business development.  

He serves as a trustee of the Darbari Elder’s Home and Info Institute of Engineering; Kanishka is an executive member of the Manufacturing Panel of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) . He is also a NxG Leadership Team member of Family Business Network (FBN) International. 

 

Klára Vítková

NWT Holding, G2, Czech Republic

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Klára is a second-generation member of the NWT Holding which operates across many fields and industries ranging from renewable energy and agriculture to electric cars and real estate. Klára is an active member of both global and local FBN charter. She is a NxG president of FBN Czech meanwhile working towards her BSc degree at King’s College London. Her key topics of interests are innovation and ethics and sustainability. 

Laura Moreno

Café Quindío, G2, Colombia

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Expansion and Project Manager, 2nd Generation, Café Quindío, Colombia

Laura is a second generation member of her family business, Café Quindío, a coffee company dedicated to produce and roast 100% Colombian coffee for national and international markets. Located in the Colombiancoffee axis, this was the first company in the region that started processing specialty coffee for the national market, adding value and becoming pioneers in an industry known to only export their raw product.  

Laura currently works as Expansion and Project Manager at Café Quindío, after having held different positions in the marketing and retail areas, where she´s had the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial projects for growing the company through vertical integration, the creation of side businesses and the development of a coffee shop chain area, which now includes 30 stores through the Colombian territory. Her projects are established with a strong social and environmental philosophy, contributing to the long term corporate sustainability that the family envisions. 

She holds a bachelor´s degree in Business Management from CESA Business school in Colombia and a Master´s degree in Coffee Economics from the University of Trieste in Italy. Before joining her family business, she worked for Kimberly Clark and illy Caffè on Italy and Spain.  

Louise Jebsen Smørås

De Bergenske, G5, Norway

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Louise and her three brothers will represent the 5th generation of their family business, De Bergenske, located in Bergen. De Bergenske comprises five unique hotels: Bergen Børs, Zander K, Grand Terminus, Villa Terminus, and Augustin. The family business also operates a number of restaurants and external premises for banquet and conference purposes. Louise partly works in the family business as a receptionist and employee in the department for sales and booking. 

Louise is in the middle of a five-year program in economics and business administration at The Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), consisting of three years at bachelor/undergraduate level and two years at master/graduate level. Louise is currently living in Germany, as part of NHHs exchange program. She also completed a year at The Norwegian Business School (BI), where she studied marketing. Louise is an active member of the NxG committee in Norway and has hosted several events at various locations within their family business.  
 

María Cecilia Dávalos

Grupo D&D, G3, Ecuador

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Ecuadorian currently studying Sociology & International Relations in Madrid, experienced in many fields suchs as Architecture, Marketing & Sales. She developed a special interest in Social Psycoloogy because of what she has received in life, so giving back in any possible way is a key factor inspiration for her spirit.  

Currently a member of the NxG Commitee back in Ecuador, wich main goal was to create a sense of belonging in the above mentioned country chapter. FBN has been in Ecuador for only five years and there is a long way ahead.  

Described mostly as a devoted, empowered and altruistic person and aiming towards improving the Leadership Team in everry chapter.  

The better we know the world we live in, the better people we will be.  
 

Nathalie Bongrain

Savencia Group, G3, France

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Nathalie is a 3rd generation member of Savencia Group, which is specialized in Food industry. She is involved in the Family council as well as the Supervisory Board of Savencia Holding . She holds a Master's degree in Hospitality Management and is now working for the family business in the sales department.  

Roland Szymański

LARS, G3, Poland

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Roland Szymański is the eldest of the 3rd generation of his family business, former FBN Poland NxG Leader and actual co-owner of LARS which is a conglomerate of different engineering departments including: building automation, LED lighting and helicopter business. Roland began with his first start-up at the age of nineteen, and he became a pilot at the age of sixteen. After earning his Master of Law degree, he had a short-term experience in working for a corporate bank. Meanwhile he was still working on his start-up business – helicopter maintenance facility. Now Helicenter is still a growing part of the much bigger family business that was founded in Poland in 1965 when the country was still under the Soviet rule. Roland is still working with his father and sister Linda in the family business. He is also working outside of a family business which has not been easy in the beginning. 

Valerie Vítková

NWT Holding, G2, Czech Republic

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Valerie is a second-generation member of the NWT Holding which operates across many fields and industries ranging from renewable energy and agriculture to electric cars, real estate and startups. She is involved in the family business as Chairman of the Supervisory Board while managing co-inherited family real estate investment trust. She finished her BBA in London with a thesis touching upon property market and moved to Singapore to pursue Master’s in Real Estate at National University of Singapore.

Sonia Ceballos

Next Gen Community Coordinator

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A Colombian national, Sonia has been Creative Director at FBN Colombia over the past 3 years to rethink the communications and brand strategy of our Colombian chapter. She also played a key role in facilitating the massive online move of their community, which featured 99 online activities last year.

Prior to this experience, she worked for various organizations, including Novartis Colombia and in the TEDx event development at Universidad Externado de Colombia as Creative Director and Communications Officer.

Sonia holds a Communications and Journalism diploma from Universidad Externado de Colombia and complementary studies in storytelling and creativity, bringing a great knowledge of our network along with her communications and community development skills. 

Email: sonia.ceballos@fbn-i.org