Cornelia Buchta-Noack

Cornelia Buchta-Noack is a corporate consultant for Board of Management projects at the Freudenberg Group.  Previously, as Head of Global Corporate Communication & Branding, she spent 14 years building Freudenberg’s international reputation and driving forward the repositioning of the company. As head of the Brand Council, she developed the Freudenberg corporate brand together with Business Group management and brand managers. Cornelia Buchta-Noack is active on various boards and committees, including those of large family-owned companies.  As a team player, her communication and branding expertise is in demand both inside and outside the company. As CMO, she is also supporting a successful start-up in the healthcare industry, bringing start-up spirit to the company and vice versa. Before joining Freudenberg, she gained experience in finance and management consultancy.

Connie Motshumi

Former Corporate and Soccer Executive. Reputation and Communications strategist, Chairperson of Ihawu Group.

Connie has extensive experience gained in an impressive and diverse career spanning more than 23 years.  Recently held the position of Head Stakeholder Relations and Communications at the Premier Soccer League (The only professional soccer league in South Africa) a role she held for 11 years. She was previously the Group Business Development Director at Kelly Group, also a former Director at Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA)an independent association whose members include some of South Africa’s largest businesses. Connie advised the Nelson Mandela Foundation on communication strategy, reputation management as well as crisis communication, she was then requested to be their Chief Communications Officer.

She previously served on the boards of French South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Accor Services, Torque Holdings and Torque IT and the South African Red Cross Society. Connie is the former president of the South African Red Cross Society. She is a former member of the Influential Women Circle for UNICEF SA and a founder member of the Global Women Leaders of the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. She serves as an advisory board member of Football Foundation for Africa and on the International Brand and Reputation Community.

Laurens Hoekstra

Laurens is Co CEO and Partner of VIM Group Team Farner. As an experienced business leader and brand professional, he is an accomplished expert in brand transformation and technology. With his business administration and logistic background he was trained at Kuehne & Nagel and INSEAD, a background he has applied to his international work for over twenty years. With twenty-plus years focused on brands, Laurens is a welcome expert supporting the boardroom and executive management. That support includes his frequent role as an active part of client-steering committees. He often delivers lectures about brand implementation and brand technology and he is co-author of the book ‘Future Proof your Brand’. Adept at facilitating round table discussions with stakeholder groups, he founded and developed a master’s programme for a brand management course. In addition to his work at VIM Group, Laurens is also a tireless mentor and coach to several scale-up companies.

Prof. Dr. Moira Clark

Moira Clark is Professor of Strategic Marketing at Henley Business School (United Kingdom), as well as Founder and Director of The Henley Centre for Customer Management (A consortium of organisations who are interested in leading-edge best practice in customer management). She is a leading expert in the area of Strategic Marketing, Customer Management and Service Excellence.  She has researched and published widely on the subject of Relationship Marketing, customer experience and service excellence. She serves as a consultant and advisor to major UK and international blue chip companies. Moira is a frequent keynote speaker at many public and in-company seminars and conferences around the world. 

Alex Hefter

Alex Hefter is a Creative Director, Head of Marketing, and passionate brand developer with a longstanding track record in various leadership and management positions, both in corporate environments and startups. Over decades, he has shaped the German and Swiss media markets with his work and has been internationally recognized with over 300 awards for these achievements. In addition to his activities in brand building and development, Alex Hefter teaches as a lecturer and appointed instructor at various universities and colleges in Switzerland. He is also organized and connected in various committees and industry associations.

Salim Kadibesegil

With his academic background and high referrals in Strategic Communication and Reputation Management, Salim Kadibesegil leads Corporate Reputation Management to generate awareness and have a place in local and global practices. Between 1999 and 2004 Salim represented Turkey as a Board member of International Communication Consultancy Association (ICCO) based in London. He was also a consultant for one of Turkey’s top management magazines’, Capital, “Most Admired Companies” and “Corporate Social Responsibility” research projects. He used to be an active chair in the Turkish Corporate Governance  Association. He has been a faculty member at the School of Communications, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul/Turkey since 2008. Within 37 years of experience Salim Kadibesegil has written seven books which are widely accepted as source books in business and academics: “The Game is Over, 2012″ “It is time for Strategic Communications, 2009” “Reputation Management, 2006” “Here Comes Crises, 2002” “Where to Start in PR, 1997” “Prescriptions for PR, 1992” “Fundamentals in PR, 1986”.

Uwe Schmidt

Uwe Schmidt has been at Bayer AG in Leverkusen/Germany where he led the Corporate Branding function. In this role, Uwe was responsible for defining, implementing and monitoring the brand asset management strategy on a global level. He started his career in the wine industry in South Africa. Uwe then joined the Bayer Group where he took over several functions with growing responsibility mostly in the area of marketing and communications both on regional and global levels. Before he took over his position at Bayer AG he acted as Head Global Branding within the subgroup Bayer CropScience with responsibilities for the complete product brand portfolio on a global level.

From 2020 to 2022, Uwe Schmidt completed a training to become a wine expert and sommelier (WSET). Since September 2021, as owner of the consulting agency "Executive Brand Consultant US", he is advising selected clients with a focus on the wine industry in the areas of strategy, organizational planning, brand management and quality management.

André Oberholzer

André Oberholzer is Group Head for Corporate Affairs at Sappi Limited, a global pulp and paper company with operations across South Africa, North America and Europe. With 22 years’ service, he has global responsibility for corporate and business communication including social impact, stakeholder, brand and reputation management. He chairs the company Brand Council structures ensuring close alignment between corporate, service and product branding. He is an active participant in industry forums in South Africa and globally. He is the first person from Africa to be certified SCMP. Prior to joining Sappi, he spent 14 years as a diplomat for South Africa.