Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Josu Takala

Prof. Dr. Josu Takala has a vast experience in both industry and academia. He worked for ABB (Strömberg): belongs to ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Group. ABB Strömberg consists of about 30 independent Ltds in the wide business area of electr. techn., R&D is 8 % of the turnover(3000 Million USD/1995) in the divisions of R&D, Quality Assurance related tasks to automation as researcher and manager in 1979-1992. Educational background: Tampere University of Technology M.Sc (El.Eng) 1980and Dr.Tech. (El. Eng.and business studies in the University of Vaasa) 1988 as well as Dr. Honoris Causa in 2009 from the Technical University of Košice. Currently he is Professor in Industrial Management at the University of Vaasa 1988-, Finland besides other multiple universities in Finland and abroad such as Thailand, Malaysia, China, Slovakia, Slovenia etc..His field of interest is mainly technology management in the competitive strategies of private and public organizations in manufacturing networks by utilizing the generic fields of quality management, (technology) strategy, new product development, production management, logistics and environmental management.Over 500 scientific published articles.

Prof. Dr. Tauno Kekäle

Prof. Dr. Tauno Kekäle has more than 30 years of experience in academia and industry, currently he is the Rector at the Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. Previously he was Professor at University of Vaasa and multiple universities such as Hanken University, European Centre for Peace and Development at the University for Peace established by the United Nations, University of Oviedo and many more. Prof. Dr. Kekäle was managing director of the Research Centre Conradi Ltd. He holds MSc. and PhD in Industrial Management both from the University of Vaasa and his main research are area of expertise are TQM, New Product Development and Innovation, Supply Chain Management and Higher Education Management. He has published more than 300 articles in academic journals and conference and has participated in many projects. Prof. Dr. Kekäle has consulting experience in both public and private companies.

Dr. Yang Liu

Dr. Yang Liu has received his M.Sc. (Tech.) degree in Telecommunications Engineering and D.Sc. (Tech.) degree in Industrial Management both from the University of Vaasa, Finland. He currently works as a University Lecturer in the Department of Information Technology at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences, and responsible of international joint education program as well as project leader of Botnia RoboCup SSL team. Meanwhile he is the FINNIPS country coordinator and supervisor of China, which is under direct administration of the Finnish National Board of Education. He also works as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Production at University of Vaasa. He holds Visiting Professorship in multiple universities as well.Previously he worked for ABB and Schneider electric as Project Engineer. He has published over 100 scientific articles in refereed journals and conferences and serves as referee in multiple ISI ranked leading journals such as EJOR, IJPE, IJPR, IMDS, SMCA, HERA, etc. His publications have appeared in distinguished journals such as IJPR and SIGPRO. His main research interests include global operational competitiveness and competitive advantage; short-range wireless communications, wireless sensor and actuator networks; control systems and autonomous robots; signal processing.

Dr. Shpend Imeri

Dr. Shpend Imeri is the General Manager at High Level Training Institute. Previously he worked as International Training Consultant in Dubai and several academies as Accreditation Manager. He was Head of Energy Centre at EVN Macedonia and at the same time acted as Councilor at the Municipality of Tetovo for budget control and project manager for energy efficiency. Before that he was Regional Key Account Manager for the same company (EVN Macedonia) and corporate officer at Corporate Banking Division at Stopnaska Banka AD – Member of National Bank of Greece and part time lecturer at FON University. He holds BA (HONS) in Business Studies majoring in Marketing, MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management both from the University of Sheffield, UK and a Doctorate of Science in Management (Quality Management) from University for Peace established by United Nations. Dr. Shpend Imeri holds a visiting professorship at the University of Vaasa and has been invited to provide guest lecturing in many universities and institutions such as South East University TechPark. His area of research interest include Total Quality Management, Operations Management, Logistics and Supply Chain, Innovation and SME’s, Knowledge and IT Management. Dr. Imeri has published papers in various International Conferences and journals.

Dr. Constantinos Alexiou

Dr. Constantinos Alexiou is currently a senior economist on the faculty of the Cranfield School of Management UK where he delivers business related courses across the full range of the School’s postgraduate and post-experience executive management programmes. He also holds Visiting Professorial appointments at universities in Greece and Russia. In the past he was involved in facilitating as well delivering Executive MBA courses across many Eastern European countries. He specialises in teaching and research concerning the Global Macroeconomic Environment. Apart from his academic experience he has been a visiting research associate at the Confederation of Greek Labour where he delivers training programmes for trade union members. Over the last years he has also been acting as consultant for the Doctorate in Professional Studies programme at Middlesex University, UK. His research encompasses analysis of Labour Markets, Macroeconomic Policy, Determinants of Bank Profitability,Financial Sector Reform in Transition Economies, The Role of Institutions in Economic Development, Public Deficit and Economic Growth, Intellectual Property Rights. He is currently the editor of the International Journal of Economics. He is a frequent contributor to many international conferences and has produced papers published in leading international economic and business journals.

Dr. George Mentz

Dr. George Mentz, JD, MBA, AMC, CWM – is a licensed attorney and holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree (Latin JD) and an MBA in tax and financial services. Mentz is a bestselling author of several revolutionary books. Formerly, Mentz was a Senior Wealth Manager at a major Wall Street Firm. Prof. Mentz is the author of 20 books and has been featured or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Hindu National, El Norte Latin America, Reuters, the Financial Times, The China Daily, & The Arab Times. Dr. Mentz, as a professor, has taught over 200 graduate and undergraduate, law and business courses at accredited programs, has won several awards for teaching excellence, and has earned various financial licenses, registrations and certifications from regulatory authorities. Prof. Mentz has established financial standards centers in over a dozen Countries around the world including USA, Latin America, Singapore, Bahamas, Arabia, EU, India, Africa, Asia, and The Bahamas. Prof. Mentz presently serves on the Advisory Board of the ACCE Association of Chartered Economists, The Indian Institute of Financial Management, The China Wealth Management Council, the Arab Leagues/Arab Academy of Financial and Banking Sciences Standard Board, and the LatinoAmericano Capitulo for Finance Executives, and has served as an advisor to the Global Finance Forum in Switzerland. His books addressing law, tax, management, operations, and compliance, include Wealth Management – A Treatise and Guide for the Wealthy, Investment Management Strategy and Policy, Trust and Estates Management and Regulation, Fundamentals of US Economics and Markets Basics on Investing, Financial Markets and Financial Planning, Project Management – Executive Summary for the Financial Industry, Anti Money Laundering Laws and Regulation, and Financial Planning Treatise Fundamentals. Mentz has consulted directly with agencies and departments the US Government, China Government, Brazil Government, UAE, and the United Nations to raise standards in the world of management and finance. Mentz is a chartered and accredited management consultant. Prof Mentz is the Wealth Management and Investment Management graduate law school faculty Coordinator for Wealth and Investment Management Specialization, Professional Designations for the Diamond Graduate Law Program in finance and international tax with the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Dr. Ilkka Sillanpää

Dr. Ilkka Sillanpää is presently Global Category Manager, Steel and Structures at Konecranes, a company specializing in lifting equipment and services globally. Dr. Sillanpaa is responsible for steel and structures sourcing, with his key specialties encompassing global coordination of steel and structures sourcing: plate, coil, tube, hollow section, seamless tubes, end carriages, category strategy creation and implementation. He has broad experience in supply chain management, performance measurement, global sourcing, category sourcing, purchasing and call offs, sourcing development, leadership and management. Prior to this, until June 2011, Dr. Sillanpaa was a Senior Sourcing Manager, Global Sourcing at Rautaruukki Oyj, a supplier of steel and metal based components, systems and integrated systems. He was responsible for corporate indirect sourcing activities globally. He is the Chief Executive Officer at consulting company Hegemonia ltd. Dr. Sillanpaa holds a Ph. D. degree in supply chain management and performance measurement from the University of Oulu, Finland. He has published several international academic journal and conference articles related to supply chain management and strategic management.

Ali Thiab

Ali Thiab is an experienced motivational speaker and professional sales training specialist who has assisted hundreds of organizations improve their productivity for over 20 years. Through his working life, Ali managed many professional training companies at MENA & Africa, now he is the CEO of The International Association for People & Performance Development which was founded to represent the single largest body of knowledge in the field of Performance Management.

Dr. Asadullah Saindad Khan

Dr Asadullah has 15 years of experience in civil engineering design, construction supervision and project management in cross-cultural environment. He holds PhD in management, MSc in civil engineering, MA in economics and BE in civil engineering. As a part of the professional development, Dr Asadullah has secured PMP in good standing and IGC NEBOSH health and safety certifications from USA and UK respectively. With due regards to the project finance management, he has got training in Advanced Contracts Management and Primavera planning software tool. Dr Asadullah is active researcher writing articles on the role of culture, decent work practices and communication on the performance of the projects. His favorite topics of study are leadership and strategic management challenges in the post-recession period.

Mr. Ioannis Papaconstantinou

Ioannis Papaconstantinou is an economist with a Masters Degree in Management from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK). He has 20 years of successful experience in key positions in important organizations in Greece. Among others, he has served as Director of the Exports’ Research and Studies Institute, as Special Consultant on Organizational Restructuring and Privatization at Thessaloniki Port Authority, and for 11 years he was the General Director of Helexpo S.A., the National exhibition and conference organizing company of Greece. During his professional career he has been constantly teaching at the Executive MBA of the University of Sheffield as the Unit Leader of the Unit “Organizational Behavior”. He has been ranked among the top 3 lecturers of the program for the last 20 years and he is considered to be highly motivational and inspirational. Ioannis has co-operated with Charles Handy, Rene Carayol and other prominent authors and speakers and he has participated as a guest speaker in various congresses in South-Eastern Europe. He has presented seminars and workshops for an array of organizations and institutions such as M-Tel, The Ministry of Health of F.Y.R. Macedonia, Agricultural Bank of Greece and the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece. He delivers executive education programs on Behavioral Decision Making, Leadership, and Motivation.

Mr. Benjamin Abeku Arkorful-Otoo

Mr. Benjamin Abeku Arkorful-Otoo (FAAPM®,CHRA®) is the Country Coordinator at High Level Training Institute - Ghana. He is a multi-task Strategic HR & Management professional with over 10 years of experience in developing and implementing both HR & Management strategies across functional areas in companies. His experience spans from the International Thermal Power Industry, Banking, Transport & Logistics and the Radio.He is a proud product of the Graduate Business School (GBS), School of Economics and Commercial Law, Goteborg University, Sweden where he was awarded with MSc in International Management after his first degree in BEd. Social Science from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Mr. Benjamin Abeku Arkorful-Otoo is a Certified Human Resources Analyst and a Fellow of the American Academy of Project Management – USA. He also holds a Professional Masters in Alternate Dispute Resolution ( PEM-ADR) from the Gamey & Gamey Academy of Mediation, an affiliate of PULSE Institute, Calgary-Canada & Mediation Training Institute Int., Kansas City- USA.As a business executive, he uses internal marketing skills to cascade corporate vision, values and objectives to employees to facilitate change management processes. He has an excellent skill in developing and implementing diversity management programmes to ensure cross-cultural knowledge and bonding. As a team player, he believes that the whole is greater than its individual parts and also preaches about the importance of corporate leaders to think outside the box to find solutions to problems.