Speakers

SPEAKERS

Amil Imran Khan


Amil is communications strategy director for US strategic communications firm InCoStrat. As a former Reuters correspondent and award-winning BBC journalist, Amil spent a decade covering key international events such as the Iraq war, the rise of extremism after the post-9/11 wars and the political disintegration of the Middle East. He left journalism to search for new ways to harness media and communications as a source for security, stability and progress.
After leaving journalism, he worked primarily on British government projects as an advisor and consultant in Asia and the Middle East. In early 2013, Amil took up a role as a British government advisor to the Syrian political opposition. He supported their international engagement during a critical period in the aftermath of the regime’s use of chemical weapons, and later negotiations in Geneva. More recently he worked on media and communication projects to support international coalition policy in Syria and Iraq - aiming to give local people a voice.

Bart de Vries


Mr. de Vries is a the 2016 President of International PR Association (IPRA). A professional with over 25 years’ experience in public relations as Managing Director of PR/PA agency HvdM - one of the two oldest PR agencies in the Netherlands. He is experienced in corporate reputation, PR marketing and crisis communication. Mr. de Vries runs workshops on communication creativity, media transparency, crisis preparedness and crisis communications. He has devised Corporate Social Responsibility programs and supervised their implementation. He has been a Board member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) since 2009, was an IPRA Director in 2015. Bart is also a member of the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD).

Vanya Babanin


Vanya Babanin is senior communication and marketing professional and EACD Ambassador / Regional Lead of Bulgaria. She has 15+ years demonstrated success in leading corporate and marketing communications for iconic brands like Mercedes-Benz. Vanya holds master degree in PR, master degree in Economics and PhD in Integrated Marketing Communications and Semiotics.

Desislava Boshnakova


Desislava Boshnakova, Assoc. Prof.and PhD, graduated PR at the New Bulgarian University (NBU) where she’s been teaching PR since 1998. She is currently doing an M.A. in Theater Directing at the same university. Owner of the boutique PR agency ROI Communication, specialized in publishing professional books. Desislava Boshnakova has translated more than 30 PR books, and she is also the author of “PRogovorki: Principles of PR, preserved by the Bulgarian proverbs and sayings", "13 stories for W", "Political Communications 2.0" and "Collective wisdom (crowdsourcing)”. Writer for "Manager" (business magazine), and curator at TEDxNBU.

Eliza Rogalski


Eliza Rogalski is one of the most appreciated and respected communication specialists in Romania, with 17 years experience in journalism and corporate reputation. Founder of Rogalski Damaschin Public Relations and creator of several PR campaigns awarded in the most important communication competitions in the world – Effie, Cannes, Eurobest, SABRE, IPRA and European Excellence Awards, leading a team twice awarded „PR Agency of the Year” and IAA Excellence Awards, Eliza Rogalski has a deep understanding of the corporate world, with strong expertise in internal communication, employer branding, crisis communication, media relations, CSR and reputation management. Eliza Rogalski is a graduate of Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR London) and Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

Eric Bergman


Eric Bergman is arguably the world’s most credentialed and experienced media training consultant. He has helped organizations manage issues and crises, and coached spokespeople, for 34 years. His media training program, At Ease With the Media, has helped thousands of spokespeople from five continents manage exchanges with journalists to win-win outcomes, while protecting themselves and their organization every step of the way.  Eric holds a bachelor's degree communication studies from Athabasca University and a two-year diploma in advertising and public relations from Grant MacEwan University. 

He is an accredited public relations practitioner (APR), an accredited business communicator (ABC), and a master communicator (MC)—which is the highest distinction that can be bestowed upon a Canadian member of IABC. In 2014, he was named a member of the College of Fellows of the Canadian Public Relations Society (FCPRS).

Candace Kuss


Candace leads social media across sectors and works with the digital leadership in the global H+K network. She is a member of the WPP Digital Advisory Board for Europe, a blogger and a frequent speaker at creative and communication technology conferences. Prior to H+K, Candace was a Creative Director at Ogilvy Interactive in London and SVP/Creative Director at both Digitas and Modem Media in America. She’s had the good fortune to work with many iconic brands, including Amex, adidas, IHG, Disney, GM, GE, Kraft, Sony, Starwood, Unilever, Yahoo!, HSBC and P&G.

Christophe Ginisty


Christophe Ginisty is an international public relations guru and a specialist of social media, reputation management and crisis communications in the digital age. He is currently Senior Director and Head of Digital at FTI Consulting in Brussels. Mr. Ginisty is the creator and the organizer of the ReputationTime International cycleof conferences. Its first edition was held in Paris on January 11, 2013. He previously worked at Edelman — the largest PR firm in the world — at the leadership position of European Digital Evangelist and Deputy Managing Director for Europe Middle East and Africa (2011-2012). He was the President of the International Public Relations Association for 2013 and in 2008, he founded Internet sans frontières (Internet without borders) an NGO devoted to promote the freedom of speech online. It was renamed to WebDiversity in 2011.

Lubomir Alamanov


Lubomir Alamanov has been working as a communications expert for more than 20 years
He is founder and managing partner of APRA Porter Novelli, he has also been managing projects for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Telenor, Nestle, Beiersdorf, Siemens and many other brands. Lubomir has been taking part in organizing several political campaigns. In addition, he was a lecturer at New Bulgarian University and Sofia University.
For several months Lubomir Alamanov has been developing Site Media which is an agency for standard and innovative communication services in which he has the chance to experiment with new services.
Lubomir Alamanov is one of the founders of BAPRA and its chairman for eight years in a row. He has also been an assistant in Theory of programming at The Faculty of Mathematics, as well as Head of Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister on Economic Development Mrs. Daniela Bobeva.

Maria Slavova


Maria Slavova is Executive Director Client Service and Creative, member of Management Board and co-owner of All Channels Communication Group. Mary has 14 years of experience in integrated communications and has won a Stevie silver award in the category "Woman CEO of the Year - Business Services" for 2014. She plays a leading role in the creation and management of All Channels | Advertising - the only Bulgarian advertising agency originated after "emancipation" of PR-specialists for whom the margins of traditional communications turn out too  narrow.

Richard Tsang


Founder and Chairman

Strategic Public Relations Group (“SPRG”)

Richard Tsang is an investor relations/PR veteran with over 25 years of industry experience in Asia. In 20 years, SPRG has become one of the biggest integrated PR groups in Asia and the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong, with 300 PR professionals and a geographical presence in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taipei, Singapore and Malaysia.  SPRG was ranked among the Top 10 in Asia, Financial Consultancy of the Year and Hong Kong Consultancy of the Year by Holmes Report.  It has also been accredited with Asia Pacific Network of the Year by Campaign and PR Agency of the Year in Asia and Asia Pacific by Stevie.

Aside from leading SPRG, Richard is actively involved in Public Relations Organisation International (“PROI Worldwide”), the world’s oldest and largest partnership of independent public relations firms.  He has been the Chairman, APAC Region, Global Development Group since 2009 and he will take up the position of Chairman of PROI Worldwide in May 2016.

Richard also holds over 50 board, committee and advisory positions with religious organisations, NGOs and academic institutions, contributing to society through his expertise and ties with the public and private sectors.

Richard has received 15 awards including: “Young Entrepreneur Award”, DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards; “Outstanding Individual Achievement”, Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards; “Asia Power List 2014 - The 50 Most Influential People in PR”, PRWeek Asia; “PRWeek 2015 Global Power Book”, PR Week; “The 100 Most Influential People in Hong Kong” – Debrett’s Hong Kong 100

Thomas Stoeckle


Thomas Stoeckle is the Global Segment Leader for Media Intelligence at LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions. Prior to joining LexisNexis, he was group director and global analytics lead at W2O Group, and managing director at Report International (now CARMA).

A marketing communications researcher and business leader with 20 years+ experience in helping clients make sense of their global (social) media footprint and perception, he believes passionately in insightful business story-telling through robust data evidence and compelling visualization.

Originally from Germany, Thomas has been living and working in London for more than 15 years. A digital Neanderthal among digital natives, he is keenly aware that adequate solutions to communications problems demand fluency in the three languages of humans, machines, and business.

Thomas is a member of the Institute for Public Relations' Measurement Commission. He also a member of the AMEC (the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) Data and Measurement Advisory Scheme for the PR Lions awards, part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Fiorenza Plinio


Fiorenza Plinio is the Head of Awards Development at Lions Festivals which runs festivals for the creative industries worldwide, including the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
She is responsible for developing the awards competitions across all the company’s products as well as for creating new opportunities for growth and engaging with customers and wider organisations. In 2009 she launched the PR Lions awards, working closely with the PR industry to create a platform to promote and reward the freshest creative PR campaigns, programs and tactics that demonstrate the highest levels of creativity and business results. Previously Fiorenza was Editor at news agency ANSA Paris, and she wrote for several international publications. Originally from Rome, Italy, Fiorenza holds a Masters’ degree in Media and Journalism from the LUMSA University in Rome and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Julian Dobrev


Founder, CEO and research director of BluePoint - market research company and consultancy. With 20 years of experience in marketing, author of over 120 articles with marketing focus, lecturer and guest lecturer in marketing at VUZF, Sofia University and New Bulgarian University.

Yasen Guev


Yasen Guev graduated Hungarian Philology and Management at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. He has a 9-year career in journalism at the Bulgarian National Television, The Banker, Mediapool and Free Europе Radio. He had been head of communications at BTC (Bulgarian Telecommunications Company), CEZ Group and Euromarket. He had also been a representative of BTC in the US and had been managing the commercial activities of a media group working together with The Economist and BusinessWeek. During the last 6 years he’s been Senior Director Corporate Affairs in Telenor Bulgaria where he is responsible for the relations with state institutions, social responsibility, internal and external communications and regulatory issues.