Mr Kostis Achladitis, Managing Director, Golden Cargo

Being already 40 years in shipping industry. Since 1977 working in Golden Union Shipping Group. In 1984 was appointed as Purchasing Manager. In 1989 was appointed to set up and develop Golden Cargo as Managing Director. Jan 2018 elected 2nd Vice President at Piraeus Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Propeller Club member and Chios Marine Club board member. Born and raised in Vrontados- Chios. Graduate the City of London Polytechnic (London University). Holds a BSc in Maritime Economics and MSc in Logistics.

Mr Vangelis Asvestas, Distribution Account Manager / Cloud & IoT Lead, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, CISCO

Vangelis is working for Cisco since 2005. Having experience in various sales roles and a solid technical background, Vangelis is currently holding the Distribution Account Manager position and is also the Cloud & IoT Lead for Greece, Cyprus and Malta building and enabling an Ecosystem of partners selling complete IoT and Cloud solutions. In the past, Vangelis has worked as a Channel Account Manager & Territory Business Manager at Cisco, and also as Technical Consultant at Hewlett Packard, Informatics & M. Papasavas AEVE. Vangelis holds a Computer Engineering Bachelor of Science degree from the TEI of Piraeus and an MBA from Hellenic American University.

Dr Georgia Ayfantopoulou, Research Director & Deputy Director, Institute of Transport (HIT) of the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH)

Dr. Georgia Ayfantopoulou is Research Director & Deputy Director of the Institute of Transport (HIT) of the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH). She is the Managing Director of the Thessaloniki Technology Park Management & Development Corporation S.A (TTP). She holds:  a Civil Engineer degree of the National Technical University of Athens, with specialization in Transport Engineering, Maitrise Informatic of University of PARIS VII, DEA Transport of the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausees and Engineering PhD from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Professional and research experience in the fields of: transport systems design, application of new technologies for intelligent transport systems, smart mobility solutions and logistics. Participation and coordination of many research projects and studies. Member of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum of DG-MOVE.

Dr Maria Boile, Associate Professor of “Port and Inland Terminal Policy and Management” and Director of the MSc program in Shipping at the University of Piraeus, Department of Maritime Studies

Dr. Maria Boile is Associate Professor of “Port and Inland Terminal Policy and Management” and Director of the MSc program in Shipping at the University of Piraeus, Department of Maritime Studies, Head of Unit on Transport Economics and Environment, Maritime and Air Transport, at the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), and Affiliated Faculty member at the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), Rutgers University. She has a diploma in Civil (Transportation) Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, M.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, US, and Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, US. Her research interests and expertise are in the areas of passenger and freight intermodal transport system modeling, freight and maritime logistics, port and inland terminal operations and management. She has participated in over 70 sponsored research projects in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, leading over half of them. She has authored and co-authored over 170 technical articles and 12 book chapters. Her teaching and research work has received prestigious awards. She has worked as a consultant in numerous transport and logistics projects.

Mr Elias Hajiefremidis, President Worldwide Industrial & Marine Association WIMA, General Manager, HAJIEFREMIDIS S.A

Mr. Elias Hajiefremidis BSc, General Manager of HAJIEFREMIDIS S.A., is a 1996 graduate of Plymouth University U.K. with a degree in Shipping Business and Law. Upon graduation Elias joined the family business, HAJIEFREMIDIS S.A., which was established in 1959 by his father, Apostolos, and remains one of the oldest and most respected Shipping Agencies in Piraeus. Starting out as Head of Operations, Elias gradually gained the required experience to reach the position of General Manager which he holds until today.

Dr Antonis Kalis, Head of R&D activities, SignalGeneriX Ltd

Dr. Antonis Kalis is working with SignalGeneriX Ltd, as head of its R&D activities. He has previously been employed as an adjunct professor in Carnegie Mellon University, an Associate Professor in Athens Information Technology, and a visiting scientist in the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya. He has numerous journal and conference publications, IEEE tutorials and invited talks (e.g. in Bell Labs, Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Trento, University of Piraeus, etc.), a US patent, a Marconi paper award nomination, and the 2000 Chester Sall Memorial award of the Consumer Electronics Society. From May 2012 to November 2018 he has served as the technical director of Lynceus and Lynceus2Market, two EU projects on large passenger ship safety, coordinating research, development, manufacturing and integration activities, and acting as the projects’ spokesman in several occasions, including a Euronews Futuris documentary and a TEDx invited talk. The system developed through these projects was awarded the prestigious Lloyd’s List Global Innovation Award in 2014 and is in operation in one of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships since May 2018.

Mr Vassilios Ch. Kampakis, President, Shipping Agents Association of Thessaloniki

Born in Thessaloniki, refugee origin from both parents. Although he did not study in the Maritime field, at a random visit to a shipping agency of that time in the early 1970s, he was tremendously impressed by the way of work and the particular subject. He used every acquaintance and ability to get involved into this business and he made it in the end. Starting out of course as an employee for many years, he managed to set up his own shipping agency, representing vessels, cruise ships and cargo. Further on there was more growth that forced him to engage in logistics, storage, rail transport, handling, loading and servicing of cargo on board vessels. There has been an international recognition of these efforts. The group consists of employees and laborers of 75 people with the ability to offer vertical services to the representing of ships and the handling, loading and forwarding of cargoes. He has been elected President of the Federation of Shipping Agents of Greece and of the Shipping Agents Association of Thessaloniki for many years. He is optimistic and he is struggling for the extroversion of the port and Thessaloniki in general because he believes it can not be second in turn but first in Greece and the East Mediterranean sea. Besides, his profession is based on extroversion.

Dr Ioannis Kaplanis, General Manager, Ηellenic Industrial Property Organisation - OBI

Dr. Kaplanis was appointed as Director General of the Hellenic Industrial Property Organisation in 2015. He is an economist with degrees from London School of Economics (Ph.D., BSc) and University of Manchester (MSc). Before joining OBI, he worked as an Economist at the OECD for three years. In the past, Dr. Kaplanis worked for years in academia (London School of Economics; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain), and in the Economic Team of the Mayor of London. He has extensive experience advising national and regional governments on public governance and development policies in order to promote sustainable, inclusive and innovative cities and regions (China, Chile, Mexico, Greece, UK). Dr. Kaplanis is a Research Associate on innovation and entrepreneurship at the Athens University of Economics and Business, as well as the University of Piraeus, and he is also a member of the Committee of Experts on Minimum Wage for Greece.

Mr Roberto Karahannas, General Manager Domestic & International Retail HELPE & Chief Executive Officer EKO SA

An economist specialized in Finance and Accounting. A Fulbright scholar, he studied in the United States and holds a post graduate degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania. He is a member of ΦΒΚ (Phi Beta Kappa), ΒΓΣ (Beta Gamma Sigma) and ΒΑΨ (Beta Alpha Psi) honorary societies. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) with extensive experience in management positions in several sectors of the economy such as financial information, maritime and energy. His professional career begins in 1992 working in Cyprus as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). In 1995 he moves to Greece as an Area Finance Manager for Dow Jones Telerate, where he also held the position of the President of the Board of Directors.  In 2001 and for the next 5 years, he works in the marine sector for Royal Olympic Cruises and Capital Maritime & Trading. Since 2006 he works for the Hellenic Petroleum Group, originally as the Group Controller, later as the Finance General Director of EKO ABEE, and the Retail Finance Manager.  Today he is the General Manager of Domestic and International Retail for the Hellenic Petroleum Group, Chief Executive Officer for Hellenic Fuels and Lubricants and Chairman at the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association (SEEPE).He participates actively on several BoD’s of Hellenic Petroleum companies in Greece and abroad as well as on a number of group committees regarding investments, credit assessment and remuneration.

Mr George Kastellanos, Executive Director, Hellenic Ports Association-ELIME

George Kastellanos the Executive Director of ELIME (Hellenic Ports Association) was born and raised in Piraeus. He holds a BA in Business Management from the University of Piraeus and an Msc in Maritime Management from the University of Wales. His long standing experience in Maritime Affairs spreads across most sectors of the industry. George Kastellanos has held key positions in Shipping Companies dealing with Ships and Ports Operations, Dry Cargo Chartering and in Bunkers and lubricants trading. He has acted as Consultant for the management, re-structuring and Operations of ports in Cyprus, Syria, Egypt and Greece. Following a national competition by ICAP Hellas, he was appointed the Executive Director of ELIME in 2003, when the head office was in Thessaloniki and then moved to Piraeus. He is member of the Economic Chamber of Greece and Greek ports representative in ESPO (European Seaports Organization).

Mr Vassilis Kechagias, Cofounder & CEO, SUPERALLOYS Company

Vasileios Kechagias, Mechanical & Materials Engineer with MSc and PhD in Materials Technology from Aristotle University, cofounder and CEO of SUPERALLOYS Company, was born in Thessaloniki in 29-7-1971. He is specialized for many years in the field of large-scale industrial maintenance projects and machine elements manufacturing, using advanced materials and processes for Marine Cement, Power Generation, Oil and Defense Industry. Due to his particular expertise and know-how in the urgent Mechanical Maintenance sector, he developed a strong extroverted activity with special technical projects and direct export of mechanical products, to the wider Balkan region, Europe, America, Middle East and Asia. He is also participating and managing R&D programs in advanced materials and processes, in cooperation with research teams of universities. He is member in the board of directors of SEVE, in the board of directors, in the Chamber of Small & Medium sized Industries of Thessaloniki while in the period 2013-2016 he was member in the board of directors in Alexander Innovation Zone.

Mr Nikitas Kladakis, Information Security Director, Netbull

Mr. Kladakis holds a Bachelor in Department of Electronic and has certifications in IBM Security Systems Sales Professional v3, IBM Security QRadar v7.0 MR4 Fundamentals, IBM InfoSphere Guardium Solution Sales Professional v1, IBM InfoSphere Guardium, IBM InfoSphere Guardium Technical Mastery, MacAfee Certified Product Specialist - ePO and the Checkpoint -CCSA, CCSE. It has a lot of experience over twenty five (25) consecutive years as a security officer in projects of private and public sector on the Security of Information Systems.

Dr George Konstantopoulos, President, SEVE-GREEK EXPORTS ASSOCIATION

Dr. Georgios Konstantopoulos is President of SEVE - Greek Exporters’ Association, President of Egnatia Odos SA, Vice President of PEMETE - Panhellenic Association of Processing, Standardizing and Exporting Companies of Table Olives and also Shareholder, Member of the Board of Directors and Director of Exports of KONSTANTOPOULOS SA "OLYMP" - Food Industry established in1956. The company processes, standardizes and exports 95% of its sales all over the world, being present in five continets: North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It has production facilities in Katerini, Kalamata and Nea Moudania and storage areas in many areas where table olive and extra virgin olive oil are produced in Kalamata. He was Deputy Minister of Health and Social Solidarity, Head of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU), Deputy Chairman of the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs and Assistant Professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Dr. Konstantopoulos has graduated from the University of Munich "Ludwig - Maximillian Universität München" and studied at the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He speaks German and English

Mr Fotis Kouvelis,

He was born in Volos. He studied Law, Economics and Political studies at the University of Athens. He was President of Athens Bar Association. He is member of both Hellenic Constitutional Experts Union and Hellenic Criminal Bar Association, honorary member of the Non-governmental Organization «SOS Racism» while during the time period 1991-1994, he was also President of Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims. He was member of «Lambrakis Democratic Youth» and «Regas Pheraios » Association. He was also a founding member of Communist Party of Greece (interior) serving on its Executive Office and Central Committee. He was a founding member of the «Greek Left » political party, and was elected its Secretary. During his term office it was decided its inclusion in the «Left and Progress Coalition» political party in which he was a member of the Executive Committee, Standing Committee   as well as its Secretary. He was elected as a Member of the Parliament  with the political party of  «Coalition of Left and Progress »  in the parliamentary elections of  1989, 1990, 1996, 2004,2007 και 2009  while after the parliamentary elections of  2009 he was appointed as SYRIZA Parliamentary Representative. In 2010 he founded the political party of «Democratic Left-DIMAR» and was elected its President by its first Congress. At the end of 2015 and after his leaving from the political party of «Democratic Left-DIMAR» he founded, along with other former members of Democratic Left, the political party of « European Left   Unified Movement-ΕΚΙΕΑ ». He served as Minister of Justice in 1989 Cabinet in which the political party of «Coalition of Left and Progress» participated and Deputy Minister of National Defense in 2018 Cabinet. Since 29thAugust 2018 he is Minister of Maritime and Insular Policy. He is married to Fotini Palla and father of two daughters.

Mr Nikos Lygeros, Advisor in strategy

Born 1968 in Greece raised in Lyon France, Nikos Lygeros is a mathematician, linguistics expert, writer, poet, artist, play director, music composer, involved in smart education, history, music, theater archeology, philosophy, energy, management, innovation. He is known for his high intelligence and exceptional giftedness and recognized for the actualization of his work which to date consists of over 43,500 writings and research papers, over 30 world records in number theory, in combinatorics and in algebra, over 2,600 of lectures, seminars over 1,700 interviews, more than 5,900 pieces of artwork and designs, more than 60 books, more than 180 music compositions. As a Master in strategy through geostrategy, topostrategy and chronostrategy he provides on an international level advisory work on crimes against Humanity, advocating for Human Rights and the Rights of the Indigenous people and enhancing the establishment of the Rights of Humanity. He is fluent in French, Greek and English. His official website is: His official channel is:

Mr George Maronidis, Lawyer LL.M- Managing Partner, Maronidis & Associates Law Firm

George Maronidis is the founder and managing partner of “Maronidis & Associates Law Firm” admitted to practice before the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Greece. He studied law at the Law School of the Democritus University of Thrace (LL.B) and holds an LL.M Postgraduate Degree in maritime & combined transport law from the University of Southampton. He also holds an Erasmus Diploma in English Law from the University of Essex. His focus is mainly on shipping law, transportation law, commercial law, company law, export law and logistics. He has established a reputation in litigation and legal counseling in his work, advising and representing domestic and international clients in relation to shipping and trading matters, investments, mergers, commercial negotiations. Over the last 23 years “Maronidis & Associates Law Firm” with offices in Piraeus & Thessaloniki provides high quality legal consulting, arbitration, mediation and litigation services in a wide range of issues, given that the Firm diligently supports its domestic and international clientele in the most effective and profitable ways, through its pragmatic and business-focused approach. The Firm’s clients range from reputable commercial companies & shipowners to Port Operators, forwarders and traders, from commercial joint ventures and shipping companies to import-export enterprises, maritime associations and unions, from blue chip companies to small businesses and private individuals. Furthermore, the Firm represents before the Greek Government, Transporter, Shipping Agent, Forwarder and Professional Associations, Organizations, Unions all over Greece and participates in major relevant Conferences.

Capt. Dimitrios Mattheou, CEO, Arcadia Shipmanagement & Aegean Bulk, Chairman, Green Award Foundation

Dimitrios Mattheou ( is the CEO of Arcadia Shipmanagement Co Ltd & Aegean Bulk Co Inc, highly recognized for his contribution as an active member of International Organizations. In particular, he is the Chairman of the Green Award Foundation, Vice Chairman of the Hellenic Mediterranean Panel in INTERTANKO, Governor of the International Propeller Club of the United States, and Executive Committee Member in Norwegian Hull Club, INTERCARGO, HELMEPA and ALBA Graduate Business School. Dimitrios is an inspiring Leader, committed to his job tasks, innovative in his roles and loyal to the corporate spirit. Through his actions he has earned the respect of the maritime community and has been awarded three times as a Best Manager and as a Significant Personality.(Exceptional Personality of Shipping Award / Vaporia Marine Awards 2018, Best Manager award / Efkranti Awards, Personality award / GREEN4SEA Awards, Personal award / Masters & Mates Union of Greek Merchant Marine). As an experienced sailor, he has never neglected the new generation of the seafarers. Therefore, he provides frequent Industry-based tuitions for Post-graduate students as a guest Lecturer at various Academic Institutions for Maritime studies, such as the Piraeus Maritime University, the ALBA Graduate Business School and the Metropolitan College. Inspirational personal quote: ‘Leading through Vision. Inspiring through Actions’.

Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Opposition Leader & President of Nea Demokratia

Kyriakos Mitsotakis was born in Athens in March 1968. He graduated Salutatorian from Athens College in 1986. Kyriakos obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies, summa cum laude, from Harvard University in 1990. During his studies at Harvard, he was awarded the Hoopes & Tocqueville prizes. Kyriakos also earned an MA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Kyriakos worked in London as a financial analyst with Chase Investment Bank and as a consultant with McKinsey and Company. In 1997, he returned to Greece where he joined Alpha Ventures as a senior investment officer. In 1999, Kyriakos joined the National Bank of Greece as CEO of NBG Venture Capital. In January 2003, he was nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow. In April 2003, Kyriakos resigned from NBG Venture Capital in order to pursue a career in politics. He was elected to Parliament with Nea Demokratia in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2015. Until June 2012, Kyriakos was the shadow-minister for the environment and climate change for Nea Demokratia. Between 2007 and 2009, he served as Chairman of the Environment Committee of the Hellenic Parliament. Kyriakos served as Minister of Administrative Reform and e-Governance from June 2013 until January 2015. From February 2015 until November of the same year, he was the first-in-order Parliamentary Representative of Nea Demokratia in Parliament. Kyriakos Mitsotakis was elected president of Nea Demokratia on January 10th, 2016.

Mr Theodoros Papakonstantinou, Partner, DΕLOITTE

Theodoros is a Consulting Partner in the Strategy, Analytics and M&A practice of Deloitte Greece. Based in the office of Thessaloniki, he is responsible for the development of Deloitte’s services in Northern Greece. He possesses more than 20 years of professional experience, with the last 16 in Deloitte. He has extensive expertise in the areas of strategy development, business analysis and planning, financial and operational restructuring, business and operational model optimization and M&A advisory. Theodoros has led a wide range of projects for small and medium companies, large corporations, the public sector and non-profit institutions in a variety of sectors, such as tourism and hospitality, real estate, transportation and logistics, consumer products, agrofood, manufacturing and technology. He holds a Bachelor degree in Applied Informatics from the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Cranfield School of Management, UK and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

Dr George D. Pateras, President, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Chairman, Contships Management Inc

George D. Pateras, born in London, UK and the father of 3 adult children, is the Deputy Chairman, Contships Management Inc. and since 2016 the Chairman of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping. He studied Engineering and Economics and holds a BSc in Marine Engineering from Newcastle University, MS in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from MIT and a  PhD from Plymouth University. He is a Board member of the Hellenic War Risks Association and the Bahamas Shipowners Association, Chairman of the Hellenic Shipping War Risks Insurance S.A., Vice Chairman, NATO, PBOS now TG(OS) (2000-) and permanent advisor (AMSCC) of the Hellenic Ministry of Defense. Dr. Pateras has also served as the Chairman of the Bahamas Shipowners’ Association (20112015) and as a Board member of the Hellenic Seamen’s Pension Fund (1984-1993), Olympic Aviation (1991-1993), the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (1986-2015), the Union of Greek Shipowners (1983-2004), HELMEPA (1996-1998), the BSA representative on International Chamber of Shipping (2011-2015) and Managing Director of Aegeus Shipping S.A. (1981-2018)

Mrs Helen Polychronopoulou, President Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers & Exporters – HEMEXPO, Executive Vice President of Environmental Protection Engineering (EPE) SA & Business Development Manager of ERMA FIRST ESK ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS SA

Helen Polychronopoulou, is currently the Executive Vice President of Environmental Protection Engineering (EPE) SA and the Business Development Manager of ERMA FIRST ESK ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS SA, designing and producing the ERMA FIRST ballast water treatment systems. She is also the co-founder and co-owner of HELENGI ENGINEERING Ltd, with expertise in a range of applications for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Moreover, she is a member of the Board of Directors of GLOBAL NAVIGATION SOLUTIONS GREECE. She has studied chemistry and has more than 20 years of experience in the field of environmental protection, marine equipment, shipping and ship parts industry. She has been the Director of the Research and Development department of EPE SA, where she has developed innovative equipment for the management and treatment of liquid waste and potable water. Then, she moved to the Business Development department where she successfully undertook projects for the expansion of the company in new markets, by introducing new products and services. Currently, she is involved in expanding the new markets being the President of the Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers & Exporters – HEMEXPO. She is also a member of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), member of the Mediterranean Committee of China Classification Society (CCS) and member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Institute of Marine Technology (HIMT). Helen has recently been honored as the “Greek Pioneer Entrepreneur of the year 2015”, awarded by Ernst & Young. Finally, she has been a member of the Greek IMO Delegation at MEPC and D&E sub-committees, the Vice President of the Association of Environmental Protection Companies in Greece (PASEPPE) and the national representative for the European Business Environment Awards.

Mr Yiannis Sanidiotis, Group General Manager, Kleemann Group

Mr Yiannis Sanidiotis graduated in 1991 from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki as a Mechanical Engineer. He also holds an MBA in ICBS. He started his career as soon as he graduated. He joined Kleemann Group in 2005 as deputy plants director and cabins plant manager. In 2017, he was appointed Group General Manager, a position he holds to this day.

Dr George Sarantavgas, Director of Standards and Solutions, GS1 Association Greece

Dr. George Sarantavgas, is the Director of Standards and Solutions at GS1 Association Greece. He holds a B.Eng(Hons) on Electronics & Computer Engineering and an M.Sc on Digital Communications. In 2004 the Royal Academy of Engineering of Great Britain awarded him a scholarship to begin his Ph.D studies on Electrical and Electronics Engineering for medical applications at Cranfield University and graduated in 2009. He worked in multinational companies in the High Technology industry in Europe and Greece and he has participated in projects developing hardware and software, collaborating with companies such as Samsung, Thales, BAE, GE, Carl Zeiss, Philips etc. From 2012 to 2014 he served as an advisor to the Greek Ministry of Health for sectors like technology, information systems and strategic management. He has also served as a substitute member at the Board of Directors of Sotiria General Hospital from 2013 to 2014. From 2014 he worked as a senior auditor in ISO Quality Management Systems in the healthcare sector and also as a CE auditor for medical devices and software. Dr. George Sarantavgas is a member of scientific organisations and institutes (ΙΕΕΕ, ΙΕΤ, ΕΕL, TEE).

Mr Andreas Schinas, Manager Sales & Handling Greece, Cyprus Albania, Kosovo, Lufthansa Cargo AG

Starting his career in the airfreight industry back in 1994 in Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport, is currently Country Manager of Lufthansa Cargo AG managing the sales and handling tasks in Greece, Cyprus, Albania and Kosovo.  Multi-lingual and with experience of managing people and operations over multiple sites, different culture and knowledge, integrator of Austrian Airlines cargo department in Lufthansa Cargo organization for SE Europe.

Mr Aris Sfakianakis, Greek Regions Manager, DHL EXPRESS HELLAS

Aris Sfakianakis has studied Business Management and holds a MBA from University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki. Aris, has been Greek Regions Manager of DHL Express Hellas since 2004. DHL is present in over 220 countries across the globe, making it the most international company in the world. DHL provides solutions for an almost infinite number of logistics needs and is a major provider for e-commerce. In Greece, the company established its presence 43 years ago. Aris has a work record in Media, e-commerce business, the Hellenic Fashion Industry Association (SEPPE) and training institutes. His professional training experience includes a variety of topics in management, Marketing, e-commerce, Sales management and exports’ marketing. Aris has worked in business consulting as a project leader for national projects and as a conductor for business plans, marketing plans and feasibility studies. Since 2014, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greek Exporters’ Association (SEVE)

Mrs Eleni Stathatou, President, Export Credit Insurance Organization (ECIO)

Eleni Stathatou holds, a master’s degree in Marketing Management & Communication with New Technologies from the Athens University of Economics & Business, a master’s degree in Tourism Marketing and Management from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, a bachelor's degree, in Philosophy from the National & Kapodistrian University of Economics. She also holds International Certification (ICC), e-learning and professional certifications from Hellenic Bank Association (HBA) and other recognized organizations. With 36 years of distinguished performance in the National Bank of Greece, 26 of which in senior positions, she worked in the field of credit operations, foreign operations (imports and exports), transactions and deposits in euro and foreign currency and the last 5 in the position of Deputy Director in the International Trade Division of the Bank for the centralized management of documentary credits, documentary collections, or clear collections and international trade (e.g. forfeiting). She has extensive experience as a seminar speaker since 1988 (in the National Bank and in private institutions), specialized in issues of international trade, operations in euro and foreign currency (trading, deposits). She speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Mr Thanos Tantanozis, Commercial manager of transaction banking for Northern Greece, EUROBANK

Mr Tantnozis has been working in the Greek Banking Sector since 1989. He started his banking career in the Trade Transactions department of Ergasias Bank, at Leontos Sofou Branch in Thessaloniki, and continued as head of Eurobank’s Trade Finance - Northern Greece. From 2010 until now he works as Commercial Manager of Global Transaction Banking, having the responsibility for the services development of Cash Management, Trade finance and Factoring for Northern Greece.

Mr Sotirios Theofanis, President & CEO, Thessaloniki Port Authority SA

Sotirios (Sotiris) Theofanis is currently the Chairman of the BoD and Chief Executive Officer of the privatized Thessaloniki Port Authority SA and Member of the BoD of the South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) Ltd. An internationally acknowledged expert, academic and manager in the fields of freight transportation; logistics; and ports. Former Expert; Head of Unit; and acting Director for Ports with the Ministry of Merchant Marine, Greece (1985-1999). Former Chief Executive Officer of Thessaloniki Port Authority SA, Greece (1999-2002) and Chairman of the BoD and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Piraeus Port Authority SA, Greece (2002-2004), he led the efforts for the restructuring and listing of the two port companies in the Athens Stock Exchange. Former Director, Freight and Maritime Program (FMP) and Director of Strategic Planning (2006-2012) at the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA, he is currently Fellow and Visiting Professor with the same University. He is also Senior Visiting Lecturer with Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI), Israel, Chairman of the National Port Training Institute and member of the ESPO (European Sea Ports Organization) Executive Committee, where he has been selected as the Port Professional of the Month in April 2019.

Mr Theodore E. Veniamis, Union of the Greek Shipowners, President & Managing Director, Golden Union Shipping Co. SA

Mr. Theodore Veniamis was born in Vrontados Chios in 1950. In March 1974 he graduated from the University of Athens (School of Business and Economics) obtaining the extended title/specialization in Economics and Law. Since 1977, he is the founding director of Golden Union Shipping Co. S.A., a dry cargo Ship Management - Operating company of which he is the President/CEO. Golden Union currently operates 44 dry bulk carriers of about 5.6 million dwt, with another 1 vessel on order. He is the head of Golden Union Group, which in addition is actively involved in a growing number of shipping and non-shipping related activities. Since 2009, Mr. Veniamis is the President of the Union of the Greek Shipowners and an elected member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee since 1987. As a recognised leader in the shipping industry, he has often been active in a number of international and national associations and committees. Currently, Mr. Veniamis is President of Otesat Maritel (Telecommunications services provider) and he is also the Honorary Chairman of the DNV GL Hellenic Committee, Chairman of the Hellenic Advisory Committee of Lloyds Register, Member of the Greek National Committee of ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) as well as Member of the Hellenic Committee of RINA (Italian Class Society).

Mr Nicolas A. Vernicos, Shipowner, Honorary President & Member of the Board, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-Hellas)

Hon President & Member of the Board, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-Hellas) • Vice Chair Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce, China, • Member of the Board of Directors (BOD): - Hellenic Chamber of Shipping - Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry With over 30 years cumulative experience in the management of the biggest Greek public companies, he has served among others in the BOD of: Public Power Corporation, Olympic Airways, National Bank of Greece (France) S.A., Hellenic Shipyards etc. • President of the VERNICOS MARITIME group of companies founded in Constantinople in the 19th century for Tugs & Salvage • Vice President VERNICOS YACHTS S.A. • Vice President EUROCORP Financial Services SA, Athens In parallel to his business activities, ΝΑV is very active in the sectors of culture and environment. In addition of having served to the BOD of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens,, he has been a Member of BOD of: - European Cultural Center of Delphi - Elliniki Etairia, Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage - The Association for the Creation of a New Building for the National Opera and “Maria Callas” Academy - CEREC, Comite pour le Rapprochement de l’Economie et de la Culture, Brussels - Founding Chairman of the Kastela Centre of Contemporary Art in Piraeus, The Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce honored NAV as the “2019 Person of the Year” on its 70th Anniversary Gala, held in NY, March 2019. Nicolas A. Vernicos born in Athens in 1945 originates from the island of Sifnos in the Cyclades of the Aegean sea. Married with Barbara Vernicos, they have 3 daughters and 3 granddaughters. He has a M.Sc. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics (ASOEE).

Mr George Xiradakis, President, International Propeller Club of the United States, Founder, Managing Director, XRTC Business Consultants

Mr. George Xiradakis was born in Athens in 1964 and grew up in Volos. He graduated from the Aspropyrgos School of Merchant Marine and after a five-year assignment on Greek ships as a Merchant Marine Officer, he continued his studies in Great Britain by obtaining a Diploma in Commercial Operations from City of London Polytechnic and MSc in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales. He served as Senior Manager in the French bank Credit Lyonnais both in Athens and Paris. In 1999 he founded XRTC Business Consultants, which acts as a commercial representative of foreign banks (Credit Lyonnais, Natexis Banque Populaires, Natixis) and institutions in Greek Shipping Market. Since 2010 XRTC has been an advisor of China Development Bank, while Mr. Xiradakis has been appointed as a member of the Bank's specialized advisory board. Mr. Xiradakis is President of the International Propeller Club of the United States - International Port of Piraeus, Vice President of the Hellenic Chinese Chamber, General Secretary of the Association of Banking and Financial Executives of Hellenic Shipping, VicePresident of the Greek-Chinese Association, member of the Mediterranean Committee of the China Classification Society (CCS), member of HELMEPA, Piraeus Shipping Club etc.  He is also a BoD member of Paragon Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: PRGN). In May 2019 he participated in the European elections as a candidate for MEPs.

Mrs Danae Bezantakou, CEO, Navigator Shipping Consultants

Danae Bezantakou is CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants, shareholder of KEFI S.A. and MATILDA HOTEL in Zakynthos Island. She is also President of iforU-Greek Mentoring Network, which empowers women’s entrepreneurship through mentoring & networking and Concept Founder of YES FORUM - the leading platform of open dialogue in the Greek Shipping and Sea Tourism Industries among principals, executives and university students, recent graduates and young executives. Danae represented Greece twice in International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) “Women in Leadership” organized by Hilary Clinton, in March 2011 & “On Demand Opportunity: Alumni Association Development” in December 2017. She has been nominated to be one of the European Young Leaders (2014), her name was included in the "Purpose Economy Europe 100 List 2014", as well as in the 40under40 list of Fortune Greece. She is founding member and the 1st President of the Hellenic U.S. Alumni Association of State Department Programs during the period 2015-2018. Danae was appointed as Young Global Leader from World Economic Forum for the years 2015-2020, holds Global Dignity's Greek Country Chair and has been nominated to join the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network. Her dedication to the growth of Entrepreneurship made her to be named as a Role Model in the campaign #Makingithappen organized by the U.S. Embassy to Greece. She regularly participates as a speaker, judge or mentor in competitions, school and university lectures and events related to entrepreneurship. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Surrey. She has a 10 year old daughter.

Mr Ilias G. Bissias, Director, Naftika Chronika magazine

Ilias G. Bissias is the Director of the acclaimed Greek Shipping Magazine Naftika Chronika (published since 1931) and the educational platform He is currently also the Press Officer of SuperEco Tankers and Bulkers Management, as well as the Director of Strategy for the Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers and Exporters (HEMEXPO). Since 2002 Mr. Bissias has regularly lectured on the areas of international maritime policy, strategic management in shipping, corporate communications and contemporary maritime history. Since 2014 he is part time and adjunct lecturer at the ALBA Graduate Business School. In the past he has also worked for the European Commission (1999-2002) and was a legal correspondent for Greece in the areas of air transport law and policy. Mr. Bissias holds a Bachelor and Master's Degree in Law from the University of London. In 2009 he was invited by the US State Department to visit the US on the IV Leadership Program (IVLP).

Dr Yannis Hajidimitriou, Professor in International Business and Director of the Master's Program in International Business at the Department of Business Administration, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Dr. Yannis Hajidimitriou is Professor in International Business and Director of the Master’s Program in International Business. Professor Hajidimitriou served as Rector of the University of Macedonia (September 2010 to August 2014). He has also served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Department of Business Administration, as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Department of Marketing and Operations Management, and as Chairman of the MBA Program. Professor Hajidimitriou is holding a B.A. degree in Economics from Athens Graduate School of Economics and Business, and a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, USA. His research interests focus on exporting of family SMEs, international partner selection in exporting family SMEs, internationalization of family SMEs, trust in international strategic alliances, knowledge transfer in international joint ventures and critical success factors in exports. Professor Hajidimitriou also worked for the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), USA, in the Market Analysis and Forecasting Department and served as Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas, USA, and Visiting Lecturer at the Sheffield University Management School, UK. Since July 2000, Professor Hajidimitriou is an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Greek International Business Association (ΣEBE – SEVE). He is also member of the Administrative Committee of the Business & Exhibition Research and Development Institute (ΔΕΘ) in Thessaloniki and member of the Board of Directors of Alexander Innovation Zone, representing SEVE.

Mr Panayiotis Hassapis, Executive Vice President, SEVE-Greek Exporters Association

Mr. Hassapis is Corporate Finance & Strategy Advisor and Executive Vice President of SEVE. He is an alumni of American College of Thessaloniki Anatolia. He studied Economics and Business Administration in France (Rouen & Paris) and holds post graduate degrees in Accounting & Management and Money, Banking & Finance (Southampton University & Birmingham University). He worked as CFO at MEVGAL SA, CFO & Legal Representative at ZANAE SA and as Treasurer at PYRAMIS METALLURGY SA following his short occupation at the banking sector. He has been teaching Financial Management & Banking at CITY COLLEGE (Sheffield University affiliated) in Thessaloniki.


Dimitris Lakasas was born on April 14, 1973 in Kolindros, Pieria. He is the CEO of Olympia Electronics S.A. He is the author of “Anthropos 4.”   In 2017 he was announced the "Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year"  in the EY -ERNST & YOUNG competition.  In addition to his business activity he has been:  Chairman on Greek International Business Association (SEVE) 2010-2014 | Chairman on Alexander Iinnovation Zone (AIZ) 2013-2015 | Board Member of Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) 2004-2019 | Βoard Member of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) since 1999 | Founder of Think Tank SEVE.  He has participated in international conferences and publications in financial and sectoral press.  He holds  an MBA (Master of Business Administration) (UNIVERSITY OF  SHEFFIELD) and a Bachelor on Economics and Marketing  (CITY COLLEGE – UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD)

Mr Anastasios Ntougas, Treasurer, Thessaloniki Bar Association

Mr Ntougas graduated from the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2009, he is a lawyer in Thessaloniki since 2011, today he is an appellate attorney and has a good knowledge of English and Italian. He is specialized in banking and financial law. He is a legal advisor to a well-known banking group. He teaches at Vocational Training Centers legal issues, business management and entrepreneurship. He has a profound impact on economic and social issues concerning Greek society and vulnerable social groups. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Thessaloniki Bar Association, since January 2018 and holds the position of the Treasurer. He is also the Chairman of the Public Relations and Social Awareness Committee of the Thessaloniki Bar Association.