Initial authors

in alphabetical order:

Bernd Baumgartl, Ph.D. | Kristin Engvig, MBA | Mag. Martina Gleissenebner | Lydia J. Goutas, MBA | Rebecca J. Hamilton, J.D., MA | Tom Merilahti | Dr. Ivan Misner | Resad Paya Pasic, M.D., Ph.D. | Mag. Selma Prodanovic | Octavio Pitaluga Neto, MBA | Rachel Sterne, BA | Stephanie Ward, MA | Ing. Mag. Katrin Zita

Bernd BaumgartlBernd Baumgartl, Ph.D. († 2009)
Executive of Navreme Knowledge Development KEG (on research/consulting/training), served as faculty at the European Peace University in Schlaining, International Studies Programme of the Salzburg Seminar, and UN Staff (CERN). Has worked as an EU official (dealing with the accession of CEE and on CIS), and as a researcher and author at the European University Institute (on environmental issues, and xenophobia/racism in Europe), and as a Visiting scholar at LSE and MIT, and is alumnus of Salzburg Seminar. Born in Salzburg, studied (in Sofia, Mexico and Rio de Janeiro), and speaks several romance and slavic languages, holds an M.A. in history (Salzburg), and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences (EUI Firenze). Long-term experience in Central, Eastern and South-East Europe, on themes like higher education reform, public administration, vocational education, conflict resolution or reconciliation. Consulting assignments by the European Commission, World Bank, UNDP, ILO, Council of Europe, Austrian and Eastern European Ministries, Stability Pact, and the Open Society Institute on institution and capacity building in CEE and CIS. Over the last years also charged with the development of methods, Internet-based tools, and training programmes for evaluations in the public sector, and consultant to the European Commission, World Bank, Council of Europe, and several national Ministries. Recently on behalf of the EU undertook an assessment of private sector development projects by the EU in the Russian Federation.

Kristin EngvigKristin Engvig, MBA
Kristin started to work with women in 1994 when she took on the role as President of the Professional Women’s Association in Milan. As a social entrepreneur she founded W.I.N. in 98 in Milan believing “women have a vital role to play in shaping the future” and “wishing to bring a more feminine, global and sustainable vision to work, communities and life “. The idea, an annual conference aimed to empower, develop and connect women leaders with this vision and a platform to connect international women’s networks for year around networking came about. She is leading the leadership journey at W.I.N. and has designed and written the visionary programs of all W.I.N. forums. She has marketed, raised funds and built up the organization from her kitchen to what it now represents: a globally renowned organization. Kristin is an innovative thinker, known for picking up trends early and encouraging women to live creatively and shape their own future. She is a speaker on topics such as leadership, empowerment, networking and entrepreneurship. Kristin has worked in global companies (JPMorgan, Citibank, Norwegian export council) and as international consultant and trainer (strategy, intercultural management and marketing/market research) in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Japan. She holds Msc degree in Business and Marketing from (HA/BI) Oslo and an MBA from SDA Bocconi, Milan. She has travelled extensively and worked with women from all continents. In 2006 she was finalist for the European Women of Achievement Award. Art is central in her life and she has studied and practiced acting, creativity, yoga and Zen for a number of years. She is the mother of Leonardo and lives in Europe.

Martina GleissenebnerMag. Martina Gleissenebner-Teskey
Martina has always been interested in the question what inspires people to evolve. This quest and her love for nature led her to study ecology, psychology and communication sciences. During the first years of her studies (until 1992) she has travelled the world as a model and mannequin – an occupation which has been the starting point of her interest in the interconnection of styling, body posture and the environment (= the framework in which a person is set) and the fine line between Seeming and Being. The combination of her studies and her complementary international work-experiences have all fallen together in the Charisma-Concept which is a quite pragmatic working tool for the evolution of ones inner strengthes and for putting them to the service of oneself and the business and private communities in which one lives.
She has worked in Austria and in many European countries as a trainer. But not only. She has also served as International Brand Director for the direct sales company Zepter International, being based in Milan and in Monte Carlo for a total of 8 years and for many years the only woman on the top board of executives. From 2006 – 2012 she has led the International Business Speakers, which she has founded originally as the tool for bringing more expert women onto the podiums of this world.

Lydia GoutasLydia J. Goutas, MBA
Lydia is a native of New York and has lived abroad since 1985. She studied Biology and Molecular Biology before acquiring professional experience at Sloan Kettering Institute, during which time she also completed her MBA. In addition to her scientific publications, she has been a contributing author to various publications on women and employment overseas and covered the chemical industry for the book, The Anatomy of Industrial Decline (Quorum Books) and currently writes a column in the Austria biweekly, Economy Austria.
When she moved to Austria, , Ms. Goutas joined Webster University in Vienna, serving in several functions including Director of Admissions and in 1994, was also responsible for successfully co-establishing, serving as co-managing director of the Professional Development Center.
In 1999, she joined PLAUT PERSONALBERATUNG, a daughter company of Plaut Austria, and by 2002, after a management buyout, changed its name to LEHNER EXECUTIVE PARTNERS. Lydia J. Goutas is currently a managing partner and leads an international team serving growing multi-nationals in high tech industries. In addition, Ms. Goutas has taught at several universities including Economics University of Vienna, the University of Innsbruck´s MBA –SAP Program , Webster University and PEF Private University for Management where she also served as academic director for the MSc Program in HR and Organizational Development delivered to the EADS( Germany, UK, France).
She serves on the advisory board of Webster University, the Austro-American Society and is the newly elected President of the American Womens Association, a non-profit volunteer organization with over 300 members from 27 nations founded in 1924, today, the AWA serves women of all nations while continuing its support to the local community through its philanthropic activities an international organization with 27 different nationalities. |

Bec HamiltonRebecca J. Hamilton, J.D., MA
Bec Hamilton recently completed a Juris Doctor in Law and a Master of Public Policy as a Knox Fellow at Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Before attending law school she worked with displaced populations in Sudan. When she returned to the United States, Ms. Hamilton co-founded the Harvard Darfur Action Group, which was critically involved in Harvard University’s historic decision to divest from companies supporting the Sudanese Government’s genocidal campaign. Since then she has been working to build a permanent anti-genocide constituency through the Genocide Intervention Network. She has recently co-authored “Not On Our Watch” about advocacy for Darfur (published in “War in Darfur and the Search for Peace”), and has published on the topic in the International Herald Tribune and Boston Globe. She has also written law journal articles on R2P” The Responsibility to Protect: From Document to Doctrine—But What of Implementation?” (Harvard Human Rights Journal) and genocide “Bosnia v. Serbia: Lessons from the first encounter of the ICJ with the ICTY”(Leiden Journal of Int’l Law). Ms. Hamilton completed her undergraduate degree in Australia, receiving the University Medal for her First Class Honors work in neuroscience at the University of Sydney. She was born in New Zealand.

Tom MerilahtiTom Merilahti
TOM is the founder of SICU (Synergy Integrated – Connects the Unconnected) specialized in Synergy Integrated Marketing, Multilateral Communication and Project Management, and the SICU Synergy Solutions Group (SICU SSG), a globally active Virtual Organization and Strategic Art, Business & Marketing Alliance. He is a Creative Marketing Integrator and Communication Coordinator with more than 25 years of Professional Experience. He has been described as an Inborn Lateral Thinker, Self-willed Way Maker and Rebellious Forerunner. His Mobile Head Office is located between his shoulders in Helsinki. Slogan: Think the Unthinkable, Move the Immovable and Connect the Unconnected. Train of thought: Think, Do and Make it Happen!

Ivan MisnerDr. Ivan Misner
Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. BNI was founded in 1985. The organization now has over 5,300 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 5.6 million referrals resulting in $2.3 billion dollars worth of business for its members. Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He has written eleven books, including his New York Times Bestseller; Masters of Networking as well as his recent #1 bestseller, The 29% Solution. He is a monthly columnist for and is the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute – a referral training company with trainers around the world. In addition, he has taught business management and social capital courses at several universities throughout the United States.
Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and the “Networking Guru” by Entrepreneur magazine, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York. Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, CNBC, and the BBC in London.
Dr. Misner is on the Board of Trustees for the University of LaVerne. He is also the Founder of the BNI-Misner Charitable Foundation and was recently named “Humanitarian of the Year” by a Southern California newspaper. He is married and lives with his wife Elisabeth and their three children in Claremont, CA. In his spare time he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate. | |

Resad PasicResad Paya Pasic, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Pasic is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He is the Director of Division of Gynecologic Endoscopy and Co-Director of Gynecologic Endoscopy Fellowship at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Louisville.
Dr. Pasic is certified in advanced laparoscopy and hysteroscopy and he is an international educator of gynecologic endoscopy. His passion for minimally invasive surgery is manifold. He has published three books on laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and minimally invasive surgery, respectively. He has published a number of scientific papers. He serves on the editorial board and is an ad hock reviewer for several scientific journals. He has been a demanded speaker at conferences and courses from Australia, Brazil and India, to the Middle East and Europe. He has performed numerous live tele-surgeries world-wide and authored many laparoscopic surgery films, for which he obtained top prizes. His films and other achievements can be viewed at Dr. Pasic’s website.
Dr. Pasic has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists  from 2003-2005. In November 2006, he was elected to the Executive Committee of this renown organization numbering over 4,000 members world-wide. This position has kept Dr. Pasic at the helm of AAGL for 4 years; in November 2008, he became its president. |

Octavio PitalugaOctavio Pitaluga Neto, MBA
CNO – Chief Networking Officer of TEN – Top Executives Net and of Net-bridges, Business networks manager, certified international business coach, public speaker and trainer
I have been developing a strong presence in the major online networking platforms reaching a sizeable network in Brazil and abroad. In the corporate world, I have worked for Tele2 Europe as Marketing and Sales Director of its electronic transactions processing subsidiary, 3C Communications, responsible for operations in up to 17 countries and four business units in Western Europe. I also worked for Seara Alimentos (Cargill Group now) and Kanematsu do Brasil Ltda. I possess an MBA degree from RSM Erasmus University, The Netherlands and post-graduation studies in International Business for UFRJ/ECEX. My academic background and professional experience relates to sciences, international business and marketing of technology with relevant international business exposure in more than 25 countries. Languages skills: Portuguese, English, Spanish and Japanese (intermediate). Hobbies: friends, family, traveling, horses, multi-cultural issues, movies, dancing and out-door activities in general. |

Rachel SterneRachel Sterne Haot, BA
Rachel Sterne Haot is the Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, leading NYC Digital, part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. The mission of NYC digital is to realize Mayor Bloomberg’s digital roadmap for New York City, a plan to fulfill the City’s digital potential.
Prior to this role, Rachel was an independent digital strategy consultant, and Founder and CEO of GroundReport, a social enterprise and global news platform. She founded GroundReport in 2006 with the mission to democratize the media and help the world share its stories.  She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, specializing in social media and entrepreneurship.
A lifelong New Yorker, Rachel attended public schools and graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a BA in History. She is available at @rachelsterne on Twitter. In 2012 she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and serves on the digital advisory board of Women@NBCU and the NY/NJ 2013 Super Bowl Hosting Committee.

Stephanie WardStephanie Ward, MA
Stephanie Ward is an American citizen who has lived in the Netherlands since 1999. She founded her company, Firefly Coaching, in April of 2002. Before she began her coaching business, she worked in the corporate arena in business development, sales, marketing, management and consulting.
Stephanie has been a marketing and business coach to a multitude of business owners and entrepreneurs. Her clients want to build profitable businesses doing work that they love. She has worked with clients from: the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates.
Stephanie has been featured in magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and on the radio. She has also given workshops, presentations, and guest lectures at Universities and is a published author with her book No Sweat Networking: Simple Solutions to Overcome Networking Obstacles. Additionally, she offers a Free Special Report for Business Owners who want to attract more clients. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ‘7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus monthly business growth tips, at

Katrin ZitaIng. Mag. Katrin Zita
The media career of Katrin Zita has grown alongside major names in the business. Over the course of five years, Katrin gathered experience “in the vestibule of power” working for Hans Dichand’s “Krone” daily newspaper. That, alongside a dash of project management for Wolfgang Fellner’s internet news portal, gave her first hand experience in seeing Austria’s media moguls successfully turn their strategies into reality. Two years of working with Austria’s press agency, APA, as well as a year in the advertising industry gave her the perfect basis for it. As a freelance journalist, Katrin Zita consults businesses and web 2.0 platforms on content and net@work issues.

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