#IntelligenceHunt6 - Introduction of the Speakers, Jury Members and Moderators
VILLE HAAPASAARI - Inspiring Speaker

Mr. Ville Haapasaari (B. 1971), M.Sc.(Forest Economy), is the CEO of Port of Helsinki since April 2018


Prior to this appointment he has worked at Finavia as the SVP, Helsinki Airport Director 2012-2018. Previously he worked in various responsibilities at Finnlines, main emphasis being on the head of business positions and sales management.  


His main competences are business management, logistics know-how, managing development projects and working in customer interface both in b-b and b-c business environment.

IRENE ROSBERG - Keynote at the Award Ceremony

Irene Rosberg is the Director, Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics at the  Copenhagen Business School. She is widely recognized as commanding enormous respect throughout the maritime and logistics sectors internationally for her work in executive education, research in identifying future challenges for industry, and building global relationships. She has high-level contacts in many of the leading organizations in her field, including excellent professional relationships in Europe, in Asia including China, and in Latin America.

Her colleagues in many countries know her as a totally dedicated, tenacious worker with deep attention to detail, and innovative in tackling any challenge or problem that comes her way.


Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Europe’s leading institution of its kind.  From the beginning, she has been responsible for the design, development and co-ordination of The Blue MBA. On behalf of CBS, she has a fundamental role in building global relationships and networks within the maritime industry. She also promotes research identifying challenges and future issues for the maritime industry as a whole.  She is a member of many international boards and committees.  Based on her extensive international network and experience, she has been entrusted with major roles in varied maritime-related activities, and speaks at leading maritime events. 

PER WESTLING - Inspiring Speaker

Per Westling is the Managing Director at Stena RoRo.

Per Westling has been employed by Stena since 1985. Within the Stena Group he has been project manager for several newbuildings and major conversion projects but also served for five years within the Stena Line Shipmanagement Division. In 2001 he moved to Stena RoRo as Conversion Manager, took on the role of Deputy Managing Director in 2008 and subsequently Managing Director in 2011.


Alexander Varvarenko is the CEO and Founder of SHIPNEXT (www.shipnext.com).

Shipnext is a digital Shipping Marketplace and Cargo Booking Platform with offices in the US, Singapore, Honk Kong, and Ukraine,  and Founder of VARAMAR Group (www.varamar.com)

Varamar is a shipping company with offices in Vancouver, Hamburg, Genoa, Odesa and Dubai, involved in dry-bulk, break-bulk, heavy and oversized cargo transportation. 


Mr Varvarenko is a Belgian businessman, social activist, founder of Odessa Business Club and Maritime Business Club. 

JOHAN ELZES - Inspiring Speaker

Johan Elzes is a Dutch national who has been living and working in Russia since 2011. He has a Masters degree in Russian literature and is now Business Unit Director of Ahlers’ Trade Facilitation & After Sales Services.


After his studies he decided to work and live a year in Russia to gain experience. This was in 2011 and he never left. Johan started in sales with Ahlers, selling DDP deliveries to Russia. This means that as logistics provider, Ahlers does not only do the logistics, but also takes care of the import into Russia and the further sales of the goods, on behalf of its customers. In this sense, companies can outsource the complexity of doing business in a challenging region as Russia to Ahlers and receive real value from it. As such Ahlers supports international premium brands to develop their business in Russia. Ahlers itself is a Belgian logistics company with a strong regional presence in Russia and the wider CIS region. In fact, the CIS region is the biggest region of Ahlers worldwide representing 50% of Ahlers’ total business.

PEKKA LETTIJEFF - Inspiring Speaker

Pekka Lettijeff is the CEO of the Tylohelo Group, an Advisor, Investor and Board Member. He is a senior experienced visionary  executive from multiple global companies, regions and industries/businesses. Mr Lettijeff has extended experience and speciality in mergers and acquisitions, turn around programs, outsourcing, supply chain management (strategic sourcing, materials management, logistics, demand supply planning, manufacturing and distribution), digitalization, people and leadership development, executive coaching, certified Incondia leadership assessor and coach, emerging markets, cultural diversity, strategy and business model creation and deployment. He is focused on hands on work close with executives, leaders and managers, who desire rapid and sustainable change in their own business performance and/or leadership style.

MARKKU MYLLY - Inspiring Speaker

Markku Mylly has a long experience in the maritime sector since 1973. He was sailing in Finnish merchants ships until 1987, when he joined Finnish Maritime Administration. He worked in FMA until 2010 and he was the 10th and last Director General of FMA. In 2010 he moved to Finnish Port Association and worked there as a CEO until joined EMSA in 2012 September.

He was the Executive Director of European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon, Portugal 2012-2018.


Markku Mylly collaborated a lot at international level ever since he joined FMA and he was responsible for many EU Twinning projects during years 2002 – 2010 in Estonia, Croatia and Bulgaria. He also participated the work of IMO (International Maritime organization) IALA (International Association of Lighthouse Authorities) and ESPO (European Seaports Organization)

DR ROLF NEISE - Inspiring Speaker

Dr Rolf Neise is currently working as a freelance consultant supporting multinational companies to optimize their supply chain management and logistics structures and as a lecturer at the International School of Management (ISM). He has just written a book for a well-known international publisher on integrating container logistics into the shippers’ supply chain. It is the first book on the market looking at container logistics from a shipper’s perspective.

​Prior to that Rolf was working as the Global Head of Logistics Operations at BAT (British American Tobacco plc.), in charge of defining BAT’s Logistics Strategy in the End-to-End Supply Chain. He held a number of operational and strategic roles across the BAT group in Germany and in the UK and was an essential member of the first truly global organizational set up in BAT, the Global Leaf Pool. Rolf majored in economic engineering at the Technical University Berlin and wrote his doctoral thesis on transport logistics at the University of Stuttgart.

DR Neise believes in the value add of cross-functional collaboration and in the strength of diversity. His motto is “You never fail until you stop trying” (Albert Einstein)

FRANK KHO - Moderator and Inspiring Speaker

Frank Kho´s career includes more than 30-year experience in the container logistics and terminal industry. He had several senior management positions in Asia and Europe with PSA and HPH, 2 of the leading global terminal operators. He has also been a member of the global leadership team of Kalmar for 6+ years. 

Frank has an excellent track record in terminal management and has managed several container terminals across the globe. He has built and lead successful teams; execute many operational improvements, terminal design and process development projects. He has also done several organizational and operational due diligence projects as part of terminal acquisitions.

Within Kalmar, Frank has led the discussion regarding strategy and vision on automation in the container industry and was also responsible for account management and offering development of new solutions.Frank is an ICF-trained Professional Coach. He also has a Master degree in Control Engineering/Avionics. He believes that in this period of change and transformation, a learning mindset is a critical success factor.


Leena Vedenepää is the President of WISTA Finland.


Her passion lies in strategy, business development and project management. She has a strong background from engineering, with strategy and leadership expertise.

Previously she worked at the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Through out her work as a Quality and Development Manager at the shipyard, she participated in the creation of operation excellence throughout the yard. She was in charge of the initiatives program and internal and external audits.

She has just finalized her studies at the Aalto University School of Business and graduated with an MSc in Management, specialized in Strategy.

Her expertise in naval architecture is especially in winter navigation and ice-going vessels. Over the past years she has worked for several projects involved in several aspects of especially winter navigation in the Baltic Sea and ice-going vessels. She has experience in project engineering: concept design, evaluation, ship's performance. At the shipyard she worked with both newbuildings and sales projects, and participated on sea trials.

YRJÖ VAINIALA - Case Company Speaker

Yrjö Vainiala has worked as a Port Director, the Chief Operating Officer and Commercial Director of the Port of Naantali Ltd since 2005. Vainiala is responsible for strategic planning, investment planning and project management as well as customer relations and new business scouting for the company. Vainiala has extensive over 30 years of experience in the field of logistics and supply chain management on different type executive and managerial level tasks.


Previously he has worked several years e.g. in the service of steel industry – in Rautaruukki and its subsidiary JIT-Trans Ltd as a Logistic Planning & Developing Manager.  Vainiala has also experience in education at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, where he worked as a Head of Logistics Department and Principal Lecturer in Logistics. Vainiala has awarded as a Logistics actor (person) of the Year 2014 by Turku Chamber of Commerce and Finish Logistics Association, Turku District (Southwest Finland).

MARKKU MÄKIPERE- Case Company Speaker

Markku Mäkipere (M.Sc. Economics) is the Managing Director of the port operator company Stevena Oy and container operator Moonway Oy. Besides those positions he is a Member of the Management Team of KWH Logistics (previously Backman-Trummer group).


Mäkipere has worked for the company since year 1997. Before current positions he worked as a Managing Director at a German-owned forwarding company Herbst Finland Oy in Helsinki. Mäkipere has been the Member of the Board at Finnish Port Operators Association since 2004 and currently he is the Chairman of the Board. Beside that he has been the Member of the Logistics Committee at the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) since 2006 and Member of Transport Committee at Turku Chamber of Commerce since 2003.

PETRI NIKUPETERI - Case Company Speaker

Petri Nikupeteri has worked as a Commercial Director of the Port of Kalajoki Ltd since 2016.


Nikupeteri is responsible for customer relations, harbor logistics, procurement and new business scouting for the company. Nikupeteri has extensive over 20 years of experience in the field of logistics and supply chain management on different type of logistic and SCM related executive and managerial level tasks.

Before Commercial Director role at Port of Kalajoki he has worked 19 years in the service of steel industry - in Outokumpu,

MIKKO RAUSTI - Case Company Speaker

Mikko Rausti is Sea Personnel Director and Director of External Shipmanagement for ESL Shipping Ltd. With the background of many years as Officer and Master, he has looked into technical and operational aspects from the ship’s perspective. As part of the company management team Mikko has a good insight to the industry and he has strong knowledge of ship management from crewing, operations, technical, quality and safety as well as commercial point of view.


ESL Shipping together with its subsidiary AtoB@C Shipping own and operate a fleet of 50 heavily ice-strengthened bulk carriers and multipurpose dry cargo vessels between 3,000-56,000 dwt totalling 468,000 dwt as well as one tug. Annually the companies carry 16,5 million tons of cargo. Last year ESL Shipping took delivery of two LNG-powered ice 1A-strengthened handysize bulk carriers. These new ships decrease CO2-emissions by more than 50 % in comparison to ships of previous generation built ten years ago. These vessels also feature world’s first autonomous bulk handling cranes developed and tested together by MacGregor and ESL Shipping.

TORBJÖRN WITTING - Case Company Speaker

Torbjörn Witting has over 20 years experience in working in the port. Since the beginning of 2015 he has acted as the CEO of the Port of Kokkola (Kokkolan Satama Oy). Before his appointment as a CEO of the port Mr Witting worked as a Port Manager 2004-2014 and as a Finance and Marketing Manager, Deputy Harbor Manager 1996-2004 at the Port of Kokkola.

He is also the CEO of Silverstone Bay Logistics Oy since 2016. Mr Witting holds many positions of trust. He is the Chairman of the Finnish Port Association, a Board Member of the Port Handling Ab, KIP-Infra Oy and KIP ry (Kokkola Industrial Park).

He graduated 1991 from the Åbo Akademi University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration M.Sc. (Econ.).

LASSE RAJALA - Case Company Speaker

Mr. Lasse Rajala (B. 1960), Lic.Sc. (Tech.) is Business Area Director at Sweco Structures Ltd. Rajala’s Business Area is focusing in Structural Special Services, Infra Structure Design and Export of Structural Engineering Services


Since 1985 he has worked in numerous projects in UAE, Iraq, Russia, India, Saudi-Arabia, China, South-Korea, Iceland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Finland and so on.


Rajala has established structural engineering offices into several cities: Olsztyn, Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow, Vilnius and St. Petersburg. In the past has also been the Chairman of the Board in several country organizations. He has also worked 3 years in Berlin, Germany part of the time running engineering office there.


Rajala’s expertise areas are industrialized construction and international operations.

JYRI NIEMINEN - Case Company Speaker

MSc, eMBA Jyri Nieminen has a background in building physics, energy efficiency of buildings and built environment. He has worked in various position at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland for 30 years. He started as a Chief Sustainability Officer for Sweco Finland Ltd. in 2013. His responsibility covers services for life-cycle consulting and sustainable buildings and cities. He has coordinated European projects on energy efficiency in new and existing buildings and refurbishment of existing districts towards carbon neutral energy through new assessment tools, delivery process models and business models.


He is currently a member of the board of the Green Building Council Finland and a member of the International Advisory Board at Centre for Urban Design in Cold Region, Jilin Jianzhu University.

KAARLO HEIKKINEN - Case Company Speaker

Kaarlo Heikkinen, Sea Captain, has a long and wide experience in maritime business. He started as a member of deck crew and officer serving in Finnish tugboats and merchant ships 1972-1986. Mr Heikkinen graduated from the Rauma Maritime College in 1985 with a Maritime Captain's Degree.


In 1987-2005 he served for the City of Raahe as a Harbour Master and in 2005-2007 as a Transport Manager in the Port of Oulu. In 2007 Mr Heikkinen was appointed as the Director of the Port of Raahe and since 2016 he has been the CEO of the Port of Raahe.


In 2019 he was awarded with the honorary title of Satamaneuvos (Port Council).

JANNE SUOMINEN - Case Company Speaker

Janne Suominen, is a Manager for Offering Development at MacGregor Finland. He studied at Turku University of Applied Sciences to receive degree of B.Sc. at Naval architecture in 1996. He has been working in various development projects at MacGregor for whole of his career. Development projects have been cross functional including R&D, tendering, sales and design functions, including working with various stakeholders outside MacGregor with Maritime Industry.

Personal statement: It has been my passion to search new solutions and processes that are most beneficial to customers, MacGregor and entire maritime industry. 

POUL WOODALL - Member of the Jury

Poul Woodall has over 40 years of experience within the maritime and transport industry. The first 36 years were spent with A.P.Moller-Maersk in various positions, mainly within the container and Ro/Ro segments. His career includes 17 years overseas experience with postings in Asia, The Middle East and Europe.

Since 2010, Mr Woodall has been with DFDS A/S in Copenhagen and in June 2013 he was appointed Director for Environment and Sustainability for the DFDS Group.  Poul Woodall has a degree from Copenhagen Business School supplemented with management education at Insead and Stanford University. Poul is in the steering committees of the Trident Alliance, CSA2020 as well as on the INEA transport Group advisory board. He recently also joined the FMA advisory board. Marine environment policy work is conducted through his affiliation with Interferry and various ESSF working groups in Brussels.

ULLA KEINO - Chairman of the Jury

Ulla Keino has a variable career over 30 years in supply chain management and logistics, and her knowledge of global value chains covers all product types from lipsticks to car tyres, from Masters’ paintings to copy machines, from tractors to laptops. Ms Keino is specialized in turning challenges into opportunities, seeing problems as reasons to stop, think and to find a solution.

SeaFocus represents all that Ms Keino believes in. Dynamic group of entrepreneurs and partners, looking for win win – better maritime for the future to serve all parties in the value chain. She is the majority shareholder of SeaFocus and currently works as a Commercial Director of Ahlers Business Unit Trade Facilitation and After Sales Support. She is the Owner of SeaFocus. She holds a MSc.Techn. degree from the University of Technology Helsinki from 1990, and an MBA from Brunel University from 1993 and is highly motivated to encourage young people and the business professionals to further studies.

HARILAOS N. PSARAFTIS - Member of the Jury

Harilaos N. Psaraftis is a Professor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Department of Management Engineering. He has a diploma from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) (1974), and two M.Sc. degrees (1977) and a Ph.D. (1979) from MIT, USA. He has been Assistant and Associate Professor at MIT from 1979 to 1989 and Professor at NTUA from 1989 to 2013. 


Professor Psaraftis has participated in some 50 research projects, 24 from the EU, including project SuperGreen on European green corridors (2010-2013), of which he was the Project Manager. He has been a member and chairman of various groups at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and has also served as CEO of the Piraeus Port Authority (1996 -2002). He has published extensively and has received several academic and industry awards. His latest book is entitled “Sustainable Shipping: A Cross-Disciplinary View”, Springer (2019).  

SARI TURKKILA - Member of the Jury

Sari Turkkila is the General Manager of Shipbrokers Finland Association, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2020. Member companies are Finland-based companies that serve as contracting partners for international shipping companies or Finnish subsidiaries of international shipping companies. They operate in all ports in Finland from the Bothnian Sea to the Saimaa Lake region.


Sari is an experienced communications professional who has spent years working in the fields of aviation and navigation. Her employers have included the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) and Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd. She is particularly interested in the digitalization of navigation processes and in corporate social responsibility. In my free time, she enjoys boating in the archipelago outside of Espoo. The sea is a vital part of her life both at work and in her time off!

JUSSI MÄLKIÄ - Member of the Jury

Jussi Mälkiä (Sea Captain, Master Mariner 1990, Turku) is the Chairman and founder of Meriaura Group. He has studied environmental and circular economy at the University of Turku. He started his career by working for the environmental and fair trade NGOs. He founded Meriaura Group (comprised of Ship Management and Shipping companies) in 1986 to show in practice how to connect business and sustainable development. After the maritime transport business became profitable and large enough, he has concentrated on the environmentally friendly businesses, such as developing marine fuels from the waste and closed circulation food and energy production. The main motive in his business has been to find profitable businesses that also decelerate climate change.

Mr Mälkiä is also the Chairman of the Shipowners´ Foundation in Finland.


Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson is Professor of Civil and Commercial Law at the University of Helsinki. In addition she holds a  part time position as Adjunct Professor at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, University of Oslo where she earned her Doctor of Law degree. She is in charge of the INTERTRAN Research Group for Sustainable Business and Law at the University of Helsinki.


Her major subjects are European Commercial Agency Law (dissertation) and International Trade and Transport Law. She has published internationally on these topics. At present she teaches International Carriage of Goods, Nordic and European Contract Law, International Sales Law, Tort Law and International Private Law.  She has previously been teaching Legal Theory and Family Law. Her teaching languages are English, Swedish and Norwegian.

KRISTA AHONEN - NaviGate2020

Krista Ahonen has over 10 years of experience in leading various expos and projects as a Project Director and Sales Manager. The projects sectors varies from consumer business like fashion, well-being, building and construction to specific B to B sectors like biotechnology and life sciences, recruitment and marine industries.

NaviGate Expo, organized every other year, is one of her biggest and most successful projects, which has grown step by step from a national expo into an international meeting place for maritime and logistics professionals. Krista has a Master´s degree in Economics (Marketing, Business Strategies).

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