Vazul Tóth

 

 

Gergely Ábrahám

BCCH Chairman / Head of Quality Management
Budapest Bank

Managing Director
Grayling Hungary

Vazul is Head of Quality Management of Budapest bank. Prior to joining Budapest bank, he was the Head of Business Transformation at Vodafone Hungary. In this role, Vazul had had over the previous 15 months redesigned and implemented a radical new operating model in the retail operations of Vodafone, introduced Lean way of working in the Customer Care Center and in the process of revamping key customer journeys to achieve significantly improved customer experience.  He has over fifteen years of experience in organisational restructuring, cost reduction initiatives, change management, process redesign, and system implementations across several industries in a number of geographies. Prior to joining Vodafone, while at Deloitte, he worked in Sydney and in Amsterdam and was serving clients in the Middle East and South East Asia as well. As a task and result oriented person, he has a proven track record in designing and delivering CxO sponsored enterprise-wide performance improvement projects, across major industry sectors, which have delivered tangible benefits to a number of leading organisations.  Part of his responsibilities includes leading an innovation programme with a focus on inspiring participants to ideate new service offerings, incubating them and taking them to market. He also delivered innovation services to clients.  Over the past two years, together with the newly elected Council, Vazul has initiated, designed and successfully delivered a new strategy for the BCCH with a focus on significantly improving member activities.  He is also a visiting Senior Lecturer of Operations Management at the Central European University and had been a Voting Councilor of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary from 2006 to 2008 before being elected as Chairman in May 2013.

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Gergely is seasoned public affairs and communication professional with over 10-year private and public sector experience. His specialist expertise includes corporate communications, public affairs and issues & crisis management. Gergely completed several public affairs, lobby and communication project and he has worked across different many sectors including energy, construction, ICT and healthcare in Hungary and CEE region. He started his career as a journalist, at Index.hu, one of the most popular news portals in Hungary and at national daily, Népszabadság. He also worked for different telecommunication companies where he was responsible communications and PR activities. He spent altogether 4 years in the public sector; he was working as a Press Officer in the Hungarian Parliament. He directly came from a governmental position where he served as senior advisor and spokesperson for the Ministry of Economy and Transport for more than two years. Gergely joined Grayling as a Director of Public Affairs in 2008. In 2009 he was appointed Managing Director of Grayling Hungary. Since May 2014 Gergely is also leading Grayling’s CEE Public Affairs Practice Group.

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Árpád Balázs

 

Dennis Diokno

BCCH Treasurer / Partner
PwC Hungary

Managing Director
FirstMed-FMC Kft.

Árpád Balázs graduated from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences in 1993 and joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in the same year. Before acquiring the internationally recognised ACCA qualification, he served a wide range of PwC clients. He provided HAS and IFRS audit and advisory services in the financial, telecommunication and other business sectors. After qualifying, he was seconded to the UK for a period of two years, where he focused his activity on the insurance and investment management sector. Since he returned to Hungary, he has primarily been focusing on the financial services sector. His clients include banks, financial service providers, factoring companies and insurance companies. Árpád is currently leading PwC Hungary’s assurance services. Árpád also regularly leading special projects in the financial sector including the due diligence review of several commercial banks and insurance companies in Hungary and the CEE region. Árpád co-authored the study jointly prepared by BAMOSZ (Association of Hungarian Investment Fund Managers) and PricewaterhouseCoopers on the Effect of EU Accession on Investment Fund Management (2003), and the International Accounting: IFRS Standards Textbook issued by the Chamber of Hungarian Auditors (2006). Árpád is married to Andrea, they have three children.

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As the current Managing Director of FirstMed-FMC Kft. and the CEO of its parent company, Dennis Diokno is responsible for the direction and growth of one of the leading providers of private medical services in Budapest. He successfully opened FirstMed, a clinic delivering high-quality medical care with outstanding customer service using a variety of methods to constantly monitor and improve its services in Budapest in 1999. His past experiences outside of Budapest have involved startup and management of projects throughout Europe and Asia; more specifically, he managed major projects in Moscow and Beijing. As a current member of the BCCH Council, Dennis has been very active and accomplished his main goal of reestablishing SME activities at the council. The SME breakfasts have been a great success. These have brought unique speakers who have shared valuable information with numerous BCCH members. Dennis’s successful experience in growing FirstMed from a pure startup 16 years ago to a consistently growing and profitable company will continue to benefit BCCH. He would like to continue to help entrepreneurs and small business owners by sharing FirstMed's proven and successful SME growth strategies.

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Kinga Kalocsai

 

 

Adrienne Makkay-Chambers

BCCH Vice Chairwoman / PR & Communications Director
GE

Chief Executive Officer
Wilson Learning in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Kinga Kalocsai is a seasoned communications executive with international experience in B2B corporate communications and marketing communications. Trusted clear thinker who contributes strategic communications initiatives to business results. Sound track record in digital communications, media & stakeholder management, internal communications, issue and change management. Kinga Kalocsai is the PR and Communications Director for GE Lighting EMEA headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. Joining GE in 2009, in her current role, Kinga has overall responsibility for the development, execution and evaluation of all corporate communication strategies in the EMEA regions. In particular, she has been responsible for reshaping the company’s communications to reflect its repositioning as a holistic solutions provider. Driving an integrated communications strategy, Kinga has successfully incorporated new digital channels alongside the traditional communication avenues. Notably, she has spearheaded the launch of a new online outlet for leading industry figures and stakeholders Illuminated Minds. Prior to GE, she spent 9 years as Communications Manager CEE for EDS’ (today an HP Company) and developed strategy and managed internal and external positioning and communication of the company’s offshoring activity. Kinga holds a Bachelors of Journalism and Mass Communication from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, as well as a Masters in English Language and Literature.

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To watch Ms Kalocsai's introductory video, please click here.

Adrienne is a seasoned Learning & Development professional with extensive international experience in management development, consulting and academic education. She acquired her first degree in English and Adult Education at ELTE University in Budapest, later studied for an MBA at Durham University in the UK and did a post-graduate course in Human Resource Development (HRD) at BPP University in London. She lived in Cambridge with her British husband for eight years and after she had moved back to Hungary, she joined Deloitte as a management consultant. She worked for Deloitte for more than ten years and was involved in several international consulting and training projects. In 2000 she became the Learning & Growth Manager of Deloitte Central Europe and travelled extensively with Deloitte delivering management development courses across not only the CE but also the EMEA region. While studying for her post-graduate diploma she received an invitation to teach Learning & Development at BPP University in London which she did between 2008 and 2012. She has also taught HR and related subjects at the International Business School in Budapest for many years. Since 2013 she has been sharing her experience and expertise with clients through Grow, one of the leading Organisation Development companies in Hungary. In 2014 she was appointed to be the CEO of the globally recognised training provider, Wilson Learning in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (powered by Grow in the region). Her main professional focus is the development of leadership, sales and personal effectiveness. Adrienne is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in the UK and the international charity organisation, the Lions Club. She has an adult son, Richard (23).

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Christopher Noblet

 

Márta Pálfalvi

Partner
Partos & Noblet in co-operation with Hogan Lovells

Corporate Affairs and Communications Director
Heineken Hungária Zrt.

Christopher Noblet is a partner at Partos & Noblet, the Budapest office of international law firm Hogan Lovells. Christopher has been working in Budapest since 2000. He specialises in corporate/commercial law. His work has included both advising multi-national companies on their investments in Hungary as well as advising Hungarian companies. Christopher is an English qualified lawyer and is a registered EU lawyer at the Budapest Bar. Christopher is currently a board member of the BCCH and was the treasurer & an executive committee member between 2002 and 2013.During his time in Hungary, he has assisted in organising and has spoken at various events, including events of the BCCH, the Hungarian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, the Budapest Bar Association, the law faculty of ELTE and PILnet (formerly the Public Interest Law Institute). Prior to moving to Hungary, Christopher worked in the London office of Hogan Lovells. He speaks English and Hungarian.

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Márta has over 20 years of experience in marketing and corporate affairs, specialising in marketing, external communications, PR and government affairs. After starting her career at a large packaging company in Hungary, where she oversaw the PR and marketing activities from planning through to execution, she joined one of Hungary’s largest trade media publishers. There she managed several magazines, relating mainly to the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as the marketing activities, including corporate marketing and later also heading up the PR department in addition to her other responsibilities. Following this, she was one of the first ones to join the opening team of Four Seasons Hotel, where she had the opportunity to work with all most all of the established travel writers of the world’s leading magazines, as well as with the majority of the Hungarian media. After three years in this role – achieving outstanding media coverage in the history of the hotel group – she moved on to a corporate affairs role at a large international company in pursuit of new challenges. In this position, she gained a wealth of experience in managing stakeholders, as well as the CSR and internal communications activities of the corporation. Marta joined Tesco in 2011, initially as External Communications Manager, and was promoted to the Corporate Affairs Director role in 2012. She was instrumental in building Tesco’s reputation as a force for good in Hungary and had direct responsibility for internal and external communication, CSR as well as government affairs. Marta has a five- year-old daughter and apart from spending time with her, she enjoys tennis, golf, gastronomy, wine and contemporary literature in her spare time.

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Andrea Tóth

 

Melinda Katona

Head of Communications Directorate
British Automotive Hungary

Managing Director
Borealis Consulting Ltd.

Andrea Tóth was the Head of Provident Pénzügyi Zrt’s Communications Directorate. She had held this position for 6 years, tasked with defining the Company’s external and internal image, managing corporate relations to support the development of the business, and building Provident’s image in the scope of her duties. When joining Provident it was important to Andrea that the company should not just be known, but rather acknowledged on the Hungarian market. She developed a strategy with a new voice to this end, one built upon open and honest communication. As a result, Provident’s acceptance rating has grown from 53% in 2009 to 82% today. Before Head of Communications Directorate of Provident, she had spent 14 years working as a marketing and communications leader, at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Her first contact with the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary dates back to 1998, connected to her tenure at PwC. Since 2013 she is the Council member of BCCH. As Council member, Andrea also aims to make it possible for her to support the achievement of set goals even more effectively. With ample experience in the fields of strategy creation and networking, she wishes to commit her skills to serving the Chamber in this regard in the future as well. She likes to spend her free time with friends, is a dedicated fan of the culinary arts and likes to prepare extraordinary dishes. In addition, she counts interior design as a hobby.

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Melinda Katona is Managing Director of Borealis Consulting Ltd., business strategy consultant, trainer and coach. Melinda is President of PWA - Professional Woman Association, she is the leader of OHE’s consultant section, member of Új Budai Alma Mater Secondary School’s board, a professional partner of “Önkéntes Akadémia” programme, and she is also the Ambassador of Csodalámpa Foundation. Melinda has direct work experience in 10 countries, she has lived in 5 countries, her native language is Hungarian and she speaks English and Romanian fluently, Dutch, French, German and Italian on a basic level. Her economist-management background experience is vast; she has worked as Process Improvement Manager & Supply Chain Manager Foods at Unilever Hungary, Supply Chain & Export Manager at Unilever Netherlands, Calvé, Head of Corporate Buying at Unilever Hungary Ltd., Consultant & trainer at Develor Consultant Ltd., Senior Consultant at Career & Style Consultant Ltd., and Managing Director at Home Expert Ltd. over the years. Her personal mission is to encourage and inspire people to define their values and strengths, and support their personal development. Melinda’s values and focus areas are lifelong learning, growth mindset, corporate social responsibility, diversity and equality.

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Gábor Csóti

 

Paul Szemán

Partner, Managing Director
Investors in People Hungary

Managing Director
Maltacourt Hungary Ltd.

Gábor has been working as a management consultant in Hungary since 1992; he has worked several years in executive search, had participated in launching a consultants’ training programme, followed by 7 years in leading the local HR business unit at a UK based consultancy. Currently, he is working as the co-owner and MD of a consultancy that is the local license partner of Investors in People International. Investors in People is a UK based global management standard and accreditation framework that supports organisations achieving their business ambitions through aligning their organisations with their values and strategic goals. In co-operation with the BCCH and the British Business Centre, they have launched the Best Practice Network to provide high-performing organisations a community for exchanging and publishing their knowledge. Also, as a guest lecturer, Gábor gives lectures in ’Consulting’ and ’Organisation Development’ at the University of Pannonia regularly, and at several other universities occasionally.

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While studying Mechanical Engineering from The University of Bedfordshire, during a commercial apprenticeship at a large Global Engineering company, Paul learned a lot about engineering, mostly that it was not his passion in life. From his apprenticeship Paul moved immediately into sales where he enjoyed himself of the next 4 years and then into procurement and outsource management, this was where Paul’s passion for logistics and all things requiring teamwork was realised. Having worked in his early years in Hungary as an operational manager in an American start-up company specialising in large scale project transportation for military suppliers, Paul made a career change 1997 when Modern logistics and distribution was in its infancy in Hungary, moving to a multinational "Third Party Logistics" supplier to set up and manage operations in Hungary, Romania, Bosnia and Serbia - during an 11 year assignment he managed the company to a size of 2800 full time employees. For the past 7 years Paul has learned a lot from the Global economic reorganisations and has spent some years in logistical real-estate development, crisis management, corporate restructure with business redesign. Most recently Paul has been heading up Maltacourt Global Logistics in the CEE region with a strong focus on business redesign and corporate acquisition. Paul is also a member of the British Automotive board of Budapest and the Chairman of the Board of trustees of Vác Football Club.

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