OUR DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
H.E. Karin Olofsdotter
Ambassador of Sweden to the United States
Her Excellency Karin Olofsdotter started as Ambassador of Sweden to the U.S. on September 1, 2017. Prior to her current assignment in Washington D.C., she served as Director-General for Trade at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Sweden. She has also been Deputy Director-General as well as Head of the Department for Promotion of Sweden, Trade and CSR in Stockholm and served as Chief of Staff to several Swedish Foreign Ministers and as Director of the Ministers´ Office in Stockholm. Between 2008 and 2014, Ms. Olofsdotter held the position of Ambassador of Sweden to Hungary and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC. Ms. Olofsdotter has also served at the Swedish EU Representation in Brussels, working with European security policy and defense issues. She chaired the EU’s Political-Military Group during the Swedish EU Presidency in 2001 and worked at the Swedish delegation to NATO. Her first posting was in Moscow, the Russian Federation. Ms. Olofsdotter has a B.A. in psychology, economics and Russian. She studied at UCLA Anderson School of Management and speaks Russian, French and English. She is married, has a son and a daughter.
Consul General of Sweden in Houston, Texas
Being the Consul General is an honorary role to receive. Marklund has a deep interest and several years of experience with Swedes and helping Swedish companies establish their businesses abroad. The Consulate’s territories are Southern Texas (including Austin), Oklahoma and Arkansas. It reports to the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC. The history of the consulate in Houston goes back to the beginnings in 1950. Being involved in the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) has definitely contributed to her current position. She started as the President of SACC-Texas in 1999 until 2002, and was also a board member of SACC-USA from 1999 until 2011, with one year as the Chairman of SACC-USA in 2000. She is currently an advisory board member of SACC-Texas and SACC-Houston.SACC-Texas and the Swedish Consulate currently share the same physical address, thanks to the Consulate letting SACC use one of the their rooms. Marklund is married with with two sons.
Hon. Rolando Pablos
Texas Secretary of State, Governors Office of Texas
In January 2017, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Rolando Pablos as the 111th Texas Secretary of State. Secretary Pablos is one of six state officials named by the Texas Constitution to form the Executive Department of the State. In addition to serving as Chief Election Officer for Texas, Secretary Pablos is also senior advisor and liaison to the Governor for Border and Mexican Affairs, and is the state’s Chief International Protocol Officer. A former utility regulator, Secretary Pablos is an economic development expert who understands the importance of leveraging strategic community capacity building for purposes of attracting investment to Texas. As a state official, and in his private practice, he has played critical roles in the advancement of direct investment, international relations and trade with Texas’ partners across the globe. Secretary Pablos is a strong advocate for North American manufacturing integration and cross-border collaboration among the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He has also served as Honorary Consul to Spain, where he worked to ensure the formation and development of business and diplomatic relationships between Texas and Spain. Throughout his career, Secretary Pablos has been heavily involved with efforts designed to help bring prosperity to his community. His passion for public service and education has led him to serve on countless nonprofit and governmental boards and commissions. Secretary Pablos has been instrumental in the success of many community development projects designed to improve quality of life, deliver educational opportunities and help bring prosperity to the people of Texas.
OUR DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS
Senior Manager, Industry Segments Team and North America Cyber Strategy, Axis Communications Inc.
As senior manager for the industry segments team and cyber strategy, John Bartolac manages vertical segment focus and functions as Axis Communications’ chief liaison for cyber strategy relating to video solutions in North America. He serves as a resource for partners and customers at all levels of the network video surveillance sales cycle, helping them interpret vertical segment strategies and cyber related objectives for roadmaps, regulations and policies. Mr. Bartolac is also responsible for industry segments development for Axis as well as analyzing the potential impact of information assurance and other cyber influences on Axis IP video solutions. Mr. Bartolac has more than 25 years of experience in the security industry, a majority of which have been focused on the government sector and policies and sophisticated enterprise class solutions that encompass IP video and access control technology. He began his career with Honeywell and later rose to senior-level positions with GE Security. Mr. Bartolac currently participates on policy development and best practices with the SIA Cybersecurity Advisory Board.
Chairman, Loomis US
Mr. Lars Blecko is the Chairman of Loomis US, the largest integrated cash distribution network in the US, and the leading provider of cash-handling products and services to financial institutions and commercial/retail businesses. Prior to being Chairman, Mr. Blecko was President and CEO of Loomis US from September 2013 to May 2018. During this time, he led the restructuring of the organization, the improvement of organic growth from 0 to 6 percent, and the achievement of record operating margins year after year. Mr. Blecko also served as President and Group CEO of Loomis AB, Sweden, the parent company of Loomis US, from February 2008 to August 2013. His focus was sustainable profitability and growth, with multiple acquisitions that increased Loomis’ international presence across Eastern Europe and Latin America. Loomis AB currently holds either the number one or number two positions in most of its countries of operations. Before joining Loomis, Mr. Blecko served as CEO of Rottneros AB 1999-2008; Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing at Cardo Rail AB; and President of Radiopharmaceuticals within the Du Pont Group in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. Mr. Blecko holds a Master of Science Degree from the University of Karlstad.
COO, Solaris Water Midstream
Amanda has spent her career building and managing global infrastructure businesses in the oil and gas, water and power industries. She was named one of the top 10 women in energy by the Houston Chronicle, and an under 40 Alumni for Louisiana State University. In 2016 she was recognized by WWI as one of the top 25 global leaders in water and waste water, and also an Honoree for Woman in Energy 2016. In 2015 and 2016 she was invited to the White House to participate in the US Water Initiative and organized a White House delegation to Abu Dhabi. In 2017 Amanda was inducted into the Houston Woman’s Hall of Fame. She is regularly requested to speak and participate at global events including Citi Bank and Goldman Sachs Industrials conferences, the Business and Professional Women’s Leadership Summit sponsored by the US Senate in 2008, and as an Innovation Speaker at the 2009 GASTECH Conference in Abu Dhabi. Amanda was invited by Bloomberg to attend the 50 Thought Leaders in Water global conference held in 2012 and spoke at the 2013 first annual Bloomberg Oil and Gas Conference. She co-chaired the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Water & Energy Strategies Conferences in Houston and chaired “The Future of Water” panel at the Global Water Summit in Paris in 2014, the Industrial panel in Athens in 2015 and CEO Panel in 2017. She was invited by Ceres to participate in the roll out of their report on Hydraulic Fracturing and to speak at their annual conference in 2014. More recently, she spoke at the 2015 Border Energy Forum in San Diego as a featured expert and interviewed George P. Bush on the water energy nexus. Amanda also participated in a plenary session at WEFTEC 2016 with the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy focusing on the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus and was the 2017 keynote speaker for the Produced Water Society at OTC. She is viewed as an industry strategist focusing on water as a strategic imperative. She has also been a regular columnist since 2012 writing on the Water Energy Nexus for Global Water Intelligence. Amanda is originally from Mbabane, Swaziland, and grew up in Zimbabwe. She is now a proud Texan living in Houston with her husband and children and is dedicated to conservation and passionate about water, elephants, art, and energy security.
President, Mobile Guarding North America, Securitas Security Services
After leaving the commercial finance industry, Andrew began his career with Securitas as a Security Officer in 2009 and rose through the ranks, holding positions of Field Service Supervisor, Patrol Manager, Mobile Services Manager, Branch Manager, and Area Vice President before assuming his current role of President of the Mobile Guarding Division for North America in 2018. Andrew is a progressive leader who fully embraces new technologies, corporate culture, and creatively looks for ways to incorporate them both into the protective services industry in ways that benefit his clients and team members. As the head of the largest mobile security footprint in North America, Andrew has proven to be a leader in the evolving state of the security industry. Andrew became a Mentor for the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in 2018 and this experience, alongside other active mentorship roles are his passion. As the youngest President within Securitas North America, he fully supports giving the leaders of tomorrow opportunities and looks to our young professionals for inspiration.
Commissioner Jack Cagle
Harris County, Texas
Commissioner R. Jack Cagle has served as county commissioner for Harris County Precinct 4 since 2011. He is serving his second four-year term following his re-election on November 4, 2014. As commissioner, Cagle represents 1.2 million residents and manages a staff of 469 employees with a Precinct 4 budget of $245 million. He has spent 30 years working with and serving the citizens of Harris County Precinct 4 as an attorney, elected judge, and now county commissioner. As a member of Commissioners Court, he has also been selected to serve as a representative on the board of the Houston-Galveston Area Council and on the Board of Directors of the statewide Public Power Pool. Until his appointment to Commissioners Court, Cagle served 11 years as judge of Harris County Civil Court-at Law No. 1. Harris County voters elected him to the bench countywide in 2000 and re-elected him in 2002, 2006, and 2010. As judge, Commissioner Cagle consistently earned high ratings from the Houston Bar Association and received numerous awards from legal, business, political, and community groups. Twice recognized as “Judge of the Year” by law enforcement groups, Cagle was also recognized by the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and served as an officer in the Association of Women Attorneys. He was elected by his peers to be administrative judge for the County Civil Courts and as president of the Texas Association of County Court at Law Judges. Commissioner Cagle is a graduate of Rice University with triple majors in economics, history, and managerial studies, as well as a graduate of Baylor Law School. He is married to Janet and they have three children: Richard, Victoria, and Elizabeth.
CEO & Founder, The Moby Mart - White Whale
Per Cromwell, born 13 September 1974 in Malmö, Sweden is a Swedish ad-man, activist and inventor. He is the co-founder of the creative agency Studio Total. Today he is managing the Swedish-Finnish company Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery. He have figured in international media and are, among others, known for creating the experimental lab MiCasa, the dog to human translator No More Woof as well as creating the world's biggest iPhone speakers - WOS (wall of sound) 1.0 and 2.0. Per Cromwell is one of the persons behind the Teddybear stunt in Belarus during the summer of 2012, for which he won a Gold Epica for world's best PR.
Dr. Steven J. Frank
Professor, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Steven J. Frank is an endowed tenured professor of Radiation Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Medical Director of MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center, and leader of both the Proton Therapy Program for head and neck cancer and the Prostate Brachytherapy Program. Dr. Frank also serves the Division as Director of Advanced Technologies in Radiation Oncology; he is amongst the first, if not the first, to use Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT) to treat head and neck tumors. Dr. Frank is the Principal Investigator of an NIH/NCI-sponsored Phase II/III randomized trial in oropharyngeal cancer that compares outcomes after chemoradiation given by IMRT versus IMPT. His other major clinical research accomplishment includes the successful accrual of 300 patients in a Phase II protocol for prostate cancer. Dr. Frank’s expertise in MRI radiotherapy has led to the development and FDA approval of a novel positive-contrast implantable marker for use in MRI-guided prostate brachytherapy. As founder of the company, C4 Imaging, Dr. Frank has developed the MRI marker technology at MD Anderson, currently holds 31 national and international patents and has continued MRI-Assisted Radiosurgery (MARS) at MD Anderson for the treatment of prostate cancer. He has funding from the NIH, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Texas Ignition Fund, Hitachi and MD Anderson, and he has also raised three rounds of private equity financing to advance C4 technology. Dr. Frank’s expertise in prostate brachytherapy is reflected by his service as past President and Chairman of the Board of the American Brachytherapy Society. Dr. Frank's expertise in head and neck cancer has been acknowledged by his chairing the American Board of Radiology’s Oral Examinations Program for head and neck cancer.
CEO & Co-founder, Cellink
Erik Gatenholm has a BSc degree in Business Management from Virginia Tech University and an MBA from Gothenburg University with a focus on Innovation and Industrial Management. Erik has an extensive background in the development and commercialization of biotechnologies, ranging from medical devices to disruptive biomaterial innovations. Erik’s expertise is in marketing, sales, management, and financing of biotechnology ventures. In 2016, Erik founded CELLINK, and lead the company as the CEO to an IPO on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange within only 10 months of operations. Erik has lead the company to achieving more than 250% annual growth, from 0 to 75 employees, and profitability, raise more than 20 Million USD, achieve sales in more than 45 countries worldwide, all within 24 months of operations. His leadership and work with CELLINK has landed him numerous awards, such as: the remarkable Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2018, acceptance into the Swedish Prince Daniel’s Fellowship in 2018, voted Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, Innovator of the Year 2016, Startup of the Year 2016, the Arvid Carlsson Entrepeneurial Award in 2017, and many more.
Peter W. Gunnerman
Managing Partner and Co-founder, Advanced Refining Concepts
Peter Gunnerman has spent the majority of his professional career in senior management positions of public and private energy technology companies engaged in the fields of oxidative desulfurization and upgrading of crude oils, emulsified petroleum fuels and biomass to power production. In 2008, Mr. Gunnerman co-founded and is currently the Managing Partner of Advanced Refining Concepts, LLC, ("ARC") based in Reno, Nevada. ARC licenses and sells patented technology and equipment to produce unique fuels such as GDiesel®, a clean liquid fuel produced from components of biogas, propane or natural gas and diesel. To date ARC has sold over 40 million gallons of GDiesel®and is currently developing new fuel production sites in the United States, Canada and Europe. During his career, Mr. Gunnerman has led the development of pilot and commercial-scale clean energy projects in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. He is a named inventor on five United States and corresponding international patents in the fields of refining and fuels. Mr. Gunnerman attended Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1988.
CEO & Managing Director, Prisma Energy Capital
Mr. Hughes is CEO and Managing Director of Prisma Energy Capital, a private entity focused on investments in energy storage, since December 2017. He is the former Chief Executive Officer and Director of First Solar, Inc., a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. He joined First Solar, Inc. in March 2012 as Chief Commercial Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in May 2012. He stepped down as Chief Executive Officer on June 30, 2016 and resigned from the board on September 1, 2016. Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Hughes served, from October 2007 until April 2011, as Chief Executive Officer and Director of AEI Services LLC, a private company that owned and operated power distribution, power generation (both thermal and renewable), natural gas transportation and services, and natural gas distribution businesses in emerging markets worldwide. From 2004 to 2007, he engaged in principal investing with a privately held company based in Houston, Texas that focused on micro-cap investments in North American distressed manufacturing assets. Previously, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Prisma Energy International, which was formed out of former Enron interests in international electric and natural gas utilities. Prior to that role, Mr. Hughes spent almost a decade with Enron Corp in positions that included President and Chief Operating Officer of Enron Global Assets, President and Chief Operating Officer of Enron Asia Pacific, Africa and China, and Assistant General Counsel of Enron International.
Dr. Erik Halvorsen
Director, Innovation Institute
In his role as Director of the TMC Innovation Institute, Erik keeps visionary new ideas moving through the TMCx accelerator, TMCx+ incubator and TMC Biodesign Fellowship Program, while playing an instrumental role in JLABS @TMC, the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health@TMC, the TMC advisor/mentor network and the emerging innovation funding infrastructure. Before joining the Texas Medical Center in 2015, Erik made his mark in New England, serving as senior executive director of Technology Transfer & Industry Collaborations at Tufts University, following seven years as executive director of the Technology & Innovation Development Office (TIDO) for Boston Children’s Hospital. In both positions, Erik was responsible for accelerating and translating research and innovations into new health care products. He was also managing partner of Children’s First Technology Development Fund for pediatric-focused advancements. Prior to that, Erik supported early-stage therapeutic, device, diagnostic, digital health and robotics companies across the Harvard University system for 12.5 years. His Harvard leadership roles included director of Business Development, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI); director of Business Development, Harvard Office of Technology Development; and licensing associate/officer, Harvard University OTTL. His earlier experience includes project manager at Spinner Technologies and licensing associate at the University of Virginia Patent Foundation. Erik holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia (1994), a Master of Science in human anatomy from the Medical College of Virginia (1995) and Doctor of Philosophy in Neuropharmacology from University of Virginia (2000).
President & CEO, Greater Houston Partnership
Bob Harvey is President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. With a membership made up of the region's major for-profit businesses, financial and professional services firms, and non-profit institutions, the Partnership serves as greater Houston's principal business organization. The Partnership focuses on attracting investment and trade to Houston, advocating for sound public policy, and convening a diverse set of Houstonians when major issues arise. Prior to joining the Partnership, Harvey was active in the Houston business community, first as a management consultant in the Houston office of McKinsey & Company, Inc. for 17 years and then as Vice Chair/Executive Vice President with Reliant Energy. Harvey has served in a variety of community volunteer leadership roles including serving as Board Chair of the United Way of Greater Houston from 2007-2010. Harvey currently serves on the Community Foundation Council of the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the boards of St. John's School, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Center for Houston's Future, the Alliance for I-69 and the Houston Technology Center. Harvey was raised in Houston, Texas, and attended Texas A&M University, graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1978. He obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982.
Senior Vice President of Research, Greater Houston Partnership
Patrick Jankowski is a regional economist and senior vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. He oversees the research department which provides analysis and forecasting for the Partnership. His observations and analysis on the local, regional and U.S. economic trends have appeared in over 200 newspapers, magazines, radio and television broadcasts, including ABC Radio, The Atlantic, Bloomberg Business, CBS Radio, CNNMoney, Financial Times, Forbes, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS Nightly Business Report, Reuters, The New York Times, Newsweek, and USA Today. Jankowski has served on the boards of the National Association for Business Economics and the Council for Community and Economic Research. He is the immediate past president of The Houston Economics Club and continues to serve on its board. Prior to working as an economist, Jankowski worked as a business writer for Houston Magazine, Houston City Magazine, Houston Engineer and Houston Business Journal. Jankowski has worked for the Greater Houston Partnership, and its predecessor, the Houston Chamber of Commerce, for 35 years. He has been married to Olga Jankowski for 36 years. Both have been wonderful experiences.
Senior Vice President of Tax, Halliburton
Myrtle Jones is Halliburton’s Senior Vice President of Tax based in Houston, Texas. She is responsible for managing the Company’s global tax affairs in over 80 countries. In addition to her tax management responsibilities she serves as the executive sponsor of Halliburton’s African American Network Forum, sits on the executive advisory board of their Women’s Sharing Excellence group and chairs the Finance Department’s Mentoring Committee. Prior to joining Halliburton Ms. Jones served in the roles of Sr. Managing Director of Tax and Internal Audit at Service Corporation International and Vice President Tax at GlobalSantaFe. Ms. Jones is the proud mother of three adult children and is an active volunteer in the Houston community where she serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of The Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Genesys Works Houston and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Houston Zoo and Stages Reparatory Theatre. A native of Mississippi, Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Mississippi State University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas.
Lydia La Ferla
Corporate Director, La Ferla Associates
As Principal of La Ferla Associates, LLC, Ms. La Ferla brings three decades of expertise in both the public and private sectors on business development, funding and market entry strategies relative to doing business in clean energy and resource management and efficiency. Her clients have included the US DOE, USAID, trade associations in renewable energy, United Nations, consulting firms, non-profit organizations, private companies and US and European start-ups. Ms. La Ferla previously managed USAID’s first, private-public environmental initiative for Eastern Europe and launched a library of energy/environment finance resources for the US Department of Commerce as a business advisor for Eastern Europe. She serves or has served on an expert advisory group for Sustainable Energy for The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Swedish Energy Agency’s Smart Grid initiative, the United Nations climate financing group, and expert panel for alternative energy projects for the George Washington University. She has executive certifications in sustainability, renewable/energy efficiency financing, and circular economy. Ms. La Ferla currently serves on the Board of SACC-USA. She holds a Masters of Arts from SAIS in International Trade and Finance and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University in Political Science. Ms. La Ferla is fluent is several European languages and holds dual US and French (EU) citizenship.
Dr. Ann Christine Langselius
CEO & Co-founder, Miraculum Inc.
Ann-Christine is a Swedish businesswoman that relocated her family and business to Austin, TX in the summer of 2014 in order to bring her R&D (OEM) to the North American market. She is the founder, inventor/co-inventor (5 patents) and CEO of Miraculum Inc. (www.miraculumfire.com). Her and her team have now opened a large production facility in Orlando, FL to meet demand. She is addition the founder of Vårvind Invest LLC where her business program Nuwa is included. She has cultivated a diverse portfolio of leadership experiences through her different experiences and has as an example held director level positions with Sweden’s defense and security agencies, Linköping University. She has substantial experience in advanced materials, product development, R&D, IT, strategy, program management and business development. She has proven to be an extremely effective catalyst for innovation and knowledge management, and has developed the skill for identifying research ideas and patents that can be made into products. She has been successful in maximizing the value of the EU research programs developed from FP4-FP7, and working in the regulatory environment. She has a proven track record with strategy, finding triggers for growth, sales, product development, creating high performance teams and allocating funding and investors for research ideas and patents, building new organizations that will deliver the results needed. She developed her business program Nuwa and has through that assisted over 200 companies though her own business program to reach their potential. She was awarded Business Person of the Year, 2014, by Texas Pageant Women Achievement Award 2015, best Nordic Innovation at SXSW 2016, Circular Board International Winner of United Nations (UN) Pitch With Purpose 2016 and Winner of Woman's Way Business Award Women in Technology 2016. She builds her own companies according to the same principle, nominated top 10 start up to watch for 2017 by Entrepreneur Mag. She holds a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology, as well as an MBA and BA with Summa Cum Laude with Distinction. She was a 1st Lieutenant in the Swedish Air Force and is currently enrolled in MITs entrepreneur bootcamp in order to spin off some new products.
Vice President 5G Marketing, Ericsson Inc.
Peter Lindér leads 5G Marketing for Ericsson in North America. Peter is approaching 10 000 days at Ericsson. A career split between global and North American management positions. Across business development, marketing, business strategy, and sales enablement roles. Nominated as 1 of 7 inaugural Networked Society Evangelists in 2012. Digital influencer, active as @OneLinders, with 400+ blogposts published to date. Peter was born and raised in Anderstorp, Sweden. Where he became the world’s youngest chief time keeper for the world championship events for motorcycles at age 21. His great grandfather emigrated to Chicago in the 1880s and returned to Sweden after 10 years. Peter represents Ericsson in the SACC chapter in Dallas. He is also a member of the Board for US Friends of Chalmers. Peter graduated with a double degree from Chalmers University in Gothenburg Sweden. First an M. Sc. in Electrical Engineering and second an M.B.A in International Business Management. Later complemented with post-graduate education at Stanford, Harvard, Wharton and Columbia University. Fluent in three languages, all spoken/written rather than programming. Inventor of a digital mentoring program with 200+ episodes published to date. Eager to learn new and excited to dare and share.
CEO & Founder, Ocean Currency Network
As Founder of The Ocean Currency Network OCN, McKane and his team's vision is to measure a number of variables that make life possible in the ocean. If it cannot be measured, it cannot be improved. This Ethereum Blockchain solution enables us to build smart contracts around UNDP SDG14 which is Life Below Water. These goals will not only enable us to protect what little we have left but provide a business model for doing the right thing. Recently on a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. McKane led his team to launch the Ocean Coin. The financial instrument that runs the Ocean.Fund Blockchain. The Ocean Coin itself is soon to be adopted by a Sovereign State as its official currency. We are the world's first ERC721 Token for the ocean. As an International Artist, McKane is currently in collaboration with the German Ministry as a commitment to the G7 Summit to protect the oceans. His work LUCiD is presently on a 3 year world tour. McKane is also working with 5GYRES and Take3 Australia Conservation groups to urge his viewers to just take 3 pieces of trash and put it in its appropriate bin. Beyond that his latest installation LUCiD pushes further to show viewers innovative people around the globe that find new ways to keep trash out of the ocean and how to re-use it. Those who ignore the damage, are equal to those who are doing the damage.” -McKane. In the past 3 Years McKane took on the project of helping restore the "Pegasus" which is the icon of Dallas Texas. It was first erected atop the Magnolia Oil Building in 1934 and replaced in 1999. It sat in storage and in 2011 conversations began on how this piece could be restored for all the public to personally appreciate.
Dr. Rachel A. Meidl
Fellow in Energy and Environment
Dr. Rachel A. Meidl, LP.D., CHMM, is the fellow in energy and environment at Rice University's Baker Institute of Public Policy. She was previously appointed deputy associate administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. Her research interests focus on domestic and international policy and law as it relates to imports and exports of hazardous wastes; upstream and end-of-life management of byproducts and wastes; alternative and renewable energy and energy recovery technologies; chemical safety reform; and safety and environmental regulations of the treatment, storage, disposal, and transportation of chemicals within and outside the U.S. Prior to her public service, Dr. Meidl was the director of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council in Washington, D.C., where she advanced a broad range of regulatory and policy issues, including reforming the Toxic Substances and Control Act, hazardous waste management and emergency response, process safety management, and addressing contaminated site issues. She has more than 20 years of experience in industry, academia, government, politics and international relations, managing the entire life cycle of hazardous waste operations and emergency response to chemical, explosive, radioactive and biohazardous materials. Dr. Meidl holds a doctorate in law and public policy from Northeastern University, a master’s in environmental policy and management with a concentration in environmental chemistry and international law from the University of Denver, a master’s of education in applied science and technology from National University, and bachelor’s degrees in conservation biology and zoology & animal physiology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
CEO & Co-founder, FourPark Minted
Patrik Melander is the CEO and Co-founder of FourPark Minted, which creates new liquidity and global storage of value in illiquid assets, such as art and mineral rights, through innovative use of IoT and Blockchain technologies.
He is also Managing Partner of the FourPark Group, which holistically supports unique emerging technology companies to grow in the AI, MedTech and IoT space. FourPark Advisors, its RIA, offers a top performing zero management fee U.S. equity Managed Account.Outside FourPark he is the Chairman of the Swedish American Chamber in Dallas-Fort Worth, board member of MyPossibilities and Advisory Board Member of AmplifAI, AirFusion and MobileUX. Patrik is Swedish of origin and spent 24 years as a Global Executive within the Ericsson group, living in Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Costa Rica, UAE and San Diego, Chicago, Boca Raton and Dallas. His positions included General Management, Sales, Professional Services and including being President of Ericsson in the Gulf Countries.
Patrik holds a BSc E.E from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, a Patent, and diplomas in Executive Management from Columbia University, Stockholm Business School, Kellogg University, London Business School and Wharton. Patrik currently lives in Frisco, Texas, with his wife Kristina and two children.
Dr. Marguerite M. Mensonides-Harsema
Managing Director, MPT Consultancy
Dr. Mensonides received her MSc in Pharmacy (1994) and PhD in Natural Sciences (2001) from the University in Groningen, NL and her MSc in Clinical Research Management (2012) from the University of Freiburg, DE. She has spent over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, both in R&D and in Marketing, Market Research and Business Development, starting as a Sr. Scientist at Astra Zeneca, SE. Prior to the founding of Mensonides Pharmaceutical Technologies, she held the position of Vice President of Therapeutic Area Autoimmune at medac GmbH, DE. Dr. Mensonides is a frequent speaker and chair at both scientific and business development meetings within the pharmaceutical area. She is the (co)-author on several scientific publications and (co)-inventor of over 20 patents applications. Dr. Mensonides holds a specific passion for the development of innovative drug products that are both commercially viable as well as affordable for patient and society. The services of Mensonides Pharamaceutical Technologies include scientific and commercial consulting and evaluation of pharmaceutical R&D projects, including the strength and commercial value of the supporting intellectual property within the projected market environment and support in the design of the non-clinical and clinical data package needed for in/out licensing and market authorization.
Melody Boone Meyer
Board Member, British Petroleum
Melody Meyer joined the boards of British Petroleum (BP), AbbVie, and National Oilwell Varco (NOV) as a Non-Executive Director in 2017. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Trinity University and on the board of the National Bureau of Asian Research. Ms. Meyer is engaged as a Senior Advisor for Cairn India Limited and President of two companies, Melody Meyer Energy LLC and Women with Energy LLC. Melody retired from Chevron after 37 years of distinguished service with extensive leadership expertise in global upstream operations, strategic and business planning, major capital project execution, capital allocation, and in delivering superior financial results. From 2011-2016, she was President of Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production. Previously, she was President of Chevron Energy Technology Company, Vice President U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Vice President U.S. Mid-Continent strategic business units. She held key international leadership assignments as the Operations Engineering Manager in Tengiz, Kazakhstan and Operations Manager in Angola. She has extensive experience working on complex fiscal environments in 17 countries, with a focus on creating advantage from change during three new country start-ups, three merger integrations, managing crisis and risk, mega-capital project execution, and reducing cost and driving efficiencies across diverse asset classes. Ms. Meyer graduated from Trinity University in 1979 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering Science and attended Dartmouth Tuck Executive Education program in 1997. Ms. Meyer was Executive Sponsor of the Chevron Women’s Network and formed Women with Energy LLC to continue to advocate for the advancement of women in energy. Ms. Meyer was recognized as a Trinity Distinguished Alumni, with BioHouston Women in Science and the ASME Rhoades Petroleum Industry Leadership Awards. Ms. Meyer was recognized by Hart Energy as an Influential Women in Energy in 2018. Ms. Meyer is a member of NACD, is the co-leader of Women Corporate Directors in Houston and a member of C200.
Dr. Matteo Pasquali
Hartsook Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, Rice University
Matteo Pasquali is the A. J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, and Materials Science & NanoEngineering at Rice University, where he also serves as Chair of the Chemistry Department and previously served as Co-Director of the Carbon NanoTechnology Laboratory, as Master of Lovett College and as member of the academic senate. After receiving his Laurea from University of Bologna and PhD from University of Minnesota, Matteo joined Rice University in 2000 to start a laboratory on soft materials, which evolved into a key center for the scalable manufacturing and application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene materials with enhanced mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. The laboratory houses about 20 PhD students and postdocs and currently targets applications in wearables, energy transmission and harvesting, biomedicine, aerospace, and defense. These CNT materials are already incorporated into prototypes (field emitters, data cables) and high-end products (audio cables). Matteo has advised over 90 graduate students and postdocs, who are now in key positions in industry, academia, national laboratories, startups, and finance. Matteo’s work is funded by wide range of industries ranging from international and national oil companies to automotive, aerospace, electronics, and high-tech companies. Matteo founded two companies, DexMat (smart CNT materials) and NanoLinea (medical applications of CNT fibers). Matteo’s work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the NSF CAREER, Goradia innovation prize, Schlack award for man-made fibers, and multiple NASA Tech Brief Awards. Matteo is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.
City Manager, City of Pearland
Clay Pearson joined the City of Pearland, Texas as City Manager in March 2014. During his career, Pearson gained a broad overview and understanding for the varied operations of City governmentand has worked with the Mayor and City Council to outline and deliver a strong vision of what can be accomplished in Pearland’s future. Pearson serves Pearland with nearly 25 years’ experience in municipal government. Prior to Pearland, he served the City of Novi, Michigan including as the City Manager for eight years. He had 14 years total in Novi, including six as Assistant City Manager. Prior to Novi, Pearson served the City of Elgin, Illinois for a decade in various capacities, including Assistant City Manager, Budget Officer and Director Code Administration and Neighborhood Affairs. Pearson is active with the association of local government professionals, theInternational City/County Management Association (ICMA). With ICMA, Clay has most recently been involved with the chairing the International Committee of the Association. The Committee has conducted meetings in Yangzhou, China; Copenhagen, Denmark, and Wellington, New Zealand under his leadership. He has been active with many aspects of sharing and learning best practices and building networking. He has taught a summer class at the Chinese University of Political Science in Law, Beijing, and presented to the New South Wales, Australia Local Government Association and been a part of an ICMA team providing professional training in South Africa. Pearson has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College (St.Peter, Minnesota). He serves currently on the Board of the Alliance for Innovation and the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Houston. He has been very involved with the KU public administration program and supporting future generations of public servants. He and his wife, Jennifer live in Pearland.
CEO & Founder, Innovation360 Group
Magnus Penker is an internationally-renowned though leader on innovation, artificial intelligence, digitization, and business transformation. He is a speaker in prestigious global forums and events, such as – The Global Peter Drucker Forum, top ranked international business and design schools, a variety of associations and some of the world’s largest companies. Mr. Penker has been honored with the Business Worldwide Magazine award as the ‘Most Innovative CEO Sweden 2016’ and appointed as a Global Top 100 CEO by CEO Monthly year 2018. Additionally, he has launched 10 start-ups as well as acquired, turned around, and sold +30 SMEs all over Europe. Mr. Penker is currently writing a 5 Volume Series on Business Innovation titled The Complete Guide to Business Innovationand is contributing as an editor at the International Journal of Innovation Science. For the past 8 years, he has used his practical and theoretical insights to develop InnoSurvey™, a leading methodology and global innovation database which is used to analysis and to provide advice to companies, business leaders, and scientists around the world. Today, Mr. Penker is the CEO and Founder of the Innovation360 Group, which is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and in New York, USA.
CEO & Co-owner, Sensative
Mats joined Ericsson in 1987 to develop the first true handheld mobile phones in competition with Nokia and Motorola. He spent 25 years years in the mobile phone business with highlights as leading the development of the world’s first Bluetooth mobile phones, Vice President for Sony-Ericsson’s global platform & technology development and building up Sony-Ericsson’s cloud service development unit. In the early years of the new millenium when smart phones and Google’s new smart phone operating system Android re-created the mobile phone business to a horizontal model with an app market, Mats was responsible for SW engineering services developing Sony´s capability to handle open source SW, cloud development and secure SW. Based on this experience, Sensative was founded 2013 to re-create the business model for IoT based services for buildings and municipals in the same way as Android did for mobile phones. Sensative’s IoT Data Broker creates a heterogenously integrated smart city that empowers the city and establishes an app market of smart services for all needs and users.
Country Manager, Eolus North America Inc.
Hans-Christian is an electrical power systems engineer and has been active in the power and utility industry since 2005. He worked for several renowned consulting companies within the sector until he, in 2008, co-founded the Swedish wind developer Svenska Vindbolaget AB and became the company’s CEO. In 2011 he joined the leading wind farm developer in the Nordic region, Eolus Vind AB, when Svenska Vindbolaget was sold to Eolus. Currently Hans-Christian is leading Eolus’ entry into the North American market and serves as Country Manager of Eolus North America, Inc. In 2014, Hans-Christian founded IOWN Renewable Energy Inc. which is based in La Jolla, California and he currently serves as the company’s CEO. IOWN develops, funds and manages renewable energy projects by connecting expertise with funding. Hans-Christian also serves as Board Director of Oak Creek Energy (USA) since 2016, which is a Mexico and LATAM focused renewable energy developer.
CEO & Co-founder, Coala Life
Philip Siberg is the co-founder and CEO of Coala Life, a multi-prize Swedish digital health venture in the field of cardiac diagnostics. Coala Life was just announced as the Gartner Cool Vendor of 2018 and Philip has raised in excess of USD 12 million with a mission to win the battle against cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death. Philip has a background as serial entrepreneur in the Life Science industry, as investment manager in the VC-industry and started his career at Intel Corp following an MSc from the Royal Institute of Engineering in Stockholm. During 1999-2015, Philip was part of the team taking Skanditek, a family-office industrial holding company to NASDAQ and with multiple investments and assignments in the diverse portfolio of companies. In 2005, Philip took on a successful turn-around as CEO of CMA, a Medical Device and Basic Research company spun off from the Karolinska Institute. Philip raised in excess of USD 10 million from Wallenberg controlled Investor AB and eventually sold the company’s four business units to industrial buyers in Boston, China, Stockholm and Skåne. 2011-2014, Philip headed up Stille AB, a NASDAQ-listed surgical device company. As part of the mission, Philip initiated an intense R&D program leading to a roll-out of products that gained global leading market shares, sold through companies as GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare and Siemens Healthcare. In 2015, Philip co-founded Coala Life in parallel to founding Acacia Designs, an anesthesia monitoring company with industry and academic leaders in the field. Acacia was sold to Senzime AB in 2016 and went public on NASDAQ in 2017 with Philip as chairman and one of the lead shareholders.
Loyalty Manager, IKEA Houston
Originally from Memphis, TN where he studied psychology at the University of Memphis. He spent 23 years in the retail book industry in a variety of functions. In 2013, found himself without a job and unsure what his next path would be. He eventually landed at IKEA and knew that it was where he belonged. Currently he is functioning as the Loyalty Manager, whose contribution to the store is local event planning, marketing, customer data, feedback and analytics, and internal communications. His responsibilities also place him as the point person for local sustainability and community involvement. Outside of work, he is married and has a step daughter in college as well as three dogs, who are not in college. He is a science fiction movie buff and enjoys collecting comic books.
Wilka V. Toppins, J.D.
Principal Attorney, Toppins Law Firm, P. C.
After graduating with honors from Tulane University Law School, Wilka Toppins joined the legal department of Exxon Company, USA, in the litigation section where she practiced in state and federal courts. After several years in this role, Ms. Toppins transitioned to Porter & Hedges, L.L.P., a Houston based firm, where she specialized in federal litigation. Subsequently, Ms. Toppins joined the corporate legal department of SBC Communications, Inc., now the AT&T. At SBC, Ms. Toppins worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions department as well as with several subsidiaries, such as the wireless division of SBC. In 2003, Ms. Toppins founded The Toppins Law Firm, P.C., evolving the firm into a well-sought after bilingual corporate law practice in Houston. Toppins Law Firm has also gained notoriety as the only corporate boutique firm in Houston fully owned and managed by a Hispanic woman. Ms. Toppins has over 27 years of legal experience in areas such as corporate law, litigation, general business, employment, banking and real estate. She is fully bilingual in Spanish and has a deep understanding of the Latin American culture. She is able to deliver legal services in both English and Spanish. Ms. Toppins has represented large public and privately owned companies, both domestic as well as international entities. Although she is well experienced in the representation of large companies, Ms. Toppins enjoys working with start-ups and small entrepreneurs. Currently, Ms. Toppins manages the firm as the principal attorney and has grown her practice to include 4 attorneys and two support staff, all bilingual and culturally diverse. Ms. Toppins is a nationally and locally recognized business woman with multiplenational and local awards, among many, the 2010 “Top 25 Women of Houston”Award presented by Rolling Out Magazine, the 2009 “Corporate Excellence” award presented by the League of Latin American Citizens, the 2007 “Top 25 lawyers in Houston” by H Texas Magazine, the 2006 Ana Maria Arias Memorial Fund as a “Top 10 Latina Entrepreneurs” presented by LatinaStyle Magazine and Wells Fargo, the2006 “Emerging 10 Business” award presented by the Houston Minority BusinessCouncil. In January 2011, Ms. Toppins was profiled in Hispanics Today Magazine, anational magazine. In 2011 she received the “Women on the Move” awardpresented by Texas Executive Women.
CEO & President, Alfa Laval Inc.
Jo Vanhoren was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Laval Inc. in March 2018. In addition, he was named President of Alfa Laval’s North American “cluster” which includes its sales and service organizations in the USA and Canada. Mr. Vanhoren is responsible for leading Alfa Laval in North America, driving profitable growth and expanding market share by leveraging the company’s main technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling – through a sales network of direct and indirect channels. He will apply and implement Alfa Laval’s key drivers to the local target markets, including customer closeness, technological strengths, and an unrivaled service offering. Mr. Vanhoren is based at the Alfa Laval facility in Richmond, Virginia.
Dr. Karin von Wachenfeldt
CEO, Truly Labs
Karin has a strong scientific expertise in Pharmaceutical development of large and small molecules. She obtained her Ph. D from Dept. of Immunotechnology at Lund University. Karin has over 20 years experience from the pharmaceutical industry (BioInvent, Ixsys Inc. PharmaciaUpjohn, Active Biotech and AstraZeneca) developing drugs for cancer and Respiratory/Inflammation. At AstraZeneca R&D Lund Karin was instrumental in the implementation of translational science and biomarker strategies within the discovery projects, and worked closely with the early clinical organization. She has complemented her scientific training and experience with a degree in marketing and leadership. Since 2011 she is the CEO and co-founder of Truly Translational Sweden AB and holds the same position in Truly Labs AB since 2015.
Creator & Creative Director, The Great Listening
Niklas Wass is the creatively driven entrepreneur behind The Great Listening. The Great Listening is a discourse mobilizer, where all individuals and all industries can come together, exchange ideas, find common ground and ignite sustainable solutions. Sound impossible? Not to Niklas. He has opened restaurants, run music festivals, and consulted with politicians. Niklas serves as The Great Listening’s founder and creative director. Niklas shares his inspiring story of how unrestrained creativity and a complete disregard of the expression “it’s not possible” can lead to amazing successes. Prepare to challenge your perception of what can be achieved if you are crazy enough to never give up. The idea of The Great Listening took root when he and the American civil rights activist and Reverend, Jesse Jackson, visited Almedalen, a Swedish tradition since 1968 for political and social development. Jackson, who for many years worked side by side with Martin Luther King, Jr., saw the possibilities for a similar event in the United States - turning to Niklas with the words “Nic, you’re the one who should do it” – and in 2018 the first ever The Great Listening event is scheduled for November 15 and 16, 2018 in Austin, Texas. The Great Listening finds ways to bridge the polarized gaps and helps us move forward. With The Great Listening platform, people can gather to begin listening to each other, without criticizing each other, to exchange ideas and experiences, and solve real problems. Nic believes if we cut out all the noise pollution from our conversations, we can listen for the workable solutions. Niklas' vision is a global political landscape where common sense thinking and a search for common ground is the norm. The Great Listening is creating the movement that will take democratic dialogue around the globe. Niklas Wass is convinced that it is possible to change the world for the better. Everything is possible in the mind of Niklas.
Dr. Michael Wong
Professor & Chair, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University
Dr. Michael S. Wong is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University. He is also Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering. He was educated and trained at Caltech, MIT, and UCSB before arriving at Rice in 2001. His research program broadly addresses chemical engineering problems using the tools of materials chemistry, with a particular interest in energy and environmental applications ("catalysis for clean water") and an emphasis on understanding synthesis-structure-property relationships in heterogeneous catalysis. Current research activities and interests are (i) structure-property analysis of palladium-on-gold catalysts; (ii) metal-on-metal nanoparticle synthesis; (iii) petroleum upgrading chemistry, (iv) treatment of dioxane, nitrate, fluorocarbons, and chlorocarbons from water; and (v) nanoparticle assembly. He has received numerous honors over the years, including the MIT TR35 Young Innovator Award, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Nanoscale Science and Engineering Young Investigator Award, Smithsonian Magazine Young Innovator Award, Guest Professorship at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), and in 2015, the North American Catalysis Society/Southwest Catalysis Society Excellence in Applied Catalysis Award. He is Research Thrust Leader on 'Multifunctional Nanomaterials" and member of the Leadership Team for the NSF-funded NEWT (Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment) Engineering Research Center, based at Rice. He is Immediate Past-Chair of the ACS Division of Catalysis Science and Technology (CATL), and serves on the Applied Catalysis B: Environmental editorial board. Previous service includes Chairmanship of the AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum and Chemistry of Materials editorial board membership.
Dr. Elin Östman
Chief Scientist, Good Idea Inc
Dr Elin is a food innovator with strong roots in academic research, and she´s on a mission to introduce scientifically proven, innovative and attractive food concepts to fight the explosion of lifestyle-related disease. She is a former Associate Professor and senior lecturer in Applied Nutrition at the Food for Health Science Centre of Lund University in southern Sweden. Her 20-year career comprises groundbreaking research on the preventive potential of foods and healthy diets against type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. To date, Dr. Elin has co-authored some 45 peer-reviewed original articles and 3 reviews. She has been a frequent speaker at international conferences and events in the field of Nutrition and Food science, and the co-founder of four food innovation related start-up companies. Dr. Elin is the researcher behind Good Idea® – a functional sparkling water proven to reduce the blood sugar spike after a meal by, on average, 25%. A couple of years ago, she decided to leave the academic world to take on the challenge of moving her knowledge into the guts and daily lives of millions of Americans. After moving from Sweden with her family, Dr Elin is currently based at Good Idea Inc’s headquarters just north of San Francisco, where she serves as Chief Scientist.
SACC Summit will gather corporate members, partners, industry leaders and representatives from 20 regional Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce. This year’s SACC Summit will be held on October 25-26 in the vibrant city of Houston, Texas.
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