We are proud to present the Global Thinkers Forum Excellence Award Honourees 2012. The Ceremony will take place in Amman, Jordan on Sunday October 7, 2012

Chris W. J. Gaunt – Chairman, British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey

Chris W. J. Gaunt

Chris has a degree in Modern History from Leeds University in the UK. He began his career in 1973, in the Wine and Spirit Division of the Whitbread Brewery Group, and went on to work in prominent UK Beverage companies progressing to senior management positions with HP Bulmer and Allied Domecq. In 1992 Chris embarked on his International career and moved to Croatia as a consultant with Coopers and Lybrand to work on a major restructuring project for a newly privatized group of FMCG companies. In 1993 Chris joined the Coca-Cola initially in Croatia, followed by Senior Management/ GM positions in Eastern Europe and start up operations in Central Asia. From 1999 to 2000 he served as CEO of Panonska Pivovara Croatia (Carlsberg International) prior to joining the Efes Beverage Group; a subsidiary of Istanbul based Anadolu Holdings, as the General Manager of operations in Bulgaria. He was later appointed President of Efes Invest in 2001, responsible for Coca – Cola Bottling operations in South Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East. Following the merger in 2005 of Efes Invest and Coca – Cola Icecek (CCI) Turkey, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the newco. In 2007 Chris was appointed President of CCI International Operations (10 countries) from which position he retired from CCI in 2009. Subsequently he set up his own consultancy company “Euroasia Consultancy” based in Istanbul.
Additionally, Chris holds the following positions:
Chairman British Chamber of Commerce Turkey
Chairman of Brandtone Turkey a subsidiary of Brandtone Holdings based in Dublin.
Non-Executive board memberships:
Eksen Holdings Turkey
Som Hotelcilik A.S. Turkey
Board Advisor to Kells Engineering International based in Ireland.
Chris is married to his Turkish wife Gulten, and resides in Istanbul.

Dr. Yavuz Coskun – President of Gaziantep University

Dr Yavuz Coskun

Dr. M. Yavuz Coskun, born in Gaziantep in 1955, is presently the president of Gaziantep University. He was graduated from Faculty of Medicine, Uludag University in 1978. After his graduation, between 1978–1979, he studied at well-respected universities in United Kingdom with the state-scholarships. Then, between 1983–1987, he was with the Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, to complete his specialization in “pediatrics”. Having completed his specialization, he joined to Faculty of Medicine, Gaziantep University as an assistant professor and appointed as the ‘founder faculty member’. He was then promoted as an associated professor and professor in the same university in 1989 and 1996, respectively. Over the years, Dr. M. Yavuz Coskun has served as the Chief Physician, Head of Pediatrics, Head of University Hospital, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Faculty Board Member, Director of Revolving Fund of the University, Director of Health Sciences Institute, Advisor to Rector, Director of Internal Medicine Sciences, etc., at the Gaziantep University. He has also served as an editor of international journals published by Faculty of Medicine. He published more than 100 professional papers in numerous national and international journals as well. He was the head of ‘Interuniversities Board of Turkey’ in between 2010–2011. Dr. M. Yavuz Coskun serves on National Pediatrics Association as the Gaziantep Branch Director. He is also the president of City Council of Gaziantep and Development Board of Silk Road Development Agency. Dr. M. Yavuz Coskun is married and has two children. He speaks Turkish and English fluently.

Dr. Asim GÜZELBEY- Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality

Dr Asim Güzelbey

Asim Güzelbey, born in Gaziantep in 1951, graduated from Gaziantep High School in 1968 and studied at Diyarbakir Faculty of Medicine, affiliated to Ankara University. After his graduation from the mentioned faculty in 1974, he completed his Specialisation in Orthopedics in 1978. Güzelbey served as Visitor Physician in Hellersen Sports Clinics, Germany and Karolinska University, Sweden between 1978–79. Güzelbey, started his professional life in Gaziantep SSI Hospital in 1981, served as General Manager in Private SANKO Hospital between 1998–2003, after serving as freelance Orthopedics Expert. His professional life came to an end when he took a step in politics. Dr Asim Güzelbey provided voluntary health care service in Marmara and Bingöl earthquakes while he was serving as a physician. He set a record in Gaziantep realizing more than 20 thousand surgeries on his own. Dr Güzelbey, was elected as the Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality on 28 March 2004 with a vote ratio of 57,3%, a record level, and was re-elected as Mayor of Metropolitan Municipality in 2009 receiving the appreciation of the citizens. During his term in office, he highlighted the historical and cultural identity of the city and worked on combining his modern city vision with cultural heritage. Gaziantep was included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Candidates List after the restoration of historical buildings and construction of museums. Asim Güzelbey, leading successful projects on social rehabilitation of the society with his capacity of physician, put into implementation many remarkable works related to rehabilitation and reintegration of drug addicted children to society. Güzelbey, was awarded Syrian High Order of Merit by Prime Minister Naci Otri in 2007 for his contribution to Turkey-Syria relations and his contribution to friendship, fraternity and peace between the people of both countries. He became the first local administrator of Turkey by being decorated with the Medal of Merit, the highest reward of Federal Germany offered by the President of Federal Germany Christian Wulf in 2009 because of his efforts in the field of bilateral relations starting with Sister Cities cooperation. Dr Asim Güzelbey, believing that world peace is the only salvation for societies, is being appreciated, both in national and international platforms, also for the school he opened for the immigrant children, innocent victims of the war, who run away from the humanitarian plight in Syria and finding refuge in Turkey. Güzelbey has highlighted the cultural wealth of Gaziantep, as cradle of civilisations and symbol of peace and friendship to the history of humanity. He was honoured with the 2012 Culture and Arts High Award received from the President of the Republic of Turkey, Abdullah Gül himself, for Zeugma Mosaic Museum. Asim Güzelbey is married to Derya Güzelbey in 1979, has two children named Güven, Computer Engineer, and Gonca, Economist. Güzelbey speaks English fluently and German.

Fatih Baltaci – President, DIVID (Natural Gas Importers and Exporters Association)

M.Fatih Baltaci

M.Fatih Baltaci is the President of DIVID (Natural Gas Importers and Exporters Association) and he is also founder and chairman of Akfel Holding that is established in 1995 and specialized in natural gas and power supply, trading and engineering through its affiliates. Akfel Holding is the biggest private natural gas importer in Turkey . Akfel also supplies its customers with green energy from its renewable portfolio, trades in the wholesale spot market and has been one of the pioneers in the trading of power across the borders. Akfel’s team has also carried out various EPC and consultancy projects on a range of energy infrastructure projects in natural gas and power supply and distribution in Turkey and in the region.
Mr. Baltaci has been the President of DIVID ((Natural Gas Importers And Exporters Association) since 2011.
Fatih Baltaci has been graduated from Bogaziçi University with B.S. in mechanical engineering. He has been the Honorary Consul of Malawi since 1999 . He is member of TUSKON, DEIK and Turkish Chamber of Mechanical Engineers.

Serhan Süzer – CEO Hittite Solar Energy

Serhan Süzer

H. Serhan Süzer graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1999 with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Major in Finance and Concentration in Accounting. He has been a member of Greenpeace since his college years. He is writing a blog at http://serhansuzer.com/

During his career, Serhan has had responsibility for the asset management of the Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul Hotel since the opening in October 2001 and has managed Süzer Group’s International Relations Department from 2003 until 2007. In 2007, he played an active role in managing Suzer Group’s investment to establish a Coca Cola Plant in Iraq for the first time in decades until 2009. Between 2002-2004, he was an Executive Committee Member of the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB). Serhan served at the Turkish State Planning Organization (DPT) Tourism Commission to form the Ninth Development Plan (2007 – 2013) of the Republic of Turkey. He is currently a board member of the American Turkish Council. In addition, Serhan has been the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Costa Rica since 2008, appointed by President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Serhan is proud to officially represent Costa Rica, a country pledging to become one of the only developing nations to make itself “carbon neutral” — a zero net-emitter of carbon — by 2021. Serhan worked as Vice President of the Board and CEO of KFC Turkey and Pizza Hut Turkey between 2009 till the end of 2011. He decided to end all of his responsibilities at KFC & Pizza Hut Turkey in November 2011 to focus on Sustainability Projects. One of his last tasks at KFC and Pizza Hut Turkey was to build the first LEED certified environmentally friendly restaurant in Turkey and also in the Yum! International Chain (the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Brands). In November 2011, this KFC Restaurant in Bostanci, Istanbul received the certification for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) from the U.S Green Building Council. In December 2011, he invested in Hittite Solar Energy, a CSP company and joined the company as the CEO. In December 2012, he established Eko Renewable Energy Inc. which is a PV and Wind EPC company.

Gulay Avci, Regional Manager for RAK Free Trade Zone

Gulay Avci

Ms. Gulay Avci is the Regional Manager for RAK Free Trade Zone in Istanbul. She received her BA degrees in the Department of History from Middle East Technical University (ODTU), Ankara and eventually earned her spot as Marketing Supervisor in RAK Free Trade Zone of United Arab Emirates. Gulay lived in Dubai, for 10 years between 1995 and 2005 where she gained extensive knowledge and experience on international business model and economy of UAE, She was then promoted as Regional Manager of RAK FTZ in Turkey. She has setup the structure of Turkey Liaison Office of the free zone in Istanbul in 2007 where she is still promoting Ras Al Khaimah and RAKFTZ in Turkey and internationally. She currently resides in Istanbul with her husband and daughter. She can be contacted at g.avci@rakftz.com .

Sezer CIHAN (Survey Engineer), Secretary General of the Union of Historical Towns & Head of Reconstruction and City Planning Department of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality

Sezer Cihan

Sezer Cihan was born in 1968 and grew up in Denizli. He graduated from Engineering Faculty of Selcuk University as a Survey Engineer. Between 1990-1999, he began work at the Municipality of Denizli as an engineer. He carried out the duty of reconstruction directorate in same municipality between 1999-2003. From 2003 he worked as vice mayor until 2005. Since June 2005, he has been working in Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep, as head of reconstruction and city planning department. In the meantime, he has been carrying out hundreds of restoration works and for miles and miles street rehabilitation projects for conserve and survive cultural heritage in Gaziantep. In the same time, Mr. Cihan has become secretary general of the Union of Historical Towns in 2012 and he has put his knowledge and experiences on cultural heritage, for servicing of other municipalities as general secretary in Turkey. Mr. Cihan who has multiple areas of interest and business, is carrying out the duty planning, designing and actualizing of 32000 hectare ecological area for sustainable environment as the first time in Turkey. He stated that, this works which is focus on sustainable environment in the light of new vision, has created excitement and motivation in his business life.

Martin Raiser, Country Director World Bank Turkey

Martin Raiser

Martin Raiser is the Country Director for Turkey of the World Bank.
Mr. Raiser holds a doctorate degree in Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Kiel, Germany, and degrees in Economics and Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Mr. Raiser worked for the Kiel Institute of World Economics and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, where he was Director of Country Strategy and Editor of the Transition Report. Since joining the World Bank in 2003, Mr. Raiser held positions as the Country Manager in Uzbekistan and Economic Advisor in Ukraine. In his most recent assignment, Mr. Raiser served as Country Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova from 2008 until January 2012, when he moved to his current position in Ankara.
Mr. Raiser, a German national, is married and has four children. He speaks German, English and French fluently; has good knowledge of Russian; and elementary knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese. Mr. Raiser has published numerous articles in refereed economic journals and authored several books.

Eyüp Bartik President of the Board of Directors of Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce

Eyup Bartik

Mr Bartik was born in Gaziantep in 1966. He is graduated from elementry, middle and high school in Gaziantep. After the high school education, he has started to work in his family owned enterprise. He had his first international transportation experience by carrying load with his own trucks between Gaziantep and Baghdad with his father in 1978. He managed the sales of commercial vehicle and spare parts in his family owned enterprise between 1980 and 1990. He founded the “Eyup Logistics” company, which aims to give full service on transportation, with his experience that had been taken from his family owned enterprise by creating corporate identity in 2001. Today, “Eyup Logistics” is one of the leading logistics companies in Turkey; which gives logistics service to 56 countries from Turkey with its more than 300 vehicles. Eyup Bartik; who is the Chairman of Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce and Council Member of Logistic Sector in TOBB (Union Of Chamber And Commodity Exchanges), is married and has 4 children.



Akinwole Omoboriowo II (AOII) is a 1993 graduate of Economics from Uni- versity of Jos, alumni of the London Business School, from where he acquired specialist training in Electricity Pricing & Modeling course in 2006, and a 2011 Post-Graduate Diploma Alumni in Strategy & Innovation from the Prestigious Oxford University’s Said Business School, U.K. AOII has over 16 years of experience in the Oil & Gas Sector and Power Sec- tors in Africa, where he has consistently led other equally distinguished colleagues in pioneering several initiatives including but not limited to African-owned & managed Independent Power Producing companies, well-Structured Oil Trading Companies, thriving Utility Companies, amongst others. Akinwole Omoboriowo II’s top management work-history includes being an Executive Director of Christley Petroleum Ltd, the Managing Director of Besse- Oil & Services Ltd, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of PPI(a Foremost Oil & Gas Company in Africa, with several trail-blazing market initiatives to it’s credit), Vice-Chairman of Vatternfields Utility Ltd(a Utility Company currently managing & operating PrePaid & PostPaid Revenue Collection initiatives in West Africa), and CEO of Genesis Electricity Ltd(GEL). On completion of installation of Guinea Bissau’s first Independent Power Pro- ject (IPP), Akinwole was nominated and briefly served as a Chairman of Guinea Bissau’s Bissau Electricidade e Agua (Bissau Electricity and Water) Joint Ven- ture Utility entity, which was tasked with infusing private sector-led initiatives into the ailing utility company of that country. He serves as a Board member of several international companies including Walters Power Africa (a British Virgin Island company Co-Owned by GEL and a US-Based Company Owned by a Former Governor of the State of Oklahoma- David Walters), Nagarjuna-Christley Fuels Ltd(a company now at advanced stage of deploying renewable energy investments in Ethanol production & sup- ply in Nigeria), Avi Alliance Ltd( an airline company whose Sister entity is the GSA to Delta Airlines in Ghana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Sierra Leone, amongst others now being developed), Alliance Energy Sao Tome Limited, and several other international corporations. He was recently invested with Honoris Causa Fellowship of the Certified Board of Administrators of Nigeria (CBAN) He is happily married with children.

Ziya Gokcek, CEO UMDE

Ziya Gokcek

Ziya Gökçek graduated from Robert College School of Chemical Engineering in 1969; worked with Fako Pharmaceuticals from 1971 till 1974 as Project Manager, worked with Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals and Pak Holding from 1974 until 1994 as Member of the Board of Managers responsible from investments and technical matters. Founded Umde Engineering Co. Ltd. in 1994 and is currently managing the company with a highly skilled and experienced team of managers.

Umde Engineering Co. Ltd. has been providing services covering the expertise of various engineering disciplines such as chemical, mechanical, electrical-instrumentation, civil, process and process control engineering within the scope of chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries to realize turn-key plants with (1) basic and detailed engineering capabilities, (2) fabrication of process equipment at the highest quality standards and (3) mechanical, electrical and instrumentation systems installations for complete coverage. Since 2008 Umde’s efforts have been concentrated on waste to energy systems, with total elimination of all kinds of wastes with modern gasification technologies with no damage to the environment.

Stephen Cole, Senior Al Jazeera English Presenter

Stephen Cole

Stephen Cole is the senior news anchor for Al Jazeera in Doha and London, Stephen is a veteran of international television news having fronted Sky News, CNNI, BBC World and BBC News 24 for the past 22 years. In addition he was the inaugural host of the respected BBC News technology programme Click which he presented for six years. Stephen is also an accomplished and respected corporate speaker who has chaired and moderated panels comprised of presidents and prime ministers at prestigious events across the globe such as the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Elizabeth Filippouli, CEO & Founder GTF

Elizabeth Filippouli

Elizabeth Filippouli is an entrepreneur and communications & business strategist with particular focus on social entrepreneurship, innovation, future trends and visionary leadership. She is the Founder & CEO of Global Thinkers, a UK-based and internationally operating Strategic Communications & Business Development consulting firm and of Global Thinkers Forum a non-profit think tank bringing together incumbent and future leaders and promoting excellence in leadership and governance.
Elizabeth has studied Strategy and Innovation at Said Business School Oxford University, Transnational Media and Globalisation at London City University and taken the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program on “Shaping Change in the Information Age”. Born in Athens, Greece Elizabeth’s background is in media having worked as a journalist with Greek press and TV and international organizations such as Al Jazeera English and CNN. As a media & expert she has worked among others with the Olympic Games (Athens 2004), the Eurovision, the National Lottery UK and Coca Cola. Elizabeth moved to Qatar in 2005 joining AJE as a presenter and correspondent and since 2007 she is based in London (UK) but travelling extensively for the needs of GT and GTF.


More Speakers to be announced soon….Please keep visiting

© 2016 Global Thinkers Forum is an International TM. All Rights Reserved.

Global Thinkers Forum

8 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4JU UK

Email: info@globalthinkersforum.org . Tel: +44(0) 8456347820 . Fax: +44 (0) 8447747558 . Reg. No. 7968380 England & Wales