Mr. George Pontikas

George Pontikas is President and CEO at Syngenta Hellas Single Member SACI. He began his career in 1990 at Ciba Geigy Hellas (Legacy company of Syngenta), as Seed Development Manager. In 1997 he became Director of the Seed Division and in 2011 Head of Sales of the company’s consolidated business and Managing Director since 2015.

In January 2020 along with the position of Head of Sales for Crop Protection Products he assumes the duties of President and Managing Director at Syngenta Hellas Single Member SACI as well as the position of Business Area Manager for the countries Greece, Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, Albania and Kosovo (BA Mediterranean).

He is President of the Hellenic Crop Protection Association (ESYF). He was President of the Greek Seed Trade Association (SEPY) from 2010 to 2016 and member of the Board of the International Seed Federation (ISF) from 2010 to 2013.

George Pontikas is agronomist with a master degree in rural economy, marketing & sociology, and a master degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Ms. Francesca Ydraiou

Frantzeska Ydraiou is an Agronomist Msc., holder of Maitrise Special title in Phytopharmacology and Phytomedicine. She worked both as a public servant (Ministry of Agriculture in Greece) and for the private sector (industry of plant protection products) before becoming the Director General of the HCPA in 1997. During this period, she has dealt with matters of National and European legislation concerning plant protection products sector and sustainable agriculture as well as with the implementation of programs for the protection of PPP users and water, the collection of empty PPP containers, raising awareness on risks of illegal pesticides, in cooperation with municipalities, institutes, services and farmers. She has attended numerous seminars, conferences and workshops primarily as speaker as has also lectured at the Agricultural University of Athens, the University of Aegean and the Medical School of Athens. She is also an external member of the Council of Administration of Agricultural University of Athens.

Mr. Giannis Balakakis

Giannis is a forward-thinking, inspirational and results-oriented executive focusing on generating growth, transforming organizations and achieving excellence across businesses, institutional and public sectors. In his career, he has served as a Planning, Product, General Manager and CEO of Greek and International firms.

Giannis has been the founder and currently serves as President of the BoD at Geo Routes Institute, Chair of the Organizing Committees at the Balkans & Black Sea Forum & AgriBusiness Forum also CEO to the leading event-destination management company Gnomon Performance.

He has repeatedly initiated and led large-scale and demanding intercontinental projects, he has served as BoD member of the Association of Chief Executive Officers, fm. VP of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives, member of the CEC European Managers, the Meeting Professionals International, the UN Global Compact and other relevant organizations.

Giannis has a financial background in banking management, he speaks Greek (mother tongue), English and French, while boasts excellent skills in cross-cultural and cross-sectoral negotiations, policy strategies, and BtL communication due to his extensive business experience in a number of countries around the globe.

Gianni’s carrier features cumulatively 17 years in hospitality, 20 years in events’ planning & comm., 10 years in the cultural sector, and 7 years in synergies between policy-business-research and academia for the benefit of people and the planet.