Mr. Yiannis Georgakellos

Yiannis Georgakellos, born in Athens, holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and an MBA from City University Business School of London. He works in Athenian Brewery since 1998, starting as and International Management Trainee. Since then he assumed several positions within the commercial organization of the company (Marketing, Trade Marketing & Sales), including an assignment at the operating company of Heineken in Bulgaria. As an executive of Athenian Brewery he has taken, among others, the positions of Customer Care Manager, Trade Marketing Manager, Marketing Manager Innovations, Media & Sponsorships, and Marketing Manager of Greek Brands. As of July 2019 he is the Communication & Corporate Affairs Director, as member of the Management Team of Athenian Brewery.

Mr. Dimitris Skarmoutsos

Globe-trotter and communicative, classic but modern, visionary and innovator, Dimitris Skarmoutsos is the chef who manages well in both Mediterranean and French cuisines, but also in sushi and street food. In every type of meal or cuisine, the starting point of his work is to create tasty and filling food.

Rather associated with «experimental» Greek cuisine, the chef introduces modern recipes, with respect to the Greek tradition, and focus on local ingredients, which he promotes with passion. In his hands, humble dishes like spinach with rice or a pumpkin pie go to the next level. Traditional dishes like moussaka seem innovative, while baked eggplants with lentils add an unexpected surprise to every meal.

Everything started while living in USA, where Dimitris Skarmoutsos completed his studies in economics from UCLA, and continued studying in the Culinary Institute of America. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, he apprenticed to world-class chefs, learned all the secrets for international cuisines and worked for top restaurants and hotels until 2000. In 2001, he returned back to Greece to focus on Greek cuisine. His move was faced with success considering the fact that while working as a chef in «Alatsi» he won the Golden Skoufos («Toques d’or») and Gourmet awards, leading to wider recognition.

His successful television career started in 2010, with prime time shows («Master Chef» and «Junior Master Chef», «Without Recipe», «Blind Taste»), establishing him as one of the most recognizable, familiar και popular personalities in Greek gastronomy.

Mr. Ruud Grim

Ruud Grim is senior advisor and coordinator at Netherlands Space Office. One of his main tasks is to facilitate and stimulate the use of satellite based information services for societal benefit areas, research and commercial businesses. He is currently managing the Geodata for Agriculture and Water Facility (G4AW) in which 25 public private partnerships (>100 involved organizations) in 15 countries are developing advisory and financial services for  millions of small holder farmers and pastoralists in Africa and South-East Asia, all demand driven and based on a business and financial model.

He is actively interacting with user communities, (inter)national organizations, Dutch service providers, NGO’s and research institutes. He is steering group member of the Netherlands Cooperation on Water & Climate Services, and advisor to the Geodata for Inclusive Finance & Food Initiative (G4IFF) by the Netherlands Platform for Inclusive Finance.

He is the Netherlands contact point for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and has an advisory position towards to the ESA Programme Board Earth Observation from a user perspective. He further explores G2G, K2K and B2B cooperation in various countries.

Ms. Effie Kokoreli

Effie believes in the power of new ideas. Undertakes strategic projects and manages to successfully accomplish them in a way that fits the nature and the recourses of the organization. Persistent yet patient, Effie manages to effectively coordinate professionals from different areas towards a common goal. Identifies new ways of business, embracing change as the necessary element of an organization to move forward and meet the demands of the market.

INTERAMERICAN S.A, 1983 to present

  • Head of Agricultural and Bank Assurance
  • Develops annual business plans and ensure that align and fully support company’s strategic goals.
  • Participates in Product, IT and Sales committee of the organization
  • Maintains bancassurance partnerships of the organization and evolve new ways of business
  • Actively involves in the design of the Marketing plan to support the partnerships
  • Leads the Agricultural project
  • Responsible for the creation of Agricultural products
  • Establishes new partnerships with companies from the Agricultural sector and bank sector
  • Designs and performs training for the insurance intermediates for Agricultural sector

Head of Bank Assurance, 2008-20018

  • Develops annual business plans in cooperation with the banks and ensure for their timely and successful delivery
  • Participates in Product, IT and Sales committee of the organization
  • Maintains bancassurance partnerships of the organization and evolve new ways of business
  • Actively involves in the design of the Marketing plan to support the partnerships
  • Establishes new partnerships with banks
  • Responsible for the analysis of all customer segments’ product needs, as well as for the design, development and promotion of Bancassurance products
  • Successfully introduces Interamerican’s ‘Anytime’ offering to the Bank’s branches and customers. Achieved a 500% annual increase in Car Insurance production and 200% in health insurance production

Bank Assurance Account Manager, 2007-2008

  • Monitoring annual business plans and ensures that aligns and fully supports company’s strategic goals
  • Designs and performs training for the bank employees
  • Support bancassurance partnership
  • Actively involves in the design of the Marketing plan to support the bancassurance partnership
  • Participates in projects for increasing bancassurance volumes and business
  • Monitors sales performance

Corporate customers’ executive, 2005-2007

  • Responsible for managing the underwriting process
  • Customer service and after sales support
  • Manages the insurance intermediate of corporate customers


  • Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers / CNAM – Bachelor, Banking & Insurance
  • Harvard Business Publishing – Stepping Up to Management
  • George College – Annual Public Relations Department

Mr. Geert Wilms

Geert Wilms studied Horticulture at Wageningen University and Business Administration at Open University. For more than 20 years Geert has been director of Agricultural Innovation Brabant (LIB), and he is consultant at Royal Haskoning DHV.

LIB is a partnership of Province North-Brabant and farmers organization ZLTO. Each year more than 30 innovative projects are initiated and supported, with the participation of hundreds of (agricultural) businesses. Several workshops are organized and guided. Geert is directly accountable to the President of ZLTO and regional Minister of agriculture in North-Brabant. One project he started and is very proud of: “Smart irrigation in agriculture; 3.000 farmers participating with 60.000 hectares, and 25% gain of efficiency in water use”.

 Geert Wilms also is a speaker, discussion leader and initiator of cooperation in different regions in Europe. He is/was involved in more than 15 European funded projects, for example Water management, Water conservation, Agrispin, Eurodairy, EU-PIG and STRING.

Dr. Chrysoula Tassou

Dr. Chrysoula Tassou, born in Xanthi, with BSc in Biology from National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Ph.D in Food Microbiology from University of Bath, UK, and postdoc in Colorado State University, USA, is Research Director, Deputy Director and President of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products (ITAP) of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization DEMETER (HAO-DEMETER). She is also deputy member of the Scientific Council of HAO-DEMETER.

Her research fields are: Food Microbiology-Safety (pathogens, mycotoxins), Food microbial diversity, Emerging technologies in Food Microbiology/ Technology/ Preservation, Natural antimicrobials, Fermented traditional products (olives, wine, meat & dairy), Functional foods – Probiotics. She has more than 80 scientific publications in SCI journals, 15 scientific book chapters, >200 articles in conference proceedings (citations 4750, h-index: 33, i10-index: 68, May 2020).

Dr. Tassou has implemented successfully as Coordinator (FP7-SME-2008-PROBIOLIVES; FP7-SME-2012-WILDWINE; 14 partners, budget of 2.000.000€ each, PROBIODAIRYMEAT) or as Scientific Leader for ITAP, more than 30 competitive EU and national research projects, attracting significant funding for ITAP.

In parallel, Dr. Tassou is serving as reviewer, editor and guest editor in many SCI scientific journals, president of the Greek Scientific Society “Mikrobiokosmos”, member of international scientific societies and expert evaluator or reviewer with great experience for national and EU projects (FP7, ERC, H2020, BBI). She is member of the working groups of “Food Safety”, “Food Processing and Packaging” and “Nutrition-Health-Consumers” of the Greek Technology Platform “Food for Life”, member of the European Technology Platform ETP “Food for Life”.

She is co-inventor of the patent «Probiotic olives» and team member for the development of innovative food products with the 1st or 2nd prize in ECOTROPHELIA 2012, 2016, 2017. She has been awarded in 2013 by the Minister of Rural Development and Foods for the research on probiotic traditional fermented foods.

She has teaching experience in graduate and postgraduate level (Universities of Patras and West Attica) and is Supervisor for many PhD and MSc students of Cranfield University (UK), Reading University (UK), Agricultural University of Athens, Democritus University of Thrace and Aegean University.

She is married to Prof. George-John Nychas (Agricultural University of Athens) and mother of 3 children. Member of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women.

Dr. George-John Nychas

Prof. George-John Nychas is a Food Microbiology Professor and the head of the Laboratory of Microbiology and Biotechnology of Foods (LMBF) of Agricultural University of Athens, which was established in 1994. From March 2010 till July 2011 was the President of the Greek National Food Authority (EFET – He was member of the EFSA – Biohazard group, expert in Predictive modelling / Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) while recently he has joined the ERWG of EFSA. He has coordinated 6 EU projects, 14 Greek and participated in more than 23 EU projects, and 10 concerted Action (his lab was funded with more than 10,0M €). He has published 269 papers (Scopus, with > 13000 citations and h=66), 25 chapters in specialized books and 110 Proceedings of World Conferences with or without judges.

Through these projects, the research team of Professor Nychas has gained valuable experience in the following subjects: i) assessment of food safety and spoilage through microbiological analysis (pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms), ii) physicochemical analysis in combination with statistical methods of multivariate analysis (MCFA, PCA, discrete analysis – discriminant analysis and cluster analysis) and iii) the development of mathematical models for the behavior of microorganisms and their metabolites (eg mycotoxins) in food chain. He has organized> 10 scientific conferences and international conferences. He supervised 23 doctoral theses, 18 postgraduate theses (3 in collaboration with abroad), and so far he has more than> 50 graduate (experimental) studies.

He was a member: (i) of the Group of Biological Hazards in the European Food Safety Authority [May 2003-June 2006] (ii) Member of the External Review Working Group of EFSA (May 2012 – Dec. 2015) and (iii) of the team for informing the European Parliament on food safety issues (1st / 2006 -12nd / 2007). He is: (i) Expert of the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Health (DG SANCO) of the European Union, and (ii) President of the Food Safety Team on the European food4life platform. International recognition: (A) in working groups for shaping or making decisions / work upon invitation, (B) in editorial boards> 7 scientific journals, (C) in international and national scientific associations (member of IAFP, Member of the Hellenic Agricultural Academy), and ( D) he was awarded the 2017 International Leadership Award by the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP).

Dr. Serko Haroutounian

Prof. Haroutounian is born in Athens and received his B.Sc. degree of Chemistry from the University of Patras. He pursued doctoral studies through collaboration between the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) and the University of Illinois (U of I) and carried out postdoctoral research in the USA with Prof. J.A. Katzenellenbogen. After serving two years the Greek Navy, in 1989 he joined the AUA faculty as Lecturer, while during 1992–93 he returned to the U of I as visiting professor. In 2002 he was promoted to AUA professor at the Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology and Feeding, while from 2018-19 he served as elected vice-rector of AUA for Academic, Administrative and Student Affairs. In 2019 he was appointed chairman of the board of directors of HAO-DEMETER, a position he also served during the period 2013-15.
His research is focused on the Chemistry of Natural and Synthetic Bioactive Compounds, with specific interest in the development of novel bioactive preparations for utilization as food additives, functional foods, biocides and medicines for humans-animals. He has authored 148 articles published in international scientific journals-books and holds two patents. He is the editor of one international scientific journal and editorial board member of three journals. His research projects and activities concern the development of novel bioactive preparations, the circular economy, the development of the rural sector of Greece and the mitigation of climate change consequences. In this context, he has coordinated the successful implementation of 32 research projects, funded by the EU, the Greek government and private companies. Currently, he coordinates the implementation of six research projects. In 2008, his project DIONYSOS was awarded by the EU as best of the best environmental project of the year.

He has participated in numerous Greek and EU committees, assembled for the establishment of research frameworks and the development of the agro-industrial and agro-food sectors. He has collaborated with cooperatives and regions of Greece on issues concerning the rural development and the exploitation of traditional Greek products. These initiatives have provided data for the singularity recognition of various local agricultural products with particular historical and economical interest, such as the fava and tomataki of Santorini, tsipouro of Tyrnavos, kashkaval and tsalafouti cheeses, which led to their certification as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products. Currently, he is collaborating with the Regions of Northern Aegean and Epirus for the certification of five traditional agricultural products.

Mr. Tassos Haniotis

Tassos Haniotis is Director for “Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis” in the DG for Agriculture and Rural development of the European Commission. The mission of the Directorate is to contribute to the overall strategic orientation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by (i) providing policy perspectives and analysis on topics related to the agriculture and rural economy in the European Union, including in the development of the EU’s annual outlook baseline, (ii) coordinating the DG’s impact assessment of major policy initiatives by providing evidence-based analysis to support legislative proposals, and to support the adaptation of the CAP through the evaluation of its effectiveness, efficiency and impact based on its common monitoring and evaluation framework.

He has also held posts as Acting Director for Direct Payments, as Head of Unit in the Units for Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives, and for Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis in DG AGRI, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler, and as Agricultural Counsellor in the European Commission’s Delegation in the US.

Tassos holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia in the U.S., and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business in his native Greece, and was a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London, focusing on EU-US agricultural trade relations in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations before joining the European Commission.

A member of the Executive of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium during 2012-14, Tassos currently represents the European Commission in the G20’s Rapid Response Forum and GEOGLAM Advisory Committee.

Mr. Anthony D. Papayannides

Has read Law in Athens University. Post-graduate studies in Law, Economics and International Relations and in Medieval History in Strasbourg and Cambridge.  DEA European Law, DIHEE European Economy. Practiced business law and EU law. Consultant on E.U. topics to the Athens Daily Newspaper Publishers’ Association.

Member, then national representative, of the negotiating team for the Integrated Mediterranean Programmes. Counsellor to the Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Counsellor to the Minister for Culture, Chairman of the Committee of Cultural Affairs at the E.U. Council. Consultant to the Bank of Greece. Founding member and member of the Board of a number of European affairs institutes and reviews in Greece (EKEME, EKEM, EEK)

From 1972 onwards a journalist and then a columnist at the Greek political daily “TO VIMA” and at the economic and financial weekly  “ECONOMICOS TACHYDROMOS”, specialising in macro-economic policy European affairs and foreign relations. Has also worked at “ELEFTHEROTYPIA” and “IMERISSIA” newspapers, managing editor of “ELEFHEROS TYPOS”.

Writes a bi-weekly column at “NAFTEMPORIKI”. Presently managing director of ECONOMIA Publishing, (“ECONOMIKI EPITHEORISSI”, “BUSINESS FILE”; writes a daily blog at Participates to the talk show “Evening Report” at ACTION 24 Channel.