Carole Bachmann is a senior consultant in the Kellen Europe team. She works mainly for the European Rental Association, the representative association of the European equipment rental industry, based in Brussels.
Spanning a career of over 20 years, she has knowledge and experience in the construction equipment and building systems industry. Previously, Carole was Managing Director Europe with the rental software company Wynne Systems. She was also the delegate to the President with the European rental company Loxam between 2002 and 2008, and an internal auditor with Bull, and a financial services consultant at Arthur Andersen.
Carole Bachmann graduated from ESSEC Business School in France. She is French national and is fluent in English and German.
Nele joined Kellen in 2001 and specializes in marketing and communications. She is involved in strategic advice projects and consulting for trade associations and professional societies on a global level. She has an extensive experience in the management of national, European, and international associations.
Her current assignments include the International Association of Lighting Designers, for which she serves as their European office Manager, and the European Utilities Telecom Council, for which she is the Senior Manager of Operations in Europe. Nele also serves as the Executive Director in Europe for the EU-Russia Industrialists’ Roundtable, a business platform composed of leaders of multinational companies from the EU and Russia. She also leads the Kellen team that serves as the secretariat of the CEC, the Co-ordinating European Council for the Development of Performance Tests for Fuels, Lubricants and other Fluids.
Nele has experience in several industries and sectors and has mainly worked with associations active on an international level, several of them in the healthcare field; such as the International League Against Epilepsy and the American Health Information Management Association. Nele studied Communications at the EGON Hogeschool in Gent, Belgium. She is Belgian of Dutch mother tongue and speaks English, French, and German.
Raquel Ponte Costa
Raquel specializes in EU regulatory affairs and digital communications. She has been responsible for the public relations and communications activities for a number of Kellen clients, including the European Window Film Association, Global Facilities Management Association, Association of European Automotive, and Industrial Battery Manufacturers.
Currently, Raquel acts as the Executive Director of VIPA International, the Vacuum Insulation Panel Association, and as General Manager of EASEE-gas, the European Association for the Streamlining of Energy Exchange – gas. In addition, she is also involved in consulting projects with Kellen clients, including the facilitation of strategic planning sessions, reputation analysis, governance support, review of internal structures, and establishment in Brussels, among others.
Before joining Kellen, Raquel worked as a trainee for both the International Wool Textile Organization and the European Parliament with a Portuguese MEP. After graduating with a degree in European Studies and International Politics in Portugal, Raquel continued her academic career at the Institute for European Studies of the Université libre de Bruxelles, where she concluded a Master’s in European Studies. Raquel is a Portuguese native speaker and is fluent in English and French.
Susanne has been working for EU trade associations in the food sector since 2005. She presently serves as Secretary General for EUVEPRO, the European Vegetable Protein Association. Previous positions include 8 years as Secretary General of PROFEL, the European Association of Fruit and Vegetable Processors, as well as work for UNESDA, OEIT, AEMTD, and CIUS, the Committee of Industrial Sugar Users. Susanne always supports her respective Boards in their strategic thinking.
With over 20 years’ experience following EU food policy, agricultural policy, trade policy, and regulatory affairs, Susanne has a thorough understanding of the EU decision making process, and has a proven track record of successful advocacy. Prior to managing associations she worked as research assistant to Members of the European Parliament in the areas of food safety and consumer legislation. Having lived in the UK and Russia for parts of her studies, Susanne holds a Master’s degree in Modern Languages and Educational Sciences from Leipzig University. A German national, she speaks fluent English and French, Russian, and basic Dutch.
Alfons Westgeest leads Kellen’s global development and operations, from our offices in Brussels, Belgium and Beijing, China. He is also responsible for Kellen’s strategic affiliates in Asia, Middle East and South America.
Alfons is involved in client board and member meetings, strategic planning and government affairs. He is a member of the Kellen’s Executive Committee and is responsible for preparing and implementing the company’s global expansion. He has expertise in various sectors including automotive, engineering, electronics, food, health care, construction, and financial services.
Alfons leads a team of 30 European professionals from 13 nationalities who advise, manage and represent European and U.S. based associations in various industries. He is also responsible for Kellen’s Beijing office, which has recently expanded to serve multiple international associations in China.
A graduate of Leyden University in the Netherlands, he holds a Master degree in Commercial and European law and was previously a partner at EY. Alfons is a former Board member of ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) and ASAE Fellow since 2006. He represents Kellen at Chambers of Commerce in Europe and Asia and received the 2011 ‘Outstanding Contribution to EU Public Affairs’ award.
Hans Craen joined Kellen’s Brussels office in 2003. He specializes in EU affairs, with a focus on environmental, construction and energy policies. Hans acts as secretary-general for several of Kellen’s European clients including the European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) and the European Window Film Association (EWFA).
As secretary-general, Hans supports the Board in its strategic thinking, implementing public affairs and public relations activities and representing the organization in front of the European and national legislative bodies. He is also involved in several consulting projects for Kellen’s global clients.
Before joining Kellen, Hans worked as an EU Affairs coordinator for Hitachi’s liaison office in Brussels, covering environmental policy issues. Prior to that, he worked as a trainee in the legal department of the European Ombudsman’s office in Strasbourg.
Hans holds a law degree from the Antwerp University, as well as a European law degree from the Liège University. He also obtained a post-graduate degree in Business Management from the Vlekho Business School.
Maria Teresa Scardigli
Maria Teresa Scardigli serves as the executive director for several associations, managing projects for clients in food drink and chemical sector. Her main responsibilities include supporting the Board in its strategic thinking, chairing of meetings, coordinating public affairs and public relations activities and representation of the organizations towards third parties.
Maria is the executive director of the International Stevia Council representing the interests of the producers and manufacturers of the natural, zero calorie sweeteners. She is also involved in consulting projects with Kellen clients, including the facilitation of strategic planning sessions, the legal and governance support to associations to establish themselves in Europe, among others.
She graduated from the University of Rome with a Law Degree, and received her Master’s Degree in European and Community Law from the European University Center of the University of Nancy in France.