Daniel Azevedo is a senior policy adviser in the Commodities and Trade team of Copa and Cogeca, an agricultural lobby representing 66 national farm organizations and cooperatives in Europe. He is a natural resources engineer graduated in the University of Évora (Portugal) currently following EU Livestock sector, Bilateral Trade Agreements and Agricultural Machinery. He is also the coordinator of Copa and Cogeca Task Force on agricultural technology. He has previously been working for DG Agriculture and Rural Development after specializing on agro-environmental measures in SLU university (Sweden). Mr. Azevedo comes from a family producing wine and olive oil in the Douro Valley in Portugal. @florindo_daniel
Programme Officer, DG CNECT, European Commission
Joël Bacquet is Programme Officer at the Internet of Things Unit in the European Commission’s department for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) .Previously, he was Programme Officer in "Future Internet Experimental Platforms", Head of the sector "Virtual Physiological Human" in the ICT for health domain. From 1999 to 2003, he was Head of the sector “Networked Organisations” in the eBusiness unit. He started working with the European Commission in 1993, in the Software Engineering Unit of the ESPRIT Programme (European Strategic Program on Research in Information Technology). From 1991 to 1993, he was with Eurocontrol where he was Quality manager of an Air Traffic Control system. Before that, he worked with the European Space Agency as software engineer on the European Space shuttle and international Space platform programmes (ISS) from 1987 to 1991. From 1983 to 1987, he was with Thomson CSF (Thales) as software development engineer for a Radar System. He started his career in 1981 as visiting scientist for Quantel, a laser company in San José, California. He graduated as an engineer in computer science from the Institut Supérieur d'Electronique du Nord (ISEN) and he has a MBA from Webster University, Missouri.
Chief Technology Officer, CLAAS
Thomas Böck holds a diploma in electrical engineering, was developer for vehicle systems electronic/electricity and electronic/hydraulic systems.
Joining the CLAAS Group in 2006 as Head of System Technology and Managing Engineer for R&D, production and logistic, he later became Executive Vice President responsible for the Technology Division of CLAAS Saulgau GmbH. Since October 2014 he has been responsible for the Division of Technology and Systems within the CLAAS Group Executive Board.
Vice President Product Management Global Electronics and Fuse, AGCO
Stefan Caspari is responsible for integrating and deploying technology across AGCO’s fleet. This also includes the responsibility for implementing machine and farm services leveraging key partners. He is currently based at the AGCO Global HQ in Duluth Georgia USA.
Mr. Caspari started at AGCO in 2013. He successfully held different strategy, sales and marketing positions within AGCO. Lastly, Mr. Caspari led AGCO’s global Strategy & Integration team.
Prior to AGCO, he worked for a leading Management Consulting company supporting various industries focusing on strategy & organization and operations management and for a global Financial Services company where he led Strategic Marketing and Multi-Channel Management.
Mr. Caspari studied Agricultural Engineering (Dipl. Ing. Agr.) at the University of Bonn.
Member of the European Parliament
Herbert Dorfmann MEP is an Italian member of the European Parliament for the South Tyrolean People’s Party, part of the group of the European People’s Party (EPP). He is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and a Substitute member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. Dorfmann was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and has been President of the European Parliamentary Association since 2014. He started his political career in 2005 with the South Tyrolean People’s Party as mayor of Feldthurns, his hometown. Previously, he directed the South Tyrol Farmers' Union for a duration of ten years. He also directed the agriculture department at the Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano. He started his career as a professor at the Agricultural College in Ora. Dorfmann studied agrarian sciences in Piacenza.
Carlo des Dorides
Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA)
As Executive Director of the GSA, Mr. des Dorides sets the vision of the Agency and ensures that the GSA is well placed to accomplish its mission of supporting the effective operation, maintenance and security of the Europe’s satellite navigation systems, while guaranteeing optimal service levels and developing applications and services that ensure the satellites benefit end users.
Mr des Dorides has almost three decades of experience managing space service focussed teams. Most recently, he had key management responsibilities at the European Commission and was responsible for the definition of the Galileo/EGNOS exploitation phase and the EGNOS operational phase.
Before joining the Commission, Mr. des Dorides led the Concession Department at the European GNSS Supervisory Authority and served as Chief Negotiator of the Galileo Public-Private-Partnership/Concession contract at the Galileo Joint Undertaking.
Mr des Dorides’ career has focussed on program management and operations of advanced satellite systems. As Director of Programs and Engineering at ENAV, the Italian air navigation service provider, he was responsible for updating the technology of Italian airports and Area Control Centres. Prior to that he held several management positions in the aerospace private sector including Head of advanced telecommunication programs and Program Manager for major satellite telecommunication projects at Alenia Spazio. Within these organisations he managed a significant number of projects in the areas of contracts, procurement and service engineering.
Mr. des Dorides holds a degree in engineering from the University of Rome and an M.B.A. from CUOA, Vicenza, Italy, complemented by his studies at the International Space University in Toulouse.
Director Government Relations Europe, John Deere
Gilles Dryancour is Honorary President and Chairman of the Public Policy Group of CEMA having served as President of the board of directors for five years from 2009 to 2014.
From 1985 to 2001, Gilles Dryancour held different positions at the European Commission, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bordeaux, the Cabinet de Coopération Européenne.
Since 16 years steers John Deere’s public affairs efforts in Europe.
Gilles Dryancour holds a Ph.D. in economics, master degrees in Political Sciences and in International and European Law.
Matthew Foster was born in January 1961, and brought up in Northern Ireland. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the National College of Agricultural Engineering in UK, receiving a BSc in 1982. In 1984, he obtained an MSc from Cranfield Institute of Technology in UK.
After his studies, Matthew Foster joined Ferranti Agriculture in the UK as sales technician for the years 1983 to 1985. Between 1985 and 1987, he was a lecturer at the Welsh Agricultural College in UK. From 1987 to 1989, he was involved in agricultural development projects in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe as project manager.
Between 1989 and 1995, he was responsible at Kuhn-Huard in Chateaubriant, France as export manager for the tillage equipment range.
Matthew Foster joined Case IH in 1996 as Business Manager Middle East, and in 1998 was appointed Business Director Africa and Middle East. Between 2001 and 2009, Matthew Foster was in charge of developing Case IH sales in France as Business Director at Case IH France. He was also responsible for Case IH sales in UK and Ireland from 2008 to 2009. In 2010, he took over his current position as Vice President Case IH for the EMEA region.
Matthew Foster is married, has four children and likes restoring and driving classic cars in his free time.
Journalist and Communication Consultant, Vox Viridis, Berlin
Dietrich Holler studied agricultural sciences in Hohenheim and Göttingen. Focusing on agriculture and food industry, he has gained more than 20 years of journalistic experience. From 2004 to 2011 he was as editor-in-chief in charge of the journal "Agrarzeitung". Prior to that he worked as an editor of the journal "Lebensmittel-Zeitung".
In 2011, Holler founded the communication and editorial office vox viridis (green voice”), located in Berlin, and publishes since then, among others, through the FAZ-Institut (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Parallel to that, from April 2013 to January 2017 Holler acted as head of communications of the German Agricultural Society DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft). Today, Holler still consults DLG as an adviser and is a sought-after communications trainer beyond the agriculture and technology industry. He teaches academic offspring at the Universities of Kiel and Neubrandenburg the foundations and practical knowledge of communications. Dietrich Holler is the winner of the German Online Communication Award 2016 (Category Image film).
President CEJA (European Young Farmers Association)
Born in 1991, Jannes Maes grew up on a Flemish farm (dairy cattle, sheep and arable crops) in Aalter, East of Flanders and has been passionate about agriculture and horticulture since childhood. He later attended secondary agricultural education and then obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture. Today, he works with his family in their dairy farm, cooperating with other farmers in collecting and processing their milk.
For the last two years Mr. Maes has served as Vice-President of CEJA, and before that as the international representative of Groene Kring and began to attend CEJA meetings. Mr Maes has been an active member of Groene Kring for several years at both regional and national representative levels.
President FederUnacoma & CEO, AMA
Born in Correggio (Reggio Emilia Province) in 1971, degree in Business Economics at University of Modena, married with two children.
After finishing university studies in 1994 joined the family company, the AMA Group, a leading manufacturer of components and accessories for agricultural machinery and groundskeeping, holding various positions of responsibility in the group to then become Vice President and CEO since 1998.
Member of the council of the Reggio Emilia Confindustria from 2007 to 2011 and of its board of directors from 2011 to 2013, and then as permanent guest of the Enlarged Body of Reggio Emilia Unindustria from 2015 to 2017.
Member of FederUnacoma board from 2016 to 2012, President of Comacomp, Component Manufacturers Association, from 2010 to 2017. FederUnacoma Vice President from 2013 to 2017. Named President of the federation in June 2017.
Mr. Richard Markwell has been CEMA President since June 2014. British-born Mr. Markwell joined Massey Ferguson in 1975 with degrees from universities in London, England and Aix-en-Provence, France. With widespread international experience, he has held a variety of senior European sales and marketing positions with AGCO. Till March 2017, he was Vice President and Managing Director Massey Ferguson in Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME). Prior to this, he was Vice President Customer Support, EAME with responsibility for Parts and Service across all AGCO brands.
President of CEETTAR (European Agricultural Contractors)
Klaus Pentzlin is the president of both BLU, the organization representing agricultural, rural and forestry contractors in Germany and of CEETTAR, its European umbrella organisation. Contractor himself in Schleswig-Holstein, he is, with these mandates, the face to about 150.000 companies operating in Europe and investing approx. 6 billion Euros per year, to offer their customers the benefit from technical advances in the agricultural and forestry machinery.
Secretary General, COPA-COGECA
Mr Pekka Pesonen is the Secretary General of Copa, representing European farmers, and Cogeca, representing European agri-cooperatives, which together count more than 70 national farming organisations from across Europe. Previously, he worked as State Secretary for the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry.
In addition, Mr Pesonen has extensive professional experience in lobbying at EU level on behalf of Finnish farmers, forest owners (MTK and SLC) and agri-forestry cooperatives (Pellervo). In the 1990s, he worked in the sales and marketing department of Valio, a Finnish dairy company. Mr Pesonen has also been a member of several high level advisory groups concerning EU policy preparation. He is a qualified agronomist and is married with three teenage children.
Deputy Director General, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Khalil Rouhana is the Deputy Director-General in DG CONNECT (Communications Networks, Content & Technology) since 1/12/2016. His responsibilities include the policies for digital economy and society and notably for research, innovation and industrial strategies, digital solution for societal challenges and governments as well as cybersecurity. Before that he was Director for "Digital Industry" in DG CONNECT supporting the competitiveness of core digital sectors in Europe and the digitisation of all industrial sectors of the economy.
In his previous experiences in the Commission, he was the Director for "Digital content & Cognitive systems", the Head of Unit in charge of ICT research and Innovation strategy, and started as a project officer in the ESPRIT programme in the areas of High Performance Computing and Future and Emerging technologies.
Before joining the Commission in 1992, he was for 5 years the director of an institute and school of engineering (Grande Ecole) in France. He started his career as research and development engineer for the aeronautics industry, worked for the French University in Beirut and created also his own engineering company. He has a master degree in electrical and electronic engineering from "Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité" (Supelec, France).
Director, DG AGRI, European Commission
Since 1983, Mr Jens Schaps served in different positions in the Commission of the European Union. He holds a Master degree in Economics and a PhD in Agricultural Economic.
He is married and father of three grown up children.
In January 2015 he took over the position the Market Directorate G in DG AGRI holding the responsibilities over the Agricultural Markets and the Market Observatories. Before joining DG AGRI he was Director for Trade Defence in Directorate General for TRADE and in charge of the different Anti-dumping and Anti-subsidy measures put in place to combat unfair trading practises exercised by Third Countries.
Mr Schaps started his carrier in DG Agriculture in the Farm Accountancy Data Network and the area of farm income. In the course of his carrier, he was in particular involved in the external aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy and related commercial and bilateral aspect. He was member of the agricultural negotiation team during the GATT Uruguay Round for trade liberalisation in the late 80ies, he continued in this area in DG TRADE during the Doha Development round and he served as the Assistant to the Director General for Agricultural.
In DG Budget he was responsible as Head of Unit for the expenditure for the Structural and Agricultural Funds and continued in the financial area as Head of Unit in charge of the FEOGA guarantee expenditures paid to Members States through the national paying agencies in DG AGRI.
He also occupied the position of DG Trade’s Resource Director and supervised the Chief economist in DG Trade. In this position he formulated guidelines how to best develop and design the common trade policy which falls under the Community competence. This involved in depth analysis of potential economic trade interest for both bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.