Board of Directors
Gunilla Almgren (SE)
Gunilla Almgren was appointed as UEAPME President on 28 November 2011. She is an entrepreneur in the sanitary fittings industry, with business contacts all over Europe. She served as Vice-President of the Board of Företagarna, the Swedish Federation of Private Enterprises. She also sits in the Board of several Swedish business-related organisations as well as private companies.
On top of her professional engagements, Ms Almgren has also actively participated in several committees and working groups set up by the European Commission in the past years on issues such as better regulation. Ms Almgren holds a Diploma in Business Administration from the IHM Business School and speaks five official EU languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) in addition to her mother tongue.
Peter Faross was appointed as UEAPME Secretary General by the General Assembly on 29 November 2013, to take office as from January 2014. He studied law and political science and worked for the European Commission for about 30 years. In 1991, he was promoted Head of Sector (Energy and Environment) before becoming Head of Unit in 1993 responsible for the "Functioning of the Internal Market". Subsequent posts until 2008 as Head of Unit included the areas on "General Policy", "General policy and inter-institutional relations", "Economic regulation in air transport", "Services of general economic interest, users’ rights and infringements". Since 2008, Mr Faross was Director of the "Nuclear Safety and Fuel Cycle" Directorate in Luxemburg and acting Deputy Director General for "Nuclear Energy" since 2010.
Policy Vice Presidents
Luca Crosetto (IT)
Member of the National Presidency Committee, Confartigianato
Chairman, UEAPME Enterprise Policy Committee
Luca Crosetto is a member of the National Presidency Committee of our Italian member Confartigianato since 2008. He is also a member of the Confartigianato National Executive Committee since 2000, and a Delegate of the Confartigianato National Presidency for Training since 2005.
An entrepreneur in the sector of production, trading and maintenance of agricultural machines, Mr Crosetto is currently in charge of treasury and responsible for the planning and management of corporate finance of the company AGRIMEC Snc. He holds a Bachelor Degree in “Systems of production” from the University of Torino.
Alain Griset (FR)
Chairman, UEAPME Vocational Training Committee
Born in 1953, Alain Griset started his career of craftsman as a taxi driver in Lille in 1975. In 1984, he was elected President of the "Syndicat autonome des artisans taxis" (taxi drivers’ trade union) of the Urban Community of Lille and became President of the "Union départementale des syndicats d’artisans taxis du Nord" (regional union for taxi drivers) in 1992. This very strong engagement with his profession led him to be elected member of the Chambre de Métiers du Nord (Craft Chamber) in 1989, then Secretary of its Board in 1991.
In 1993, he became President of the "Confédération Nationale Artisanale des Métiers de Services" - CNAMS for the Nord/Pas-de-Calais region. In December 1995, he became President of the Chambre de Métiers du Nord, then President of the "Chambre Régionale de Métiers du Nord Pas-de-Calais" from 1996 to 1999. In January 200O, he was elected President of the APCMA (Permanent Assembly of Craft Chambers), a position he has held ever since. Mr Griset is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Otto Kentzler (DE)
Honorary President, ZDH
Chairman, UEAPME Economic and Fiscal Affairs Committee
Otto Kentzler is the President of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) since 2005, and a member of its Board of Directors since 1998. He is also the President of the Dortmund Chamber of Skilled Crafts since 1994.
A graduate of the Hannover Technical University, where he gained his engineering diploma, he is also a qualified plumber and gas and water installer. Mr Kentzler is Managing Partner of Kentzler GmbH & Co.KG, a family construction company with more than 100 years of experience in roofs and walls. He is married and has two children.
Pierre Martin (FR)
Vice President, UPA
Chairman, UEAPME Social Affairs Committee
Pierre Martin is a hairdresser in Tonnerre (in the Yonne region) since 1973. He started his career in the crafts associations’ movement in 1982, when he became President of the local and later of the regional Hairdressers’ Federation.
Mr Martin then moved on to work at national and cross-profession level: he became President of the Hairdressers’ Training Association, President of the Council of Regional Hairdressers’ Federations, Vice President and then since 2002 President of the National Hairdressers’ Federation, FNC.
He subsequently served as Member of the Council of CNAMS, the National Confederation of Arts and Crafts, one of the founding members of UPA. CNAMS appointed Mr Martin to the UPA National Council and later as UPA President until January 2010. Mr Martin is Bureau Secretary at the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council. He is also Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Ulrike Rabmer-Koller (AT)
Vice President of the Crafts and Trade Division of WKÖ
Chairwoman, UEAPME Sustainable Development Committee
Ulrike Rabmer-Koller is the owner and General Manager of the company Group Rabmer – an international operating company in the area of buildings, construction, municipal services, green technologies and consulting.
From 1997 to 2005, she was Member of the Municipal Council and Chairperson of the Family and Welfare Committee of Altenberg/Linz. Since 2003, she is Vice-President of the Economic Chamber of Upper Austria and is also Member of the Economic Parliament of the Economic Chamber of Austria. Since 2005, she is Member of the Board and since February 2011 she is Vice-President of the Crafts section of the Economic Chamber of Austria. In 2009, she joined the Board and in March 2010 she was elected as President of the “Women’s Entrepreneurs Organisation” of Upper Austria.
Ms Rabmer-Koller graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the Johannes Kepler University of Linz.
Helena de Felipe Lehtonen (ES)
Chairman, UEAPME Legal Affairs Committee
Helena de Felipe is the Vice-President of the Confederation of SMEs in Spain (CEPYME) and the President of the Federation of SME’s in Catalonia (FEPIME-CATALUNYA). As a lawyer, specialized in Corporate Labor Law, she has always been dedicated to promoting female entrepreneurship and gender equality. Helena de Felipe is the founder and director of the Association of Federations and Associations of Women Entrepreneurs from the Mediterranean (AFAEMME), a powerful women’s network and a platform for international projects that promote gender equality in the marketplace. Since 2008 she is also a Member of the European Commission in its Network of Gender Equality in Decision Making positions in economy and politics.
Since 2014 Ms de Felipe is Member of the Board of the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE). Furthermore she is the Vice-President of the Confederation of Employers in Catalonia (FOMENT DEL TREBALL) as well as the Spanish Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (OMEGA). In the past she was President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs from Catalonia (ACEE) and Treasurer of the Association for Business Investment in the Mediterranean Area (ANIMA) and of the Federation of Latin-American Businesswomen (FIDE).
Dimitris Asimakopoulos (GR)
Dimitris Asimakopoulos (Athens, 1952) is the President of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVEE) since 2003, as well as of the GSEVEE Small Enterprises Institute (IME GSEVEE).
He is also a member of the General Council of the Bank of Greece, of the Administrative Council of the Athens Chamber of Small and Medium-sized Industries (ACSMI) and of the Economic and Social Committee of Greece.
He holds a Diploma in rural and surveying engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (1974), and an MSc in Hydraulics and Coastal Engineering from Strathclyde University, Great Britain (1978). Since 1980, he runs his own confectionery family business in Athens, founded in 1915.
Jerzy Bartnik (PL)
Jerzy Bartnik is President of the Polish Craft Association (ZRP) and was nominated to the UEAPME Board of Directors in December 2005.
He has a lifelong involvement in the craft sector and has played a strong role in the development of craft associations in Poland. Mr Bartnik has been President of the Chamber of Crafts in Poznan since 1989, having previously been Chairman of the Board (1986-89). He was Chairman of the Board of the Polish Craft Association (1989-93) and was appointed President in 2001.
Having participated in the establishment of regional authorities (the Sejmik) of the Wielkopolska Region, Mr Bartnik was subsequently its Deputy President. He has been Deputy Chairman of the Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs since 2001. He is also Chairman of the Poznanski Credit Guarantee Fund and is a former member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Culture and Art and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Michaël van Straalen (NL)
Michaël van Straalen is a self-made entrepreneur and has been, over the years, an owner/employer of several companies in the metal industry. He was the Vice-President of the Royal Association MKB-Nederland for six years before becoming the President end of 2013, and was previously the President of the Royal Metaalunie, the Dutch employer’s organisation for SMEs active in the metal industry.
He also has a long and distinguished record and President/Board Member of various organisations, especially in the field of vocational education. Alongside his role as UEAPME Vice-President, he is duo-President of Stichting Samenwerking Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven, President of Nationaal Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek SIA i.o., member of the Executive Board of the Dutch Social and Economic Council, of the Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut (NEN) and of the Labour Foundation, Vice-President of PUM Netherlands Senior Experts, and President of Adviesraad Berichtgevers Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS).
Roland Kuhn (LU)
President, Chambre des Métiers du Luxembourg
Roland Kuhn is the President of the Chamber of Crafts of Luxembourg (CDM) and an entrepreneur leading KUHN SA, a construction company specialised in real estate and building renovation as well as interior and exterior design. In addition to his role as CDM President, Mr Kuhn is also the President of the Luxembourg Federation of Construction Enterprises and Vice-President of the Luxembourg Union of Enterprises (UEL).
Mr Kuhn sits in the Board of a number of business organisations both at national and European level, including for instance the Luxembourg Craftsmen Federation (FDA) and the European Builders Confederation (EBC). A keen musician and scale modelist, Mr Kuhn speaks English, French and German as well as Lëtzebuergesch.
Ovidiu Nicolescu (RO)
Ovidiu Nicolescu is the President of the National Council of Small and Medium Sized Private Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR), an accomplished University Professor in Management with over 40 years of academic experience and a well known consultant in Romania. He currently heads several study and training courses for the Ph.D. in Management at the Economic University of Bucharest and has also taught at the Tufts University, the Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Stockholm Business School in the past.
As consultant in his International Institute, Professor Nicolescu has expertise in strategic management, SMEs, in structural funds, feasibility and business plan, human resources management and marketing.
As a researcher, Professor Nicolescu has written more than 80 books and 400 studies and articles so far. Two of his books on enterprise management were honoured with the “Romanian Academy Award for the best economic book published” in 1980 and 1996.
At European Level, Professor Nicolescu is member of the European Social Fund Committee, the Enterprise Policy Group - Business Chamber, the FP7 SME Advisory Group and other bodies.
Jean-François Roubaud (FR)
Jean-François Roubaud is the President of CGPME, the French Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, since October 2002. Prior to that, Mr Roubaud was First Vice-President from May 2002 to October 2002 and Vice-President in charge of Economic and Fiscal Affairs from 2000 to 2002. He has been a Member of the CGPME Board of Directors since 1994, and has served as President of the French Builders Federation (FFB) for the Paris Ile-de-France region and as Vice-President of the national FFB from 2002 to 2005.
A Member of the French Social and Economic Committee, Mr Roubaud also sits in several Boards and Committees. He is Officer of the National Order of Merit and Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Mr Roubaud holds a Vocational Training Certificate in Climatic Engineering (1965/1967) and a Diploma from the Institut Contrôle de Gestion (“Leonard de Vinci” term, 1980/1982). His family business, Simonet Rungis, is active in the cooling industry field.
Niels Techen (DK)
Niels Techen is a civil engineer and owns a carpentry and joinery company of which he is also the Director. In the past, he has taught civil engineering at the Technical University of Denmark and currently holds various roles in associations such as Board member of Danish Carpentry and Joinery Enterprises, of the Pension Fund for Self-Employed, of the Danish Technological Institute, Chairman of the Danish Handcraft Association and of the Danish Federation of SMEs, and member of the Economic Council.
Karel Van Eetvelt (BE)
Managing Director, UNIZO
Karel Van Eetvelt was born in 1966. After completing his secondary education at the Don Bosco College in Zwijnaarde, he graduated at the Catholic University of Leuven.
Mr Van Eetvelt started his professional career as Adviser in the Belgian Union of SME building companies, Bouwunie, formerly Nacebo. He then covered subsequently the posts of Secretary General and Managing Director in the same organisation.
In 2004, he became Managing Director of UNIZO, the Flemish organisation for SMEs and self-employed people. Karel Van Eetvelt currently holds mandates in several Boards and Advisory Committees at Flemish, Federal and European level.
János Vértes (HU)
Vice President, International Affairs, KISOSZ
János Vértes is Vice President responsible for International Affairs at the Hungarian SME organisation KISOSZ, a position he holds since 2001. A graduated engineer at the Miskolc University of Technology with an MBA from Buckingamshire Higher Education in the United Kingdom, Mr Vértes worked for almost 30 years at MALEV Hungarian Airlines. Starting in operations, he then moved to executive positions both in Hungary and abroad before leaving MALEV in 2001.
Since 2001, Mr Vértes has been Tourism Director at the Hungarian Post Plc. Group, then CEO in one of the largest Hungarian daily newspapers and Director of Commerce and Sales at the Budapest Airport. He is currently Route Development Director at FlyBalaton Airport.
An expert of social dialogue, employment and competitiveness, Mr Vértes is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee since 2004 and a member of its Bureau since 2006.
Giuseppe Oliviero (IT)
Member of the Presidency Board, CNA
Giuseppe Oliviero has a degree in architecture and is a technical consultant for the City Court of Naples. He began his career as an entrepreneur in 1997 in wood craft design, conveying his interests on green architecture and sustainable techniques. Mr Oliviero is currently involved in research and innovation prototyping of sustainable construction system and passive houses.
Since 2007, he holds the position of Chairman of CNA Naples and he was elected Vice President by the national CNA Presidency Board in 2013.
Josep González (ES)
President, PYMEC (Merger Group)
Josep González I Sala is the current president of the business confederation PIMEC, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of Catalonia. He studied economics and holds a diploma in high management from IESE (Barcelona). In the private sector, Mr González founded and was linked to several companies related to telecommunications, industry and international trade. As well as his role as UEAPME Vice-President, Mr González is the 2nd Vice-President of the Barcelona Chamber of Trade, Industry and Shipping, a member of the Board of Directors of the Multisectoral Platform against Late Payments (PMcM) and of the Board of Trustees of the Rinaldi Foundation (Salesian University School of Sarrià - EUSS) and that of the Barcelona Professional Training Foundation, last but not least he is also the President of the Association for the Promotion of El Pallars Jussà.
Vassilis Korkidis (GR)
Since 2009, Vassilis Korkidis has been the President of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) and since 2013 the President of Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Previously, he held various positions such as President of the Traders Association of Piraeus, Vice-Chairman of the Hellenic Institute for Health and Safety at Work, member of the Piraeus Port Authority Board of Administrators and more. During his studies, he specialised in shipbuilding and ship management as well as maritime law and international commerce and transport. He is the manager of two family-owned commercial enterprises active in import-export of electological material and procurements for shipping and manufacturing, and has set up a company supplying marine electric and electronics equipment.
Jyrki Mäkynen (FI)
President, Federation of Finnish Enterprises
Born in 1964, Jyrki Mäkynen is the owner of a company called OY HM Profiili Ab which designs and supplies interior solutions for working environments and public spaces. He is the President of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. Previously, he had served as one of the four Vice-Presidents for the association. Furthermore, he has served several years as the President for one of the biggest regional associations of FFE.