Meet the Jury Members of the Debut Edition of WOW Awards Middle East 2019

Industry Watch | September 19, 2019 | News

WOW Awards WOW Awards Middle East 2019

After 11 successful editions of WOW Awards - Asia’s largest business and recognition platform for the Experiential Marketing, MICE, LIVE Entertainment and Wedding industry, comes to the Middle East this year. Scheduled on September 25th, 2019 at the Palazzo Versace Dubai, WOW Awards Middle East will bring together the Experiential industry of the region in a celebration like never before!

With a two-phased judging process by jury members, audited and validated by KPMG, awards will be announced across 38 categories during the glittering ceremony. Each Jury member is selected from complementing backgrounds with extensive experience in the industry to ensure complete transparency in the judging process. Jury members are particularly very knowledged and thus have an upper hand in deciding the most deserving winner. 

Experiential Marketing known as Group A is all about Campaigns, Events, Activities, Initiatives of brands, corporations, associations, government bodies, etc. for the purpose of promotion, communication, and marketing. Experiential Marketing Awards have 16 categories which will be judged by a panel of expert jury members. 

The esteemed Jury of Experiential Marketing Group are:

MAY ALI SAYED

Senior Marketing Manager

Dubai Properties Group

Over 15 years of solid experience driving strategic growth and visibility for leading corporate media and renowned international organizations. Extensive experience in regional marketing, experiential marketing, design & production of marketing builds across channels, channel strategy, public relations, and client/partner relationship management. 

ROLA DAHER

GMC Brand Marketing Manager

General Motors Middle East

A research geek and a strategist at heart, Rola is passionate about the changing trends in consumer behavior and is determined to be closer to the customer. Her research training and learnings were in the hands of TNS & IPSOS, both leading multinational research agencies who shaped her analytical & strategic skills early in her career which helped her fast track her career. 

WESSAM GABER

Director, Marketing & Corporate Communication

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Government of Dubai

23 years of experience in marketing and advertising, events management, PR and communication with solid expertise in Real Estate and Retail sectors. A retail marketing professional with 9 years of experience in retail and development marketing and a Certified Marketing Director from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) In the Dubai/UAE since 2005 and worked in large corporation such as Dubai Holding, Majid Al Futtaim and Meraas Holding.

SANDEEP PODUVAL

Head of Marketing

Commercial Bank of Dubai

With over 20 years of Marketing & Communications experience, Sandeep has helped build successful brands across a diverse spectrum of industries spanning India and Middle East markets. Sandeep has extensive Banking experience, having worked for 11 years at Union National Bank, as SVP & Head of Corporate Communications before recently joining Commercial Bank of Dubai as the Head of Marketing. 

OMAR KUWATLY

Regional Marketing MEA and APAC

Bombardier Business Aircraft

Omar is a member at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, American Marketing Association, and Harvard business review advisory council. His career spans over 15 years in marketing and communication, with extensive Global, regional and local experience gained in FMCGs, Automotive, Telecommunication and aerospace to name few. 

TAREK BARAKAT

Marketing Director

Beside Group

Tarek is a Marketing Director of Beside Group and is a strategic department head with 16+ years’ experience in retail/premium-segment marketing across Middle Eastern & European markets. In the past 10 years, he’s spent at Beside Group, he’s managed exciting brands such as Diesel, Fred Perry, Scotch & Soda, and Pinko among others across the Middle East. 

BOBBY MATHEW

Head of Trade Marketing

Enhance UAE, WJ Towell

Bobby is a passionately creative Marketeer with very rich experience in the FMCG Industry. While serving as the Customer & Shopper Marketing Manager for Unilever Gulf, where he spent a good 18 years across various Sales & Marketing functions, Bobby has been instrumental in setting some of the Platinum standards for in-store executions in the Industry with a model of rallying the entire organization, across functions to execute what matters the most to the Brands, Customers, Shoppers & Consumers alike. 

Experiential Celebration known as Group B includes various aspects of weddings, celebratory and social events. It is all about the full series of functions, celebrations, and ceremonies as part of a wedding, a milestone or any social event including all aspects of Entertainment, Décor, F&B, etc. 

The set of jury members of the Experiential Celebrations are- 

H.E. DR. SARA AL MADANI

Her Excellency Dr. Sara Al Madani is a well-known serial entrepreneur in the field of fashion, F&B, tech, marketing and more. In 2014, she was selected by His Highness Sheikh D.r Sultan Bin Mohammed AL Qassimi as a board member at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, making her the youngest on the board. 

MADHUSUDHAN RAO TUMPUDI

CEO

Danube Group

Known for his multitasking and Willingness to take calculated risks Madhu is currently a successful CEO of the UAE’s biggest business conglomerate DANUBE Group. He holds an experience of 30 plus year and worked with some renowned brands like Johnson and Johnson - India, Backer Suleiman Jaffer Trading Company, Supermax - UAE among others. Under him, Danube Group has grown to become the number one building material company of the region.

EMMA POPE

Director of Lifestyle Events

Emaar Hospitality Group LLC

Graduating with a degree in Tourism Business Management, Emma made the move to Dubai back in 2004 and 14 years on firmly calls Dubai home. Prior to joining Address Hotels and Resorts, Emma found her passion with Event planning and established herself as a Wedding & Events planner, honing her skills and delving into the nuances of the wedding industry in Dubai.

SANDRA TIKAL

General Manager

Palazzo Versace Dubai

The nature of the UAE’s hospitality industry has changed since Palazzo Versace Dubai entered the market in November 2015. It is a property profoundly influenced by the heritage of the House of Versace, and it has brought to Dubai an archetype of opulent hospitality and intuitive service.

BRENT BLACK

RJ

Virgin Radio Dubai

Brent Black is a popular RJ at Virgin Radio Dubai.   

NIKKI RUTHERFORD

General Manager

Weddings Online

Nikki joined weddingsonline.ae in 2015 as an Account Manager, and have recently moved into the position of General Manager, overseeing the day-to-day running of the business from both supplier and couple facing perspectives. She understands the importance of integrating many suppliers to achieve the shared vision of the bride, and the joy for me is in seeing this transpire.

RHIANNON DOWNIE-HURST

Founder | Editor in Chief

Bride Club ME

After researching the bridal media market in the UAE, Rhiannon saw a gap for a modern, stylish and interactive website. Six years later, Bride Club ME is now the region’s leading online wedding inspiration website and directory for brides and grooms in the UAE, also putting on a fun and interactive events for readers and vendors alike.

Experiential Management known as Group C celebrates efforts in production and event technical’s by supplier partners. This category includes only service providers without the inclusion of agencies. 

The esteemed Jury of Experiential Management Group are:

PAUL WALTERS

Associate Dean for Event Management, Consultant and Lecturer

Backstage Academy, UK

Paul Walters is an associate dean for Event management consultant and lecturer at Backstage Academy in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Paul has an employment history that span a number of years within the area of music management, exhibition design/build, festivals management, project management, touring theatre management, film production, sponsorship/ marketing, and sports event management.

NEIL VAN DER LINDEN

Editor

Arab Gulf Guide

Neil Van Der Linden graduated in medicine and law and has a keen interest in curating music, theatre and visual arts projects related to the Middle-East and North-Africa. He has curated these projects in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, the Gulf states, Pakistan, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.

BRENDA MUNSTERMAN-BRAET

Head of Benelux

Festicket

Brenda currently heads the Benelux team for experience platform and ticketing company Festicket. Before that she worked for ID&T, Netherlands biggest event organizer, for almost 14 years. Through the years she had different roles and was responsible for the well-known international touring concept Sensation (White). 

ANDERS KRISTENSSON

Producers Representative

The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Producers Representative for The Kennedy/Marshall Company. Have been with Kennedy/Marshall since 2004. Duties include looking for stories, locations, co-production opportunities, search for talent, and to create a network of contacts in various countries.

JACQUES-OLIVIER BRONER

Founder

Alkymia

Jacques-Olivier Broner has led many lives. First, he was a professional drummer, performing with rock & jazz artists at the mere age of 14. Today, Jacques-Olivier accompanies brands, businesses leaders and high-profile personalities on their communication strategies, in a manner that is refreshingly free of restraints or models.

JOSH MCNORTON

Creative Producer, Festival Director, Curator and Cultural Venue Programmer

Josh McNorton is a creative producer, festival director, curator and cultural venue programmer. Josh moved to the UK in 2012 to produce the outdoor entertainment programme at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. From 2014 to 2016 Josh ran FutureFest, a weekend festival in London about the future, powered by the UK's innovation foundation, Nesta.

Experiential Venue known as Group D is the category that celebrates the best MICE & Wedding Venues of Metro India, destination India and destination Asia including Business Events, Intimate Weddings, Lifestyle/ Luxury Events, Big Fat Weddings, and Convention centers.  

Jury Panel for Experiential Venue include- 

MICHAIL PANAGIOTAKIS

Head of Department

Viola Events

An event professional with more than 25 years of international experience in events and advertising, Michail has a deep understanding of the UAE culture having launched major events like Dubai International Fashion Week and the Retail Middle East Event Awards. He has organized a series of major shows with the support of his team such as the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival and many others.

MELTEM BAYAZIT TEPELER

President

KM Events

Meltem Bayazıt Tepeler is the Founder President of KM EVENTS in Turkey since 1995 and the Founder President of KM Events Beyond Luxury in Dubai since 2016. KM Events is one of the leading luxurious event and wedding companies in Turkey and Dubai and celebrating its 22nd anniversary in the event and wedding industry in 2017. Tepeler is the Founder President of YEPUD (The Association for Planning and Implementation of Creative Events, Turkey), Tepeler is currently the President of ILEA( International Live Events Association) Turkey Chapter. 

MAHESH SHIRODKAR

Director

Tamarind Global

A veteran of the tourism, hospitality, and destination management industry, Mahesh has spent 35+ years in a variety of roles encompassing inbound and outbound holidays, corporate travel and event management, both in the B2B and B2C arenas. For the last 20 years, he has set up, owned and managed his own companies. He is currently Managing Director of Tamarind Global, a company with a topline in excess of INR 180 crores.

NIOUSHA EHSAN

CEO - Chief Energy Officer

LINKVIVA

Niousha Ehsan is one of the Top 50 GCC Women Leaders and a highly effective CEO with 13 + years of experience in the Events, Activations & MICE industry. She was awarded twice as CEO of the year and has recently been elected as a Board Member of International Live Events Association (ILEA), Middle East Chapter.

GIRISH BHAT

Managing Director

Done Events

With over 17 years of experience in the events industry, Girish has a meticulous eye for detail, passion for perfection and a tendency to completely effectuate his client’s requirements, no matter how big or small. Girish joined Done Events in 2005 and for the past 13 years, he has played a vital role in the evolution of the company.

PACH ANG

Managing Director

CEO REDFILO Group

REDFILO is a comprehensive Event Management agency based within the UAE, founded by Singaporean Pach Ang who established the company in 2008. Over the past 10 years, REDFILO has grown exponentially in scale, now holding over 20 international awards and 6 office locations worldwide. REDFILO continuously strives to bring high-class entertainment and never before seen events to the market. 

AJAY BHOJWANI

Managing Director

MCI Middle East

An Indian living in the Middle East for over 20 years and been involved in organizing meetings in emerging markets for the past 15 years as well as working with associations in defining and implementing in global expansion. With an MBA in marketing, a degree in software engineering and a certificate in profiling human personalities, Ajay has taken a varied approach to business and the meetings industry with running events in several emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

RACHNA CHADHA

Founder/ CEO/ Head of Design

BAQAA

BAQAA is the brainchild of Rachna Chadha. A veteran in Event Management, Client Relations, PR and Marketing with a successful track record of over 30 years in UAE and the region, Rachna Chadha takes great pride in her novel, innovative and unique ideas as the head designer, founder, and CEO of the company. Her creative vision and attention to detail give BAQAA and all its events and weddings that inimitable dimension.

AMIN SAMMAKIEH

CEO & Experience Designer

Plan A Lab

Amin, Born in 1972 is a Lebanese British Visual Artist with 16 Years in Broadcast TV with Showtime, BBC and MBC. For the last 10 years has been the CEO and Experience Designer at Plan A. Plan A is an experience design studio based in Beirut servicing weddings, corporate events, and festivals in Lebanon and the GCC region.
 

ARUN BABLANI

Director

Vivaah Weddings

With over 14 years in the events industry, Arun is co-founder of Vivaah Weddings. Having several successful events in a short stint in the early stages, he got an opportunity to work on large weddings internationally where he quickly explored his potential to add that extra bit personal touch.

HITEN BAJAJ

Founder & CEO

Mosaic Live

The first step towards accomplishing any dream begins with, realizing it. Mosaic Live is one such accomplishment made by it’s Founder & CEO, Hiten Bajaj. Mosaic Live stands tall & unabashed on its vision of Designing and Delivering Impactful event experiences. It’s been a joyride of decade long legacy for Mosaic Live and it has been evolving ever since.

For more details, check the WOW Awards Middle East Categories.  

Each Jury member is selected from complementing backgrounds with extensive experience in the industry to ensure complete transparency in the judging process.

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