H.E Riitta Swan

Ambassador, Embassy of Finland in Abu Dhabi

Honorary Chairman



Riitta Swan commenced her duties as the Ambassador of Finland in Abu Dhabi in September 2016. She moved to Abu Dhabi from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki, where her latest posting was as the Head of Unit in the Department of Communications. During more than 25 years in the Ministry she has served among others in the departments of External Economic Relations, Administration, and Africa and the Middle East. She has also worked in the Finnish Embassies in Stockholm and Budapest.

Anita Kalergis

Head of Sales, Granlund Middle East

Chairman, Member of FBC Board


Anita Kalergis has over 25 years international management experience on Sales and Business development in various roles and markets including several years in the Middle East. She has been very successful in organizing a series of workshops and seminars for customers, industry experts and professionals in the Nordic countries. Anita has a winning track record and she has the talent to execute - to get things done.

Anita is a big believer of communication and collaboration and she lives and acts accordingly. She has been successful on building professional networks throughout all her career. Anita is a multilingual person, which also helps on communicating with people from different countries, religions and cultures.

The past years in UAE and Middle East Anita has worked on several business development and sales projects identifying successfully business opportunities for Finnish and European companies. Anita lived and worked as an entrepreneur in Greece for several years and she loves Greek music and dancing as well as the Mediterranean cuisine. She is passionate about sports, especially basketball.

Anita joined Granlund as the Head of Sales Middle East in February.

Jaana Räsänen-Pentti

Partner, Senior Advisor, The Gulfpoint

Honorary Chairman, Member of FBC Board


Jaana has 20 years of senior management experience in the fields of general management, business development, marketing and sales, corporate communication and brand development, PA and crisis.  For the past seven years she has helped companies seize business opportunities in the Middle East. At H&K Strategies, a leading global strategy and communications agency of WPP she was in charge of consumer products and healthcare teams for almost 10 years,  as a member of global Industry Leader teams. She also has 10 years of experience in edutech and now has strong focus on gamification/edutainment.  

As long time Board member and Chairman she continues to support FBC initiatives as Honorary Chairman and Advisor.  She did her Masters thesis on working in Arab culture. Jaana is a keen golfer and plays the piano.

Katia Al-Kaisi

Partner, Senior Advisor, The GulfPoint

1st Vice Chairman, Member of FBC Board


Katia has 16 years of business development and sales management experience in the Education, Telecommunications and IT Industries. She has held various key roles in multinational companies based in Finland and the Middle East. She has an in depth understanding of the Middle East and Finnish markets in specific due to her multicultural Iraqi/Finnish background and native knowledge of both cultures and languages. Prior to joining The GulfPoint team, Katia was a Country Director heading the UAE and Qatar sales and commercial teams at Pearson Education. Earlier, Katia worked for Comptel Corporation, Sun Microsystems (Oracle), Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks. She has lived and worked in Finland, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE.
She holds an M.Sc. in Telecommunications from Aalto University and B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Baghdad University.

Marja-Terttu is the founder and Managing Director of the highly skilled Communications Agency Telegraafi in Turku, Finland. She is based in Dubai since middle of August 2015.

Marja-Terttu has over 20 years of experience in developing high-impact communications plans and campaigns, counseling senior management on communications. She is also familiar with strategy, and working with media and institutional investors to improve a company’s public image. In UAE she helps Finnish companies to find a suitable local Communications Agency to advance their business opportunities in theregion.

Marja-Terttu has also been working in Germany between years 1987–1992. She likes all kind of sports,  especially running and golf – and she loves dogs.

Marja-Terttu Rantanen

Founder, Managing Director, Telegraafi

Member of FBC Board


Maria Sillanpää

Founding Director, Sustainability Advisory

Member of FBC Board


Maria is an internationally recognised corporate responsibility and sustainability leader. Prior to founding Sustainability Advisory, she held pivotal roles at The Body Shop International, KPMG and AccountAbility in the UK, where she lived for 20 years. During her nearly 30-year career in this field, Maria has made pioneering contributions in the areas of strategy development, stakeholder engagement, supply chain management, reporting and assurance.

She has worked and partnered with diverse organisations on all continents in over 20 countries. She also has a solid appreciation of corporate responsibility in the Middle East having been active in this region for ten years. Maria is an advisor to a number of start-ups ranging from sustainable fashion to human capital development to trailblazing SaaS-based sustainability solutions.

Katja has over 20 years of experience as an expatriate, first studying and working in over 7 countries across continents, concentrating mainly on start- ups and business development in various industries. In her current position she is in charge of the communication strategy, brand development, as well as the expansion plans locally and regionally for Emirati owned Medical Center based in Abu Dhabi.

Previously, Katja worked as a Strategic Planner Executive for a family office in Abu Dhabi. She is still holding a consultant role for the family office, mandated to identify new business opportunities from Nordic countries for partnerships here in the UAE.

Katja has spent last 12 years in Abu Dhabi with her French-Moroccan husband and their 3 young children, all three of them keep her busy with tight ice- hockey schedules.

Katja Boutou

Business Development Manager, Advanced Cure Diagnostic Center

2nd Vice Chairman, Member of FBC Board


Tiina-Maija Bergman

Chief Minder, MindYourBusiness FZE

Treasurer, Member of FBC Board


With an extensive hospitality background in the Middle East, Tiina-Maija is now professionally venturing towards her passion in life. Founder of Mind Your Business FZE, on a quest to bring improved success and wellness to corporations and individuals through mindfull practices utilising NLP and other coaching and mentoring tools and techniques.

Team leader of Souplesse Cycle Ladies’ cycling team at UAE Urban Ultra Womens’ Cycling League and indoor cycling instructor at Souplesse Cycle by RealRyder in Dubai. Yoga and Reiki practitioner, student of animal Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Jukka Hahlanterä

Head of Region Middle East, Finpro

Finpro representative
Member of FBC Board


Jukka Hahlanterä has 30+ years experience in management consulting, sales and marketing, business and functional strategies, financial opportunity analysis and general management in Europe and ME.
Sector experience include industries such as management consulting, pulp, paper and board, pharmaceuticals, and IT outsourcing.

Jukka is currently the Head of Finpro Middle East incorprating Export Finland,  Invest in Finland and VisitFinland activities and supporting national growth programs in the region.

Minna Herranen

Regional Compliance Office, Nokia Networks

Member of FBC Board


Minna Herranen is the Regional Compliance Officer of Nokia. In this role, she leads Middle East and India regional team of Global Trade Compliance, which is responsible for proactively identifying, evaluating, mitigating and reporting on trade risks across regional corporate units.

With over 16 + years of supply chain management experience in telecommunications industry, she has been instrumental on setting up regional compliance team and community for Nokia in Middle East and India. In the past her team had successfully established a global distribution HUB in Dubai JAFZA free zone for Nokia.

Katriina Kuusniemi

Head of Dispute Resolution, Supreme Group

Member of FBC Board


Katriina is an experienced lawyer and legal advisor specialized in international dispute resolution, compliance, antitrust and regulatory matters, as well as general corporate and commercial law. Currently Katriina heads the dispute resolution practice at Supreme Group, prior to which she was advising multinational companies over a period of 10+ years at the biggest Finnish business law firm and an international law firm in Dubai.

In addition, she has worked in public legal functions such as the European Commission and the Finnish judiciary. Katriina has lived in Finland, France, Belgium, Oman and the UAE. She currently resides in Dubai with her husband Henrik and their two children. Katriina feels strongly about diversity, sustainability and ethics.

Janne Kilpeläinen

Managing director, Liana Technologies LLC

Member of FBC Board



Janne, Managing Director of Liana Technologies LLC, has over 10 years experience in Middle East from various marketing and sales roles. He came to Dubai while working for Nokia, moved on to manage marketing for regional distirbution of Blackberry devices and in his latest role manages the business operations for Liana Technologies for Middle East. Liana Technologies operates in Finland as Koodiviidakko Oy.

Janne is a passionate about online marketing and frequently lectures about it at DM3 Digital Marketing Institute. Janne dreams of NHL draft while playing ice-hockey with Dubai Mighty Camels, cycles around Arabian Ranches trying to lose weight and drives around Dubai with a set of golf clubs in the trunk.

Kimmo Kytösaari

Managing Partner, Broadfolio MEA

Member of FBC Board


Kimmo is an international business professional with positive entrepreneurial attitude. He has over 20 years’ experience in managing international sales and customer operations covering over 40 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In the Middle East he worked first time in 1996 and has lived in Dubai since 2008.

Currently Kimmo is Managing Partner at Broadfolio MEA, and he has excellent track record in in introducing new companies, solutions and concepts to emerging markets. Kimmo has strengths in market entry strategy, business development, business-to-business sales and partner management. During his free time Kimmo enjoys playing golf, floorball and tennis as well as Ice Hockey in Dubai Mighty Camels.

Riikka Kytösaari

Founding Partner and Senior Consultant,  Broadfolio MEA

Member of FBC Board


Riikka, has 20+ years senior management experience from different global sales, marketing and business development roles on IT/Telecoms sector. She moved to Dubai almost 10 years ago and currently she is Founding Partner and Senior Consultant at Broadfolio MEA. Riikka helps high technology companies to enter Middle East markets and to make profitable business in the region.

Riikka has strong strategic and business focus, and she has used to work in challenging business environments. She has wide international experience from Europe, Middle East, Africa and India and she has researched internationalization process and success of Finnish High technology SME’s in the Middle East.  Riikka likes sports especially golf, tennis and running.

Henrik Mattila-Kuusniemi

Managing Director, TTT Global DWC-LLC

Member of FBC Board


Henrik is an internationally experienced senior executive with a wide-ranging background from large multinationals to business start-ups.

Henrik has 20+ years of senior management experience, including a track record of business turnarounds, across multiple geographies in EMEA and South Asia. Henrik has lived in 10+ countries and managed business operations in several more.

Currently Henrik is a Managing Director at TTT Global DWC-LLC. Henrik's home is in Dubai, where also his wife, Katriina, and their two children live.

Erika Daintry

Associate, Sustainability to Action

Member of FBC Board


Erika Lindholm is a social and behavioural professional with a Master of Social Science in Sociology and Adult Education from the University of Helsinki. Erika has a background working within the NGO sector. Erika has held a number of positions working for 4H - the largest Youth Development Organisation in Finland. Her current position is Associate at the Sustainability consultancy, Sustainability to Action based in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

Erika has many years of experience in planning and implementing international events and activities focused on the educational goals of endorsing positive change, environmental responsibility and active citizenship. Erika is a highly motivated individual committed to helping people set and achieve goals, develop their skills and cope with change. Erika is also a Certified Personal Trainer, which gives her the opportunity to combine her greatest interest which is to inspire people to lead a healthy lifestyle and coach them towards reaching their lifestyle goals. 

Jaana Tapanainen-Thiess

Advisor, Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Dubai

Member of FBC Board


Jaana is an Advisor at the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Jaana is an expert in strategic foresight. She has extensive experience in conceptualizing and realizing high stakes strategic foresight projects for both private and public sector. She is a member of the Finnish Government Foresight Group set by the Prime Minister's Office and chaired by the State Secretary.

Jaana has an MBA from the triple accredited Executive MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (USA) and WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management (Germany), and a BBA and HEAO-CE double degree from Finland and the Netherlands. Native of Finland, she has lived over 23 years in various countries