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.

Katja Boutou

Founding Director KB Nordic Consulting

Chairman, Member of FBC Board


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.

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.

Maria Sillanpää

Founding Director, Sustainability Advisory

1st Vice Chairman, 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.

Katia Al-Kaisi

Partner, Senior Advisor, The GulfPoint

2nd 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.

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.

Jani Huotari

Regional Manager, Technical Sales Support and Codes at KONE

Member of FBC Board


Jani has over 15+ years experience in various technical, sales, engineering, code compliance and sustainability support functions on vertical transportation industry for KONE Elevators and Escalators including positions in both supply and sales office operations.

He has extensive experience on understanding and on operating on multicultural markets and companies through his 13+ years in abroad. 12 of those years he’s spent in the Middle East mainly in UAE but also in Saudi Arabia and 1+ year in Hong Kong.

In his current position Jani is responsible on providing commercial and technical solutions for KONE’s Major Project operations for Middle East and Africa region. Jani is based in KONE’s regional head office in Dubai.

Jani holds an B.Eng. on Mechanical Engineering from Häme University of Applied Sciences.

Janne Kilpeläinen

General Manager, CDK Global

Member of FBC Board



Janne, General Manager of CDK Global, has over 13 years experience in Middle East from various marketing, sales and management roles. He came to Dubai while working for Nokia, moved on to manage marketing for regional distirbution of Blackberry devices,  set up business operations for Finnish software company and in his latest role manages the regional operations for automotive software vendor. 

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.

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