2014 EMEA judging panel

Please see below for the Best in Biz Awards 2014 judging panel of 16 judges, hailing from 10 countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.


ARD (Germany)

Dominique Lars Ziesemer

DOMINIQUE L. ZIESEMER has worked in television for nearly 20 years. For six years, he has been the presenter of a TV advice magazine about consumer technology products, including mobile phones as well as security systems, in the most widely broadcasted German TV channel ARD. Today, he continues to produce TV shows and develop new formats. In 2009 he was a member of the jury of the famous Rose D’Or Festival. He also represented various large organizations like the Frauenhofer Institut at fairs. He graduated from Mainz University with a research thesis about people’s “zapping” behavior.

Banking & Finance Magazine (Belgium and Netherlands)

Richard Neve

RICHARD NEVE is editor-in-chief of the Benelux trade magazine Banking & Finance. Richard started his career as a journalist in 1985 at a daily newspaper, and continued working for various magazines, always with a financial focus. Due to the business critical nature of IT in the financial services industry, Richard has always had a keen eye for the latest developments in information technology. Richard studied Literature Science at Leiden University.
Richard Neve

BBC Radio Leeds (United Kingdom)

Barrie Pepper

BARRIE PEPPER is one of Britain’s leading beer writers and for seven years was chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers. He has been recognised five times in the Guild’s Beer Writer of the Year awards and was the first recipient of the Guild’s Special Award for services to beer writing. His journalist work includes writing for What’s Brewing, First Draught, Wine and Spirit International, Beers of the World and several other newspapers and journals in Britain and throughout the world. He has written 18 books on pubs and beer and is currently working on an cultural anthology on brewing and pubs in Yorkshire. For eleven years he produced and occasionally presented the popular What’s Brewing programme on BBC Radio Leeds and has also made television programmes for Channel 4 and BBC North. Barrie occasionally lectures on the History of Brewing, has judged in the Brewing Industry International Awards and CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain competition and was a member of Leeds City Council for ten years.
Barrie Pepper

Branders (Switzerland)

Olivia El Sayed

OLIVIA EL SAYED studied German and French at the University of London. Initially employed by a music label in Germany, she started her editorial career at a radio station and later worked as an editor for various online media for almost 10 years. Starting with the Zurich-based branding agency Branders in 2008, she assumed responsibility as editorial manager of The Brander publication effective January, 2011. On www.thebrander.com she features a steady flow of new stories about brands and their creators, generated by herself and a team of renowned journalists and photographers. In collaboration with the German publishing group Edel, The Brander book was released in March 2013

Guardian (United Kingdom)

Jackie Ashley

JACKIE ASHLEY is a columnist for The Guardian, writing a column on British politics and social policy along with regular blogs and podcasts. She is also one of the regular presenters of BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster. She is president of the National Cochlear Implant Users Association, a member of the Labour Party’s Commision on Older Women, and sits on the board of Women’s Parliamentary Radio and Birkbeck College’s Center for the Stud of British Politics. She also regularly chairs conferences and seminars throughout the Westminster year and at party conferences. Jackie has previously worked as political editor of the New Statesman, political correspondent for ITN and presenter of The Sunday Programme and the Parliament Programme. Following her husband’s stroke in January 2013 she spent 6 months as a full time carer and now campaigns for better rehabilitation for stroke survivors and for carers’ rights.

HTMobile (Israel)

Zvi Wrobel

ZVI WROBEL is the senior editor, with more than 10 years of experience, at HTIsrael group, the home for the largest technical consumer electronics centered community in Israel. HTIsrael group consists of the following websites: Hometheater, the largest online Audio & Video magazine in Israel; HTmobile, the fastest growing website about mobile technology; Userit, technology-related magazine written by women for women; HTcafé, the most professional magazine in Israel about coffee, espresso, milk; HThome, the Smart-Home and Connected Home magazine; HTphoto, the photography magazine; HTTV, the Next-Generation TV magazine and HTmag, a men’s magazine about technology and leisure. Besides, Zvi is part of the G&A procurement team at Mellanox, a leading supplier of end-to-end InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnect solutions and services for servers and storage. Zvi graduated with a degree in Computers and Control from Tel-Aviv University.
Zvi Wrobel

IAA Magazine (United Arab Emirates)

Manjula Ramakrishnan

MANJULA RAMAKRISHNAN is former editor of the magazines Business Quality Review and Dubai Rotary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In her career spanning 25 years, Manjula has written well over 3000 articles on a variety of subjects. She currently contributes articles on Fashion, Automobiles, and Lifestyle for Durrah Magazine in Bahrain and writes on local events for Panorama Magazine, Sharjah. Besides, she is also co-founder of the online portal www.mrwebedit.com.

Irish Independent (Ireland)

Martina Devlin

MARTINA DEVLIN is an award-winning Irish journalist and author, with more than 20 years of experience. Her books include the number one bestseller Banksters, a co-authored account of the Irish banking collapse, and Ship of Dreams, a novel about the Titanic – inspired by a family connection with the disaster. She won the 2012 VS Pritchett short story prize awarded by Britain’s Royal Society of Literature. Martina is based in Dublin, where she writes a weekly column on current affairs for the Irish Independent, and in 2011 was named columnist of the year. She also contributes short stories and essays to RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany, and in 2009 was writer-in-residence at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. Her website is www.martinadevlin.com and she also tweets @DevlinMartina.

Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Baruch Lipschitz

Bio coming soon

Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

Issac John

ISSAC JOHN, associate editor, business, of Khaleej Times, is a leading business journalist and economic analyst. A seasoned stalwart in Gulf’s mainstream journalism for 32 years, Issac is the senior-most Indian journalist, in terms of Gulf experience, working in the UAE. He had worked with Gulf News and Emirates News before joining Khaleej Times in 1992. Issac is acclaimed for his invigorating and insightful analysis of global and regional business and economic issues and trends and has won three pan-Arab media awards besides over a dozen prestigious accolades, including the Asian Achiever Award, Pravasi Ratna, recognition for outstanding media services from Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin and World Malayalee Council and the Malaysian Business Media Award from the Malaysian Business Council. Issac is also the founder president of Kalabhavan Global and Gulf Arts and Literary Academy, former president of All Kerala Colleges Alumini Forum, and chairman of GOPIO’s (Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin) Global Media Council. In May, 2012, he was elected as the Global Chairman of World Malayalee Council in Cologne.
Issac John

Micro Mart (United Kingdom)

Kevin Pocock

KEVIN POCOCK is a writer, editor, freelance journalist and poet. The former deputy editor of Micro Mart, Kevin continues to contribute to magazine and has also written for industry-leading titles PC Pro, Custom PC, Computer Shopper and Computeractive. He has also penned articles for the entertainment site Den of Geek, and writes on the subjects of writing and poetry for Poejazzi. He holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Wales.
Kevin Pocock

PC Format (United Kingdom)

Catherine Ellis

CAT HACKFORTH is the managing editor of Future Publishing’s computing titles in the UK, including PC Format, Windows 7: Help & Advice, and Windows: The Official Magazine. Cat has a particular interest in social media and online security. She has a BA in English from Bristol University and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism from Cardiff University.
Cat Hackforth

Tbreak Media (United Arab Emirates)

Hitesh Uchil

HITESH UCHIL started his career at the age of eighteen as a sub editor for the Khaleej Times. He later spent six years at ITP working on titles such as Time Out Dubai, ITP.net, Time Out Tickets, Ahlan! and Mumtazz. He founded Middle East Gamers, the region’s first video games website – a project that started off as a hobby only to soon turn into a commercial entity owing to the interest it received from the video game industry and advertisers in the region. Having kickstarted the project as editor, salesman, marketing manager, web developer and designer for ME Gamers, Hitesh now manages the Tbreak Media sales team.
Hitesh Uchil

The Engaging Brand (United Kingdom)

Anna Farmery

ANNA FARMERY is the host to The Engaging Brand podcast which has been nominated six years in a row for Best Business Podcast in the UK. She is also the managing director of The Engaging Brand, a social business consultancy. Anna is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in the business world as a board director of global leading brands in the FMCG world. She also has a First Class honours degree in Law and is studying for a PhD in how emerging technology such as 3D printing will create the need for a new social business model.
Anna Farmery

Xbox Plus (Brazil)

Marcos A.T. Silva

MARCOS A.T. SILVA manages XboxPlus, a popular gaming website, where he oversees editorial coverage about games, as well as the gaming industry and technology, always with a critical eye to the market. Marcos has more than 15 years of experience in the industry and prior to Xbox Plus, he worked at his own IT technology company. Marcos started his career at Multiplic, an established Brazilian financial group. He graduated from UNICID University with a degree in marketing and advertising.

Freelance (Zimbabwe)

Farzana Rasool

FARZANA RASOOL was most recently the IT in Government editor for ITWeb, creating, managing and supervising all government-related content for the publication and is currently a freelance writer based in Zimbabwe. She has a journalism degree from Rhodes University, where she specialised in new media and writing. Farzana was one of the first winners of the ITWeb bursary and started at the company as an intern in 2009.