Director - Poland, Central Europe & Baltic Region
Tony Housh, 50, is a senior counselor for the international strategic advisory firm APCO Worldwide and the principal of CGC Advisors. With over twenty years in Poland, he advises and assists companies in a wide range of sectors including defense, energy, innovative technologies and bio-sciences. He has served as the Chairman of AmCham since January 2015.
He is a frequent commentator on Polish television outlets such as TVN, TVN 24, Polsat and TVP Info, as well as on leading radio outlets such as TOK FM and Polskie Radio. Tony has published numerous articles on trade, investment, innovation and security in a wide range of publications.
He served as non-executive board member and audit committee member of the NASDAQ and WSE listed CEDC between 2000-2009 and participated in transactions totaling well over 1 billion USD. He previously served as the Director of the American Chamber of Commerce and the country officer for Poland at the US Department of Treasury.
Prior to beginning his work in Poland, Tony held analyst roles in London and Brussels as well as running two successful US Congressional campaigns.
Tony received his MA in European Integration cum laude from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). He is a graduate of the University of Kansas (USA) and was an exchange scholar in Soviet & East European Studies at the University of Essex (UK). He is an alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar.
On November 2014 he was awarded the Knights Cross for services to the Republic of Poland by President Komorowski.
On October 2016, Tony was appointed to APCO Worldwide's International Advisory Council.
On February 18, Tony was appointed as Director for Poland, Central Europe & Baltic Region at Northrop Grumman.
Advisor to the Board,
Geopolitical Intelligence Services
Joanna Bensz is an advisor on the board of Geopolitical Intelligence Services. Previously she functioned as Director for Central & Eastern Europe of Lockheed Martin International and was responsible for developing and executing strategies to grow Lockheed Martin’s international business and strengthening customer relationships and industrial partnerships in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and the Baltic Republics.
Prior to joining Lockheed Martin International on 13th March 2017, Joanna worked for almost three years as a country manager at CH2M, a global consultancy management firm with an engineering design centre in Krakow with 1300 employees. Before that, she was a Board member and Business Development Director for Central and Eastern Europe at PM Group, an international project management company specializing in the industrial sector. Joanna is also serving as the Vice Chairman and Board Member at AmCham Poland and since 2003 has run the regional AmCham offices in Wrocław and recently in Kraków.
Joanna holds Master of Arts degree in languages from University in Wroclaw as well as Diploma in Strategic and International Marketing at the Dublin Business School. She also completed Advanced Management Program at IESE, University of Navarra in Barcelona.
Country Director of Facebook in Central Eastern Europe (CEE)
Robert Bednarski is holding the position of the Country Director of Facebook in Central Eastern Europe (CEE). In his capacity, Robert is based in Warsaw and he is leading and managing Facebook Central Eastern European operations and sales team, working closely with Facebook clients across the region.
Robert Bednarski’s progressive career over the past 15 years included many senior leadership positions, lately holding a number of top executive positions at Grupa Onet.pl S.A., concluded as the company’s CEO.
Robert is a highly recognized business leader and expert within the fields of economics, finance, advertising, sales and management.
Richard M. Lada
Rick Lada is founder and CEO of EREMEL Consulting, a Warsaw, Poland-based venture that helps Polish start-ups commercialize new technologies. The company also works with Polish government institutions, NGOs and firms on projects dealing with innovation, entrepreneurship and foreign investment. Outside EREMEL Rick serves the community as vice-chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, co-chairman of the Poland section of the German Marshall Fund of the United States Leadership Development Advisory Council, co-president of the Stanford Club of Poland and mentor to students and young entrepreneurs.
During his early career in Silicon Valley Rick worked in product development and marketing at Apple and Xerox, Inc.. In 1990 he moved with his family to Poland where he helped pioneer American foreign investment, R&D cooperation and business development in Central Eastern Europe, serving as regional vice president for Motorola, Inc., country manager and board president for Motorola Polska and Poland/CEE business development manager for Apple. Over his career Rick has received recognition that includes World of Telecommunications magazine “Person of the Year in Polish Telecommunications”, Polish Chamber of Electronics & Telecommunications’ “Key Contributor to the Development of the Polish Electronics Sector” and the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland’s “Pioneer in Shared Services and Software Development Centers”. In June 2014 the President of Poland honored Rick with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
Rick is a graduate of Stanford University in Management Science & Engineering and the Warsaw School of Economics in Foreign Trade/Marketing.
Founder and CEO,
John Lynch is an American entrepreneur who has been doing business in Poland since 1991. In 1992, Lynch founded LYNKA, which he has grown to become one of Poland’s leading corporate apparel and sportswear manufacturing companies. Like many Polish ventures, LYNKA started with three employees and very little capital, and grew to over $20 million in sales and 200 employees. LYNKA has been recognized by the international press as “one of the leading promotional apparel companies in the world.” In 2012, Lynka became the only company in CEE to be chosen by NIKE as an Official Apparel Supplier.
John has a distinguished business background. From 1992-1993, John was the marketing director for the First Polish American Bank. Before coming to Poland, John worked in management at Procter & Gamble, Bristol-Myers and Schering Plough. He was also a senior management consultant for the world renowned consultancy, Marakon Associates in New York City.
John graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1984, with a B.S. in Engineering. In 1989, John completed his MBA at The Wharton School of Business, and completed programs at I.E.S.E in Barcelona, and UMIST in Manchester as well.
John has been frequently featured in the Polish and International press as a role model for doing business in Poland. John has been featured in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and US News and World Report. In March 2004, he was featured on the cover of Poland Monthly as one of “the country’s top entrepreneurs” and in that same year was named AmCham’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
In 1994, John founded the Kraków branch of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland. He was elected to the Board of Directors of AmCham Poland in July 2002. John is fluent in Polish and Spanish, as well as his native English.
Governmental Programs Director,
IBM Poland & Baltics
Responsible for IBM cooperation with government and public administration mainly in areas of business development policy, smarter cities, investments policy, social & labour market policy and projects in Global Delivery Centers in Poland and CEE, as well as improving cooperation between business and education/academia .
Co-author of many significant IBM investments in Poland – BPO in Krakow, R&D Tivoli Software Laboratory in Krakow as well as IT Delivery Center with Cyber Security Operations Center in Wroclaw, 2010, and newest IT Delivery in Katowice in 2013 . Expert in different areas of public support for new investments.
For many years holding HR Director positions in international corporations Pan American, Delta Air Lines and Siemens.
Author of innovative projects in area of CSR and HRM like – teleworking, strategic outsourcing, motivation & benefits, work life balance, diversity, IBM Executive Service Corps and IBM Smarter Cities Challenge.
Local and EU Expert in area of business development & social policy for Polish employers confederations.
VP Public Affairs in Polish Association of Business Service Leaders ( ABSL), Chairman of American Chamber of Commerce , Employee & Labor Relations Committee in Poland . Board member of Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland . Member of Advisory Board in KIGEiT National Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunications , founder of Polish Professional Woman Network – woman NGO in Poland.
MA in Economy of Warsaw School of Economics and HRM of Henley Management College, UK.
Managing Director, Partner ERM Polska
Magda Pavlak-Chiaradia is the Managing Director at Environmental Resources Management – ERM – an international sustainability consultancy firm.
For over 40 years ERM has been working with clients around the world and in diverse industry sectors to help them to understand and manage their health, safety, environmental, risk and social impacts. This level of expertise enables ERM to support our clients on the diverse range of challenges faced by the business.
After being educated and spending most of her professional career in the United States, Magda returned to Poland in 2011. Prior to working for ERM, she was Poland Country Manager at CDM Smith, an international environmental engineering consultancy. Magda is the co-founder of Steps2Success Foundation assisting young professionals in developing international business skills. Currently she is also on the Board of Directors at the Polish-American Fulbright Commission and a member and mentor of Vital Voices Poland. Magda is the creator of the 30 Under 30 program and a committee chair for the Sustainable Real Estate Committee at AmCham.
Magda has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Geology and Marine Science from Northeastern University, Boston and an MBA from Endicott College, Beverly Massachusetts.
S&P Global Ratings
Over 15 years of experience working for top-tier, global financial institutions with solid expertise in strategic growth management, international finance and capital markets.
Since 2014 is a Managing Director at S&P Global Ratings, executing across three senior commercial roles:
• Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Relationship Management: leading a regional team structuring firm wide partnerships with S&P’s top tier strategic clients and running the infrastructure and project finance business.
• Regional Head for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE): driving the franchise, strategy and management of the ratings business across the region.
• General Manager for Poland, running day-to-day operations of the Warsaw office.
From 2016 is a member of the Supervisory Board / Non-Executive of MCI Capital S.A., a leading Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) listed private equity firm investing in the digital economy across Emerging Europe.
Actively engaged in the Fintech industry, through S&P, MCI and as chairman of the program board for FutureTech and Fintech Digital CEE - region’s premiere digital economy conferences. Recognized as a leading industry figure and an influential speaker, with visibility across top-tier media. Passionate about social responsibility, actively mentoring and developing future leaders of the Polish capital market and educating young entrepreneurs. Member of the Board of Directors at the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland (AmCham) and the Leslaw A. Paga Foundation.
Before joining S&P was an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Corporate and Investment Bank in London, where he covered Russia, CIS, CEE, and Israel for Markets and Investor Services. He was also the Deputy General Manager for J.P. Morgan CIB in Poland. Prior to 2007 spent five years with Citi Corporate and Investment Banking, operating in Poland and CEE.
Alumnus of the Leadership Academy for Poland, Kozminski University, Lund School of Economics and Management.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Roman Rewald is a US-qualified attorney and a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK) with Master’s Degrees in both Public Administration and Law, and from the University of Detroit Law School with a Juris Doctor degree. Since coming to Poland in 1991, he has acted as counsel in corporate, energy law and real estate matters. He has also extensive experience in foreign joint ventures, banking and real estate acquisitions in Poland. Prior to joining Weil Gotshal, Roman advised the World Bank on the legal issues of housing and mortgage finance in Poland, and the Polish Ministry of Finance on the banking system’s privatization. Roman Rewald is a regular speaker at programs concerning foreign investment in Poland. Since February 2013, he has been the president of the Lewiatan Mediation Center, the leading ADR mediation facility in Poland, which is organised by the Polish Employer’s Confederation “Lewiatan”. In 2014, he received one of Poland’s highest civilian honours, the Officer's Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland Polonia Restituta, for contributions to the country’s economic transformation.
Sławomir S. Sikora
Chief Executive Officer
Bank Handlowy S.A.
Mr. Sławomir S. Sikora was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Bank Handlowy in Warsaw S.A. in 2003. In 2005 - 2008 he was Member of Citigroup Management Committee in New York.
In the years 2001-2003 he was President of the Management Board of American Bank in Poland.
His earlier career position was the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Powszechny Bank Kredytowy S.A. (1994-2001). Prior to this, he held a number of senior positions at the Poland’s Ministry of Finance, including the Head of Banking and Financial Institutions (1989-1994). In this capacity, he successfully oversaw the government-run banking sector rehabilitation program (1992-1994).
Sławomir S. Sikora is a graduate of Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) and a Konrad Adenauer Research fellow at the University of Cologne.
Sławomir S. Sikora has gained extensive board experience including present roles as a member of Supervisory Regulations Advisory Committee at The Polish Banks Association a Vice President of the Board of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan and member of the Emerging Markets Advisory Council at the Institute of International Finance (Washington D.C.).
In 2010 he was awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
Director of Legal Division TVN Group
Member of the Management Board TVN S.A.
Marek Szydłowski is the Director of Legal Division of the TVN Group, where he is responsible for all aspects of legal service and compliance. He also supervises organizational units concerning information security and internal audit. He is a member of the Management Board of TVN S.A. as well as a member of supervisory boards of certain other TVN Group companies as well as a member of Supervisory Boards of ITI Neovision S.A. (operator of the “nc+” platform) and Onet S.A.
Marek Szydłowski specializes in the areas of law relating to the media sector companies, especially copyright law, advertisement law and the Internet law. He has an extensive knowledge of company law, capital market law and labor law. Graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw (1995). In 2001, registered on the list of legal advisers and in 2003 graduated with distinction Executive MBA studies in the School of Business at the Warsaw University of Technology. In 1993-1995 he worked in the legal and tax department of the international consulting company Coopers & Lybrand (currently part of PricewaterhouseCoopers), where he was responsible for tax and legal consultancy in terms of corporate law, merger and acquisition law and also securities law. In 1995-2000, he worked as a lawyer in CMS Cameron McKenna in Warsaw, where he was mainly responsible for consultancy in the field of corporate law, mergers and acquisition law, securities law as well as banking law. Between 2000-2002, he was a legal director and management board member at Provident Polska S.A., a company granting money loans. Apart from leading the legal unit, he supervised also the recovery department. In 2002-2009, he managed as the general counsel a 10-lawyer legal department in Agora, where he advised the management board on strategic matters and participated in every process of the acquisition transactions and joint venture as well as represented the company in the field of public affairs. He was responsible for the information duties of the public company and supervised the most strategic litigations of the company. Between 2005-2009, he was the vice-president of the management board of the Agora Foundation, a public benefit organization acting on behalf of Agora Group. In 2007-2009, he was representing Polish Chamber of Press Publishers in the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) which unites chambers of press publishers from 25 European countries and defends press publishers’ interests in the European institutions and international organizations; for instance, in relation to legislative proposals of the institutions of the European Union. Between 2009-2013, as Of Counsel in the Polish law firm Wardyński and Partners he was responsible for TMT and personal data protection practices . In 2010-2013, he was a member of Copyright Law Commission. He is a member of the Warsaw District Chamber of Legal Advisers.
President of the Management
Board, BGŻ BNP Paribas
Joseph Wancer, a citizen of Poland and the USA, began his career in banking in 1966 in Citibank of New York, where he worked for almost 25 years. He served as Vice President and held managerial positions in New York and at the bank’s branches in Japan, Austria, Great Britain and France.
Before coming to Poland, Joseph Wancer was an entrepreneur and worked for Citibank London as a consultant responsible for organizing and establishing Citi’s Representative Office in Warsaw. He was a co-founder of Citibank in Poland.
In Poland he began his career in 1991 as an adviser to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London and was mandated by the Polish-American Enterprise Fund to establish a new (agriculture) bank - Bank Rolno-Przemysłowy, which was later acquired by Rabobank Polska.
In the years 1993-1995 Wancer was Managing Director of Legler Polonia, an Italian textile manufacturing plant in Łódź.
He was appointed by the Minister of Finance as member of the Supervisory Board of Powszechny Bank Kredytowy, one of nine regional banks created from the structures of the National Bank of Poland. During 1995-2000 he was the President of Raiffeisen Centrobank in Warsaw, which he changed from a solely commercial bank with no branch network and a staff of 100 into a broader bank with retail banking, 700 employees, and a wide network of branches.
In March 2000 he became the President and CEO of the Management Board at Bank Przemysłowo-Handlowy in Kraków and remained in this position until 2010. He was responsible for strategies, integration, communication and internal audit. He oversaw a number of projects including integrating BPH with the culture of its strategic shareholder, the HVB Bank, prepared a merger with PBK and then managed the merger itself. This merger (both banks were listed at the time) was acclaimed by the financial market as the most successful in the Polish banking sector and Bank BPH received many awards for its execution.
During 2002-2007 he managed post-merger growth. Within these 6 years, BPH increased its net profits from circa PLN 320 mln to PLN 1.2 bln.
After the split in November 2007, Bank BPH, under the leadership of Wancer began to reconstruct its business and upon merging with GE Money Bank at the end of 2009 again became one of the top ten banks in Poland.
During 2010 - 2013 he was an Advisor to the Management Board at Deloitte, Poland.
In September 2013 he was elected President of the Management Board of Bank BGŻ.
Since 2008 Joseph has sat on the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, in the years 2010-2014 he was a Chairman.
Paul W. Jones
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Poland
Ambassador Jones has a wide-ranging background in Europe. As Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2013-15, he was responsible for all aspects of U.S. policy and operations in Europe, particularly Russia and Ukraine. He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Vienna, Austria (2004-05) and also at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia (1996-99). Jones served at the OSCE Mission in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, implementing the Dayton Peace Accords, as well as at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia (1992-94). In Washington, he was Director of the Office for South Central Europe and, previously, Desk Officer for the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. He served twice on the staff of the Secretary of State, as Director of the Secretariat Staff and in the 24-hour Operations Center.
Ambassador Jones’ service in Asia and South Asia has complemented his European focus. As U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, 2010-13, he led significant growth in the U.S.-Malaysian relationship, becoming the first U.S. Ambassador to be conferred the honorary title of Dato’. When President Obama appointed the late Richard Holbrooke as U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Holbrooke named Jones as his Principal Deputy, serving concurrently as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs. Jones was Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the Philippines (2005-09). Early in his career, he served in Bogota, Colombia.
Ambassador Jones is a career member of the State Department’s Senior Foreign Service. His awards include the Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for peace building, and several Superior Honor Awards. He speaks Spanish, Russian, and some Polish. He graduated from Cornell University and received master’s degrees from the University of Virginia and the Naval War College.
Paul W. Jones was confirmed by the United States Senate as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Poland on August 5, 2015, and sworn in by Secretary Kerry on September 11, 2015.