Avi's professional career spans Marketing Services, Media, Private Equity, Investments and Government sectors. At the helm of the BPG Group (www.batespangulf.com) since 1991, Avi consolidates the Group's interests across advertising, public advocacy, public relations, design, activation, media asset management and digital verticals, in the Middle East and North Africa regions. He has also assisted in the conceptualization and execution of a number of strategic Dubai initiatives and has served the Government of Dubai while assisting with the development of Knowledge Economy hubs in Dubai. An Alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Avi is a founding Director of Endeavor UAE, PanIIM Alumni Network Gulf and the Advisory Board of Abu Dhabi Capital Management. Avi is also the Managing Director of Innoventures Education, General Partner of Montana Capital and AMEA Ventures Ltd, and is Chairman of International Management Ventures FZ LLC.
Hamdi is the Chairman of Solitaire IGT. He graduated in physical education from Helwan University, Cairo, in 1976. He then moved to the US to pursue his interest in professional soccer and in 1978 joined FedEx, an organization he served for 33 years. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Freights and Logistics, the American Business Council and the Supply Chain & Logistics Group (SCLG) of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was also a member of the International Advisory Council and the School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah from 2002 to 2005, and on the Board of Trustees of the American School of Dubai between 1998 and 2006. He is a former CEO of FedEx for the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.
Poonam is an Economics Honours Graduate with an MBA from India's premier business school, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Prior to envisioning and cofounding Dubai International Academy, Poonam has had significant industry experience working on leading edge technology solutions with a range of organizations across India, Hong Kong, USA, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Oman and UAE. She is the CEO of Innoventures Education and has served as the President of the Middle East IB Association of Schools and is the Secretary of the Dubai Private Schools Group.
Toby has spent over 20 years in the international advertising business based in London. Fourteen years at Young and Rubicam, 7 as CEO, were followed by a short spell with them in New York, before joining Cordiant as Group Chairman of Bates Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. Since it was acquired by WPP in August 2003, Toby is the only member of its Executive Committee to have remained as now Global Client Leader and CEO of Team HSBC, and CEO JWT Europe. Toby enjoys both tennis and golf. He is also a Governor of Harrow School.
Dr. LANCE DE MASI
Dr. Lance de Masi is the President of The American University in Dubai (AUD). His career bridges experience as an academic and practicing communications professional. Prior to joining AUD in 1997 he held various high-level management positions in the US, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, UK; and most recently, Dubai with IMPACT/BBDO where he served 6 years as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. Dr. de Masi’s tenure as President has witnessed AUD’s transformation from a small, up-start operation to an institution of higher learning of substantial size and credible academic reputation. In 1997, he was granted a Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Schiller International University. He currently serves as President of the UAE Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA).
Noor has 14 years' experience in the private equity sector and has particular expertise in relation to strategy, growth, execution and exits. She led the growth and IPO of Depa, the world's largest interior contractor, on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Dubai, and founded, grew and exited ZenYoga. Noor is an angel investor and is also the founder and chairperson of 85Broads, a network of former Goldman Sachs ex-employees and graduates of top management schools. She sits on the board of Endeavor UAE, a global not-for-profit organization supporting high-impact entrepreneurs in developing countries. Noor holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, the business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Michael is the Director, Finance & Administration at Innoventures Education. He is a Chartered Accountant and has a Diploma in Portfolio Management with over 20 years' experience in consulting and industry. He was part of the core team of Innoventures Education that set up Dubai International Academy in 2005. Michael started his career in an accounting firm focused on audit, tax, corporate law, and business and investment advisory services. He is a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants, UK and has been on the faculty of a business school in Dubai.