2nd Row - From left to right: Douwe Buzeman (Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Economic department of the Netherlands Embassy), H.E. Peter Claes (Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the UAE), Jan Kamphuisen (Chairman), Omar Abed Al Aziz (Director of Membership and Sponsorship), Johan Mieloo (Treasurer), Joe Harrison (Embassy Liaison - The Netherlands), Jasmin Hodzic (Vice-Chairman and Embassy Liaison - Luxembourg), H.E. Robert Lauer (Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the UAE).
1st Row - From left to right: Flore Bachellerie (BBC office and events manager), Anne Lange (Embassy Liaison - Belgium), Barbara Farahnick-Mathonet (Vice-chairwoman), Sandra Kharrat (Director of Events and Social Media).
Kasper Castricum (Director of Business Development)
The Board of Directors is made of not less than 5 and not more than 9 persons of Benelux origins and the board should be divided between the three nationalities: Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Therefore, it has to be composed of at least two Dutch, two Belgians and one Luxembourger. The BBC also has 1 Event and Office Manager.
H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan
Jan Kamphuisen is the Head of the UAE Office at Albright Stonebridge Group, part of Dentons Global Advisors. In his role he supports commercial and not-for-profit organisations in their engagement with governments. As a board member of the Benelux Business Council, he liaises with the Netherlands Embassy in Abu Dhabi in support of events and initiatives that further business relationships between the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. Jan previously worked at a global risk consultancy firm, where he headed up the political risk consulting practice for the MENA region. He also worked as a corporate lawyer in Cairo and Dubai. Jan started his career at the European Space Agency, where he focused on the Agency’s technology transfer and business incubator programs.
Barbara Farahnick-Mathonet is the founder and president of The Art Circle Abu Dhabi, a network of international art collectors and art passionate women based in the UAE. It is a non-profit organization that aims to promote arts, artists and institutions from or in connection with the MENASA region. Barbara is part of the advisory circle of NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery. She is an ambassador for Abu Dhabi Art, a keystone member for Friends of Abu Dhabi Art, ambassador for Wallonia and she was also our Chairwoman for the past 3 years. Before that she worked for more than 20 years for Chanel France. She lived many years in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and now in the UAE for more than ten years.
Vice-Chairman & Embassy Liaison, Luxembourg
Jasmin Hodzic has been working for Guardian Glass for the past 18 years. Guardian Glass is one of the biggest glass manufacturing companies in the world.
Embassy Liaison, Belgium
Anne Lange is currently the Household Manager for the Ambassador of the United States of America. The position covers the planning of all events organized at the ambassador's residence.
For the past 6 years, she has been a member of the operations team for the yearly trek, the Women Heritage Walk. She is involved in the planning and logistics to take over 60 women on a 5 days trek in the desert and offering them safety, sleeping accommodations, food and cultural events.
Prior to her arrival in the UAE, she was based in Washington DC where she held the position of Household Manager at the Canadian Embassy for 10 years, and personal assistant to the German Ambassador's wife.
She has been based in Abu Dhabi with her family since 2007.
Embassy Liaison, The Netherlands
Joe Harrison is Shell’s joint venture asset manager in the UAE and Iraq. He is a director for the ADNOC Gas Processing joint venture in Abu Dhabi, and the Basrah Gas Company in Iraq. He is accountable for governance and influence for Shell, together with support for ADNOC, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, and the countries’ objectives. His experience in Shell includes secondment in Iraq, management of Shell Gabon’s front end and discipline engineering teams, technical and project consultancy from Shell Global Solutions in Malaysia, and process engineering in the NAM, The Netherlands. Joe is British, and a chemical engineer from Cambridge University. He enjoys spending time in the desert, and private flying in Ras Al Khaimah. Married to Hermione, a banking and finance lawyer.
Johan Mieloo has been working for Royal Dutch Shell for 15 years in various finance roles. Before joining Shell, Johan has worked as audit/risk manager for 6 years for Deloitte and TNT. Throughout his career, he has worked on the border of IT and Finance. Johan holds post-graduate degrees in Finance (RC- Registered Controller) as well as in auditing (RE- Registered IT Auditor). In his current role, Johan is seconded as the Manager Budget & Planning for ADNOC Gas Processing (AGP) Joint Venture since 2018. AGP is one of the largest gas processing plants in the world. Johan is the Treasurer for the Business Council since 2021. Johan is married to Yvonne and has two sons. He enjoys swimming and cycling in his free time.
Omar Abed Al Aziz
Director of Membership and Sponsorship
Omar is a business partner in Hydrorock Middle East, a company part of Hydrowork International, headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands and specialized in the manufacture blocks of environmentally friendly and long-lasting molds used in underground irrigation, which saves water consumption. This leads to food security support. He has more than thirty years of experience in the field of business development between the Middle East and Europe. He holds two Master degrees (MBA) and a doctorate in business administration (DBA). He is also the author of the book “The Foundations of Decision Making for Decision Makers in the Business approach”.
Director of Events
Sandra Kharrat is a strategic Human Resources Manager offering more than 15 years of distinguished experience in Human Resources management and leadership development within numerous international Oil & Gas companies, Sandra’s experience ranges from strategy creation to hands-on execution, and from start-ups to global organizations. Sandra’s specialties include the architecture of Human Resources strategy, organization design, performance management, and talent management. Her passion for Human Resources is coupled with a love to work with people, striving to understand their needs and providing them with support and guidance to add value to their lives. Sandra is currently working at International Media Investment as an HR Manager supporting the organizational design, performance management frameworks and total rewards strategies. As a board member of BeNeLux Business Council, Sandra is responsible for overseeing the planning, promotion, and logistics of various events and managing social media platforms. She enjoys traveling, previously lived in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Lebanon and she is currently based in UAE for the past 15 years.
Director of Business Development
Kasper Castricum has been working in the Middle East in various senior management roles in the energy sector for 12 years and was based in Saudi and Bahrain. Kasper is currently based in Abu Dhabi with his wife and 2 kids. Throughout his career, he has worked in the shipping industry as maritime chief officer and moved to general management functions within the oil and gas industry. Kasper's expertise is within supply chain, business development and planning, startup projects, business optimization, financing. In his current role, Kasper is CEO of ACTAD, a greenfield terminal construction project in Khalifa Port under the wings of Jeddah based Alireza Group. Kasper holds several degrees in marine engineering, business administration, strategic management and entrepreneurship. He enjoys deal making, playing golf, cigars and fine dining.
Event and Office Manager
Flore Bachellerie is a French national and has been living in Abu Dhabi for just over 1 year now. She has recently joined the Business Business Council and comes with a diverse and international professional experiences having been an expatriate for over 25 years on 4 continents. She is always well involved too in some French-speaking associations and the PTA of her children's school.