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Benelux business council Abu Dhabi

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Board of Directors

From left to right: Tommy Wouters (Treasurer), Robert Odink (Vice-Chairman & Embassy Liaison, The Netherlands), H.E. Gerard Steeghs (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in UAE), H.E. Robert Lauer (Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the UAE), Yulia Stark (Director of Communication), H.E. Antoine Delcourt (Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium), Jessica Constantinidis (Director of Business Development), Inge Van Belle (Vice-Chairwoman & Embassy Liaison, Belgium), Sander Schuller (Director of Events), Frank Wouters (Chairman)Omar Abed Al Aziz (Director of Membership and Sponsorship).

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. 

Honorary Chairman

H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

Frank Wouters

Frank Wouters has been leading renewable energy projects, transactions, and technology development for more than 30 years. He has been in the UAE since 2009 when he joined Masdar as Director of the Clean Energy Unit. In 2012 he was appointed Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a position he held until 2014.  

Frank has served on the board of energy companies in Europe, Asia, the US and Africa and currently serves as:
  • Senior Vice President New Energy at Reliance Industries, India
  • Co-President of the Long Duration Energy Storage Council, Belgium
  • Fellow, Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines, USA
  • Chairman of the MENA Hydrogen Alliance, UAE
  • Chairman of the Dii Advisory Board, UAE
  • Board Director of the Ammonia Energy Association, USA
  • Non-Executive Board Director of Gore Street Capital, UK, and
  • Non-Executive Board Director of Vast Solar in Australia.

Frank has co-authored several books on renewable energy and green hydrogen and lives in Abu Dhabi. He is a Mechanical Engineer from Delft University and loves to run, ride bicycles and motorbikes, and play golf. 

Andrew Cole
Vice-Chairman & Embassy Liaison, Luxembourg

Andrew Cole is Chief Financial Officer of Yahsat, the UAE’s leading satellite communications company, based in Abu Dhabi. Andrew joined Yahsat at the beginning of 2020 and successfully steered the company through a public listing on ADX and a major refinancing one year later. He manages all financial aspects of the company and is currently working on implementing a new growth strategy. Prior to Yahsat Andrew worked, since 2015, in Luxembourg at SES, another satellite operator, as its Group Financial Controller. Before SES, Andrew had a successful career at KPMG and EY in London, as an external auditor with a wide client base comprising several large multi-national companies across numerous sectors. As a board member of BeNeLux Business Council, Andrew will liaise with the Embassy of Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg to support the development of business relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.

Inge Van Belle
Vice-Chairwoman & Embassy Liaison,

Inge Van Belle combines 12 years of start-up/scaleup experience with +10 years corporate background in business consulting, PR, B-2-B sales and marketing, predominantly in Technology.

She co-founded Herculean Alliance, the employee engagement organisation that has been active in the UAE since 2012 with formats like Hercules Trophy and Pink Ladies Games. Her specialization in all things organizational culture, leadership and employee experience has allowed her to serve clients in more than 10 countries. Since 2023, Inge has also joined the international leadership firm Stanton Chase as a partner, where she takes care of the Technology and Professional Services practices.

In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Inge is the author of the book Employee Engagement, What Else, a valuable resource for business leaders seeking to improve engagement in their company. As a sought-after keynote speaker, she has delivered impactful presentations to clients such as Dubai Police, Etihad, United Nations Women, Chamber of Commerce, Flanders Investment and Trade, Barry Callebaut, and many others. Her favorite topics include the link between customer and employee experience, HR analytics, leadership, hybrid working, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

In 2024, Inge has been awarded as “Fifty under Fifty Middle East and Africa” by the Female Founders Initiative and United Nations Women.

Her favorite quote is: “We rise by lifting others”, summing up her determination to make the world a better place, one employer at a time.

Robert Odink 
Vice-Chairman & Embassy Liaison,
The Netherlands

Robert Odink's mission is to deliver Productivity and Operational Excellence to mid- to large scale Manufacturing- and Supply Chain Organisations in the UK, Europe and right here in the Middle East, with a regional office in Abu Dhabi.

With a wealth of knowledge and almost 30 years of experience in leading and transforming operations, management consultancy, and business turn-around projects, he is determined to deliver tangible and measurable results to client's operations, through the application of a proven methodology, involving process redesign, providing management with controls around the process, installing digital solutions in support of visual performance management and changing the behaviour of managers and supervisors forever, by training, coaching and adopting the seven active management behaviours. In this way the implemented change, optimised operations and increased productivity and profitability, become sustainable for the long term. 

Robert Odink founded Cornerstone in 2008 and has since grown the business as Managing Director, with offices in UK, Europe and the Middle East, dedicated to business optimisation in Manufacturing and Supply Chain. Active with client in the UAE since 2015 and fully in support of Abu Dhabi’s newly launched Industrial Strategy, marking a new era of growth for the emirate, within the UAE. A  AED10bn investment by Abu Dhabi Government will more than double the size of the manufacturing sector to AED172bn, increase non-oil exports by 148% to AED178.8bn, and create 13,600 jobs, by 2031. 

Robert will act, in his capacity of Benelux Business Council board member, as a bridge between Benelux stakeholders in the Abu Dhabi business ecosystem, including the Dutch Embassy, Abu Dhabi government bodies, corporations, accelerators, local and Benelux entrepreneurs, and investors. He brings people together, provides a platform for business collaboration for 
Benelux business stakeholders in the Abu Dhabi to grow and prosper.

Omar Abed Al Aziz
Director of Membership and Sponsorship

Omar Abed Al Aziz is a business partner in Hydrorock Middle East, a company that is part of Hydrorock International based in the Netherlands (Rotterdam city).

Hydrorock Middle East specializes in manufacturing environmentally friendly and long-lasting molds used in underground irrigation, which helps conserve water and support food security.

With over thirty years of experience, Omar is a seasoned professional in business development between the Middle East and Europe. He holds two Master's degrees in Business Administration (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."

Omar is also one of the founders of the Benelux Business Council. He has proficiency in four languages: Arabic, Dutch, English, and German.

Jessica Constantinidis
Director of Business Development

Jessica Constantinidis identifies challenges and delivers meaningful outcomes for customers by having in-depth knowledge of business drivers and the technical capabilities. She guides customers embarking on a complete turnaround of their business to create the desired results.

She has been involved in a co-creation and co-innovation with some of the largest global customers at ServiceNow. She is a hands-on practitioner who is passionate about making the world of work, work better for people.

Jessica brings 20+ years of IT/Business consulting & implementation experience with leading technology solutions and platforms across different levels inside large customers organizations. Jessica was the only female technical engineer in EMEA at a start-up for several years, now known as the multi-billion-dollar company, VMware.

Jessica is passionate about business, IT, transformations and loves to share experiences and coaches' younger mentees through the Leadership Forum.

An inspiring public speaker, moderator and TV anchor who shares years of experience working with board members dans c-level executives.

Jessica holds a Leadership & Management degree from Harvard Business School.

Sander Schuller
Director of Events

Sander Schuller works for the group head of legal of Fertiglobe plc, a leading nitrogen fertilizer producer and distributor listed on the ADX in Abu Dhabi.

Before joining Fertiglobe, Sander worked as a lawyer at Allen & Overy LLP in Amsterdam focusing on banking & finance and litigation. 

Yulia Stark
Director of Communications

Yulia Stark's mission is to redefine the global business landscape by championing gender equality, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Drawing from her profound experience in investment banking, growth consultancy, and high-level governmental partnerships, she is unwavering in her commitment to fostering a world where women entrepreneurs don't just participate but lead and thrive. Through her worldwide connections and establishing an expansive business ecosystem, she is cultivating an environment where abundant opportunities and barriers are fostered. Above all, Yulia recognizes the intertwined nature of gender equality and sustainability, understanding that our future's prosperity hinges on both. Through empowerment, connection, and sustainable practices, she aims to lead in a balanced and inclusive way. 

Yulia Stark is the Founder and the President of the European Women’s Association (EWA). EWA is a global NGO, with headquarters in Brussels, dedicated to advancing the economic empowerment of women. Its mission is to create an inclusive and supportive ecosystem that promotes gender equality, fosters women's entrepreneurship initiatives, and advocates for development approaches that enable women to thrive in various economic sectors.

EWA acts as a bridge between various stakeholders in the ecosystem, including government bodies, corporations, accelerators, women entrepreneurs, and investors. It facilitates partnerships and collaborations that benefit women in business. EWAs team runs tailor made leadership, entrepreneurship and Investment readiness programs internationally.

Tommy Wouters

Tommy Wouters works in the Fuel and Commercial Team at the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC). Prior to moving to Abu Dhabi, Tommy was a management consultant in London, specializing in renewable energy, strategic sourcing, process optimisation and cost-saving in the end-to-end supply chain. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cardiff University and a master's degree in Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Nottingham.

Flore Bachellerie
Event and Office Manager

Flore Bachellerie is a French national and has been living in Abu Dhabi for the past 3 years. She joined the Business Business Council 2 years ago 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 in some French-speaking associations and the PTA of her children's school.

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