Speakers

Wood from Finland Conference 2024 has an honor to present high class keynote speakers from Finland and abroad.

Tino Aalto

Managing Director, Finnish Sawmills Association

Tino Aalto has been working as a managing director of Finnish Sawmills Association since 2022. Earlier Aalto has worked for Technology Industries Finland, as head of innovation policy and advisor to the CEO, as well as a special assistant in the government office, responsible for owner control, and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for export promotion and trade policy. He also has a background in consulting companies.

David Calabrigo

Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and Corporate Development, Canfor Corporation

David has been with Canfor for over 23 years and heads up mergers and acquisitions , legal and corporate compliance. David received the designation of King’s Counsel in 2010 and awarded Western Canada’s General Counsel of the Year in 2017.

North America Market Outlook: Thursday @ 15:15 pm

Josef Dringel

Managing director of Pfeifer Timber GmbH, Pfeifer Group

Josef Dringel is the Head of Business Development at Pfeifer Group, concurrently holding various positions as a Managing Director in the Group. With a wealth of experience, Josef recently fulfilled the role of CEO at Pölkky Oy over the past year. From January 1st, 2024 Josef is a board member at Pölkky Oy. As a Head of business development, Josef monitors market trends and advises Executive Board on strategic developments that impact the ability to fully serve the clients. His experience and insights play a key role in adapting to market changes and meeting client needs.

Germany and Central Europe Market Outlook: Thursday @ 14:00 pm

Sari Essayah

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Essayah was elected to Parliament in 2003 from the electoral district of Southwest Finland where she had moved with her family. She also chaired the Christian Democrats parliamentary group until 2007. During her years in Parliament, Essayah served as a member in the Grand Committee and Finance Committee. She also served as Christian Democrats’ Party Secretary in 2007–2009.

In 2009 Essayah was elected to the European Parliament, where she was a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

In spring 2015, Essayah again entered the Finnish Parliament. In the same year, she was also elected to chair the Christian Democrats.

Opening: Thursday @ 9:05 pm

Jan von Gerich

Chief Analyst, Nordea

The global economy and major central banks are currently in the centre of my attention, but you cannot understand the economies without understanding the financial markets. I have a long background covering markets with all their twists and turns.

Even after 20 years, today’s fast-moving markets continue to offer challenges. I sometimes find investor behaviour puzzling, which is naturally part of what makes the job so much fun.

I have been with Nordea since 2004, working in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Stockholm. I have also worked in New York within the financial industry

Better Times Ahead?: Thursday @ 9:25 am

Hiroki Hayashi

Sumitomo Forestry

Hiroki Hayashi has joined Sumitomo Forestry 2012. He has worked for Sumitomo Forestry more than 10 years. 2012-2022: Lumber procurement team for Japan market (North America / Europe)
Sales team in Japan (North America / Europe). 2022-2023: Lumber procurement and business development (Europe office)

Japan Market Outlook: Thursday @ 13:45 pm

Harri Karumo

Director, Building materials, Timber and Tools, Kesko Oyj

Harri Karumo is Director for Building Materials, Timber and Tools product lines at the Building and Technical Trade division of Kesko Oyj. During the last decade at Kesko he has lead all various product areas of Building and Technical trade. Kesko Building and Technical Trade has operations throughout the Northern European countries. Prior to Kesko he worked at 3M Company, where he held various leadership roles for sales and marketing at FMCG, office supplies, DIY and pharmacy channels. He is a graduate from Aalto University, with Master of Science in Economics with extensive studies of management accounting, finance and marketing. Currently Harri serves also as Chairman of the Board at Finnish Hardware Association (Rasi).

What DIY and Builders’ Merchant is Expecting from the Trade: Thursday @ 11:10 am

Matti Kuittinen

Professor of Sustainable Construction, Aalto University

Dr. Matti Kuittinen is an associate professor of sustainable construction at Aalto University´s Department of Architecture. His research is focused on climate impacts and carbon flows in the built environment. During his work at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland, Kuittinen developed the national whole life carbon assessment method and initiated the Nordic Bauhaus programme. As an architect, he has designed experimental sustainable buildings and participated in humanitarian construction operations.

Building carbon storages: Thursday @ 10:45 am

Anna Ni

Senior Advisor, Business Finland Shanghai

Anna Ni is the Senior Advisor of Business Finland who based in Shanghai China. Anna joined Business Finland (ex Finpro) 9 years ago and was responsible for Wood from Finland Program/Campaign promotion work in China since 2015 to 2022. Before that she has worked as the Procurement Manager of China National Building Material Forest Products for 4 years and was responsible for global sawn softwood purchasing.

China Market Outlook: Thursday @ 14:45 pm

Eliisa Ranta

Director, Vision Hunters

Eliisa has 15 years of management consulting experience for the global bio-based industries. She has strong experience from the forest products’ value chain from raw material sourcing to end market analysis. She has a passion to help companies in their strategic decision making in a constantly evolving market environment and possesses a unique skill in finding patterns from big data and combining information to practical strategic advice.

Russia Market Outlook: Thursday @ 15:00 pm

Amir Rashad

CEO & Founder, Timber Exchange

Amir Rashad, a former physical commodity trader and supply chain manager, currently spearheads the digitization, market transparency, and product traceability initiatives within global commodity supply chains. Serving as the CEO and founder of Timber Exchange, Amir has transformed the company into a modern partner for sawmills and traders, streamlining high-volume cargo flows and replacing traditional manual processes.

MENA Market Outlook: Thursday @ 13:25 pm

Jarno Seppälä

Managing Director, Indufor Oy

Mr Seppälä holds a master’s degree in forest products marketing (MSc For) from the University of Helsinki (2001). He completed his thesis at Oregon State University, Corvallis, in 2000. He has extensive international knowledge of the primary and secondary wood products as well as bioenergy industries in Europe, Russia and North America. He has been actively involved in and/or managed complete business plans and other strategy formulations, sector studies, raw material, supply chain and market analysis including detailed end-use segmentation and client identification. His responsibilities also include feasibility studies, investment analysis and evaluations as well as due diligence and M&A assessments.

Global flows of coniferous sawn timber and logs – past, present and future: Thursday @ 9:50 am

Petteri Taalas

Professor, World Meteorological Organization (Director General of Finnish Meteorological Institute as of 1.1.2024)

Prof. Taalas is specialised in the climate change, disasters, water, change management/efficiency gains and the UN affairs. He was born in 1961, and he has a PhD in Meteorology from the University of Helsinki. Prof. Taalas has an extensive professional career both in scientific as well as in leadership positions in the field of Atmospheric Science. Prior to his 8-year term as the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, he worked as the Director General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute for 11 years and he has now returned to this position. He has wide experience on positions of trust in several national and international organizations (Member of the Climate Core Group of the UN Secretary-General, Chairman of the Board of European Meteorological Satellite Organization, Vice-Chair of the EC Atmospheric Science Panel, Delegate in the IPCC and Chairman of the National IPCC Committee), academia (e.g. the Chairman of the Board of the University of Eastern Finland) as well as in private sector (e.g. in the Board of Directors of Fortum energy company). Under his leadership, a historically comprehensive reform process was made at WMO to modernize its structures, partnerships as well as its role as the global authoritative voice in climate, disasters and water science. Taalas was nominated as the European of the year in 2021 by the Readers Digest, Ex-pat of the year by the Finland Society in 2019, Alumni of the year of Helsinki University in 2012 and the Friend of UN in 2022.

Climate Change and Forests: Thursday @ 11:35 am

Ulla Tapaninen

Tenured Associate Professor Maritime Transport, Estonian Maritime Academy, Tallinn University of Technology

Ph.D. Ulla Tapaninen is Associate Professor (maritime transport) at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and Adjunct Professor (maritime economics and logistics) at the University of Turku, Finland. Tapaninen has over 30 years of experience in logistics and maritime transport in academia, public and private sectors. She has worked in key positions in two Finnish shipping companies (bulk and RoRo sector) and as a senior expert at in city administration. In addition to journal articles, she has also published text-books, reports and is a keen writer of a maritime blog ullatapaninen.net.

Global Economic Outlook: Thursday @ 9:25 am

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