Rise Mentoring Central Europe

New for 2022! The inaugural Rise Mentoring Programme for Central Europe launches to support women across the media technology sector

The 2022 programme is now closed for applications.  Be the first to hear about future programmes by signing up as a Rise member for free

Benefits of mentoring

There are numerous benefits to mentoring, including:

  • Helping you to identify and achieve career goals;
  • Gaining a broader perspective on career options, opportunities and paths to succeed;
  • Boosting confidence and self awareness;
  • Making new connections and broadening your networks;
  • Gaining support that is tailored to your individual needs;
  • Undertaking regular training sessions – from careers mapping through to creating your personal brand and boosting resilience and assertiveness.

How the Rise Mentoring Programme works

Our mentees benefit from a range of support, including:

  • At least 12 hours one-to-one contact with your industry mentor;
  • Monthly mentee meetings and access to industry events to help broaden your networks;
  • Regular training sessions – from careers mapping through to creating your personal brand and boosting resilience and assertiveness.
  • Peer-to-peer support from your fellow mentees, as well as guidance and support from the Rise team.

Any questions?

If you’d like to ask us any questions before applying, please contact Abigail Hughes who will be able to advise you.

Rise Mentoring Programme Sponsors

The Rise Mentoring Programme is made possible thanks to the kind support of our industry partners, including our global mentoring sponsors: Avid, DPP, Iron Mountain, Clear-com, Google Cloud, Vubiquity and M2A Media.



Success Stories

Mentees

Alizé Amrani

After a bachelor degree in Business Administration (IDRAC Lyon & University of California Riverside), a Master’s of Science in Marketing (UC3M Madrid) and many years abroad, I decided to move to Paris to start my career. I started as a marketing analyst at Sony Consumer section for audio products, then picked up some more responsibility by becoming a Product Manager. A few months later, I got the opportunity to become a Regional Marketing Manager for the Digital Imaging and Solutions Branch of Sony, looking after the countries of South Europe for the broadcast and cinematography segments. I speak 3 languages fluently and love working with different markets and cultures!

Carina Schoo

After finishing her MA in Communications and Languages at TU Berlin, Carina started her career at one of the renowned German Fraunhofer Institutes, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin. She was a project manager for Fraunhofer HHI’s business cluster, the 3IT Berlin - Innovation Center for Immersive Imaging Technologies where she managed the partner network and the accompanying showroom. Eventually, Carina decided to relocate to Norway, where she continued her professional career in the media technology sector. She was hired as project coordinator and communications consultant for another business cluster based in Hamar, VRINN Immersive Learning Cluster, a cluster of companies operating in the fields of VR, AR, and gamification. After her parental leave, Carina started working as a marketing manager for a start-up in the renewable energy sector, but after a short time, she realised that she really missed the media industry, especially immersive media, and started looking for new opportunities. Carina has just recently joined her new company Pixotope Technologies as their Education Program Manager. Pixotope Technologies is an international award-winning virtual production software company dedicated to developing the next generation of visual storytelling tools and experiences. It is her responsibility to design, manage and execute the Pixotope Education Program.

Carole Le Roux

I have 20 year experience in Customer Service and Supply Chain in various industries like luxury, beauty, clothing and toys. My main experience was at LEGO where I started as Customer Operations Manager in charge of the Customer Service team for France and was offered the challenge of becoming Customer Consultant. This was an opportunity to develop my skills in supply chain and project management while working on various optimisation solutions with customers based in different EMEA markets. I have recently joined Iron Mountain Entertainment Service as Key Account and Customer Service Manager and am really excited to discover the Media industry. My goal is to make a difference in my organisation, build a reputation in the Media industry and support my team in growing in their role while having fun.

Caroline Vain

I am a Production Manager at Deluxe Media Paris. I joined the company 7 years ago as project manager, when the facility opened in Paris to respond to the growing demand of dubbing when Netflix launched. We began with a team of 10, 3 studios and only word and excel as tools. The infrastructure and the team quickly got bigger as new orders and clients arrived, until today with a facility that has taken an important place in the French localization market. I’m now leading the production team, with a management model based on collaboration and understanding, and more widely, we are eager to work with our numerous freelancers in a spirit of mutual respect and confidence. Driven by my love of storytelling, I’ve been producing content for more than twenty years. First with TV shows and movies as production assistant, then theatre and music show as administrator, and finally for fifteen years, dubbing for documentaries, series and features. I’ve a technology superior degree in electronics, and a superior degree in audiovisual production, I have also followed a professional course in entertainment management and administration.

Clélia Twagirayesu

Clélia Twagirayesu studied Communication Management in Brussels (Belgium) and joined Hack Belgium shortly afterwards where she took innovation and entrepreneurship to the next level. She helped develop Belgium’s biggest innovation festival, Hack Belgium. With this background Clélia joined the VRT Innovation to develop international collaborations between the media and start-ups with solutions for the media . As a EU project coordinator she is responsible for leading European funded projects around media in collaboration with international partners.

Greta Robichaud

I am from Lithuania but for the last five years I have lived abroad in Asia and Europe. To a certain extent, I consider myself self-taught as when I decided to make changes in my professional career, I dedicated all my free time to grasping new concepts, learning programming languages and understanding the basics of coding from any freely available resources found online. I believe Quality Assurance was my gateway to this industry in part thanks to my autodidact nature but in the same way also to keenness on solving problems. As of now I have been working as a QA engineer in automation in an international company for over half a year. It’s no secret that I am still learning the ropes of the job, but I feed off the daily challenges I encounter and the projects I undertake. Therefore, I am truly looking forward to connecting with more people and getting help in shaping my professional future and guiding my upcoming steps.

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Hanna Balouka

Hanna started her studies in psychology and development in Canada, then studied finance in Paris. Three years ago, Hanna graduated from EDHEC Business School with a master’s degree in Management and Business Strategy. Hanna is currently the Head of Sales for IMES France. During her career, she has successfully evolved within the company, moving from operational positions, account management to commercial and sales management. Hanna is responsible for the implementation and deployment of the sales strategy, managing the sales team and growing IMES' business by offering new services to existing customers as well as expanding new customers. She has worked for over 10 years in the entertainment industry with TV channels, producers, distributors, and large corporations to provide expertise and personalised end-to-end solutions for media management, preservation, digitization, and monetization of their media assets. Hanna is an optimistic and curious person, with a willingness to continuously learn from her experiences and her team members to develop and empower her team to deliver their full potential and achieve their goals. As part of an international group, Hanna has actively collaborated with European and US teams to develop business strategy, establish processes and pricing, share best practice, and develop new services. In her spare time, Hanna enjoys dancing, reading, and learning about personal development, and spending time with her three children.

Julienne Veer

Since October 2021 I am working in the Imaging Products & Solutions area as a Regional Marketing Manager for Sony Europe B.V. I’m responsible for DACH & NL Region Implement marketing plans and push regional marketing activities through local 3rd parties and sales teams. Moreover I develop and execute a demand generation plan to contribute to the new business pipeline for DACH+NL region and plan and host local physical / virtual events or regional trade shows to generate awareness and business growth in the region. Before joining the Sony Team I was working for almost 6 years in the telecommunication and ICT industry within Swisscom. I worked as a Marketing Manager for Modern Workplace (B2B) IT & Cloud Solutions. I was Topic Owner of New Work Story And responsible to develop and execute lead generation plan to contribute new business pipeline for sales and partners in cooperation with Microsoft and other third parties for joint marketing activities to attract prospects and generate new business Moreover I was working as a Sales Strategy Manager in the B2C area in the Shops & Retail Channel and responsible for defining and implementing the sales strategy. I also was in charge of our shop location network and expansion management throughout Switzerland for all 116 shops and implemented a data driven decision model.

Lisa Schneider

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." A sentence that has definitely left its mark on me. Never let it get you down, get the best out of everything and together we can do it! That's my motto. My colourful CV has made me who I am today, and I'm happy that my creativity and flair for people has brought me to this very interface role. Whoever decides to work with me brings a strong team member on board - and motivation is my middle name. I see it as my job to connect teams, to move them forward and to convince pessimists. Of course, I remain as objective as possible and in the end we all want the same thing. As International Sales Project Coordinator, I not only work as support for the Sales Managers and Marketing Consultants but am also the link between these two areas. The maintenance of master data and the content-related support of our CRM system are also crucial for the interaction between the two areas. As an interface to Marketing, I am responsible for cross-departmental projects and manage them independently. In terms of sales, I am responsible for the operative part, the evaluation of lead quality and the initiation of all further steps, as well as reporting and acquisitions. My job highlights are travelling, working in an international environment, and working with and within different cultures and countries. Because it is the people who make our work so valuable.

Magdalena Kochan

I have 8+ years of professional experience and 6 years in project management. I am currently a Project Manager at Grass Valley Poland, EMEA Networking and Live, based in Krakow. Prior to this I was an Associate Project Manager and Project Manager at Underscore Marketing, (Digital Marketing Company) and an Account Executive at International Paper at the Global Customer Service Centre in Krakow. I have completed Internships at Krakow Think Tank, Kosciuszko Institute; Poznan Science and Technology Park; Polish MEP office in the European Parliament in Brussels. I graduated from the Jagellonian University in Krakow in 2013 with an MA in European Studies. In 2019, I graduated from Tischner European University in Krakow with Postgraduate Studies in Project Management.

Maria Rivadeneira

In the past few years, I’ve been passionate about the world of dubbing and localization aimed at a European audience. It has been a challenge to learn all the different shades and roles in the industry but everyday I am more confident that I have chosen well. This industry is not only the future but the PRESENT. I studied Communications back home in Guatemala and discovered just after graduating that I wanted to pursue a dream away from home in one of the leading countries for the dubbing and localization industry: Spain. So I applied to a masters degree focused in this area and spent the first year studying and also practising in the local studios. Due to this opportunity, I’ve had the chance to be in contact with international clients such as: Turner Broadcasting, Disney, HBO, Warner Media, Netflix, MGM and NBCUniversal. I started as an intern in a dubbing studio named Iyuno-SDI Media based in Madrid and after a few months, I got a junior position to assist in the financial part of the operations HUB for Turner Broadcasting. Shortly after I took this role, I was offered to continue as an Orders and materials controller which basically was the kick off point for all the dubbing projects for the EMEA region of Turner. I learned so many important things about this industry and what was more challenging, and fun was to be able to deliver good quality dubbing for all the European countries, be in contact with more that 50 different studios in the region and meet the deadlines for the launch of the content. After 3 years in that company, I was recently hired by Deluxe Localization which is also based in Madrid but as part of an international company. I was hired as an Account Manager to be focused on Warner Media but in the past few months I’ve handled all types of projects and clients and got involved in both the creative and operational part of the dubbing processes. I am still learning a lot about this new company, environment and different workflows for each client, but this fast pace is making me want to learn more and be great in what I choose to be my professional career. The reason why I wanted to join Rise is because I am a constant seeker of opportunities and especially knowledge because I believe that we need to keep learning to continue being a great asset professionally and personally. I am looking forward to this mentor program and to being able to take as much advantage as possible because this is a great way to grow.

Marlies Vandenberghe

I started as a application engineer in Skyline a .NET programmer After a short while I transitioned into a Technical Account Manager working with Telco companies such as SingTel, Megacable, Multichoice, ... where I was the lead in delivering projects using our software platform called “DataMiner” (a NMS system with AI and big data capabilities) After 4 years travelling the world I changed to Operations Manager which you can translate as the head of Maintenance & Support. The main focus is to keep both projects & maintenance customers operational by investigation issues and by helping the customers use the system at its full potential using our community platform: https://community.dataminer.services/ I’m currently the global operations manager for 7 years now (since 2015) and counting!

Marta Kedzior-Krasoczko

I am an experienced Software Quality Assurance Manager with 17+ years of experience in the IT field. I am skilled in Test Management, Test Automation and Agile. I would describe myself as a strong engineering professional and servant leader with a very good understanding of Agile. Currently I am working as QA Manager at Grass Valley, leading the testing team involved in development of GV Orbit and Kaleido IP. Previously I was QA Technical Team Lead at IBM, Test Manager at Brown Brothers Harriman and Manager Software QA Engineering at Sabre Corporation. My previous experience gave me a deep understanding of testing practices in various industries such as banking or airlines and provided me with a wide view of best practices in Quality Assurance. To expand my professional experience, I have obtained ISTQB Advanced and Scrum Master certificates. I am a graduate of the Cracow University of Economics and IT Project Management at the AGH University of Science and Technology. In my free time I am conducting training for individuals interested in joining the IT field and changing their career path. I am passionate about women’s rights, mostly because I have seen many women that are afraid to make use of their full potential, especially in the IT field. My hobbies are reading psychological books, MTB cycling and computer games such as Cyberpunk. I am happily married, and I have two lovely ragdoll cats.

Sandra Petrovic

I started my career as a Test Engineer at Ultimaker, previously I was working on the assembly line for the 3D printers. The opportunity to develop myself into an experienced System Test Engineer arose from a need to present high-quality products to the consumers. I feel like that is the most important task at my job, giving users value and having high expectations. I have followed ISTQB training and got my certificate, next to that I also followed the Rapid Software testing course and both of them gave me solid ground for my work. In a day to day job, there is always more that needs to be done, than what you can learn from a book. I am eager to learn, have a critical view of the world and like challenges. My work as System test Engineer is in a structured fashion, with precision. I have analytical and good problem-solving skills. I have no trouble prioritising major from minor tasks. I am trilingual, on a daily basis I use English, Dutch and my mother tongue Serbian. My big passion is Astronomy and often I read articles on recent astronomical and astrophysical discoveries. I had a fantastic opportunity to study astrophysics at a Dutch University after I moved to the Netherlands. I live with my husband and daughter in Tilberg

Stephanie Tenidis

Stephanie Tenidis is a Greek professional based in Dubai. With both her work experience and academic education in radio and TV production, she gained practical insights regarding her passion for Media. Her career is heavily involved in the television production, operations and photography with bold goals to broaden her vision and horizons and further her career achievements. She currently holds the role of Media Operations Coordinator at Warner Bros. Discovery. Carrying out tasks at an operational and organisational level, serving as a liaison between network partners, vendors and the internal teams; handling the broadcast scheduling for different channels and other media and archiving projects.

Mentors

Dushi Thangarajah

Dushi has 15 years experience in the media and entertainment industry, having starter her career in the manufacturing engineering sector across automotive and aerospace due to her engineering educational roots. As Senior Vice President of the Localisation & Fulfilment Operations and Program Management Office at Deluxe she is responsible for all clients and services for content preparation, platform delivery and audio, language and subtitling for broadcast, studio and content dealing clients. Navigating through fast-paced changes to the technology and servicing landscapes while holding clients servicing needs as paramount provides a fun and challenging landscape.

Jackie Howes

Jackie has over 20 years of experience working in the broadcast industry and has worked for a number of different companies, always working in a role that bridges the gap between traditional IT and broadcast engineers. Today, as the Senior Director of Media Infrastructure Architecture at Warner Bros. Discovery, Jackie is directly responsible for scoping, defining and coordinating both large and small Infrastructure systems that have a direct impact on the company’s technical capabilities and profitability. She works alongside global teams and external suppliers to architect infrastructure ecosystems that support the technical and operational aspects of production and broadcast systems. Jackie is a strong believer in sharing knowledge and endeavours to create an environment where every individual is able to choose the path they wish to take.Jackie is recognised as a person who is at the forefront of disruption and innovation within the broadcast and media industry. Through inspired leadership she has helped to deliver ground-breaking technology and business benefits.

Kathey Battrick

Kathey Battrick joined Asharq News in 2019 as a Senior Manager in the Library and Media Management Department. She is responsible for setting up and leading the media library at Asharq, overseeing the management, cataloguing, AI indexing and preservation of the organisation's valuable production assets and archive. She has a wealth of experience in media and archive management and previously worked as the Director of Operations for ITN Source, the archive and clips sales arm of ITN News in London, where she led projects such as the digitization of ITN's archive and managed the archive operations team.

Katty Van Mele

Dynamic strategic & business development key executive with 20+ years of experience gained from working and living in Europe, Asia and the US. A history of generating fast revenue growth, enhancing global market share and developing innovative & comprehensive technology solutions. An enthusiastic, driven, proactive team leader with proven ability to build strong strategic relationships with both industry powerhouses and promising start-ups. Introducing new business models to the technology industry, negotiating favourable agreements / IPR licences, and leveraging a unique combination of executive, communication, networking, customer-oriented, and hands-on expertise. Previous to joining intoPIX and the Broadcast industry 13 years ago, Katty joined the technology industry in key roles in Business Development with video traffic detection algorithm specialist Traficon (later acquired by Teledyne FLIR) and as Director Strategic Alliances for Semiconductor IP licensing with the Belgian ESD technology division of Sarnoff Corporation (now SRI). However, she started her career outside of the technology sector in International Sales and Marketing after graduating with an MA in International Relations & Economics from The Johns Hopkins University – SAIS. “I had the unique chance of working with a few very seasoned executives in different European countries when I first hit the “international sales” job market. They took me by the hand and shared their experience, not minding I was the first female to dip my toes in their closely-knit all-boys world. Not a day goes by where I do not benefit from their wisdom and tutoring, allowing me to find my own passion and voice. I am excited to join the RISE Program as a Mentor, and hope to make a difference for a new generation of women in our exciting technology industry, and in turn help them to find their passion too”.

Kerri Brown

I’m Senior Manager for the R&D team developing Grass Valley’s cloud-based Playout solution, AMPP Playout. As Senior Manager, it’s my purpose to lead and inspire the R&D team to create high quality software solutions for our customers. Day to day, I work with stakeholders to ensure the product roadmap is understood by the team and ensure that they have the right support and motivation to achieve their short and long-term goals. My passion is personal growth and I’m always looking for ways to stretch myself and learn new skills which is why I decided 3 years ago to make the transition into management having been a software engineer for 20 years. This has definitely been a challenge over the last couple of years, especially considering the changes that digital transformation brings, but it does also come with its own rewards. Outside of work, I have a passion for art and occasionally sell my paintings.

Kerry Shreeve

Kerry Shreeve is a winner of the latest award celebrating the Future CIO 100, who are the rising stars of the technology and business world, honing their skills to be tomorrow’s leaders. Kerry, has over 25 years experience in the IT and Broadcast Media sector. Starting on a Service Desk and working her way up over the years to manage global technology teams. She now provides mentoring to others and strives on spotting and helping young talent follow in her footsteps, something she’s renowned for. She’s worked in insurance, banking, healthcare, digital and broadcast in many global companies. Kerry was never trained in technology, she left school and grew into her roles, gaining and sharing experiences on the way. She’s worked for a number of startups and uses a common sense approach to programmes she oversees. Known by many as a doer, failure is alien to her. She loves change and transformation, helping organisations strive to next levels whilst streamlining the way they work. At the same time, it’s important that staff are involved and taken on change journeys as these are key to success. We see it so often- changes are done to people, this is why so many fail. Last year she won a Woman in Technology award for Rise, a group for Gender Diversity and is keen to help children in education move into roles in Technology.

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Leanne Hurrell

Leanne Hurrell is a Senior Manager within Amazon Web Services (AWS) responsible for the Business Innovation Team supporting Global and Strategic customers. Prior to joining AWS Leanne held both sales leadership and sales management positions within the telecommunication industry working for Verizon, Lumen Technologies and Cable & Wireless. She is a member of Re-engage – a charity specifically created to help tackle loneliness particularly in senior folk and has a lifelong dream of opening her own residential facility to carry on helping these extraordinary people. Work aside, Leanne has become a lockdown runner and enjoys painting, baking and going on endless walks with her dog, Pickle.

Michael Gamböck

Michael works with strategic accounts and partners worldwide. He liaises directly and with Adobe Video solution partners with brands, broadcasters and creatives to address their needs and shape their strategies. Additionally, Michael consults closely with Adobe engineering, product management and management to grow usage of Creative Cloud Video products. He actively worked on several released and upcoming products and services like Frame IO, Team Projects and cross-device editing platform Project Rush. He developed and is managing the worldwide Adobe Video Solution partner program, which will deliver value-added services to Adobe clients and help customers build better workflows with our partners. Michael has been in the industry since 1994 in sales, marketing and management roles at organisations including Bavaria Film, Studio Babelsberg TMT, Annova, Getty Images, Avid, P+S Technik and others. He has a deep understanding of all aspects of the Media and Entertainment Industry, from technology and management to creative processes. He managed several big innovative projects and was a managing director for one of Germany's most significant post-production facilities before joining Adobe. He covers exciting new technologies like Adobe Sensei or initiatives like his Adobe Video Solution program in his strategic role. As a father of a 10-year-old girl, he wants to help to change things actively. He is part of Adobe Germany's diversity team and is passionate about diversity, inclusion and creativity. However, teams can only be successful if they make these their priorities.

Larissa Görner-Meeus

Larissa Görner-Meeus has worked in the media and broadcast industry for 22 years. She started her career as an R & D engineer at IRT, the R&D institute of the public broadcasters in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In this role, she was majorly involved in standardisation work at EBU and SMPTE and later took on the role as General Manager for contracted research and has worked closely with all ARD and ZDF affiliates. In 2013 she joined SDNsquare and moved to Belgium as Product Marketing manager and changed to Net Insight as Strategic Product Manager in 2014. Holding several roles in Net Insight, she also has been part of the CTO team, developing strategic solutions and products with a major focus on WAN applications and remote production. She joined Grass Valley in 2019 and is today heading up the AMPP Product Line for Grass Valley’s software and cloud-based products. She received the “Technology Women to watch” and the ARD/ZDF award for women in media technology and holds a master degree in electrical engineering and a MBA and was board member of AIMS – Alliance for IP Media Services and of FKTG, the German society for Motion picture and Television engineers. She today co-chairs the SMPTE Media in the cloud advisory committee and manages the Central European program for RISE. Next to engineering she worked in live-production and technical operations for more than 20 years at national and international sport productions and events, such as the Eurovision Song Contest and the Olympics. Larissa speaks 5 languages and has regularly contributed to and spoken at a multitude of industry events.

Lauren Carter-Jones

After finishing my degree in ‘Spanish for International Business’ I was offered a 1-year internship with a Cambridge Tech start up, I jumped at the chance to get involved in all aspects of the Marketing mix. Three years later I had experienced so much and was loving the opportunity but needed to take the next step. I landed a 9-month contract with another Cambridge Tech start up with a tiny 2-person global marketing team and tons of possibility! Having travelled the world, seen so many amazing places, and had the opportunity to grow my marketing skills and develop a wonderful network of contacts, I took maternity leave and had my son. After a year out being a ‘mama’, I returned to my role post pandemic, and it just wasn’t the same. Prompting me to get on the job hunt… A contact posted they were looking for a Marketing Manager and as they say the rest is history – I work for Media Business Insight as a Marketing Manager across the Broadcast Tech & Sport Group. I love my job and manage the marketing for a varied portfolio of events including our large scale trade show (MPTS), regional brand events right through to our renowned awards. I’m also a trilingual, speaking Spanish and French, and love to travel, network and learn!

Sarah McGettigan

After studying TV and Video Production at Bournemouth University, and making tea in most of the Post Houses in Soho, Sarah joined Pinewood Television in 2001, a couple of weeks after it opened. 21 years later she is still there (and still making tea!) Her first years were spent as Resource Coordinator in the TV Team, booking kit and crew for My Family and Weakest Link among others, before she moved into the Sales Team as TV Sales Executive. Responsible for Pinewood Television’s biggest clients, including the BBC, Talkback Thames and Endemol, Sarah quickly established excellent relationships with HOP’s , Production Managers and Producers which endure to this day. Returning to Pinewood after maternity leave with her second child, Sarah was promoted to Head of Television, accountable for the efficient and effective selling and management of studio facilities and resources and maximising company performance through robust financial management. Having worked on both sides of the business she was uniquely placed to engineer a restructure that worked both commercially and operationally. The restructure has led to a resurgence of Television at Pinewood with a 38% increase in productions accommodated year on year and vastly improved revenue and margin. Recent shows accommodated in the TV Studios include ‘Taskmaster’, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’, ‘Tenable’, ‘Would I Lie to You?’ and ‘Ranganation’. “I’m passionate about television and motivated by delivering excellence in client service, exceeding company targets and leading the happiest, friendliest team of people at Pinewood. I genuinely think that I have the best job in the world!”

Sarah Sanders

During her career in the Technology Industry, Sarah has established and led teams in Sales, Marketing and Strategy business units with global accountability. Sarah has experience in multiple industry verticals including finance and professional services, life sciences and pharmaceutical and is currently responsible for leading the relationship with a large Global Media customer as a Global Account Manager. Sarah is motivated by new technology innovation and has developed new solution implementations for her customers, with the highlight of setting up a new global business unit spanning 26 countries for mobile health in developing world countries. Sarah is very excited to be part of the Rise Mentoring Programme and is genuinely passionate about people reaching their full potential through continuous learning and development. An advocate of Women in Technology, Teens in Ai, mSchools and Girls in ICT having delivered multiple workshops and initiatives throughout her career. Always keen to try something new and not been done before!

Serge Van Herck

Serge Van Herck brings more than 25 years of industry knowledge and extensive CEO and board experience to the position. Before joining EVS in September 2019, Serge worked in various market-leading companies such as Newtec, Accenture and Belgacom (now Proximus), playing key roles in the strategic planning and growth of their business. At Newtec, Serge served as CEO, president and shareholder for over 10 years, successfully transforming the company from a regional niche player into a widely recognized industry leader, setting standards and providing complex satellite network solutions across the globe. Serge is also an avid pilot and sailor—so it’s no wonder his motto is “Begin with the end in mind”!

Stefan Weidner

Stefan is a seasoned, internationally experienced, Sales leader with 30 years of experience in the broadcast industry under his belt. His career has been built of a strong technical background and took him through various different roles all the way from operational roles through Tech support and Project Management to Sales. He started his career back in 1992 at a public broadcaster from where he transitioned to Avid Technology Central Europe taking on a role as Technical Support Engineer. Stefan spent 11 years at Avid where he, amongst other roles, built up the Professional Services Team before he led the Enterprise Sales Team for Central Europe. Next steps in his career included Sales leadership position at Harris Broadcast which is Imagine Communications today as well as Rohde & Schwarz where he held a global Sales position. Currently Stefan heads the Central European Sales team at Grass Valley.

Stephan Heimbecher

Stephan joined SWR Südwestrundfunk in November 2021, leading the new ARD Competence Center Production & Infrastructure. Since June 2021 he also acts as the chairman of the EBU Strategic Programme Production. Previously, Stephan Heimbecher was Founder & Managing Director of his own consultancy firm, Heimbecher – In media’s res. Before that he was at Imagine Communications as Senior Director Advisory Services EMEA & APAC looking after Imagine Advisory Services, which stand by broadcast clients as a partner during technical and non-technical business transitions – e.g. in the context of IP Migration. From 2002 to 2018 he was working at Sky Deutschland (formerly Premiere) as Director Innovations & Standards in Technology, where he took care of representing Sky on national and international committees, technical work with major Hollywood studios plus technical innovation management tasks within Sky Deutschland. At Sky Stephan Heimbecher has significantly been involved in the launch of some technical innovations including Sky+ (PVR), Sky HD, Sky 3D and at last Sky UHD. The electrical engineering graduate began his career as research associate at the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) where he worked on audio coding. Since 1997 he has dedicated his work at IRT to the standardisation of Digital TV before joining Top5 MediaConnection in 2001 (a company of the former KirchGruppe) as manager within the consulting department. In the course of his career Stephan Heimbecher was active in different Industry Groups and Standards Bodies and also chaired various working groups, amongst others DVB (Member of the Steering Board), German TV Platform (Member of the Board, working group chairman), FAME (Co-chairman) and UHD Alliance (Chairman of the Broadcast Group).