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the Boardroom is the first private club for women executives who aspire to be board members. It was founded in Switzerland in 2021 by Diana Markaki-Bartholdi, with 120 senior female executives from the largest companies internationally, and since then has been rapidly expanding across Europe, with physical locations (Private Clubhouses) already in Greece, Denmark, UK and France. We’re introducing six of the members.
the Boardroom’s mission is to improve corporate governance and increase diversity and inclusion on corporate boards by creating and cultivating an active pipeline of qualified women leaders to fill board positions. It has developed a proprietary holistic approach to board-readiness, based on four pillars, and offers its members a continuous learning and development experience through board education, peer learning, executive coaching and strategic networking, while they can enjoy the luxury of a private clubhouse, and formal dinners with influential guests from around the world.
Vice-Chair Board of Directors Vontobel Swiss Financial Advisers
Jacqueline Hess is a board member and business growth strategist with a tax, trade and regulatory background. She has spent her entire career leading and advising heavily regulated businesses with strong connectivity to the Swiss-US business corridor. Jacqueline has over 25 years of Big 4 international advisory experience predominately in the life sciences space and 10 years executive management experience in professional services and most recently in wealth management. This includes her roles as CEO of Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors and as Managing Partner Deloitte Tax & Legal in Switzerland.
“the Boardroom stands out due to its excellent combination of board education, breadth and depth of collaboration partners.”
General Counsel Commercial
Arianna Greco is SVP and General Counsel Commercial at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. With over 25 years of experience advising public and private organizations in healthcare and biotech, Arianna is a trusted and creative problem solver, able to take a holistic view of the business and passionate about leveraging her broad legal, compliance and sector expertise to evaluate strategic business options, improve management and controls and deliver long term impact for patients and shareholders. A champion of values-based leadership, Arianna is known for emotional intelligence, high personal integrity, and the soft skills necessary to lead diverse teams and collaborate effectively across cultures and all levels of the organization.
“I believe that, in order to lift barriers and amplify the positive impact of diverse leadership, we need to lead through example and engagement.”
CHRO KNF Group
Birgit Maillefaud is CHRO at KNF Group, a trusted global technology leader in customized diaphragm pump solutions with over 20 locations worldwide. An accomplished People & Business executive, advisor, and board member, she previously held global commercial and HR leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, Coty, and Logitech, with a continued focus on organization and culture transformation. Leveraging her broad experience, she serves as advisory board member (CoachHub and Kyan Health) and career mentor. Birgit is passionate about developing thriving organizations and empathetic leadership capability such that company and individual purpose meet and people grow in a way that is meaningful to them.
“the Boardroom truly stands out by not only equipping members with the skill set to become competent and confident board members, and to ultimately enable more diverse boards, but also by creating a powerful community of like-minded female executives in an open and trusted space.”
Head of Legal, Regulatory, Risk & Compliance, Executive Member: dsm-firmenich AG
An international business leader with >30 years of experience gained by living and working in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia in multiple sectors (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, B2B, FMCG), Jane became an Executive Member of dsm-firmenich AG when these two iconic companies merged in May this year to create the Swiss NL listed leader in health, nutrition and beauty. With deep experience in governance and compliance in science driven organizations, she has directly led transformations, organizational, cultural and automation changes and worked closely with boards. Jane loves adventure.
“After a successful 30 plus year career in many industries, I wish to help companies grow and be successful as a board member. I am hoping the Boardroom will provide opportunities to make this dream a reality.”
Founder of littlehipstar and Hip Distribution, Board of Trustees Zurich International School
Currently at littlehipstar GmbH (since July 2013), as Founder and Head of Buying; also a founder of Hip Distribution GmbH (founded 2023). Mother of two boys. Previously held a position of Corporate Communications at Garanti Bank, Istanbul, Turkey. Completed a Master’s Degree in political science and government at the Bosphorus University in 2007. Received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Marketing in 2004 from Pepperdine University.
“I joined the Boardroom because I wanted to meet like-minded women from different backgrounds and industries. We all have similar struggles but different stories, so connecting with a diverse group of high achieving women was very interesting to me as a female entrepreneur. I felt like I could be a value-add from my perspective as well. I also had my own mission of joining a board, and I believe the Boardroom helped me get there.”
Executive Vice President Duty Free North America
Ekaterina “Kate” Herzig, a seasonal executive and servant leader with over three decades of experience, currently heads as EVP Retail Duty Free North America. Her professional journey spans international beauty, luxury, consumer goods, food and beverage, quick-service restaurants, and travel retail sectors. Kate led transformative projects and introduced innovative, customer-centric concepts. An MBA graduate from Chicago Booth, she remains actively involved as an Executive in Residence, contributing her insights and expertise to the community. Additionally, Kate serves on the board of the Swiss Association of MBAs and dedicates herself to mentoring and empowering young individuals at the University of St Gallen.
“I joined as a founding member of the Boardroom because my belief is the same and I was inspired by Diana’s vision, the mission that ‘We are changing the face of leadership, one woman at a time.’”