Hon. Najib Balala, EGH (Cabinet Secretary at Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife, Government of Kenya)

Hon. Najib Balala, EGH

Cabinet Secretary at Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife, Government of Kenya

Honorable Najib Balala, EGH, was born in 1967 and is trained in International Urban Management at the University of Toronto, Canada. He underwent the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

CS Balala was early this year re-appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife by H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, CGH, President of the Republic of Kenya. He had been appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Tourism in the 2015 Government reshuffle. He moved from the Ministry of Mining, where he was appointed as Kenya’s first Minister in May 2013 and is credited with delivering the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940.

Hon. Balala served simultaneously as Member of Parliament for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa, and Kenya’s Minister for Tourism from April 2008 to March 2012, where he delivered the Tourism Bill and gave the sector policy and legal framework geared towards maintaining sustainability. Then, he was elected Chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2011 and was voted Best Tourism Minister in Africa in 2009 by Africa Investor (AI).

He is credited with steering Kenya’s tourism sector to recovery following the post-election violence in 2008. He played a significant role in boosting growth and stability in the Kenyan and regional tourism sector, working closely with private and institutional investors, with conservation and regional development agencies to ensure that the economic potential of this vital sector was both prudently and sustainably managed.

Charles Murito (Country Manager at Google Kenya)

Charles Murito

Country Manager at Google Kenya
Gary Grimmer (CEO of Gaining Edge)

Gary Grimmer

CEO of Gaining Edge

Gary has over 30 years of experience in the global convention industry and founded GainingEdge in 2004.

He has consulted at the local and national level on over 100 projects in every part of the world. His experience in Africa includes the establishment of the South African National Convention Bureau, projects in 3 South African provinces and in Rwanda. He also consulted on convention center development projects in Kenya and Nigeria. He is a founding sponsor and strategic consultant to the African Society of Association Executives. Gary is a regular contributor to the industry education programs at Meetings Africa.

Gary was a lead international consultant on Destination Next, a study for Destinations International (DI) which defined the future of destination marketing. He is former Chairman of the Board of DI and was one of the first six inductees into the inaugural Dl Hall of Fame in 2014. He also received the Asia Pacific IMEX Academy Award in 2007.

GainingEdge also manages the BestCities Global Alliance which is comprised of 12 of the world’s leading destinations, including Cape Town in South Africa.

Charlotte Kemp (Futurist)

Charlotte Kemp


Charlotte Kemp, the Futures Alchemist, is a futurist and a professional speaker, Vice President of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA) and a past Board member of the Global Speakers Federation. Charlotte has also received the PSASA Founder's Award and is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists.

Nonnie Kubeka (Head of GCEB at Gauteng Convention and Events Bureau)

Nonnie Kubeka

Head of GCEB at Gauteng Convention and Events Bureau

Nonnie Kubeka currently heading the Gauteng Convention and Events Bureau (GCEB) in South Africa. Nonnie has 21 years of experience Destination Marketing within The Business Events Industry. Highly skilled project management with a Bachelor of commerce, MBA in strategic Marketing degrees. Before heading the GCEB, she held various positions in including being a Commercial Director of the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Her current role is to create and execute business strategies to position Gauteng as a premier international MICE destination. Under her leadership, the Gauteng Convention and Events Bureau is tasked to market, promote, foster and develop business events in the province. Within her scope of work, Nonnie developed a business events strategy for the province and initiating and implementing bidding, hosting and marketing activities nationally and internationally with a view to attract business travellers and tourists to the province. Additionally, she is responsible to develop strategic partnerships with suppliers such venues, airlines, associations, educational institutions, professional conference organizers, tour operators, event and exhibition planners in South Africa and other countries, as well as support establishments and events that help put the province on the map. In her current role, Nonnie has been recognized by Forbes Africa Woman her influential role in the Business events industry, nominated in the Africa Business Leadership Awards, named amongst the Top 40 Women in MICE and recently awarded the ICCA Inspirational Woman Award 2018 by the International Conference and Convention Association. She served on the several Association boards in Africa, SAA, Airchefs, Cape Town Tourism, Sandton Tourism, SA Travel Centre and currently serving in Southern African Association of Convention Industry. Nonnie has also served as a deputy chairperson in the ICCA Africa Chapter, assisted in ICCA First Time Attendee mentorship Programme for the past 11 years , assisted in increasing Africa chapter membership by supporting the launch of the African Society of Association Executives to encourage meetings to be held and rotate around the Africa continent and contributing to co-creating the first ICCA Africa Client supplier workshop.

Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, EGH, S.C. (Attorney General Emeritus at Republic of Kenya)

Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, EGH, S.C.

Attorney General Emeritus at Republic of Kenya

Prof. Githu Muigai has over 35 years’ experience in the practice of law in Kenya and in East Africa. Prof. Muigai holds LLB and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nairobi and an LLM Degree from Columbia University School of Law, New York. He was called to the Bar in 1985. In addition to the practice of law, he is an Associate Professor of Public law in the School of Law of the University of Nairobi (currently on leave of absence). He has also published extensively in the areas of international law, and human rights and has previously worked as a consultant to various international organizations, including the African Union, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

He has a wide range of areas of practice which include Commercial Litigation and Arbitration, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Information and Communications Technology Law, Insurance and Banking Law, Investments Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Public, and Private International Law, Public Procurement Law.

From August 2008 – September 2011 Prof. Githu Muigai was the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, And Related Intolerance. He has also been a Judge of the African Court of Human & Peoples Rights between 2008 – 2010.

Prof. Muigai has recognized expertise in the areas of justice sector reform generally and Constitutional reform specifically. From the year 2000 to 2005, he was a commissioner to the Constitutional Review Commission where he was specially charged with the legal drafting of the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. He was a legal adviser and draftsman to the Somali peace process and was involved in drafting the Somali federal Transitional charter.

Prof. Githu Muigai served as Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya from the 29th August 2011 to March 2018.

Richard Mulvey (international Keynotes)

Richard Mulvey

international Keynotes

An award-winning speaker with a range of keynotes and
Master Class programs to improve results at any level,
Richard has been selling all his life and is a prolific
the author with 20 books published in his name with 8 best
sellers. With 25 years experience as a sales motivator
he will help your sales team to close more sales and
keep more customers so that your company can
develop greater profitability and sustainability.

Sharon Newport (Executive Director of Door Security & Safety Foundation)

Sharon Newport

Executive Director of Door Security & Safety Foundation

Sharon partners with leaders to successfully build cultural and strategic change in their organizations. Having served as a non-profit executive and a documentary television/film producer/actor for over two decades, Sharon’s career has focused on opportunities to be a change leader and storyteller in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., including several series for The History Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. As a consultant her clients have included non-profit and for-profit organizations such as Salamander Resort & Spa, Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association and PRSM Foundation.

Sharon has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership and a B.F.A. from the State University of New York, Purchase College, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Sharon is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and is an ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program Scholar.

Prof. Solomon Rataemane (Secretary General at World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation)

Prof. Solomon Rataemane

Secretary General at World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation

Prof. Solomon RataemaneHe is the head of Department of Psychiatry at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). He has special interest in child psychiatry, mood disorders and addiction medicine. He has served as deputy chairperson and chairperson of the Central Drug Authority of South Africa from 1995 to 2005. He was involved with UCLA Substance Abuse Program in collaborative research to improve Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for counsellors at SANCA Clinics in South Africa. He has previously acted as the Interim Executive Dean and Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor. He was appointed Deputy Chair of the Medical Research Council of South Africa for the triennium 2007 – 2010.He has the following affiliations:President of the African Association of Psychiatrists (2014 - 2017)Health Professions Council of South Africa (Member of the Health Committee)International Council on Alcohol and AddictionsDr George Mukhari Hospital (Chief PsychiatristWPA Zone 14 (Sub-Sahara Representative and Board Member)Chairperson of the WPA Section on Conflict Management and Conflict ResolutionColleges of Medicine of South Africa (Member of College of Psychiatry)American Psychiatric Association (International Member)Secretary General of WAPR (World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (2015 - 2018)Chairperson Ministerial Advisory Committee (National Department of Health of South Africa 2015 - 2020)

Susan Robertson (Executive Vice President of ASAE & President of the ASAE Foundation Company at American Society of Association Executives (ASAE))

Susan Robertson

Executive Vice President of ASAE & President of the ASAE Foundation Company at American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

Susan Robertson is the Executive Vice President of ASAE & President of the ASAE Foundation. As part of the executive office of the organization, her responsibilities include strategic and operational planning and the leadership of teams focused on finance, community, meetings, membership, marketing, advertising, sponsorship, fundraising, publishing, social media & website, communications and public relations, fundraising, research, and credentialing.
During the past 15 years with ASAE, she has held a wide variety of roles and responsibilities including overall leadership of industry and market research and of the award-winning magazine, Associations Now. Prior to joining ASAE, Ms. Robertson was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for U.S. Office Products, a multibillion-dollar business products company. During her earlier career as a marketing and program development professional, she held positions with Ethan Allen, Inc. in its Danbury, CT headquarters, Washington-based National Office Products Association, and the National Dealer Alliance, where she was Executive Director.

Eric L. Schmidt (Co-Founder and CEO of Event Bank)

Eric L. Schmidt

Co-Founder and CEO of Event Bank

As a leader in the global tech industry, Eric is focused on developing customer-centric products and transforming the way professional communities build and enrich relationships. He has incubated multiple tech startups within the software, mobile, and environmental industries, and has worked with venture capital and private equity investments in the United States and China. He also founded China Entrepreneurs — a community he built into a 20,000+ member network.