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Leadership Team

ULRIK JUUL CHRISTENSEN

Chief Executive Officer,
Area9 Group

Dr. Christensen is recognized worldwide as an expert in learning technology. He has pioneered adaptive learning, data-driven content development, simulation and debriefing technologies. He is responsible for the strategy of Area9 Group’s businesses, that span from purpose-built platforms for optimization of business processes for large corporations over digital product design to corporate training based on intelligent, adaptive learning.

He founded his first company, Sophus Medical, in 1997 while still in medical school. Sophus Medical was acquired by Laerdal Medical in 2002. Dr. Christensen was responsible for Laerdal’s global learning technologies initiatives from 2002–2006. Dr. Christensen co-founded Area9 Group in 2006, which has been at the forefront of adaptive and personalized learning with more than 1500 adaptive learning products based on the Area9 technologies and millions of students using the systems every semester. Area9 Education was sold to McGraw-Hill Education in 2014 and Area9 Learning was established to focus on adaptive learning in corporate and organizational environments.

Dr. Christensen was part of the McGraw-Hill Higher Education leadership team from 2011 to 2014 and the MHE Executive Leadership Team from February 2014 to 2016, where he stepped down to focus on the rapidly growing Area9 Innovation and Area9 Learning enterprises.

His primary focus is Area9 Lyceum which in January 2018 assembled all the group’s educational investments and technologies, and set out to create the 4th generation adaptive learning platform and the first generation supporting four dimensional education.

He is also the chairman of Altus Care (precision patient compliance software platform), and in 2017, Dr. Christensen was appointed expert-in-residence at the translational accelerator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Christensen is on the boards of LEAP Innovation and Mastery Transcript Consortium. He is also on the advisory board for Transcend Education, CharacterLab, Center for Curriculum Redesign at Harvard University and is the co-chair of the advisory board in emergency medicine at Brigham and Womens hospital in Boston.


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KHURRAM JAMIL

President, Strategic Initiatives
Area9 Group

Dr. Khurram Jamil is President of Strategic Initiatives where he focuses on regional expansions, joint-ventures and partnerships, as well as oversees projects for all levels of education and training. Dr. Jamil’s entrepreneurial experience extends over 20 years. He has successfully led dozens of teams comprising of medical professionals and educational scientists, spearheaded large development and partnership efforts, and managed multi-million-dollar educational software development projects.

After earning his medical degree at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 2002, Dr. Jamil chose to advance health care outside the clinical arena through the development of novel educational simulators at Laerdal Medical. These simulators were used in the U.S. Department of Defense for Combat Medic Training. Following this, revolutionary screen-based simulators were created for the American Heart Association (HeartCode ACLS & PALS) used by millions of providers.

He co-founded Area9 in 2006 to evolve and expand these concepts beyond health care, while partnering with McGraw-Hill Education to deploy adaptive learning technology. Since then, more than 20 million students have used LearnSmart & SmartBook (property of McGraw-Hill Education – acquired in 2014).

Dr. Jamil is a cultural bridge builder and is involved with various cultural & art organizations to support building creative and reflective societies. He is a board member at the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center for the Boston Public Library – a center than develops programs to inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issuesHe is a member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Art Circle and a board member of American Friends of SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark. He also recently joined the Education Council of the Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society.


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ASGER ALSTRUP PALM

Chief Technology Officer, Area9 Group
Chief Architect

Mr. Palm has been an early pioneer of high-performance, agile programming. He is a specialist in translating computer science from the cutting edge academic environments to the solutions that address real commercially viable needs.

Mr. Palm has been part of the current leadership team since the owners’ first company (which he was a co-owner of) where he joined the team in 1998.

Mr. Palm and his second-in-command, Mr. Tommy Olesen, have built a unique team of the absolute best, high performance software architects. Their recruitment tests are considered amongst the hardest in the industry.


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NIELS VILDBRAD

Chief Operating Officer
Chief of Staff

Mr. Vildbrad has several years of strategic business management experience incl. substantial M&A experience from healthcare-IT and educational industries. He has led cross-border teams from acquisitions through the integration phase, with focus on growth and streamlining of operations.

Prior to joining Area9, Mr. Vildbrad ran a US-division for a large listed German healthcare-IT company, where he completed a successful turnaround, re-establishing a sales organization and reduced customer churn.

He is responsible for all business development and partnerships for the Area9 Group and works closely with the executive chairman in the management of the group.

Mr. Vildbrad holds an M.Sc. in Economics & Management from Aarhus University of Denmark, and is based in Boston, MA.


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TASHIA DAM

Chief Pedagogy Officer

Ms. Dam has 10 years experience with developing intelligent, educational technologies and content at scale. She originally joined Area9 in 2008 and was part of the small team building the early versions of our adaptive systems. When Area9 was sold to McGraw-Hill, Ms. Dam was part of the McGraw-Hill transition team from 2014-2016.
From 2016 to 2018, Ms. Dam was VP. of Research and Innovation at Lix Technologies, and she brings significant state of the art knowledge of learning, education, pedagogics and technology.
Prior to joining Area9 in 2008, she was teaching at Institute of Pedagogics at Copenhagen University, from where she also earned her MA in Philosophy of Education & Theoretical Pedagogics.
Ms. Dam was expert advisor in the Danish Ministry of Education’s Council on Technology in Education timeboxed for 2017-2018, and she is on the Employer Panel Advisory Board at Institute of Pedagogics & Education, Århus University.
She also does peer-reviews for Association for Learning Technology, UK and regularly writes reviews of technology-philosophy books for the Danish magazine, Altinget.

 


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RICHARD KEAVENY

Chief Product Officer

Richard is the Chief Product Officer at Area9 Lyceum, and is responsible for product vision, product strategy, product design, and the delivery of customer centric digital solutions to improve peoples’ lives through education.

Richard is an award winning, market facing visionary for innovative educational products and services. With more than 20 years of software experience in innovative technology for Higher Education, K12 and lifelong learning, Richard has held positions in global technology product development and management encompassing design, product delivery, sales, business development, Mergers/Acquisitions and implementation at McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, and Cengage (Thomson). Richard was head of digital strategy for McGraw-Hill Higher Education, and led the company’s transition to adaptive technologies based on the Area9 technologies and platforms. Richard was also part of two education start-ups, both being acquired by global learning companies and he also spearheaded a start-up team within Pearson that was funded by the Pearson CEO.

Richard received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.


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LARS KIRKESKOV SØRUP

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Soerup combines the skill sets and experience of both start-ups and large corporate environments. Being one of the four main owners of Sophus Medical, Mr. Soerup has been on the journey building companies from scratch. When the current owners left Laerdal Medical to start Area9, Mr. Soerup stayed at Laerdal Medical to head up the R&D department and being a member of the executive management team of the company that is one of the largest emergency medical device, training and simulation companies globally

Mr. Soerup brings significant strategic leadership experience as well medical and educational product development experience.

Mr. Soerup has a M.Sc. in civil engineering from Technical University of Denmark with a specialty in electronics and mathematical modeling.


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NICK HOWE

Chief Learning Officer

Nick Howe is an award winning Chief Learning Officer and business leader.
He is the Chief Learning Officer at Area9 Lyceum, the global leader in micro-adaptive learning technology, a strategic advisor to the Institute of Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida, and board advisor to multiple EdTech startups.

For twelve years Nick was the Chief Learning Officer at Hitachi Data Systems where he built and led the corporate university and online communities serving over 50,000 employees, resellers and customers.

With over 25 years’ global sales, sales enablement, delivery and consulting experience with Hitachi, EDS Corporation and Bechtel Inc., Nick is passionate about the transformation of customer experiences, partner relationships and employee performance through learning and collaboration.

He received his Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.


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VLADIMIR UFNAROVSKY

Chief Information Officer

Mr. Ufnarovsky has 25 years experience in the IT industry, including 15 years of executive leadership in the high-tech companies specializing on the scientific-intensive development.
Having joined the Area9 family in 2006 he has been able to attract top talent and established hyper-agile computer scientist teams distributed globally.

Mr. Ufnarovsky has graduated from St.Petersburg State University, Software Engineering department, the World Champions in the International Collegiate Programming Contests of 2000, 2001, 2014 and 2016.

He started his career in 1994 as a programmer, quickly moved to management positions and after 10 years became a shareholder and the COO of a 300+ employees company.
Mr. Ufnarovsky successfully created and exited three start-up companies in Computer Vision and in the game development industry.


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Kristen Raffetto

Chief of Staff

Kristen has 17 years’ accounting and finance experience.  Before joining the Area9 team in 2014, she served as the Assistant Controller and HR Manager for a private healthcare consulting firm.  She specializes in GAAP Compliance, staff recruitment, and maintaining operational excellence.

As Chief of Staff for the CEO, Kristen leads the Product Management task force, as well as overseeing US finance and HR.

Kristen holds a BS in Accounting from Bryant University.


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MARC BERG, MD

Chief Clinical Advisor

Dr. Berg is an internationally recognized and respected clinician, scientist and educator. He serves as Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Critical Care) at Stanford University and Director of the REVIVE Initiative in Resuscitation Excellence at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. He has published numerous manuscripts in over 20 years of academic medicine, primarily in critical care, resuscitation and CPR performance. In teaching, he led the 2010 American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care Pediatric Subcommittee in producing Guidelines for Pediatric Resuscitation and the PALS and PEARS courses, taken by millions of students worldwide. He has been with Area9 since it’s inception and is currently Chief Clinical Advisor for the Area9 Group.


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TOMMY OLESEN

Executive Vice President,
Core of Technologies

Mr. Olesen was educated at the University of Copenhagen as computer
scientist, specializing in semantics and implementation of programming languages, areas crucial in building the Area9 tools that help people realize their potential with IT.

Mr. Olesen has 16 years of experience in adaptive learning solutions and computer simulation, agile software development and managing software development in geographically distributed teams.


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CLAUS BIERMANN, MD MPH

Executive Vice President,
Global Healthcare Education

Dr. Claus W. Biermann serves as Area9 Lyceum’s EVP, Global Healthcare Education. He leads all our growing healthcare partnerships, including NEJM Group’s Knowledge+, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and future partners. He also leads Area9’s efforts to partner with the healthcare industry, both for internal and external stakeholder medical education.

Dr. Biermann has a background as MD from Medical University Bochum in Germany and a Master in Public Health (MPH) from University Bielefeld in Germany. He was trained in transplantations and abdominal surgery as well as urology at several international universities, including serving at University of Chicago. He has been a Research Fellow for Experimental Research and has an extensive publication list.

Dr. Biermann was very active in Outcomes & Value Based Healthcare Research next to basic scientific clinical work and publications. He worked as an Executive cross sectoral in all major healthcare industries; Pharmaceutical, MedTech, IT and Services.His last position was Chief Strategy & Healthcare Policy Officer in a global renal care services company.

Claus was appointed Visiting Professor Medicine at Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences in Bochum. The HSG is the only university in Germany to offer five bachelor and master  degree programs for healthcare professions.

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Elma Hrustic

Senior Vice President,
Digital Transformation

Elma is a Senior Executive with experience in several industries.

She has a proven track record in successfully running large scale commercial and strategic roles with ability to lead and manage teams on a global scale.

Furthermore, Elma is a strategic thinker with an ability and passion for breaking complexity into simple, fast and tangible business solutions, staying on top of technological development and market needs and driving digital transformation initiatives on all levels. Initiator of change.

She is a strong advocate of and believer in new technology and approaches that empower people and companies to reach their potential.


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JAN KROGH LARSEN

Senior Vice President,
Publishing Systems

Jan Krogh Larsen is a senior leader in the publishing and EdTech industry on both company level and nationally. He holds a Master’s Degree from University of Copenhagen and was employed in Egmont from 2004 to 2018 (Danish media group with activities in 30 countries and 6,200 employees).

As an Editor, Editorial Director and Editor-in-chief, Jan has knowledge and hands-on-experience of all aspects of the publishing industry. With full responsibility for Egmont’s high school publishing house (edition, sales, marketing, organizational development, innovation, strategy, …) and as the architect of a national digital platform used by 10 competing publishing houses Jan has executed successful business innovation with special focus on effective publishing systems across companies.

Today, Jan is head of development and product management of the new publishing and educational platform from Area9 Lyceum. His key areas also include commercialization and partnerships in the EMEA region as well as high profile educational products in the Nordics and select regions globally.


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Hayat Feghaly

Learning Architect - Non Math

Hayat Feghaly joined Area9 in 2015 and designs and builds digital learning architecture. Hayat interacts with industry professionals, learning experts, and our partners; translating course content into adaptive delivery which makes it easier for employees and corporations to achieve their educational goals. She creates learning courses for corporations by translating subject matter and pedagogical knowledge into just the right product to teach it to the employees.

Prior to working at Area9 Hayat was employed with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance as an Instructional Designer. She also served as a Program Manager for Printing, Graphic Arts and Multimedia at the Australian Institute of Technology and Education. Additionally, she worked as an Instructional Designer at the Western Australian Government Department of Training and Education in Australia.

Hayat has a Masters in Learning and Development (Learning Design), a Bachelor of Multimedia and a Diploma in Assessment and Workplace Training.


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Karis Amata Zecchi

Learning Architect - Math

Karis studied Physics at the University of Florence (BSc, Italy) and at the University of Copenhagen (MSc, DK). At the latter, she did a PhD in biophysics with a thesis on polarization in biomembranes.

Karis’ educational/pedagogical experience consists of more than ten years of teaching, and includes private tutoring to students from primary school to University students and teaching assistant activity in different courses at the Niels Bohr Institute.

After her research activity, she has been developing interactive educational material in the form of virtual laboratories simulations for both Web and VR.

In addition to being a learning engineer, Karis is the learning architect at Area9 for math where she is responsible for math content and content technology.


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Marisa Batey

Marketing Specialist

Marisa Batey has 8+ years of experience in marketing. While familiar with every aspect of the trade, she specializes in lead generation and cross-channel strategy for inbound methodology.

At Area9, she is responsible for leading and coordinating Marketing operations in all locations (North America, Europe and MENA) where she manages projects, defines briefs, liaises with the creative team, and organizes the company’s CRM system.

Before joining the Boston team, Marisa worked at one of the top Marketing firms in the country. There she cut her teeth in client digital and direct marketing projects in a structured, collaborative and high-stakes marketing environment.

Marisa developed a keen understanding of human psychology after graduating from the University of California, San Diego where she focused on Sociology and Business. When she isn’t developing marketing workflows or managing campaigns, Marisa is a strong advocate of advancing new ideas for education. She has been recognized academically as a leader of social justice with multiple scholarships and continues to work towards making a societal difference by volunteering with nonprofit organizations to advance women’s rights and access to healthcare.


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Business Development & Implementation - North America

JOE BARROW

Senior Vice President,
Business Development

Joe is a strategic leader across both academia and the professional marketplace. Over the past 20 years, Joe has focused on the impact of learning technologies, both on the organization and the individual learner.

Joe has a keen sense of extracting the greatest value from a technology in the most, clear and succinct manner. This becomes important when the impact of technology must be a contribution to the process and not a limiter.

Joe has been a senior leader at several learning companies including The Learning Edge, a Tasmania based content management startup that was later acquired by Pearson.

Joe spent five + years at the DC based, platform/technology company Blackboard during its meteoric growth from 2002 – 2007. Joe most recently joined Area9 from Amazon Web Services education team. Joe continues to explore new ways to skill/re-skill a workforce in a way that most effectively provides the outcomes an organization is looking to achieve.

Improving the learning process and linking retained skills to company objectives is Joe’s key area of focus at Area9.


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KELLY M. MCCREADY

Vice President,
Business Development

Kelly has been working in the education space for 10 years in the fields of medical education, higher education and technology. Her focus has been designing, delivering, and promoting learning programs that prompt progress through non-traditional education paths.

Kelly joined Area9 to bring this expertise to companies who want to make their training initiatives more effective and more impactful – both for their employees and their business. She has a strong belief that the ROI needs to be apparent to both parties in order to be successful. Kelly’s prior experience using, creating and selling adaptive technology allowed her to recognize the superiority of the Area9 biological adaptive model and the cost and time savings it brings to businesses and learners.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA in International Business from European University in Munich, Germany.


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PETER VAN TIENEN

Vice President,
Business Development

Peter van TienenPeter has been working in the educational technology space for over 28 years now. Starting at Seneca College he was an early pioneer in the use of technology to support learning and led a team in putting courses online back in the early 90’s. “It was interesting, we still had to schedule a physical room for an online course because our SIS couldn’t handle online.” He travelled the globe for Seneca helping institutions adopt and deploy educational technology.Peter has a keen ability to explain technology in simple terms and help institutions grow its adoption in a large scale. He as a co-author of the Academic Technology Framework. A model to help institutions plan and adopt educational technologies.Peter spent 6 years at a young start-up called Blackboard working with institution to integrate, customize and deploy large scale implementations. He helped grow adoption in early international markets and worked closely with the product teams on product strategy.

Peter has been a senior leader at several learning companies including The Learning Edge, a Tasmania based content management startup that was later acquired by Pearson. He was the General Manager of North America and a key member in the product strategy of EQUELLA, an award winning content repository managing millions of assets around the world today.Peter most recently joined Area9 from his own consulting company, where he helped Pearson open source the EQUELLA platform.Helping organizations maximize their staff development and skills mastery is Peter’s key area of focus at Area9.


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Ryan Bertrand

Vice President
Business Development

Ryan has been a sales leader in educational technology for over 30 years and brings a wealth of experience to organizations looking to inspire, motivate, and develop their employees.

Working for companies such as SkillSoft, SuccessFactors, and Degreed, Ryan brings both content and platform expertise to help his clients maximize their investment and commitment to their employees.


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Josh Carruthers

Manager, Implementation Excellence

Joshua is a former British Green Beret (UK Elite Royal Marines Commando). As a Green Beret Team Leader, Joshua operated and specialized in advanced military equipment, training , tactics and strategy to operate at land & sea. Joshua’s’ leadership experience continued to grow at a rapid pace as he sought more opportunities outside of the military. Joshua focused on new opportunities, successfully providing strategical, & tactical planning to safeguard commodities of up to 600 million USD in Middle Eastern areas, Eastern Africa, and specific arenas that involved high-profile U.S. officials & clientele that require such a solution, supported with worldly experience in more than 25 countries.

With more than a decade of experience, Joshua sought out a completely different career by joining one of the largest technology companies, Apple inc. This led to Joshua being a leader at Apple inc for a team of 90+ Apple technical employees. Providing insightful counsel, strategical project management, overseeing coaching, implementation of training, and the running of day to day operations of the technical department. This is backed by Joshuas’ exceptional aptitude to adapt, & manage clear expectations where unpredictable challenges are presented in a continually evolving climate.

Joshuas’ efforts result in a strong, united team as he leads with integrity, empathy, and tranquillity during testing moments throughout his career. Awarded a Commander’s Commendation for courage in a dangerous situation in 2005, Joshua continues his personal development as he nears the completion of his MBA.

These key critical skills learnt from his former Green Beret career & Apple inc experience, is welcomed as our Implementation Excellences Manager at Area9. Collaborating with Area9 sales, learning engineers and the development team, to safeguard the delivery of excellence. Project Management of the workstream from an initial contract entered, through to delivery and successful implementation (quality and timeline) of product. Through collaboration with multiple stakeholders from Area9 and clients/partnerships. Analysis & development of potential business opportunities for organizations utilizing the Area9 Rhapsode™ platform, and how Area9 can best support those entities in their growth and development. POC for business relationships, expanding client engagement, and business growth by building long-lasting partnerships.


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Business Development & Implementation - EMEA

JENS HORNEMAN

Senior Vice President,
Business Development

Jens Frees Horneman is the Senior Vice President of Business Development, EMEA, based out of Area9’s Copenhagen office. Jens brings along more than 25 years of work experience in the private sector across many businesses, spanning from investment banking to health sciences, to educational software technologies.

Jens was notably a managing partner in Actando; a learning solutions company specialized in Business Simulations, eLearning and Serious Games tailored to the health science industry, catering to the world’s top thirty pharmaceutical companies.

Before joining Area9, Jens was an Area9 customer for five years, serving as the Global Head of Marketing and Learning at golf technology company TrackMan, where PGA graduates across the globe now learn the fundamentals about ball flight laws using Area9’s learning technologies.

After earning his college degree at Aarhus Business College, Jens also acquired an MBA from HEC in Paris, France.


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Therese Svanholm

Sales Account Manager

Therese is a former associate professor at one of the largest Business Colleges in Denmark, where she taught marketing, innovation and English for eight years.

Therese has several years of experience working with tech companies on their business development teams. For the past three years, Therese has been working for the Danish publishing industry selling and implementing adaptive digital learning solutions at all levels in the education space. Therese is part of the European Business Development team and with her expertise in didactics, adaptive learning and business strategy, she is helping customers implement and run solutions.

Therese holds a master’s degree in International Business, and a bachelor’s degree in English and a Diploma of Education.


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Henrik Vedel

Business Development Manager

Mr. Vedel has his career background in the Danish Defence as an Army officer. He has held multiple positions in command, management, training and education positions both as junior and senior officer. That has included positions in international missions at command level and international key staff position in NATO.

He has vast experience in training and exercising units at all command levels including civilian and police components. He has also educated individual officers at the Danish Army and Joint General staff course being an instructor in the Directing Staff at the Royal Defence College.

He is also very experienced in networking with key decision makers at strategic military and governmental levels, both nationally and internationally. One of his last assignment as a Colonel before retiring was being the strategic advisor to the Director of The Eastern Africa Stand-by Forces in Nairobi/Kenya. That included advise to the director and staff on training and education as well as advising on organizational developments in the first years after the inauguration of the structure. He also coordinated all international donor support to the organization.

He is a graduate from the Royal Danish Military Academy and have graduated as a general staff officer from the Royal Defence College. Additionally he has attended several courses related to management, policy and leadership.


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Hania Baramki

Director,
Area9 Lyceum MENA


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Khaled Al Kaff

Relationship Manager, MENA


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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach

Management, D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach has over 25 years of experience in training, coaching and personnel development with a focus on sales and concept development. He is managing director of a renowned training institute with locations in Hamburg and Leipzig as well as subsidiaries abroad.

In the past, he was also a member of the board of the Baltic Chamber of Commerce.

He last brought in his trainer expertise as author of the book “Dynamisch Verhandeln – Entscheiden, was andere entscheiden” (“Dynamic Negotiating – Deciding What Others Decide”).

At Area9 he is the Managing Director of Area9 Lyceum GmbH based in Leipzig.


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Martin Holmes

Product, D-A-CH

Martin Holmes has experience in a number of different fields all relating to Education. Before moving to Germany in 2017, he worked as a Teacher in the UK. Mr. Holmes lead the implementation of a new computing curriculum and provided regular training to teachers on the topic of incorporating the use of technology and e-learning in the classroom. Following this, Martin Holmes joined a training institute in Germany, specializing in corporate training and e-learning. This role involved collaborating with sales teams and developers, as well as a large partner network in Europe in order to plan, coordinate and manage the success of training and e-learning projects with clients.

He is now Product and Implementation Excellence Manager at Area9 Lyceum GmbH. Mr. Holmes works closely with the team of learning engineers as well as the product development team to ensure the customer success with Area9’s adaptive learning.


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Knut Sonnabend

Business Development, D-A-CH

Knut Sonnabend has more than 20 years of sales experience and brought in his expertise especially in the logistics and building materials sectors. Most recently, he was very successful in the sales of technical solutions for a leading mobile phone provider in Germany. He expanded his area of responsibility due to his high sales experience and also supported the personnel development for numerous teams within the company. He was significantly involved in the conception of trainings as well as the onboarding of new employees.

In his subsequent position at a training institute, he deepened his knowledge in the area of coaching and personnel development and was responsible for the sales of a video-based online training platform.

Since the beginning of 2019, he has worked first as an Account Manager and today as a Business Development Manager for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In his current position he is responsible for the development and implementation of customer satisfaction and customer development processes.


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Thomas Kolb

Sales, D-A-CH

Thomas Kolb was the owner and managing director of a company in the fitness and health industry for more than 25 years. He was responsible for the development of trainees as well as the coaching and personnel development of fitness trainers and service staff in the areas of customer service, sales and customer care.

He later worked as a consultant in a health center in the sales and customer service divisions.

During his further career in a training and consulting company active throughout Europe, he was able to bring his high level of sales expertise into the sales team again and was responsible for the sales of a video training platform and other e-learning products.

Since the beginning of 2019 Thomas Kolb is part of the sales team of Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig.


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Torsten Meyer-Efland

Sales, D-A-CH

Mr. Meyer-Efland has more than 20 years of successful sales experience in the automotive industry. For a well-known German premium car manufacturer, he was responsible for the sales results in various metropolises and was instrumental in implementing the expansion strategy in the commercial segment. He has played an intensive role in the development of customer relationship management for retail.

Prior to this, he gained many years of sales and management experience in the music industry. Mr. Meyer-Efland has an excellent network in the automotive industry and maintains relevant contacts to decision makers in the German industry. At Area9 Lyceum he is a member of the sales team and drives the distribution of Area9 Lyceum in the industry.


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Ulrike Dienemann

Management, D-A-CH

Ulrike Maria Dienemann has several years of experience in business development, organizational & personnel development in communication, as well as in university & training services sectors.

Before joining Area9 Lyceum GmbH in Leipzig, she worked for many years as a site manager at a training institute and was responsible for business development at a private business school.

At Area9 Lyceum GmbH, Ms. Dienemann is responsible for managing the Leipzig office, personnel recruiting and development, organizational development and the expansion of the European partner network.

Ms. Dienemann holds a master’s degree in communication and media sciences as well as business administration from the University of Leipzig.


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Martin Kruse

Sales Partner, D-A-CH

Martin Kruse holds a degree in Business Administration and has got more than 10 years of experience in the education market. He went through different roles and worked both in start-up environments as well as for big corporations. He represented a big international publishing house over many years successfully in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

It was during his time for this American publisher that he met the founders of Area9 – a connection that lead to a sales partnership in 2019. Knowing the products of Area9 very well through their different developmental stages over the years, Mr. Kruses experience involves the background, technology and sales process of Area9 solutions.

In further roles Mr. Kruse worked in business development and coaching. Today he is – apart from his role with Area9 – working as a leadership coach and free author.


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“Training, on-boarding, and reskilling for diesel technicians must change to meet industry demands. Area9’s adaptive learning approach is transformational and critical to developing the next generation talent pipeline for diesel technicians."
Timothy Spurlock
President and Founder, American Diesel Training Centers