Andee Burton
Senior Manager of Sustainability, Product Sourcing and R&D

Andee is an experienced Product Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the footwear and fashion industry. Skilled in product management, footwear, illustrator, three dimensional design, and trends. She is a strong product management professional with a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) focused in Industrial and Product Design from Appalachian State University.

Andreas Kindermann
Wollsdorf Leather

Andreas spent 16 years at a North American based automotive Top 10 supplier as VP Finance Interior Group Europe (Interior, Seating products for automotive with 16 plants and 1,2 billion USD sales).

In 2008 he was appointed CEO of Wollsdorf Leather an Austrian based Tannery and has overseen the opening of 3 new plants in Croatia, China and Mexico.

In 2014 Wollsdorf won the Tannery of the Year award as well as an award for the best water treatment plant in Austria. Andreas has overseen the implementation of lean manufacturing in all leather plants and has worked on several environmental and community support projects.

Andreas has been the President of COTANCE since 2018.

Andy Polk
Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA)
Senior Vice President

Andy Polk joined FDRA in November 2012. As Senior Vice President, he oversees FDRA’s communications, marketing, reports, newsletters, events and assists with member services and outreach. Polk also leads FDRA’s innovation working group and focuses on developing new programs to assist FDRA members on a range of issues.

Prior to FDRA he earned his Masters in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). At the LSE, he studied global economics, foreign policy, and social shifts occurring inside states and across borders. He focused more specifically on China’s domestic politics and foreign policy, and received a distinction for his dissertation on how China’s rise is changing the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. Previously, Polk served as U.S. Representative Sue Myrick’s Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor from 2008 to 2011. Polk also served as Myrick’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs from 2003 to 2008 where he developed and directed communications strategies and campaigns, organized press conferences, wrote speeches and editorials. Polk earned his BA in Business Administration and Political Science from Gardner-Webb University.

In addition to his role at FDRA, Polk serves on the board of the Grassroots Professional Network where he focuses on helping professionals in Washington better fight for their cause through innovative advocacy. Polk is a rabid football (soccer) fan and travels the world to watch matches; he is a die hard Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He lives in Washington, DC with his beautiful wife Kelly and baby girl Charlotte Avery.

Dr Andrey Golub, PhD
General Manager, Italy of ICOL Group
Co-founder & CEO, ELSE Corp

DeepTech & FashionTech Entrepreneur for 12+ years, with a special passion for AI and Digital Twins, AI-Driven Design. Andrey Golub is Business Transformation and Technology Innovation professional, in the past as a R&D manager, contract professor, and a strategy consultant, specialized in development and launch of innovative high-tech products and services, mainly Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence.

Golub is Co-founder of ELSE Corp ( a Virtual Retail and 3D Commerce company and since 2020 he is also General Manager, Italy and Head of AI R&D of ICOL Group ( Smart RoboFactories and Digital Ecosystems.

As of technology entrepreneur since 2010, Andrey’s best expertise lay in the field of Fashion/Luxury Design, Retail and Manufacturing.

Anne Liberati
APLF Sustainable Sourcing Platform
Fashion Consultant

As a trend forecaster, Anne Liberati studies the evolution of socio-cultural trends, identifying weak signals that announce major future trends in order to anticipate new consumer behaviours and help brands to create their future.

Anne specialises in advanced, sustainable materials and components, for the ready-to-wear, shoes and leathergoods markets.

Through the years, she has driven fashion trend information of the PremièreVision Accessories-Modamont fair in Paris. She is now a consultant for CTC, the French technical leather centre, and for sustainable brands.

Her strategic and trend research papers help brands and key players in the leather industry for their product development, market research and sustainable innovation.

A sought-after speaker for her keen insights, Anne speaks at conferences and also leads workshops with experienced professionals.

As an advanced and sustainable materials consultant she passionately makes APLF Material+ go for sustainability.

Anson Bailey

Anson joined KPMG in Hong Kong in 1999 and is currently a Partner based in the Hong Kong office heading up the Consumer & Retail Practice in the ASPAC region. He is part of the KPMG Global Consumer & Retail Steering Group as well as being a member of the Global Technology Innovation Centre and the Cluster Leader for the Technology, Media & Telecoms Practice based in Hong Kong.

Anson has been active in driving a number of thought leadership reports and executive briefings for senior executives covering innovation and consumers in China and across Asia. He has worked with many corporates to understand the complex markets we live in and current levels of disruption being seen with recent reports including Global Mobile Payments, Consumers & Convergence, Mobilizing Innovation: The Changing Landscape of Disruptive Technologies, The Rise of the Digital Multi-tasker, Be a Smarter Start-up, MNCs in China, Made in China 2025, China’s Connected Consumers, Global Connected Consumers, Connecting Hong Kong – Perspectives on our future as a smart city, Connected Cities – insights across the ASPAC region and The Changing Face of Commerce series.

Brian Tam
The Woolmark Company
Fashion and Marketing Project Manager

Studied Cultural Studies on Contemporary Design with a Master Degree and Fashion Design with a Bachelor Degree at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Brian is currently serving at The Woolmark Company as the Fashion and Marketing Project Manager, planning and implementing fashion trends and forecast, fashion design education and training, international fashion competitions and awards, as well as global fashion marketing projects/events in Hong Kong and the Greater China.

He has over 20 years of experiences in fashion design and consultancy for Asian and International brands. He based in Seoul for 5 years being the Fashion Director to lead 3 lifestyle fashion brands, managed 3 design teams and created all items for young men and ladieswear designs.

Also, he was hired as the Program Director/Program Leader in an International Design Education Corporation for 5 years, managed the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing Departments to ensure quality and college management.

Chiara Cesaraccio
Chiara Cesaraccio
Founder and Creative Designer

Chiara Cesaraccio was born in 1994, Verona-Sardinian origin, Florence based. After winning a scholarship at the IED in Florence, European Institute of Design, in the area of shoe and accessory design, she worked as an accessory designer (bags, small leather goods, footwear) for both Italian and international companies, collaborating with stylistic studies and luxury brands, exhibiting in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Passion and love for tradition are the key words to express the work of the young designer, whose footwear collection has been published in fashion magazines such as Leather&Luxury, AF Magazine and Vogue Italia. In this last one, with the occasion, she has been presented as a finalist in the Vogue Italia competition and Renè Caovilla collab: “The Future Footwear Generation”. Chiara is passionate about mythology, art and alchemy. She loves knowing the story behind every object: aiming to approach every project with a proactive and entrepreneurial spirit. Passionate, efficient, empathetic, supporting responsible and circular fashion, looking for alternative and sustainable materials.

Elena Raho
HERE Fashion Hub
Founder and Creative Director

Elena Raho graduated from Industrial Design at the Polytechnic University of Turin – Italy, and has since developed great passion for lifestyle products creation while cultivating a deep interest in all philosophical aspects of design thinking.

She began her career at Fila and has since then gathered expertise at other major renowned fashion brands such as Adidas and Armani. Early in her career, Elena travelled to China for her work in design and development. She fell in love with Asia and settled in Hong Kong to develop her business venture teaming up with multi-cultural partners in Europe and Asia.

With Elena’s global perspective on fashion trends and technical know-how in product development, marketing and sourcing, HERE has developed beyond expectations, evolving into a broader platform concept for the future lifestyle and fashion industry.

Elena Marinoni
Programme Leader
Istituto Marangoni Milan Design School

Programme Leader for the Visual Design Department at Istituto Marangoni Design School (Milan, Italy). A background in strategic design, she works as a trend forecaster and consultant for top companies in order to help them gain a competitive advantage by leveraging emerging trends, therefore supporting innovation processes and inspiring marketing and communication strategies consistently with the evolution of consumers’ needs and social and cultural change. As the Head of Trend Research at, an AI-driven trend forecasting platform aimed to identify emerging trends on social media by focusing on trend setters, micro
affecting our current social imaginaries and creating business opportunities.

Over a period of nearly 20 years, she has gained a solid expertise in trend analysis applied to such areas as: design & living, fashion, luxury, adv communication, food & beverage, visual languages, new lifestyles, advanced branding, retail & shopping experience. Since 2007 she is a lecturer at Istituto Marangoni for Trend Forecasting, Brand Strategy, Aesthetic Trends History, Contemporary Design Analysis, Sociology Of Design, Contemporary Market Scenario.

Federico Roth
Leather Naturally

Federico Roth is the senior director for global business at Youngil Leather. He has applied his economic and international trade academic background to the leather industry business for the last 25 years. He is originally from Argentina though spending most of his professional life abroad, living in different countries like Taiwan, the UK and China.

Federico worked at environmentally conscious tanneries and brands like Sadesa and Adidas, as well as industry organizations such as LWG and he is currently a management board member at Leather Naturally.

He is passionate about leather and he loves it.  Leather is beautiful and noble, modern, and classic. Leather has been part of humanity for thousands of years and will continue to accompany us for many more to come. He hopes that he can transmit some of his feelings towards leather to you during the presentation.

Fernando Bellese
Chief Sustainability Officer

Fernando Bellese is a Marketing and Sustainability professional with more than 10 years of experience in the leather industry. In his role as Chief Sustainability Officer at PrimeAsia Leather Corporation, Fernando is constantly working on projects to develop Cleaner Production approaches, looking at creating more sustainable outcomes. He has been actively engaged in different international initiatives and organisations such as Leather Naturally, LWG, ZDHC, UNECE and the Brazilian Roundtable of Sustainable Livestock, participating directly in discussions involving the worldwide leather industry about innovation, supply-chain, traceability, carbon footprint, environment, transparency, animal-welfare, responsible chemical management and the global promotion of sustainable leather.

Dr Frank Mitloehner
UC Davis
Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist

Dr Frank Mitloehner is a professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. As such, he shares his knowledge and research, both domestically and abroad, with students, scientists, farmers and ranchers, policymakers, and the public at large. Frank is also director of the CLEAR Center, which has two cores – research and communications. The CLEAR Center brings clarity to the intersection of animal agriculture and the environment, helping our global community understand the environmental and human health impacts of livestock, so we can make informed decisions about the foods we eat and while reducing environmental impacts.

Frank is committed to making a difference for generations to come. He is passionate about understanding and mitigating air emissions from livestock operations, as well as studying the implications of these emissions on the health of farmworkers and neighbouring communities. In addition, he is focusing on the food production challenge that will become a global issue as the world’s population grows to nearly 10 billion by 2050.

Gay Amistoso
Trends Consultant

Divina Amistoso has been a Trends Consultant of APLF Limited since 2004. She is responsible for the Materials and Product Trends Spaces in all APLF fairs in Hong Kong, in collaboration with APLF Creative Consultant Olivier Guillemin. She has over 30 years of experience in the fields of public relations, marketing, exhibitions, and events organizing.

Georgina Mawer
Head of Chem-MAP Consulting at Eurofins

Georgina works with brands, retailers, and suppliers to provide support with the management of restricted chemicals and hazardous substances within the supply chain and the associated legislation. This includes safety assessments of material and products, guidance on chemical testing and analysis, research, and delivery of technical contract work, creating and maintaining restricted chemical specifications, and the provision of workshops and training.

Gianluca Gori
EFD Center
Trend Forecaster 

Gianluca Gori is the reference figure for the research area of our company. His great experience and professionalism are put at the service of a work group, which knows how to translate ideas and visions in physical matter, into images capable of writing a story articulated around the emotions that the near future of fashion presents to us. 

A strong alliance between professionals, dedicated to visual storytelling, who know how to paint a picture always in step with the insights of a great research. 

Ian Scher
VP Procurement

Ian Scher’s involvement in the hide, skin and leather industry spans close to 50 years. From initially with a family woolskin business in Australia, Ian’s pathway moved to raw hide processing, working with a European trading house, and then being involved in raw material sourcing for a global tanning company. In 2001, he was engaged to manage a wet blue tannery in Australia which in 2003 introduced the first physically stamped full traceability system for tracking wet blue leather back to its farm of origin. In 2017 he took up his present role as VP Procurement for PrimeAsia Leather Corporation. Alongside his role since 2008 as a member of the Leather Working Group’s Technical Sub-Group, in 2020 Ian became Chairman of the Executive Committee of the LWG.

Ivan Kráľ
Project Manager

Ivan Kráľ is a project manager at United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Agribusiness Development Department with responsibility for development, funding and implementation of technical cooperation projects in the leather industry sector for developing countries; numerous projects worldwide dealing with cleaner production methods, quality control, treatment of tannery effluents, utilization and/or safe disposal of tannery wastes, establishment and/or upgrading of leather development & training institutions. Recently launched innovative e-Learning initiative in footwear pattern engineering, how to deal with hydrogen sulphide gas, first aid at the workplace and other e-Learning and on-line courses are part of the upgrading of leather development & training institution. Other field is the organization of the UNIDO Leather and Leather Products Panel meetings and administration portal. Author and co-author of several guidelines and papers for the leather value chain.

Jon Clark

Jonathan (Jon) Clark has worked in the leather industry for over three decades. In November of 2007 Jon was named CEO of PrimeAsia. PrimeAsia is a leading global manufacturer of Quality Lifestyle Leathers with tannery operations in China and Vietnam that service the casual and athletic footwear markets and a wide range of accessories markets. As CEO of PrimeAsia, Jon has directed global expansion with a strong focus on innovation, security of supply and quality while making sustainability and global compliance cornerstones of the company. PrimeAsia is committed to the Leather Working Group, a founding member of the group upon its inception in 2004, and Leather Naturally, where Jon remains as the inaugural chairman of the Supervisory Council.

Dr Kerry Senior
Leather UK

Dr Kerry Senior took over as director of Leather UK in 2013. His role includes the secretariats of the Leather Producers’ Association, the Dr Dorothy Jordan Lloyd Memorial Trust and the British Industry Development Trust. In 2019, he became secretary of the International Council of Tanners.

Kerry’s previous work experience includes nine years with BLC Leather Technology Centre, working on UK & EU funded research projects addressing environmental and raw material issues facing the leather industry, and dealing with technical and policy aspects of environmental Legislation. His PhD in Microbiology was awarded by the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Mauricio Bauer
Senior Director, Beef & Leather Supply Chains
World Wildlife Fund

Mauricio has an MBA, a degree in Veterinary Medicine and a degree in Agronomy. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he was part of National Wildlife Federation’s International Wildlife Conservation team as a Senior Corporate Engagement Specialist. Mauricio built his career in the private sector in production and trading of agricultural commodities in Brazil, Australia and in the United States. He supported NWF’s corporate engagement efforts, focused on eliminating the loss and degradation of tropical and sub-tropical forest ecosystems in Latin America that result from the production of key agricultural commodities, primarily beef, leather and soy. He was also responsible for supporting the development and execution of NWF’s corporate engagement activities with companies in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, coordinating efforts with coalition partners. And currently working in the World Wildlife Fund to continue to support the beef & leather supply chains.

Mike Gass
Lead Developer, Advanced Materials

I am a 20 year veteran of the footwear industry.  Prior to my current materials role, I held various positions spanning Development, Product Management and Sustainability. I began my footwear career working for Timberland and then joined Reef for seven years. From there, I spent a year  at Ocean Minded and then returned to Timberland where I have been for the last 11 years. I have been a member of Timberland’s Green Working Group, and Product Sustainability Groups working closely with the Corporate Social Responsibility team in the formulation of Timberland’s brand goals and their activation through the building of product. I live in New Hampshire with my wife and three children. I am passionate about most outdoor activities with a special affinity for surfing, mountain biking  and hiking.

Mike Redwood
Leather Naturally

Mike Redwood has worked in the industry throughout a long career, in which he started as a technician after studying Leather Science at Leeds University and moved into the commercial side while adding a PhD in Marketing from the University of Bath. He has worked in senior positions in many parts of the world and now writes regularly about the industry in articles and blogs. He is a long standing supporter of Leather Naturally and often speaks on their behalf.

Pat-Nie Woo
KPMG China

Pat is a Partner at KPMG China and is the Global Co-Chair for Sustainable Finance for KPMG IMPACT. He also leads the Sustainable Finance practice in Hong Kong and is very active in developing the ESG landscape for Hong Kong and international financial centres in the region.

Pat has been active for over 13 years in the field of sustainable development. In his previous capacity as a director at CentralTextiles, through his leadership, Central Textiles was the first textile company in Asia to issue a Sustainability Report under the Global Reporting Initiatives (“GRI”) Guidelines in 2008. The report subsequently received an award from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (“ACCA”).

Peter Hughes
Sustainability Lead at Eurofins

Peter leads the development of the company’s sustainability services in the leather industry. He focuses on expanding commercial opportunities, delivering specialist communication support to clients and implementing traceability solutions for global supply chains.

Rachel Garwood
University of Northampton
Director – Inst. for Creative Leather Technologies

Rachel Garwood has 30 years’ experience working in the leather industry. During this time she obtained her BSc in Applied Biology and MSc in Leather Technology (Distinction). From 1989-2008 she worked for BLC Leather Technology Ltd undertaking several roles on an international level including problem solving for tanners, management of EU research projects, business development and finally technical support and training throughout the leather supply chain.

In 2008 Rachel joined The University of Northampton (UoN) as a Senior Lecturer within the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT), became the Director of the Institute in 2011 and gained Associate Professor title in 2020. Current responsibilities involve the overall management of ICLT including people management, budget management, business development, international relationships/collaborations, lecturing at all levels and course development, with a specific focus on meeting industry needs.

Rachel is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Curriers, Fellow of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists (SLTC) and a Trustee for both the Museum of Leathercraft (MoLC) and Leather Conservation Centre (LCC).

Reg Hankey
Pittards Ethiopia

Reg Hankey is a career veteran of the leather manufacturing industry. He joined Pittards as Technical Director in 1990 and was appointed CEO in 2007. He is a director of Leather UK and works with many other organisations, including the University of Northampton to further the interests of leather making and promote it as a career to young people.

Reg began working directly in Ethiopia in 1991 and since Pittards started making leather there in 2005, first under licence and subsequently in its own tannery, he has been instrumental in both establishing the country as a manufacturing location of choice and demonstrating how to add value to the supply chain by expanding Pittards leather-making expertise to include glove-making and footwear

Riccardo Zanon
Studio Zanon

Inspired by Ken Blanchard’s book “who moved my cheese?”
I love dynamic job and I think that every relationship makes you richer.
Fashion is like seasons: always recurring but even surprising.
I’m in fabric sales since 15 years and I followed made in italy productions of garments.

Roberto Vago
Managing Director of ASSOMAC

Roberto is a chemical industrial engineer with over 10 years of practical experience in the leather and textile products industry with well-founded know-how and experience in the design and operations of production plants. Good knowledge of the tanning and textile BATNEEC (best available technology not entailing excessive costs).

Sam Ng
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer

Sam is a serial entrepreneur who has founded his first internet start-up in 2014 followed by other companies that involve various industries. Companies include digital marketplace, product testing and compliance platform and also AI marketing intelligence technology. Sam is Hong Kong Cyberport and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park as well as renowned venture accelerator in Silicon Valley 500 Startup company alumni. Together with his global business development experience, Sam has worked and successfully extended his business networks in Australia, China, US, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Stephen Sothmann
The Leather and Hide Council of America

Stephen Sothmann is the Leather & Hide Council of America (LHCA). In this role, Stephen represents and promotes the interests of the U.S. hides, skins and leather industry before a wide-range of stakeholders, including U.S. and foreign governments, industry trade associations, media outlets, and other organizations related to global leather production and trade.  He was appointed to this role in 2013 after serving as Director of International Affairs for three years in a previous iteration of the organization. LHCA is a close affiliate of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), the nation’s oldest and largest industry trade association representing meat and poultry packers, processors and traders.

Stephen Tierney
World Leather

Stephen Tierney has been the editor of World Leather since 2007 and has been instrumental in a number of important initiatives at the magazine, including the launch of the Tannery of the Year programme in 2009, the Nothing To Hide set of essays in 2014 and the Leather and the Circular Economy series in 2020. He has carried out detailed visits to more than 60 tanneries in Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and Australia and is a regular speaker at industry events. He has been a journalist since 1990.

Tommaso Tregnaghi
EFD Center

Tommaso Tregnaghi is a communication designer who works closely with the world of fashion. 

Graphic Design teacher at the POLIMODA in Florence, he has worked over the years for clients in the fashion world such as Gucci, Patrizia Pepe, Bianchi & Nardi, Redemption and many others. 

He has been collaborating with EFD Center for several years for visual communication and graphic design. 

Tsedenia Mekbib
Pittards Ethiopia
Divisional Managing Director

Tsedenia has both a degree in Chemistry and an MBA from the University of Leicester. Having worked for GlaxoSmithkline, Tsedenia joined Pittards in 2011 where she played a pivotal role in setting up the work glove manufacturing that complemented Pittards leather production. In 2017, she was appointed Managing Director of Pittards Ethiopia with responsibility for operations at the tannery in Edjersa and the product manufacturing factories in Addis Ababa.

Vincent Xu
Regional Marketing Manager

Vincent has a master degree in Polymer materials, graduated from Emlyon Business School, France. He is now the regional marketing manager in Elkem Silicones. With more than 10 years of experiences in the silicones industries, he is focused on the performance textile application, including automotive airbag, car interiors, medical textile, outdoor sports, glass fibre coating and more.

Wasin Thumrongsakunvong
Interhides Public Company Limited
General Manager and a Member of the Board

Wasin Thumrongsakunvong or Chris is the third generation owner of Interhides Public Company Limited. With guidance from his father Ongart (Alex) the 2nd generation owner. As general manager and a member of the board of the company Wasin has a leading role in the company advancement.

Wasin’s focus for the company is sustainability and innovative project. Since winning the tannery of the year award back in 2018, Interhides has enter a new era with new product line up which help the local community and the local economy and new exciting project which will move the company forward in a sustainable way.

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