Patrick F. Rüegg
President & CEO
Patrick has been brought up in Eastern Switzerland and started his career 1990 in the airline- and tourism industries with engagements at Swissair, Crossair and Hotelplan. In 2000, he joined, and stayed for a decade, at Goldman Sachs Bank in Zurich in Logistics and Bank Operations. He is a graduate of the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences («Change Management & Organization») and has a Master-degree from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts («Business Information Technology»). Since 2010, Patrick F. Rüegg serves Takeda Pharmaceuticals, for which he initially has been in charge of international Meetings and Events, as well as Operational Excellence. Presently, he leads Takeda’s «divestiture projects» in Europe. In 2018, Patrick co-founded ESM AG; he is the driving force in the start-up «mice.market» and serves as President of the Board.
Member of the Board
During his studies at ETH Zurich and Harvard Medical School, Geneva-born Romain has obtained a diploma as mechanical engineer and a Ph.D. doctoral degree. He then served as research assistant at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at ETHZ, before entering the corporate world. From 2007 to 2014, he held various responsibilities with McKinsey and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In 2015, Romain joined Alexion, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients, affected by rare diseases, through life-changing therapies. He served several years as General Manager for the Swiss and Austrian affiliates and is now based in Munich, Germany, where he leads the Marketing team and oversees product launches and sales & brand activities. Romain Voide is co-founder of ESM AG and a member of the Board of Directors.
In a rare combination of business and arts, Thomas Ellenberger learned how to direct teams, both in corporate management as well as a conductor and musical assistant. As a holder of a B.A. at HSG, his studies covered on one side Business and Finances in St. Gallen and at the University of Zurich, and on the other side Orchestra Conducting at the Conservatory of Bern and the Berlin University of the Arts. After various assignments in the corporate world of finances and investments, Thomas founded 2016, and manages since, SBDS GmbH, a swiss business development enterprise in Zurich. The company advises clients in various sectors such as technology, renewable energy, internet/fintech and professional sports. Thomas Ellenberger serves on the Board of Directors of Swiss Cyber Gate AG and as a Senior Advisor to ESM AG.
Daniel is consultant, coach, writer and speaker. His topics are international business-relations, as well as cross-border and cross-cultural marketing- and communication-issues. He lectures at business schools and writes regularly for Switzerland’s leading economic newspaper «Handelszeitung», as well as for other MICE- publications. During his career, Daniel worked in total 13 years in England, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, and China. Until the mid-80ies, he was engaged with Kuoni Travel, Switzerland Tourism and six years with a group-tour operator in Tokyo. In 1987, he co-founded MCI in Geneva, today the leading international congress- & association-management group. And from 1998 to 2006, he created and led the event management agency Spectrum (Zurich, New York). He joined ESM AG as a Senior Advisor in strategic issues, and he oversees media work and communication.
Member of the Advisory Board
Reto Wittwer, graduate of the Hotel School Lausanne, EHL, is the former President and CEO of Kempinski Hotels & Resorts (1995-2014). Kempinski, founded in 1897, is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel collection and operates, today, 76 hotels in 31 countries. Previously, from 1992 to 1995, Wittwer also served as President and CEO of CIGA Hotels, and until 1992 as President of the Swissôtel Group.
Today, Wittwer leads and co-owns Smart Hospitality Solutions (SHS), head-quartered in the United Arab Emirates. SHS manages Blazon Hotels, Soft Touch Spas & Resorts, as well as Contempera Hotels (under development). For his contribution to the hotel and tourism industry, Wittwer has received many honours, including Knight of the National Order of Agricultural Merit of France and Ruby Medal of the City of Paris. He serves as Chairman of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) and as Vice President of IHRA, the Geneva-based International Hotel and Restaurants Association.
Member of the Advisory Board
Thomas has launched his career in the hospitality- & tourism-industries in the late 90ies at the Marketing Department of Switzerland’s national carrier Swissair. In 2002, he joined MCI, today the worldwide leading international congress-, event- and association-management group. Initially, Thomas was based in Zurich, where he served, since 2008, as Managing Director. Four years later, he moved to Stockholm to head MCI’s operations in the Nordic countries. And in 2017 Thomas transferred to Berlin, as Managing Director for MCI Germany and its subsidiaries in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, and Stuttgart.
Thomas Wüthrich, CMM MPI, collated a substantial knowledge of the international MICE- and Event-Management-industries, he co-edited a leading industry-text book in Switzerland, and he served on several boards and international working groups. Thomas is also member of the MCI Global Management Board.
Member of the Advisory Board
Christina is an award-winning Creative Director and designer with over twenty years of experience in the design field and an MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design in New York. She currently is working as a permalance Creative Director for the Stockholm-based studio The New Division, a sister agency of Trollbäck+Company. As a multi-disciplinary creative she is comfortable working at the intersection of design, branding and experience. She aims for simple, considered, compelling and emotive solutions to solve complex challenges. Over the course of her career she has worked with a wide range of clients – small scale non-profit organizations to large-scale corporations. Most recently Christina Grässli worked extensively as the lead designer on the communication system for the Global Goals. And she supports the Advisory Board of ESM AG