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The following professionals will judge entries in the HR Achievement and HR Individual categories in 2017. 


Ali AyazAli Ayaz, Founder & Senior Consultant
Modern Management Consulting, London, United Kingdom

In 2003, Ali Ayaz founded the Realta Consulting Company in Italy. In 2007, he moved the company to Istanbul, and since then has served as an employer brand and management consultant, conducting candidate and employee research. He is credited with having introduced Turkey to the concept of employer brand.  In January 2017, Ali opened the London offices of Realta Consulting as Modern Management Consulting, and he now provides his employer brand and management consultant services from this location. Among his clients are domestic and multinational fast consumption, automotive, retail, banking, insurance, and telecom companies.

Shortly after founding Realta, Ali developed the Most Favourite Companies research, the results of which have been published in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine every March since 2009. Ali is a regular speaker at international conferences, and recently authored a free e-book, Secret Formulas For An Authentic Employer Brand.  

Ali completed his MBA degree specializing in marketing and brand management at the European School of Economics (ESE) in London. In addition to serving as international marketing director at ESE International in Italy, he also taught courses on principles of marketing and integrated marketing communications at the Rome, Milan, and Lucca campuses of the European School of Economics. Prior to that, he had worked as a marketing specialist and regional sales and marketing manager in the Middle and Far East following his graduation from university in Turkey where he had studied English.


Pinar AkkayaPinar Akkaya, Managing Director
Signature Consulting, London, United Kingdom
During her career, Pınar Akkaya has been involved in every aspect of HR, in many different cultures and industries. Her experience includes prestigious positions in highly reputable companies such as Nike, Leroy Merlin and Li&Fung. In 2011, Pinar launched her own training company, Signature Communication. Signature specializes in communication training programs, personal brand and image consulting, intercultural training and strategic meeting facilitation. Signature’s references include several reputable multinational companies. Pinar is in demand as a keynote speaker, strategic facilitator and consulting expert on cross-cultural consulting and communication. She is keenly interested in gastronomy, linguistics and new technologies. Fluent in English and French, she obtained her B.Sc from Bilkent University Management Faculty in Ankara with a full scholarship. Pinar is a certified trainer from World Bank, an accredited INSIGHTS facilitator from Insights Benelux, a certified intercultural consultant from Berlitz Paris, a Member of International Association of Facilitators and also certified in Image&Personal Branding with London Image Institute.She is the founder and facilitator of Apm Club in Istanbul and member of the Strategic Committee of Ecole Supérieure de Commerce La Rochelle in France.

Kathleen Bouldin, Senior Digital Marketing Consultant
Enable Consulting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  United States 

Carolin BuchardtCarolin Buchardt, Business Administration Consultant
CB Praxisberatung, Heidelberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Carolin Buchardt is a business administration expert.   In 2008, after several years as managing director of a medium-sized municipal energy supplier, she decided to start her own consulting company, CB Praxisberatung. Since then, she has advised entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized companies on business planning and strategic orientation, as well as on general business management. Carolin also advises executives and specialists on career planning. She is a lecturer on business administration at universities in the Rhine-Neckar district.

Mehmet CelikpenceMehmet Çelikpençe, Albaraka Academy Manager
Albaraka Turk Participation Bank, İstanbul, Umraniye, Turkey       

Mehmet Çelikpençe has over 10 years experience In human resources, education technologies, and management. After graduating from Boğaziçi University’s Department of Computer and Instructional Technologies with an honors degree, he served as Netron Technology's E-Learning Team Leader and Department Manager. He also worked as a training consultant in the Turkish Football Federation. He is currently working in the banking sector as a Manager and is preparing his doctoral thesis on Islamic Economy and International Finance at the Social Sciences Institute, Istanbul Zaim University. He shares his experience and know-how in conferences and presentations on every platform.

Alex EdensAlex Edens, VP of Corporate Learning & Development
Optima Tax Relief, Santa Ana, California, United States

Alex Edens is currently the Vice President of Corporate Learning & Development at Optima Tax Relief where he has held various executive leadership roles, including leading their Client Care division and HR team. Throughout his 20 years in leadership, he has led very small intimate groups as well as large national teams including over 1,000 individuals. “We all know a constant component regardless of the company is the people. I pride myself on treating people fairly, without bias, with understanding and with the respect they've earned.” Alex is honored and thankful to be a part of the Stevie Awards Judging Committee.   

Ihsan MertIhsan Mert, Employer Brander & Internal Communications Professional
Turkcell, Istanbul, Maltepe, Turkey 
Europe's HR Excellence Winner in 2016, İhsan Mert is Head of Employer Branding at Turkcell, Turkey’s leading digital operator. He is responsible​ for personnel marketing, recruiting, and is responsible for the company’s Employer Branding and Internal Communications. After completing his studies in Human Resources in York University, Ihsan worked for UPS Canada in Toronto, starting as an​ Hr Generalist and moved back to Turkey to work at Pladis as HR Generalist.


Monique MiklovicMonique Miklovic, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Merchant e-Solutions, Atlanta, Georgia, United States   

Monique joined Merchant e-Solutions in January 2016. She has an extensive background in developing and implementing people strategies that create a sustainable competitive advantage. Prior to joining Merchant e-Solutions, Monique held multiple positions at Bank of America Merchant Services, a leading provider of payment solutions. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President, Learning and Leadership Development, responsible for leading a team that bridged the gap between business strategy and organizational performance by executing the talent strategies necessary to achieve break-through results. She also served as a key leader in a company-wide culture and skills transformation. Monique has over 22 years of human resources leadership experience at Fortune 50 companies, including Accenture, IBM, The Home Depot and Bank of America. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and earned an MBA from Cornell University.

Christiane MuellerChristiane Mueller, Human Resources Marketing Executivee
Deutsche Telekom Services Europe GmbH, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany    
Since 2001 I have worked for Deutsche Telekom in the field of HR-Marketing. In 2009 I became an Expert in HR-Marketing (working on topics like organization of recruiting fairs and events, publishing online and print advertisements, budget and reporting issues and conception & going live of career site "T-Mobile" in 2003). From 2006-2008 I was responsible for the organization of the CeBIT-fair in Hannover (recruiting sector). I am quite passionate in studying languages like Spanish, English and Dutch and love healthy cooking without following any trends. ;) 2015-2016 conception and implementation of our Ambassador Programm (Relaunch).

Bilal Ramazanoglu, Educational Technologies and Systems Development Administrator
Tofaş, Bursa, Turkey

Sharon RuddSharon Rudd, National Leadership, Sales & CS Consultant
TNT Australia, Mascot, New South Wales, Australia

I am a passionate Learning / Organisational and Development expert with and extensive knowledge of instructional practices, including training needs analysis, course content, development of learning materials and the management of learning outcomes and metrics. I enjoy helping people and love what I do.

Iñigo Sanchez-Cabezudo, Director, Global Markets - Americas
Society of Human Resources Management, Alexandria, Virginia, United States     

Georgi GeorgievGeorgi Sashov Georgiev, CEO & Business Development
ToTheTop Agency, Sofia, Bulgaria    

I am business consultant passionate about human development because I believe that people are those who are bringing companies forward. For last 7 years I am part of organization of most remarkable events in Bulgaria, partnering with speakers, companies and providers from around the world. In last 18 months my daily job is shortly related to working with HR's and business owners on the team, developing different systems for improving happiness and effectiveness.  

Madhukar SharmaMadhukar Sharma, CEO
Ace Medical LLC, Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Madhukar Sharma the president of ACE Medical started this endeavor in October 2013 with humble beginnings.Relying on his knowledge and experience of the medical field, he started a House Call venture where qualified and experienced doctors would visit home bound patients. The service caters to patients living at a residence, assisted-living facility, skilled nursing rehabilitation center, or other retirement home. His success is all this due to a leap of faith and a great vision of caring for patients. “You make a living by what you get and make a life by what you give!”

Tsang Wing PhangTsang Wing Phang, Senior Assistant Director
State Courts Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Tsang Wing is a lead business excellence assessor in Singapore, and a passionate business process and organisational excellence specialist.  He has more than a decade experience in the field of policy making and business excellence.



Salim Yilmaz, Industrial Engineer
IETT General Directorate, Istanbul, Turkey