Board of Directors

Founder & Honorary Chairman – Jim Deveau

Jim Deveau brings a 30-year business perspective to the GBF that spans retail media, shopper marketing, e-commerce, strategy consulting, and CPG brand management. As a Principal of The Catalyst Consortium, Jim forges collaborative marketing solutions, practical strategies, and transformations to shatter losing paradigms and shift them to profitably. Prior to Catalyst, Jim was the CMO of Relevance Partners, a retail-based integrated shopper loyalty software platform provider. Before that, as EVP Marketing for the InStore Broadcasting Network, Jim led the development and execution of branding, programming, and production for the Kroger In-Store Video Network and the Walgreens Radio Network. In addition, as SVP of Client Services and Business Development with IRI and Neo, Jim led a regional group serving over 30 CPG clients across food, beverage, and HBC. Prior to IRI, Jim gained classical brand management experience marketing brands including Playtex Apparel, Nabisco Shredded Wheat, Ritz, and Chips Ahoy! Jim received his BS from Tufts University and MBA from Columbia Business School. He is currently based in Fairfield, CT.

Chairman – Niall O’Hea

Niall first experience the GBC in 2006 as a student at Copenhagen and answered the call from the Founder to join a new GBF Executive Team to take the organisation forward. Niall managed the Student Leadership Awards as VP for a number of years, being part of the growth towards a more global footprint. He has since had the honour to be appointed Chairman of the Board. Niall started his career in civil engineering before taking an MBA. Post MBA, Niall spent several years at American Express as part of their ‘drive to digital’ strategy managing products in the European region and globally. Since then, he jumps back between engineering and management paradigms, latest at The Institution of Civil Engineers to manage professional development globally. Today, Niall is CEO & Founder of SmartEngineer.
Niall holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Nottingham University and is a professionally qualified Chartered Engineer. He completed his MBA at Manchester Business School.

Board member – Blair LaCorte

Blair was part of the original team to found the GBF in 1987 and has been on the Board ever since. Blair is Chief of Staff at AEye, Inc, Founder of La Corte ventures and sits on various Boards, such as the Kairos Society and Positive Coaching Alliance. Previously, Blair was a partner at Texas Pacific Group, Global President at PRG and Board member of XOJet and StarCite. Blair received his MBA from Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

Board member – Velan Thillairajah

Velan (AKA ‘V’) is the founder and Chief Executive Innovator of EAI Technologies, a boutique software development and consulting company. EAI serves as a collaborative partner for companies like VeriSign, Nester, First Data, AOL and Cardinal Health in going from concepts to service offerings by developing an engaging enterprise or consumer applications. Velan has created trusted relationships with his clients through his proven creative ability to identify/craft practical solutions to complex problems for supply chain, logistics, operational dashboards, online workflows, and integrated reporting for enterprise customers. Velan has an MBA from University of Rochester’s SIMON School of Business, where he was featured in Forbes ‘Best and Brightest’ and a BS in Engineering from Cornell University. Velan also sits on the Board of Directors of the Washington Area CTO Roundtable organization.

Board member – Gary McCLure

Gary McClure is Managing Consultant at C3 Consulting, a management consulting firm based in Nashville, TN. A certified professional facilitator, Gary leads C3’s change management initiatives and frequently directs complex projects that include process enhancement, rebranding/repositioning, and business strategy. Prior to C3, Gary spent eight years in the technology division of LifeWay, led marketing for a leading economic development publication, and spent 10 years with Nortel Networks in various strategic marketing leadership roles. In addition, he is committed to community service and serves in volunteer leadership roles with Habitat for Humanity, Young Life and a Costa Rican humanitarian group. Gary has an economics degree from Mississippi State University and an MBA from the Owen School at Vanderbilt University. He, his wife and four children live in Brentwood, TN.

Board member – Sven Junghagen

Sven played a key role in the globalisation of GBF after the GBC 2006 in Copenhagen (first time outside North America) and has been part of the Board since 2007. Sven is currently Associate Professor in Strategic Management at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). After completing his Ph.D. at Umeå University in Sweden in 1998 he joined CBS. Sven has during his years at CBS taken on a number of management responsibilities, such as being part of the team developing the new MBA programme, being Academic Director for the MSC programme and the CEMS MIM, Director of CBS Graduate School, and Vice President of CBS. Sven has after a long period in the administration turned back to a scholar position at CBS, teaching Strategic Management and doing research with a specific interest in Sport Management.

Board member – Sonja Rossteuscher

Sonja is Managing Partner of Triple S Advisory & Consulting, providing expertise in the areas of finance, strategy, process implementation and improvement, and governance. She has over 15 years experience in finance, investments, strategy and project management. Previously, Sonja held finance leadership roles at ADC African Development Corporation AG and Tristone Flowtech Group SAS, and held various roles in strategy, and new business areas at Robert Bosch GmbH, Maple Leaf Foods, among others.  Sonja studied Business Administration at the University of British Columbia and completed her MBA at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in Frankfurt, Germany.