Hannah Huber, Founder Spark

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FOUNDER SPARK & AMSTERDAM ACADEMY

Spark was founded by Hannah Huber, a Dutch-American who has called Amsterdam her home for over 15 years. Originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and having lived in Washington, DC, Hannah's passion is bringing inspirational people together, connecting talent to those who can learn from this talent. Hannah previously served as a resident director for the leading U.S. study abroad organization for American students, running programs in Amsterdam and Groningen. She currently serves as a program manager at Nyenrode Business University next to her work at Spark. She has a proven track record in curriculum design, organizing events, finding guest speakers, and hosting events. Her intercultural skills complement her passion for bringing people together and making connections. Throughout the process of starting her own business Amsterdam Academy, she realized how many female entrepreneurs were operating in isolation of each other and decided to do something about it - Spark was born.


Sabrina Popescu, Program Manager

With a hands-on attitude, high standards, an open mind and a ton of drive to make things happen, Sabrina’s mission at Spark is to come up with creative, lateral-thinking solutions, and actually get them done! Over the past years, Sabrina has found herself at the intersection of tech and people — taking every opportunity to be part of several up-and-coming companies in both Denmark and the Netherlands. Although her career has been pretty non-linear, working with both B2B and B2C companies helped her define the way she approaches her work — through research, curiosity, and empathy to build a verbal expression of company culture and trust. Sabrina helps curate Spark’s masterclasses, networking events, webinars, and the annual conference programming. Do you have a question about Spark’s programming, please email: sabrina@sparkwomen.eu

Eveline Maertens, Partners & Sponsors Manager

Eveline joined the Spark Team in July 2019 as our partner and sponsor lead.

'Having lived around the world, it feels very close to heart to be part of this international community of inspirational women. I'm excited to bring organizations and people together and to create a space where we can help each other climb the ladder of success.'

Questions about sponsorship and/or partnership? Reach out to Eveline: partners@sparkwomen.eu

Colleen Geske, Advisor

Advisor

Director, Head of Social Media Iamsterdam, Co-founder of EdenFrost Communications, and author of Stuff Dutch People Like

Colleen Geske is the founder and best-selling author behind the brand Stuff Dutch People Like. Originally from Canada, Colleen has called Amsterdam her home since 2004. Described as "blunt, provocative and wickedly funny" her blog and books offer a satirical look at Dutch culture as seen
 through the eyes of an outsider.

Built entirely from scratch, Stuff Dutch People Like now reaches a combined audience of over 20-30 million individuals each month and is hugely popular with expat, international and Dutch audiences alike.

Alongside her own entrepreneurial endeavors, Colleen has worked as a strategic advisor for the City of Amsterdam since 2008 combining her love of the city with various initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining internationals to the Amsterdam area.


Get in touch!

Emmy McCarthy, Advisor

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advisory board member & Spark conference event partner 2015-2017

Emmy McCarthy Consulting

Emmy is the founder of Stichting Amsterdam Mamas and owner of Emmy McCarthy Consulting. Emmy is a gentle nudge over the cliff's edge for businesses who are on the tipping point of good to outstanding. Because it is much more fun to leap into the next phase with someone by your side. 

When she's not digging around in other people's businesses you can find her growing her village in the city by connecting you with the information and support you need to live the life you want in Amsterdam. If you would like to get to know Emmy better, make sure you are registered for her fortnightly Notes for the Curious, a jam-packed blast of tips and tricks for building your business. 

Somaye Dehban, Advisor

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Somaye Dehban, Advisor

Your Funding Network

Somaye Dehban, who is responsible for Spark's fundraising and sponsorship, brings valuable experience through her business Your Funding Network. Somaye founded Your Funding Network in 2013 through which she offers tailor-made fundraising services to her hand-picked clients: She believe in collaborative approaches as her motto is "Sharing is Power", and making a difference where diversity, transparency and integrity are cross-cutting issues.

Somaye has excellent interpersonal skills and ability to quickly understand and interpret stakeholders’ requirements, make connections, and develop strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders at all levels, resulting in all-round effective strategic connector. 

In 2018, Your Funding Network became a partner with Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation along with other partners such as Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Red Cross, The Hague Security Delta and Deloitte to name a few.

Somaye is also active in Dutch and International politics and writes on a wide range of topics from women's rights to climate change to freedom of associations. 


Melissa Curran-Kalker, Advisor

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about melissa.

I have always been organized.

Growing up as a “military brat” in the United States, my family moved every few years, so organization was not just a goal for our family, but a way of life. With nearly 30 addresses over the course of my life so far, including in Australia and The Netherlands, I’ve been consistently challenged to devise new solutions to the “problem of stuff.” Not surprisingly, my professional life to-date reflects my early introduction to skills such as order and efficiency! Before starting sorted. I worked for 20+ years with non-profits, corporates and start-ups managing information and systems, creating and improving processes and coordinating events and office moves. Gradually, over the course of much trial and error and soul searching, and through the eyes of those around me, I was lucky enough to discover what I am truly passionate about—organizing.

I’ve lived in The Netherlands for the last 12 years with my Dutch husband (discovered in Australia!) and, more recently, our two school-age daughters. As a former ex-pat who now calls Holland home, and as a working mother and partner, I understand the unique stresses and needs of those who may be re-locating far from family and friends, or going through other significant life changes. Everywhere I look I see opportunities to make transitions and spaces more restful, peaceful, and efficient. We are all busy people in a busy world. Organizing our home and workspace is so much more important than we realize: often the simplest solutions lead to emotional, practical, and even fiscal clarity.


Steph Panther, Advisor

Advisor

Founder of My Mindset Coach

Steph’s passion is to inspire and empower people to be the most authentic expression of themselves.

A ‘professional expat’, originally from Melbourne Australia, Steph has travelled and lived in various different communities around the world. She understands the challenges involved in setting down in a foreign land and having to build a life (& business) from the ground up.

This is what inspired her to build My Mindset Coach, an online coaching business for young ambitious professionals who are leaping into a big lifestyle change. 

She works with clients 1:1 around the globe, helping them to stay accountable and achieve their personal and career goals in less time. 

Steph is very passionate about the Spark community and knows the positive effects of having an inspiring network.

As our Community Outreach advisor, Steph loves to bring like-minds together to collaborate, learn and grow together in a supportive and fun environment.

Question for Steph?  Connect/ Chat with her here.