AOECS is run by five Executive Board Members who meet regularly to discuss the Association’s strategic and operational affairs.
Tunde Koltai, Chair
With a degree in Food Industry Engineering obtained at the Technical University of Budapest Tunde has held several positions in the food industry, such as technical director of a meat producing company, quality manager of a commercial company. She currently acts as an independent advisor and project manager, writes articles for medical journals and daily newspapers.
Following the diagnosis of her son with coeliac disease, she established, together with other parents, the Hungarian Coeliac Society in 1990. Tunde is chairperson of the society and acts on behalf of coeliac patients and families in areas of specific interest such as the financial support of persons with coeliac disease and collating food lists. She also works with teachers, restaurants and caterers of public institutions to raise awareness of the coeliac disease.
As a representative of the Hungarian Coeliac Society, Tunde was elected vice president of the Hungarian National Health Council in 2007.
Tunde was elected to the AOECS Board in 2007 and has been a member of various AOECS Working Groups such as the ‘Codes and Symbol’ and ‘Helping Coeliacs’ working group’, establishing a International Coeliac Day.
She sees the priority of her activities to achieve the best possible quality of life for persons with coeliac disease and to raise awareness of the disease in Hungary as well as in Europe.
Sarah Sleet, Vice Chair and Secretary
Prior to joining Coeliac UK as Chief Executive in 2005, Sarah held several director-level roles covering strategy, corporate planning, IT and lastly forming part of the team at the UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s office, where she worked closely at the heart of government to influence policy making. Since then, she has overseen a growth in the provision of services for Coeliac UK Members, the largest research programme undertaken by the society and campaigning successes such as the first ever UK government guideline on diagnosis of the condition.
Sarah joined the AOEC as Board member in 2009, following a decision at the GA in Malta of the same year to increase the number of Board members from three to five. She has been instrumental in progressing the implementation of the European Licensing System – a system unifying the Europe-wide licensing of the Association’s crossed grain trademark symbol.
Dan Kühnau, Treasurer
Born in Cologne in Germany, Dan studied law at the University of Cologne and now lives in Berlin where he acts as legal and political advisor to the Bavarian conservative party– Christlich-Soziale Union (CSU). His previous roles include working for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva and for the State of Bavaria in Landshut and Regensburg.
Dan was diagnosed with coeliac disease at the age of one and in 1999 started volunteering for the German coeliac society – Deutsche Zöliakie Gesellschaft (DZG) - as a member of the Youth Board. In 2006 he was elected on to the DZG Board of Directors and since 2009 presides over the DZG Board.
In September 2011, Dan was elected to the AOECS Board of Directors at the General Assembly in
In 1995, Nanna joined the Finnish Coeliac Society as Nutritional Specialist and since then has been instrumental in growing her society which today comprises a head office and four regional offices. In Finland, Nanna has been involved in raising awareness of coeliac disease amongst the healthcare sector and informing the catering sector how to do it gluten-free. As the nutritional coordinator, she has worked on several study projects within the “Working with the Coeliac Disease Study Group”, led by Professor Markku Mäki, with a focus on oats, wheat starch and quality of life.
During 2004-2007, Nanna was elected to the AOECS Board where she was responsible for the “Codex and Labelling” and “Helping Coeliacs” working groups. Her involvement in the “Helping Coeliacs” working group enabled her to gain an invaluable insight into the challenges new and small societies in the Eastern part of Europe are facing.
As one of the main organizers of the AOECS GA 2012 held in Helsinki, which included 300 participants from various international patient organisations, the academic community and manufacturers, Nanna had the opportunity to expand her network of international coeliac contacts.
Nanna was elected to the Board of AOECS at the GA 2012.
Ivana studied Foreign Languages and Literature and has completed a PhD in International Relations Management. She has been working in Milan since 2009 as a fund raiser within an Italian research center focusing on environmental and climatic change topics.
Following her diagnosis of coeliac disease, Ivana started volunteering for the Italian Coeliac Society (AIC-Associazione Italiana Celiachia) in 1999.
She has been a member of the Board of AIC since 2010 and over the years was involved with several projects. Ivana first joined the Coeliac Youth of Europe (CYE), the youth arm of AOECS, as a delegate in 2003 and was appointed CYE Project Manager in 2005 and CYE General Coordinator in 2006. In 2008, she was appointed as delegate to represent AIC at the AOECS General Assemblies.
At the General Assembly 2012, Ivana was elected to the AOECS Board of Directors.
Daniela Nicol, Executive Assistant
Daniela joined AOECS as Executive Assistant in February 2011. Her role is to support the Board in co-ordinating its activities which includes setting up meetings, taking minutes, follow-up of action points, supporting Members and responding to their queries, website administration, finance administration, expanding AOECS’s international contact base, issuing quarterly newsletters and administrating the European Licensing System (ELS).
Born to a British father and Austrian mother, Daniela spent many years living abroad, notably in Ghana. Moving to Austria in 1973, Daniela completed her further education at the Commercial Academy (Handelsakademie) in Vienna and considers both English and German as her mother tongues. Her past roles include providing administrative supporting to senior management in various sectors such as executive recruitment, construction, interior design and also include several years as secretary to the Italian Ambassador to Ghana. During this time, Daniela became fluent in Italian and used her French extensively, allowing her to work and communicate effectively with people of diverse cultural backgrounds.