The AOECS Board consists of five Directors who are elected by representatives of AOECS Member societies for a term of three years.
The Directors’ tasks include undertaking activities and initiatives to achieve the aims and objectives of the organisation.
Tunde Koltai - Chair
With a degree in Food Industry Engineering, Tunde has held several positions within the food industry, including Technical Director of a meat producing company and 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 in 1990, she established - together with other parents, the Hungarian Coeliac Society. Tunde is Chair 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 served on the AOECS Board from 2007 to 2016 and was re-elected in 2018.
Floris van Overveld - Vice Chair
Floris has been Managing Director of the Dutch Coeliac Society since 2019. With a master in medicinal chemistry, he has made non-profit organisations his field of expertise. Over the years, Floris has held senior management positions in a range of member organisations such as the Dutch Cancer Society, the Dutch Labour Party and an umbrella organisation of patient and disabled people societies. As a Change Manager, Floris has extensive experience with building volunteer support as well as organising shared decision making and internal democracy in associations.
Christian Scerri - Treasurer
Christian is a Professor and Lecturer at the University of Malta and a consultant of Clinical and Molecular Genetics at the Health Department in Malta. Christian’s expert knowledge of genetics provides invaluable support for the AOECS’s research activities into coeliac disease. He is a regular speaker at international public health conferences and has co-authored numerous articles for medical journals, some of which can be found on our research page.
Between the years 2003-2012 Christian formed part of the AOECS Board and was re-elected as Board Director at the General Assembly in 2016 and again in 2019. Christian’s other activities include being a Member of the European Cluster on the study of the Pathophysiology of coeliac disease and a Member of the scientific advisory team of the European Coeliac Disease Specific Support Action (CDEUSSA).
Magnus Filipsson - Board Director
Magnus is a high school teacher with major subjects in psychology and society-oriented subjects. He has also courses in sales, economics, insurance, and law as well as advanced negotiation techniques.
Magnus has worked with sales and marketing since the mid-90s and has been manager/CEO for over 25 years in various industries. Education, publishing, music, fitness, and now since 2018 Secretary-General of the Swedish Celiac Association.
He has also been an active association person all the life and grew up in a real association family.
“You could probably joke about it and say that statues exist as a natural ingredient in my blood. “
His strengths are to see the big pictures and create strategies that are then implemented and give results, as well as to inspire people to act individually for the team's and members/stakeholders best based on agreed framework.
He believes that the combination of holistic outlook on life, commercial experience, and the roots in association life and work as a volunteer in non-profit organizations can contribute to developing the association.
Hilary Croft - Board Director
Hilary's professional background lies in business transformation within complex, multifaceted organisations. Her senior management career started in marketing at Coca-Cola, and progressed in the retail and wholesale industry before moving to Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology and digital transformation services. She gained considerable knowledge and interest in the food and drink sector before making the move to the charity sector as CEO of London’s largest food re-distribution charity, The Felix Project.
Hilary has direct experience of coeliac disease, as her son has the condition. This provides her with first-hand experience of living gluten free and provides additional motivation to achieve real and lasting change for the gluten free community. Hilary also volunteers as a Board Member of Age UK Ealing and for international poverty and disaster relief charity, Tearfund. She was elected to the AOECS Board in September 2019.
Veronica Rubio - Secretary General
Veronica Rubio is a Lawyer specialized in international trade and human rights, with a master’s degree in Bioethics. For the last 19 years she has worked promoting sustainable supply chains, social corporate responsibility and small farmers’ access to the international fair-trade markets.
She has solid experience in developing certification standards and Code of Conducts. Notably, in 2008 she led the development of the Social Certification Standard for Rainforest produces commissioned by the Brazilian Government in the Amazon region for cocoa, acai and camu-camu. In 2014 she successfully led a major shift in the Foreign Trade Association (now known as afori) by reshaping the BSCI Code of Conduct and related implementation manuals as she incorporated the UN Human Rights Due Diligence approach into retailer’s commitment towards sustainability.
In addition, she has been responsible for launching the South-South Fairtrade Labelling Initiative in Brazil; the amfori BSCI Sustainable Wine Programme; the Partnership with Thai Government towards Boosting Responsible Recruitment in Thailand and the Private Pubic Partnership (PPP) on Fostering Corporate Social Responsibility in Morocco. In 2018, she led the ProTerra Foundation as Executive Director consolidating its growth, visibility and credibility. In 2019, she studied and get her Bioethics Master Thesis on SDG 5 – Gender Equality. Since September 2020 she is Senior Advisor on Business and Human Rights and Gender Equality at Vectra International, supporting companies in their Due Diligence and CSR issues.
She has solid regional experience in Latin America and ASEAN countries. She is a Spanish native speaker and is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Italian.
Suzanne Bonnici Ciantar - Executive Assistant to the Board
Suzanne joined AOECS in May 2019 as Executive Assistant to the Board. She has a background as an Administrator at the University of Malta which comprised duties such as liaising with different departments, daily correspondence, diary management, minute-taking and finance administration, incl. bookkeeping and expense claim processing. Maltese is Suzanne’s mother tongue and she is highly proficient in English, fluent in Italian and has some understanding of French. Suzanne is a graduate student in Humanities with the University of Malta and is now reading for a Masters in Philosophy.
Daniela Nicol - Licensing Advisor
Daniela commenced her role as Licensing Advisor at AOECS in May 2017. As such, she is responsible for providing support to AOECS Member societies for the implementation of the organisation’s licensing scheme for the correct use of the trademark-protected Crossed Grain symbol. Daniela’s duties include rigorous monitoring of the trademark which is registered at European and worldwide level to protect its internationally recognised food safety guarantee status. In order to ensure that AOECS meets its aim to increase availability of safe gluten free products, the licensing scheme will be promoted to expand its reach into gluten free markets across Europe . Daniela joined AOECS as Executive Assistant in 2011. Her past roles include providing business and administrative support to senior-level management in a range of sectors such as diplomatic missions, recruitment and interior design. She speaks English and German to mother tongue level and has a good grasp of Italian and French.