NICHOLAS NESBITT Nicholas Nesbitt is the General Manager of IBM Eastern Africa.  He leads all of IBM's operations in 10 countries in the region, including the teams that manage the IT networks for Airtel and the IBM Research Africa Lab.  Mr Nesbitt’s team has led successful IBM engagements in the private sector with large and mid size clients in financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing and has delivered on extensive and transformational change within several government ministries and agencies. Previously, Mr Nesbitt was the Chief Executive of KenCall, the leading international BPO/call center outsourcing company in East Africa.  The company has been recognized as the Top Non-European Call Center globally, the fastest growing Top 100 company in Kenya and one of the best mid size businesses in East Africa.  Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Business have both written case studies on KenCall, which are taught to MBA students across the world. Prior to moving back to Kenya, Mr Nesbitt held senior executive positions in the United States at Qwest Communications, Schneider Electric and The Boston Consulting Group. Mr Nesbitt is the Chairman of the Board of KEPSA (Kenya Private Sector Alliance), the apex body of the private sector in Kenya. He is/has been a board member of the Central Bank of Kenya, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), American Chamber of Commerce, AMREF Flying Doctors, Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Multimedia University and Gateway insurance. Mr Nesbitt is an active member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), a global organization supporting leading CEO’s. Mr Nesbitt has been profiled frequently in global and regional media as a thought leader and visionary and has been a frequent speaker and panelist on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership at conferences in Kenya and around the world. The President of Kenya awarded Nicholas a presidential honor, the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW), in recognition of his pioneering spirit and accomplishments in creating the Kenyan BPO industry. Mr Nesbitt received his MBA from Stanford University and both his Masters and Bachelors of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA. He is a keen golfer and mountain biker and enjoys safaris.

RITA KAVASHE Rita Kavashe is the Managing Director of GM East Africa Ltd, reporting directly to the President and Managing Director of GM Africa & Middle East Operations. Rita received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Moi University in 1991 and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nairobi in 2005. Her career began in GM in 1995 in its East African operations, where she has worked for the last 21 years. During this time she has been exposed to critical aspects of our operation. After a series of moves with increased responsibility, she was appointed the Sales and Marketing Director in April of 2006 and then Commercial Director in September 2008. During this time sales in the region grew by more than 30%. Furthermore, Rita was instrumental in achieving several awards for sales growth in the East African region. In 2009, Rita was nominated to undertake a developmental assignment in South Africa for six months to develop an Export strategy for GM Sub Saharan Africa. In 2010 her role was expanded with dual responsibility as Managing Director for GM East Africa and Exports Director for GM Sub-Saharan Africa. Rita also serves on a number of government committees and has played a leading role in Manufacturing, Roads and infrastructure Sectors with keen interest in quality and Safety.

Amb Dennis Awori

KEPSA Foundation and Energy

Jas graduated as a textile technologist in the UK in 1984 and has over 32 years’ experience in the manufacturing sector in Kenya. Jas is an industrialist and an entrepreneur who has numerous responsibilities in business and various business member organizations. Over the years, he has attended several executive business courses organized by Harvard Business School, IMD, and IIM to mention a few to his credentials. He is a member of YPO-WPO global network of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Jas was also nominated a finalist in the 2016 Africa CEO forum awards and subsequently awarded the 2016 Sikh CEO of the year. His business acumen has been recognized by Government of Kenya whereby he was appointed a board member at The Export Promotion Council in 2003 and thereafter in 2006 transferred to serve the board of The Export Processing Zones Authority for a period of 6 years until October 2012. Additionally in December 2012, HE President Mwai Kibaki honored Jas with a medal, Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS). Further In 2016 President Kenyatta appointed Jas as the Chairman of the Export Promotion Council to help boost Kenya’s exports. Jas is currently the - Chairman Export Promotion Council (EPC). - President of International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). - Chairman of the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF). - Managing Director of Bedi Investments Limited. - Executive Director of Fine Spinners Uganda Limited. - Director of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). Jas has previously also served on the Board of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and for a period of 32 months served as Managing Director of Orbit Chemical Industries Limited from 2003 unto 2005. He was also the Chairman of Kenya Apparel Manufacturers Exporters Association (KAMEA) from 2003 unto 2010 and the Vice Chairman of Kenya India Business Council from 2003 unto 2005. In addition, he also served as Co-Chair of the World Bank Cotton Apex committee from 2004 unto 2009. Besides these positions he served in various trade committees of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) since 1996 and graduated to serve as Chairman of KAM for 2 years in 2010. Jas has also served the EABC as a Director from 2011 and as Vice Chairman in 2014. In addition he has served Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) as the Chairman of the Trade and Investment committee and as a KEPSA governor from 2010 until 2015. To conclude, Jas has been tirelessly involved in developing export market opportunities, particularly in trading bocks such as EAC, COMESA, SADC, USA and the European Union.

Jeremy Awori is the CEO at Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd and joined Barclays in February 2013. Prior to joining Barclays he held various positions within Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) where he was the CEO of SCB Tanzania (2008 to 2012); Regional Sales and Performance Director of SCB for Middle East, South Asia and Africa (2005 to 2008); Head of Consumer Banking in SCB UAE (2003 to 2005). Other positions held at SCB include Executive Director and Head of Consumer Banking for East Africa. He has also lived and worked in the in UK, North America and Asia. Jeremy completed his Master’s in Business Administration from McGill University, Montreal Canada. He also holds a Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from Manchester University in the United Kingdom. In addition to his responsibilities in Barclays Kenya, Jeremy is a Director of ABSA Financial Services Limited (AFSL); Barclays Financial Services Limited (BFSL); Barclays Bank Insurance Agency Limited (BBIAL); Barclays Kenya (Nominees) Limited; Barclays Deposit-Taking Microfinance Limited; First Assurance Company Limited and First Assurance Holdings Limited. Jeremy is also a Board member of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the former Chairman of the Kenya Bankers Association where he currently sits on their governing council. He is also a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and an Aspen Global Leadership Institute fellow Jeremy is married with three children and his interests include swimming and several other sports.

BRENDA MBATHI Brenda Mbathi is a seasoned, passionate, articulate Corporate Affairs leader in Africa. Brenda Mbathi joined GE in March 2015 and is responsible for managing government relations & advocacy across East Africa. Brenda also leads GE’s corporate sustainability programs across all GE business units in Africa. In her current role at GE, she is responsible for the strategic direction of GE’s CSR programmes across the African continent, ensuring support for GE’s business strategy whilst advancing economic growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, and effective leadership. Africa is a key growth market for GE and Brenda is committed to ensuring that the company is delivering what the continent needs, in a manner that contributes positively to the region's economic development. Brenda currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of MPESA Foundation Academy and is a Board Director of the Kenya Private Sector Association. Prior to joining GE, Brenda was Corporate Affairs Director for East African Breweries Ltd (part of the Diageo group) leading and managing the company’s reputation including stakeholder management; sustainability agenda (leading the EABL foundation); public affairs & communication including investor & media relations.

Lucy is a director with the Jacaranda Group of Hotels, Kenya. She is also a recognized leader in the private sector tourism industry. Lucy serves as the current chairperson of Kenya Tourism Federation. KTF is the leading voice that articulates the needs of tourism and hosts seven other private sector bodies under its umbrella. Lucy is also a director at Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) an alliance in pursuit of an enabling business environment, engaging the government at the president and prime minister’s office also represents KEPSA at various international platforms as key note speaker in various fields Lucy was currently appointed by the government to head the Tourism Recovery Task Force. Lucy is an MBA graduate in hospitality management has been in the tourism industry for almost 30 years, working in, various tourism related companies. Lucy is also a director at the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and a director at The Nature Conservancy. Lucy was awarded the Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community from Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers and Institute’s Award for Outstanding Citizenship which is awarded to the student who in the opinion of the senior members of the faculty has, in their everyday dealings with others, demonstrated civility, character, strong personal commitment and a professional attitude from International Management Institute, Luzern Switzerland. Lucy has a strong passion and drive for an integrated regional tourism platform and continues to engage and lobby for this platform. She is involved in various charitable organizations.  

Isaac E.N.Okero is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with over 26 years in practice. He studied Law at the University of Buckingham in the England graduating in 1988. He is the first President of the Law Society of Kenya elected under the Law Society of Kenya Act 2014.He leads the Kenyan National Bar Association formed in the year 1948 and currently comprising of over 13,000 Advocates. He is the proprietor of Behan & Okero Advocates a Law Firm established in the year 2002 having previously been a Partner with Joginder Singh Behan & Company Advocates a position he held for ten years. Mr. Okero serves as a Council member of various National, Regional and International institutions including: African Bar Leaders Forum, International Bar Association, the East African Law Society, and Advisory Board of the Office of Director of Public Prosecution. He is a member of the Commonwealth Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the Pan African Lawyers Union and East Africa Law Society. He is the Chairperson of the LSK Standing Committee on Judicial Appointments (SCOJA) established under his leadership this year. Mr. Okero is a firm believer in protection of the rule of law and administration of justice.

Flora Mutahi is the founder and CEO of Melvin Marsh International Ltd and has extensive local and international experience in strategic leadership, business development, market penetration and marketing. Proven ability to innovate, conceptualize and implement products and business solutions and to lead and mentor others to achieve company and personal goals. Flora is passionate about the next generation seeing them as the future leaders of the nation and believes very strongly in a sound education. Having employed staff for over 18 years, She is well aware of the gaps in the education system and a firm believer in an all rounded education. On a personal level, Flora is married with three children.